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After a divisive presidential election in which then-President Donald Trump unsuccessfully raised the specter of widespread voter fraud — rejected by the states, the courts, his own administration and Congress amid an insurrection by Trump supporters — GOP stalwarts in Nashville are pushing forward with crackdowns on what they still perceive as a problem.
Republican state Sen. Janice Bowling of Tullahoma has introduced a bill that would abolish early voting, end the use of voting machines and require watermarked paper ballots hand-marked by voters.
Two other GOP lawmakers, Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains and Rep. Susan Lynn of Mount Juliet, introduced a bill to fingerprint all voters.
These are far from the only voting-related bills before the General Assembly, but they are among the most stringent.
Opponents denounced the bills as voter suppression efforts.
In a statement, Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, said Bowling’s bill would reduce turnout and make it harder to vote.
In news today…
Bradley County Schools has announced building-level teachers of the year. They are: Joe Parker and Michael Thomas, Black Fox Elementary; Jennifer Young, Bradley County Virtual School; Josh Gregory, Rebecca Hames, and Cheyenne Kidwell, Lake Forest Middle School; Will Langdon and Paula Deal, Bradley Central High School; Shannon Belisle and Brittany Cantrell, Prospect Elementary; Chalea Terry, GOAL Academy; Briley Mason and Heather Donegan, Valley View Elementary; Brandi Pirkle and Nikki Weathers, Oak Grove Elementary; Nate Mathis and Amanda Price, Taylor Elementary; Emma Barnes and Wade Sacca, Walker Valley High School; Leigh Ann Burgess and Erica Walker, Charleston Elementary; Taylor Fugate and Monica Trantham, Michigan Avenue Elementary; Kelli Earhart and Mrs. Harvey, North Lee Elementary; Cassondra Bishop and Alisha Bright, Park View Elementary; Judith Bell and Lee Baggerly, Ocoee Middle School; Robin McChesney and Kristy Stewart, Hopewell Elementary; and Lisa Gwaltney and BreAnne Leamon, Waterville Community Elementary.
In news today…
The 17th Annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration at Cleveland State Community College will look a little different this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event is taking place in a “drive-thru” style format on the CSCC campus on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 9-11 a.m. Sponsored by Kiwanis of Cleveland, United Way of the Ocoee Region and the Maylyn and Carson Thacker Memorial Fund, the celebration is organized by students in the Early Childhood Education language and literacy class.
As with previous events, several famous characters like the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and the Grinch hope to join the fun on this day. Both children and adults are familiar with the uncontrollable and entertaining Cat from Dr. Seuss’s book, The Cat in the Hat. The Cat is accompanied by the twin mischief-makers, Thing One and Thing Two, and together they bounce from one catastrophic fun-making adventure to another. The Grinch, the title character from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, is a cynical cave-dweller who has a sudden change of heart when he realizes the real meaning of Christmas.
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss is free to children of all ages. Each child will receive a goody bag that includes a hardback Dr. Seuss book, as well as other literacy-related games and activities.