- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014
Alexander, Ball spar in lone Tenn. Senate forum

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Gordon Ball in their first and only joint appearance of Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race on Thursday attacked each other as unsuited to hold the office.

Alexander, a former governor and who is seeking a third Senate term, directly went on the offensive at the start of the one-hour forum hosted by the Farm Bureau at Tennessee Tech University, returning often to his familiar criticism of Ball as being “one more vote for the Obama agenda.”

Ball, a Knoxville attorney, insisted he’s a centrist Democrat and pledged that if elected he wouldn’t vote for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada for another term in charge.

“My party has left me and gone to the left,” Ball said. “And that’s why I’m running, because I’m tired of being stuck in the middle.”

Alexander said it was a hollow promise for Ball to vote against Reid because Democrats would still hold sway in the Senate. The GOP would need to pick up six seats to gain control of the Senate.

“He’s trying to fool you about what he’d do,” Alexander said at the early morning event on the outskirts of Cookeville. “If you want change, you have to have a new Republican majority.”

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Carr appointed as chancellor in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Oscar C. Carr III as chancellor for Shelby County.

In a Thursday news release, Haslam says Carr, of Memphis, is replacing Kenny Armstrong, who had been chancellor of the 30th Judicial District. Armstrong was recently named to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Chancellors serve as the judges for the chancery courts of each judicial district in Tennessee.

The 63-year-old Carr has been a member of the law firm Glankler Brown since 1976, with a practice in litigation and an emphasis on business, construction, environmental and other civil litigation. Carr also has handled mediations.

Haslam calls Carr an experienced attorney with an impressive track record.

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9 Memphis schools join Achievement District

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Nine more schools in Memphis will be joining the state-run Achievement School District next fall.

The Commercial Appeal (https://bit.ly/1CqNLwO) reports Wooddale Middle, South Side Middle and Raleigh-Egypt High have already been assigned to charter schools.

Nine others are eligible for takeover: Florida-Kansas Elementary, Denver Elementary, Airways Middle, Brookmeade Elementary, American Way Middle, Hawkins Mills Elementary, LaRose Elementary, A. Maceo Walker Middle and A.B. Hill Elementary. Only six of the schools will be selected for new management based on a community vetting process to determine which charters would work best with which schools. The final matches will be announced later this year.

All of the schools performed in the bottom 5 percent according to scores released over the summer.

The Achievement District was able to match the middle and high school early because they were on the short list last year and had already been vetted.

“Based on input, including from faculty and administration, we decided to not match them in 2013-2014 to see if they could make the achievement gains they thought they could accomplish,” said Malika Anderson, chief portfolio officer for the ASD.

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Austin Peay cancels trip over Ebola concerns

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Middle Tennessee university says it has canceled a study abroad trip to West Africa over concerns about the Ebola virus.

Jeff Rutter, director of the school’s counseling and health services, told media that students won’t travel next year to Senegal as planned.

He says the school hopes to begin sending students back to West Africa for study abroad programs in the future, but right now there is too much risk.

The disease has killed almost 4,500 people in West Africa this year.

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