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Gov. Bill Haslam says the state should explore alternatives — including the possibility of rotating who's honored within the Tennessee State Capitol — after a commission voted last week not to remove a bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since the State Capitol Commission voted narrowly on Friday not to request the removal of a bust of Forrest, Haslam said it'd be a mistake to think the issue is resolved.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

After more than four decades, the Tennessee General Assembly will leave its longtime home of Legislative Plaza this fall and move into the nearby Cordell Hull Building.

The 11-story office block next to the Tennessee State Capitol had been slated for demolition, but preservationists convinced the state to instead turn it over to lawmakers. Renovations have taken two years to plan and complete.

Tennesseans interested in becoming voters can now register online.

The Secretary of State's office says it has initiated a "soft launch" of the long-awaited system that could replace in-person and mail-in registration. Up until now, Tennesseans who move, have their registrations purged for inactivity, or have never been registered have had to contact their county election commissions directly or sign up in person through one of six state agencies.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Job security. Worker benefits. Service to taxpayers.

These are some issues state lawmakers have been weighing as they review how well outsourcing government functions has worked.

But there's a more mundane item that's also been surprisingly high on the list of legislators' concerns.


Chas Sisk / WPLN (File photo)

Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is pulling the plug on one of its most high-profile outsourcing efforts.

After years of study and false starts, officials say they'll no longer try to turn the popular Inn at Fall Creek Falls over to a private operator. Instead, the Haslam administration plans to rebuild the hotel — part of a $100 million overhaul of state park facilities — and leave the Inn at Fall Creek Fall's fate to the next administration.

"It just felt like the appropriate thing to say, 'Let's get this built. Let's get it built the right way,' " Haslam told reporters Thursday. "And then we'll figure out who the right person to run it is."

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Republican Mae Beavers says she's stepping down after 14 years in the state Senate to focus on her run for governor.

The Mt. Juliet lawmaker made the announcement at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, saying she couldn't continue to represent her district east of Nashville while simultaneously campaigning statewide. Beavers also used the occasion to take a few digs at her rivals and the Republican governor she aims to replace, whom she implied is too liberal.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says the next round of hearings on health care will take place during the first week in September.

U.S. Senate

Four decades after defending the placement of a Confederate bust in the State Capitol, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander now says it should go.

The Republican lawmaker and former governor told reporters Tuesday that he's come to see a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest as inappropriate in a place of honor such as the statehouse rotunda.

"I, like other people, learn as we go along," he says.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Internet pranksters — and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — have been inundating Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker with calls after he criticized President Trump's response to the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

But Corker isn't expressing any regrets.

A day after Corker complained that Trump isn't showing the "competence" or "stability" needed to be president, the Tennessee Republican spoke again to reporters following a breakfast engagement at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Corker said he isn't sorry he supported Trump in the general election or for his past praise of the president, but he does want Trump to become a unifier, rather than a divisive figure.

courtesy Office of Rep. Steve Cohen / via Facebook

Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen says President Trump's comments following the deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia show he's not fit to be president. In a statement, Cohen says he will introduce articles of impeachment — becoming the second Democrat to do so.