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Family of TN school employee formally requests FBI investigate his death

By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — The parents of an Oak Ridge School District official who reported people were stealing money from the district to buy methamphetamine have asked the FBI to investigate if he really killed himself three months later. Tennessee Watchdog verified earlier this year that Alex Heitman, the school district’s supervisor of business services, reported the ...
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News & Headlines

Family of TN school employee formally requests FBI investigate his death

By Chris Butler on April 16, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — The parents of an Oak Ridge School District official who reported people were stealing money from the district to buy methamphetamine have asked the FBI to investigate if he really killed himself three months later. Tennessee Watchdog verified earlier this year that Alex Heitman, the school district’s supervisor of business [...]Read More>>

TN officials unaware of alleged scandal with red light camera contractor

By Chris Butler on April 15, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — Officials in 10 Tennessee towns and cities contract with a red light camera company, Redflex, which is receiving intense scrutiny nationwide after allegations it was involved in a large bribery scandal in Chicago. Tennessee Watchdog was able to reach officials in four of those 10 government entities — and only [...]Read More>>

UAW subpoenas TN officials to prove ‘bullying’ in Volkswagen factory

By Chris Butler on April 14, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — Tennessee officials offered $300 million to Volkswagen of Chattanooga last year, and some people say it was an attempt to keep the United Auto Workers out of the factory, and, subsequently, out of the state. Gov. Bill Haslam reportedly made the offer in secret, and no one other than top [...]Read More>>

Salary of TN judges going up, but no raises for state teachers

By Chris Butler on April 11, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — If you’re a state employee in Tennessee, especially a teacher, and you’re pining for a raise, then what you’re about to read will probably make you mad. You likely know you aren’t getting a salary increase for the upcoming fiscal year. But did you know the Tennessee General Assembly is about to [...]Read More>>

Auditor says government supervisors do poor job of rooting out fraud

By Chris Butler on April 9, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — You might assume someone who audits a local and state government’s finances is supposed to uncover waste, fraud and abuse, but you assume incorrectly, according to an auditor who works in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. That’s the often-unfulfilled job of state and local officials who supervise those offices, [...]Read More>>

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Blog & Analysis

Watchdog reporter appears on Nashville FOX news affiliate to discuss state contract

By Watchdog Staff on April 10, 2014
By Watchdog.org NASHVILLE — Tennessee Watchdog reporter Chris Butler appeared on FOX 17 News of Nashville on Wednesday to discuss how $60 million of taxpayer money, meant for tourism promotion, is going across state lines. In a release, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development officials announced late last month they have selected VML, a global marketing agency, for [...]Read More>>

TN media appears to take sides on taxpayer-funded Nashville Amp

By Chris Butler on April 4, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — Middle Tennessee resident Rick Williams, a private citizen who opposes big government, is apparently as much of a boogeyman to the mainstream media as was another private citizen, Lorne Fleming. Fleming, a San Diego resident, famously stumped then-President Bill Clinton at a televised forum in 1993. Clinton wanted to raise [...]Read More>>

Government-owned Internet determined to expand territory, despite state law

By Chris Butler on March 25, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — A broken fiber line that caused an outage to the government-owned Internet provider in Clarksville won’t deter the public utility from trying to expand its Lightband Internet services outside the city. Sunday’s outage affected all of Lightband’s 15,000 customers, Batts said. “As our customer base grows, and hopefully our service territory [...]Read More>>

Another TN utility rounds off customers’ bills, giving away difference

By Chris Butler on March 21, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — Officials at another Tennessee public utility are rounding customers’ monthly bills off to the nearest whole dollar and giving that difference to charity. Volunteer Energy Cooperative spokesman Robert McCarty told Tennessee Watchdog Friday that participation is voluntary and about 23 percent of the Tennessee Valley area utility’s customers decline the offer. The [...]Read More>>

Popular tourist attractions, including home of ‘Roots’ author, get taxpayer help

By Chris Butler on March 20, 2014
By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog NASHVILLE — Tennessee taxpayers this year reportedly gave more than $2 million to tourist attractions that are mostly privately owned and attract a fair number of visitors. State officials gave $1 million to the city’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where a Carrie Underwood exhibit recently attracted 668,000 people, [...]Read More>>

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