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Tennessee Tag

Midterm elections are only a few weeks away so we're watching the polls closer each day. I found that polls for the Senate races in Missouri, Arizona, North Dakota, and Tennessee have the Republican candidates in the lead. Democrat incumbent Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is only down a point, but Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally slightly raised her lead as she tries to take over retiring Sen. Jeff Flake's seat.

Superstar Taylor Swift has always remained silent on politics...until now. On her Instagram account, Swift took the opportunity to slam Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running for the senate, and endorse Tennessee Democrats. She wrote that "several events" in her life "and in the world in the past two years" changed her mind and explains why she can't support Blackburn:
Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.

The latest Fox News polls show that Republicans have an opportunity to flip two Senate seats while holding onto another. However, Democrats have a chance to take over Arizona Republican Jeff Flake's seat and Missouri Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill captured a lead from her opponent. Tread with caution, though, because all of them have slim leads in these polls.

A lot of eyes are focused on Missouri, West Virginia, etc, but it looks like Tennessee deserves a lot more attention this midterm because it could easily flip to the Democrats. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) chose not to seek re-election after serving two terms. The latest Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy poll shows Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) down by three points to former Governor Phil Bredesen, her Democrat opponent.

The Metro Nashville Police Department announced that authorities have Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking in custody. He allegedly killed four people at the restaurant, located southeast of downtown Nashville, on Sunday morning.

A man wearing only a green jacket shot up a Waffle House in Tennessee, killing four people and wounding several others.  The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Travis Reinking from Illinois.  Police state that they are currently unaware of a motive, but "suspect some mental issues." After being disarmed by a heroic customer, Reinking reportedly fled the scene completely naked and is still at large.  He was last seen wearing black pants and no shirt.  It is possible he still has two guns in his possession.

Heaven forbid we have a factual discussion about a government subsidized entity which was under Congressional investigation for selling baby body parts, that might be offensive! Or at least that was Twitter's take. Marsha Blackburn, Republican running to replace Corker's soon to be vacated Senate seat in Tennessee found her campaign announcement video banned on Twitter.

The Washington Examiner has reported that Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has begun preparing to run for Sen. Bob Corker's (R-TN) seat next year. Corker announced he would not run for reelection in 2018, making Blackburn the most liekly successor with conservative groups rallying behind her.

The GOP received two shocks on Tuesday when Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) decided not to run for re-election in 2018 and Judge Roy Moore defeated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in the Republican primary. But how YUGE is Corker's retirement? Probably not much in the long run. Plus, it looks like the GOP could actually pick up more seats in 2018 since 10 Democrats up for reelection come from states that President Donald Trump won in November.

When the statues began being pulled down in the wake of the Charlottesville demonstration, many of us joked that films and songs featuring the Civil War would be next. The jokes have morphed into a chilling reality. The Orpheum Theater in Memphis has pulled the iconic American film Gone with the Wind from summer movie series after receiving complaints it was not racially sensitive.
The Orpheum Theatre Group decided not to include the 1939 movie about a plantation in the Civil War-era South in its 2018 Summer Movie Series after feedback from patrons following the last screening Aug. 11.

With higher construction costs and low revenue from low pump sales, a few states have considered raising the gasoline tax in an effort to raise funds for infrastructure. President Donald Trump has promised to put forth $1 trillion to fix infrastructure across the country, but state officials have realized they need to do something for themselves. Tennesse Governor Bill Haslam (R) believes a higher tax would raise $278 million for his state.

There are several disturbing updates to the report on the wildfires roaring through Tennessee I prepared earlier this week. It seems that arson is suspected in more than half of the blazes that are still burning in the region.
Fire investigators said more than half of the 67 fires burning right now have been deliberately set. And so far, seven suspects have been arrested for arson state-wide, but more arrests could be made in the near future.

Tennessee emergency response officials are reporting that a wildfire has set 30 structures ablaze in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel, and is at the edge of the famed Dollywood theme park.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says 30 structures are on fire, including a 16-story hotel on Regan Drive and the Driftwood Apartments in Gatlinburg. The wildfire is also at the edge of the Dollywood property. Mandatory evacuations are in place for Mynatt Park, Park Vista and Ski Mountain in Gatlinburg. Evacuations have also been ordered for the north end of Pigeon Forge. There are no reports of fatalities from the fires, according to TEMA. There is one report of an evacuee suffering a burn injury.

I wrote just this past weekend about a "lurking clown" being arrested in Kentucky. Here's yet another "clown" arrest, but this time in Tennessee.  It doesn't appear that this clown was dressed as a clown or wearing a clown mask at the time of his arrest, but it is curious given all the other clown sightings across the South. WKRN reports:
A 64-year-old man claiming to be a clown threatening children in Coffee County has been arrested by Coffee County deputies. Coffee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lucky Knott told News 2 a man called the Coffee County Communications Center’s non-emergency line and identified himself as “the clown who has been threatening children.”

Tuesday, Tennessee's General Assembly passed a bill that would defund the University of Tennesee's Office For Diversity and Inclusion. The bill has been passed to the state Senate. Legislators would divert funds currently allocated to the Office of Diversity, "to minority scholarships for engineering students. It would also bar the university from using state funds to support the annual Sex Week programming or gender-neutral pronouns," reports The Tennessean. This year's Sex Week agenda: