Recent News Mentions
Pollutant discharge permit sought as closure of Bull Run looms
1/13/23 - Tennessee Valley Authority leaders are aiming to shut down the Bull Run Fossil Plant by the end of 2023. Before it happens, dozens were at a meeting Thursday night in Oak Ridge learning more about an updated National Pollutant Discharge Eliminiation System (NPDES) permit.
'Don't fix it if it isn't broken' | Two state bills seek to change third-grade retention law
1/12/22 - Two state lawmakers filed back-to-back bills to change a law that has the potential to hold a large portion of third-graders back across Tennessee.
Glade Rotary hears about work of SOCM
1/12/23 - At a recent meeting of the Fairfield Glade Rotary Club, Jean Cheely and Adam Hughes presented information about the 50-year old Statewide Organization for Community eMpowerment.
TVA seeks same limits on releasing pollutants from Bull Run power plant
12/20/22 - The Bull Run Fossil Plant is set to shut down by the end of 2023, but before it does, the Tennessee Valley Authority wants to modify its water permit to allow it to release pollutants into the Clinch River under the same limits allowed under an existing rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Knox County Schools votes on third-grade retention law resolution, mental health counselors and playgrounds during meeting
12/7/22 - The Knox County Board of Education voted to send a resolution to the state legislature asking them to reconsider a new law that could hold students back if they do not meet expectations on state tests.
Knox County Education Board to ask state to change third-grade retention law
12/7/22 - The Knox County Board of Education approved a resolution that calls on the Tennessee General Assembly to give school districts the final say on retention decisions for third and fourth-grade students.
Knox County school board: Give us flexibility before 2,700 third-graders get held back
12/6/22 - The Knox County Board of Education is set to join many of its peers across Tennessee in calling on lawmakers to put districts back in control of which third graders move on and which are held back.
Tennessee lawmakers have some regrets about rushing a new law holding back 3rd graders who struggle to read
12/5/22 - At the end of this school year, third graders who score less than proficient on the English language arts section of the TCAP exam could be held back. Now a key legislative committee has given initial approval for how that will work in practice.
Blount school board asks legislature to amend third grade retention law
12/1/22 - The Blount County Board of Education passed a resolution Thursday, Dec. 1, asking the General Assembly to allow school districts — rather than a single state test — to determine whether third graders are retained at the end of this school year.
Monitoring air quality across Appalachia
11/22/22 - After a decade of focusing on water pollution from coal mining, Appalachian Voices’ coal impacts team is embarking on an ambitious project to monitor air pollution in communities impacted by coal mining and other fossil fuel infrastructure, and in other communities where air quality is an environmental justice concern.
Knox County Schools to ask state lawmakers to change law that could require students be held back in third grade
11/7/22 - The controversial state law could require some students to repeat the third grade if they don't score well on a standardized test.
Helping or hurting students? Lawmakers, teachers weigh in on new 3rd grade retention law
11/1/22 - Some call it "Education abuse," while others say it holds students accountable: a new Tennessee law requires 3rd graders to pass a single standardized reading test in order to avoid being held back.
Decision delivered in explosive quarry battle
9/29/22 - After months of waiting, 12th Judicial District Chancellor Melissa Thomas Willis has ruled in favor of Grundy County in the Tinsley Sand and Gravel, LLC v Grundy County case. Attorneys for the county and Tinsley, William Reider and Clifton Miller respectively, appeared in Chancery Court Sept. 19. The Chancery Courtroom was standing room only with the crowd spilling out into the hallway, the majority of whom were residents who live in close proximity to Tinsley’s Chevy Road property.
Tennessee's monthlong grocery tax freeze put Band-Aid on a bigger problem
9/26/22 - If there are no tax loopholes for teachers and families buying back-to-school supplies and groceries, then why should loopholes exist for corporations? *This is an opinion piece written by SOCM Board Member Liv Cook
Charter school opponents, supporters speak up at state hearing in Clarksville
9/16/22 - The lines were clearly divided Friday morning during a public hearing on the application of American Classical Academy Montgomery (ACAM) to open a local charter school. The Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, ACAM board members and representatives of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System met in the CMCSS School Board room to air the pros and cons of the charter school application.
Charter schools public hearing planned Friday morning in Clarksville, along with protest
9/15/22 - A public hearing will be held Friday morning to help determine whether two charter schools will open in Montgomery County. Both charter schools – American Classical Academy Montgomery and Oxton Academy – applied to open charter schools here, and both were rejected by the Clarksville-Montgomery County School Board.
EPA coal ash rules miss half a billion tons of toxic waste, greens say
8/25/22 - Exemptions to the Environmental Protection Agency's coal ash regulations allow utilities across the country to sidestep responsibility for what green groups estimate to be a half a billion tons of toxic waste, according to a new lawsuit filed Thursday.
Road to Ruin: The Fight Over a New Quarry in Grundy County
7/7/22 - About a dozen planned or existing rock quarries in Tennessee have been recently opposed, and in some cases stopped, by coalitions of residents and local environmentalists. Residents don’t like the quarries’ explosions, noise, possible damage to wells and heavy truck traffic; environmentalists oppose the runoff of silts from crushed rock and sand that can clog local streams, harm sensitive wildlife and enter the water table to damage caves and groundwater.
Community members fight to keep historic Maury County bridge open
3/2/22 - Members of the Maury County community are pushing to keep a bridge open and accessible after the county officials closed it off for safety reasons. However, community members who want to keep the Sandy Hook Five Arch Bridge don’t want this landmark demolished. Community members say the county has deemed the bridge unsafe because of its aging structure.
Middle Point Landfill: Why regional committee, citizens continue to oppose expansion
3/1/22 - A regional board recently reaffirmed opposition to Middle Point Landfill's proposed 99-acre expansion.
New sand mine in Grundy County draws fire from residents who say there's a rule against it
2/19/22 - The neighbors of a new, recently-permitted sand mine on the Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County, Tennessee, are roiling over what they say is a surprise operation local residents never knew was coming.
Neighbors split about plans to demolish 1916 bridge
2/11/22 - A Maury County bridge standing for more than 100 years is slated to be demolished, and a county is split on how they feel.
Local Democratic Party hosts meeting on Bull Run Thursday
1/18/22 - Adam Hughes, East Tennessee coordinator of Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (SOCM), will discuss the closing of the Bull Run Fossil Plant in a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, hosted by the Anderson County Democratic Party.
2020 - 2021 press mentions