The Rise of the Crypto Mayors

This new political breed accepts paychecks in Bitcoin. The mayors also want to use buzzy new tech like NFTs to raise money for public projects.

#adams-eric-l, #bitcoin-currency, #blockchain-technology, #computers-and-the-internet, #jackson-tennessee, #local-government, #mayors, #scott-conger, #social-media, #suarez-francis-x-1977, #tennessee, #two-harbors-minn, #virtual-currency

Tennessee Couple Says Adoption Agency Turned Them Away for Being Jewish

Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram are plaintiffs in a lawsuit claiming that state funding of a child-placing agency that discriminates based on religion is unconstitutional.

#adoptions, #americans-united-for-separation-of-church-and-state, #discrimination, #holston-united-methodist-home-for-children-inc, #jews-and-judaism, #religion-state-relations, #rutan-ram-elizabeth, #rutan-ram-gabriel, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #tennessee

America’s Ugliest Confederate Statue Is Gone. Racism Isn’t.

The act of taking down a memorial — like the act of putting one up — is largely symbolic. But symbols also tell us who we are.

#black-people, #civil-war-us-1861-65, #forrest-nathan-bedford, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #tennessee

Arson Destroyed Knoxville Planned Parenthood Clinic, Officials Say

Investigators have not identified any suspects in the arson case. The health clinic, in Knoxville, Tenn., was shot at by someone last year.

#abortion, #arson, #birth-control-and-family-planning, #bureau-of-alcohol-tobacco-firearms-and-explosives, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #knoxville-tenn, #planned-parenthood-federation-of-america, #supreme-court-us, #tennessee

I-95 Near Washington, D.C., Is Closed After Deadly Snowstorm

Drivers reported being stranded for hours as part of the interstate, one of the country’s busiest travel corridors, was shut down after accidents involving several tractor-trailers.

#interstate-95, #maryland, #national-weather-service, #new-jersey, #north-carolina, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #roads-and-traffic, #snow-and-snowstorms, #tennessee, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #virginia, #washington-dc, #weather

Winter Storm Knocks Out Power Across Southeast

Hundreds of thousands were without electricity on Monday, and federal government offices in the Washington, D.C., area were closed because of the storm.

#appalachian-region, #delaware, #georgia, #maryland, #national-weather-service, #new-jersey, #north-carolina, #roads-and-traffic, #snow-and-snowstorms, #tennessee, #virginia, #washington-dc, #weather

Dave Ramsey Fired Employee for Taking Covid Precautions, Suit Says

In his complaint, a former employee says the Tennessee radio broadcaster, an evangelical Christian who has built a personal finance empire, violated his religious rights.

#amos-brad-video-editor, #california, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evangelical-movement, #freedom-of-religion, #ramsey-dave, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #tennessee, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Donating to Environmental Nonprofits in the South

Our collective efforts can make a huge difference.

#biodiversity, #conservation-of-resources, #environment, #nonprofit-organizations, #southern-states-us, #tennessee

How to Help Victims of the Tornadoes

Here’s how to pitch in as local and national volunteers and aid groups mobilize to help hard-hit areas.

#american-red-cross, #americares, #arkansas, #care, #content-type-service, #feeding-america, #gofundme, #humanitarian-aid, #illinois, #international-medical-corps, #kentucky, #kentucky-state-police, #mississippi, #missouri, #philanthropy, #salvation-army, #tennessee, #tornadoes, #united-way-of-america, #volunteers-and-community-service

Tornadoes Tear Through South and Midwest, With at Least 70 Dead in Kentucky

Power was out across the region on Saturday, and severe storms were expected to continue.

#accidents-and-safety, #amazon-com-inc, #arkansas, #buildings-structures, #deaths-fatalities, #edwardsville-ill, #illinois, #kentucky, #mayfield-ky, #mayfield-consumer-products, #mississippi, #missouri, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #rescues, #tennessee, #tornadoes

What to Know About the Deadly Tornado Outbreak

Dozens of people were killed across several states on Friday night.

#amazon-com-inc, #deaths-fatalities, #illinois, #kentucky, #tennessee, #tornadoes

Scuba-Diving YouTuber Finds Car Linked to Teens Missing Since 2000

A YouTuber who investigates cold cases found a missing Tennessee teenager’s car submerged in a nearby river. It is at least the fourth such discovery by amateur investigators in two months.

#computers-and-the-internet, #missing-persons, #sonar, #tennessee, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #youtube-com

A Glimmer of Justice in Death Penalty States

The halting of executions and the guilty verdicts in the Ahmaud Arbery case have given us the slightest bit of hope for change.

#amnesties-commutations-and-pardons, #black-people, #capital-punishment, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #intellectual-disabilities, #oklahoma, #tennessee

Black Man Wins New Trial Over Confederate Memorabilia in Jury Room

A Tennessee appeals court granted Tim Gilbert a new trial after jurors deliberated in a room named after the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

#civil-war-us-1861-65, #decisions-and-verdicts, #gilbert-tim-1966, #jury-system, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #symbols, #tennessee, #united-daughters-of-the-confederacy

How to Turn a Red State Green

Ford’s plans for multi-billion dollar manufacturing sites for electric vehicles has Tennessee and Kentucky singing a different tune on cleaner energy.

#automobiles, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #labor-and-jobs, #tennessee, #united-states-politics-and-government

Remove a Confederate Statue? A Tennessee City Did This Instead.

Some residents want the monument removed. In the meantime, Franklin, Tenn., erected a statue of a U.S. Colored Troops soldier, broadening the way the community memorializes the Civil War.

#black-people, #civil-war-us-1861-65, #franklin-tenn, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #slavery-historical, #tennessee, #united-states-army, #united-states-colored-troops

Halting Extinction Is an Issue We Actually Agree On

People on both sides of the aisle can work together to prevent future calamities from unfolding.

#biodiversity, #conservatism-us-politics, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #tennessee, #united-states

Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push

The automaker and a supplier will spend $11.4 billion on three battery factories and a truck plant, creating 11,000 jobs.

#automobiles, #batteries, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #factories-and-manufacturing, #ford-motor-co, #kentucky, #labor-and-jobs, #sk-group, #sports-utility-vehicles-and-light-trucks, #tennessee, #united-automobile-workers

Ford picks Kentucky and Tennessee for $11.4 billion EV investment

A rendering of the BlueOvalSK campus in Glendale, Kentucky.

Enlarge / A rendering of the BlueOvalSK campus in Glendale, Kentucky. (credit: Ford)

On Monday, the Ford Motor Company announced a massive investment to build electric vehicles in Kentucky and Tennessee. Together with partner SK Innovation, it will invest $11.4 billion and create around 11,000 new jobs in the region building electric F-series pickup trucks and battery packs.

“This is our moment—our biggest investment ever—to help build a better future for America,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We are moving now to deliver breakthrough electric vehicles for the many rather than the few. It’s about creating good jobs that support American families, an ultra-efficient, carbon-neutral manufacturing system, and a growing business that delivers value for communities, dealers and shareholders.”

Blue Oval City in Staunton, Tennessee, will be a $5.6 billion, 3,600-acre (14.6 km2) campus that includes a vehicle assembly plant for electric pickups, as well as a joint venture BlueOvalSK battery plant. The companies say this will create nearly 6,000 new jobs and that the plant is designed to be carbon neutral with no landfill waste once it’s operational.

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#battery-electric-vehicles, #biz-it, #cars, #ford, #kentucky, #sk-innovation, #tennessee

For Parents ​of Disabled Children, School Mask Wars Are Particularly Wrenching

In Tennessee, where the governor allows families to ignore school mask mandates, some parents are making excruciating calculations each morning about whether to send their children to school.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #lee-william-byron-1959, #masks, #parenting, #special-education, #tennessee, #united-states-politics-and-government

Richard Powers Speaks For the Trees

His Pulitzer-winning novel, “The Overstory,” left him so drained that he didn’t know whether he would write again. His new book, “Bewilderment,” came to him when he imagined a child talking to him in a forest.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #forests-and-forestry, #genre-books-science-fiction, #hikes-and-hiking, #powers-richard, #science-fiction, #tennessee, #the-overstory-book, #writing-and-writers

Flood Damage From Ida? Your Homeowner’s Policy Probably Won’t Cover That.

Most flood coverage is offered through a federal program, though some insurers offer extra insurance for sump pump failure.

#alabama, #content-type-service, #flood-insurance, #gulf-coast-us, #homeowners-insurance, #hurricane-ida-2021, #louisiana, #mississippi, #national-flood-insurance-program, #new-jersey, #new-york-state, #northeastern-states-us, #south-carolina, #tennessee

Southern Republicans Cannot Be Trusted With Public Health

Some matters are too important to be entrusted to state governments anymore.

#abortion, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #global-warming, #governors-us, #gun-control, #hurricane-ida-2021, #lee-william-byron-1959, #louisiana, #mississippi, #new-orleans-la, #southern-states-us, #tennessee, #vaccination-and-immunization

How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding

Choices about building rules, insurance programs, flood maps and more put residents at higher risk, according to climate and disaster experts.

#building-construction, #deaths-fatalities, #disasters-and-emergencies, #federal-emergency-management-agency, #first-street-foundation, #flood-insurance, #floods, #global-warming, #humphreys-county-tenn, #local-government, #national-weather-service, #rain, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #tennessee

As Search for Tennessee Flood Victims Ends, a Community Grieves

Among the 20 people killed in racing waters were a high school freshman, an Army veteran, toddler twins and a mother of five.

#floods, #tennessee

Tennessee Flooding: At Least 8 Dead and 40 Missing, Officials Say

The deaths were reported by a sheriff’s official in Humphreys County, who said that the authorities were searching house to house after flooding knocked out cellphone service and swamped roads.

#deaths-fatalities, #floods, #humphreys-county-tenn, #rain, #rescues, #tennessee

The South Must Teach Its Children the Truth

Attempts to restrict how students are taught about racism in schools have multiplied, but some in the South are standing in defense of real history. 

#black-people, #civil-war-us-1861-65, #confederate-states-of-america, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #slavery-historical, #southern-states-us, #tennessee

Man Gets 5 Years in ‘Swatting’ Death of Tennessee Grandfather

Mark Herring had a fatal heart attack after the police swarmed his house following a fake emergency call. He had been targeted because of his coveted Twitter handle, @Tennessee.

#bethpage-tenn, #computers-and-the-internet, #mark-herring, #rumors-and-misinformation, #shane-sonderman, #social-media, #swatting-crime, #tennessee, #twitter

Dolly Parton Tried to Get Tennessee Vaccinated. But It’s Not Enough.

I just don’t get it.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fiscus-michelle, #parton-dolly, #rumors-and-misinformation, #rural-areas, #state-legislatures, #tennessee, #vaccination-and-immunization

Tennessee has gone “anti-vaccine,” state vaccine chief says after being fired

Grown women comfort a masked child with a rolled up sleeve.

Enlarge / US first lady Jill Biden (L) comforts Adriana Lyttle, 12, as she receives her vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination site at Ole Smoky Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee. (credit: Getty | Tom Brenner)

The Tennessee state government on Monday fired its top vaccination official, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who says that state leaders have “bought into the anti-vaccine misinformation campaign.”

In a fiery statement published late Monday by The Tennessean, Fiscus warns that as the delta variant continues to spread in the undervaccinated state, more Tennesseans “will continue to become sick and die from this vaccine-preventable disease because they choose to listen to the nonsense spread by ignorant people.”

Fiscus is just the latest public health official to quit or lose their position amid the devastating pandemic, many aspects of which have become tragically politicized. Fiscus wrote that, as the now-former medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, she is the 25th immunization director to leave their position amid the pandemic. With only 64 territorial immunization directors in the country, her firing brings the nationwide turnover in immunization directors to nearly 40 percent during the health crisis.

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#anti-vaccine, #covid-19, #infectious-disease, #misinformation, #public-health, #science, #tennessee, #vaccines

Google faces a major multi-state antitrust lawsuit over Google Play fees

A group of 37 attorneys general filed a second major multi-state antitrust lawsuit against Google Wednesday, accusing the company of abusing its market power to stifle competitors and forcing consumers into in-app payments that grant the company a hefty cut.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading the suit alongside with the Tennessee, North Carolina and Utah attorneys general. The bipartisan coalition represents 36 U.S. states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Colorado and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

“Through its illegal conduct, the company has ensured that hundreds of millions of Android users turn to Google, and only Google, for the millions of applications they may choose to download to their phones and tablets,” James said in a press release. “Worse yet, Google is squeezing the lifeblood out of millions of small businesses that are only seeking to compete.”

In December, 35 states filed a separate antitrust suit against Google, alleging that the company engaged in illegal behavior to maintain a monopoly on the search business. The Justice Department filed its own antitrust case focused on search last October.

In the new lawsuit, embedded below, the bipartisan coalition of states allege that Google uses “misleading” security warnings to keep consumers and developers within its walled app garden, the Google Play store. But the fees that Google collects from Android app developers are likely the meat of the case.

“Not only has Google acted unlawfully to block potential rivals from competing with its Google Play Store, it has profited by improperly locking app developers and consumers into its own payment processing system and then charging high fees,” District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine said.

Like Apple, Google herds all app payment processing into its own service, Google Play Billing, and reaps the rewards: a 30 percent cut of all payments. Much of the criticism here is a case that could — and likely will — be made against Apple, which exerts even more control over its own app ecosystem. Google doesn’t have an iMessage equivalent exclusive app that keeps users locked in in quite the same way.

While the lawsuit discusses Google’s “monopoly power” in the app marketplace, the elephant in the room is Apple — Google’s thriving direct competitor in the mobile software space. The lawsuit argues that consumers face pressure to stay locked into the Android ecosystem, but on the Android side at least, much of that is ultimately familiarity and sunk costs. The argument on the Apple side of the equation here is likely much stronger.

The din over tech giants squeezing app developers with high mobile payment fees is just getting louder. The new multi-state lawsuit is the latest beat, but the topic has been white hot since Epic took Apple to court over its desire to bypass Apple’s fees by accepting mobile payments outside the App Store. When Epic set up a workaround, Apple kicked it out of the App Store and Epic Games v. Apple was born.

The Justice Department is reportedly already interested in Apple’s own app store practices, along with many state AGs who could launch a separate suit against the company at any time.

#android, #app-store, #apple, #apple-inc, #attorney-general, #california, #colorado, #companies, #computing, #department-of-justice, #epic-games, #florida, #fortnite, #google, #google-play, #google-play-billing, #google-play-store, #letitia-james, #massachusetts, #new-hampshire, #new-jersey, #new-york, #north-carolina, #search, #social, #tc, #technology, #tennessee, #the-battle-over-big-tech, #united-states, #utah, #washington

Judges Halt Race and Gender Priority for Restaurant Relief Grants

Approvals for thousands of Restaurant Revitalization Fund applicants were rescinded after court orders struck down a policy that favored historically underserved groups.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #minorities, #oconnor-reed, #race-and-ethnicity, #restaurants, #small-business, #small-business-administration, #stimulus-economic, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #tennessee, #texas

The Remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest Are Being Exhumed in Memphis

The remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave trader and leader of the Ku Klux Klan, will be moved from Memphis to a Confederate museum 200 miles away.

#black-people, #civil-war-us-1861-65, #confederate-states-of-america, #forrest-nathan-bedford, #ku-klux-klan, #memphis-tenn, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #race-and-ethnicity, #slavery-historical, #sons-of-confederate-veterans, #tennessee

Tennessee Bans Hormone Treatments for Prepubescent Minors

The measure signed by Gov. Bill Lee makes it illegal to give prepubescent minors the gender-affirming treatments — a practice some experts have said is not in use.

#governors-us, #hormones, #law-and-legislation, #lee-william-byron-1959, #state-legislatures, #tennessee, #transgender-and-transsexuals

Allison Russell Faces Her Past in Song

The singer and songwriter’s debut solo album, “Outside Child,” tells a harrowing story with a survivor’s joy.

#carlile-brandi, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #content-type-personal-profile, #folk-music, #outside-child-album, #russell-allison-singer, #sex-crimes, #tennessee

Rural Tennessee’s Vaccine Hesitators

White Republican evangelical Christians remain disproportionately mistrustful about coronavirus inoculations. Here’s what that looks like in one community.

#appalachian-region, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #hoffman-jan, #rural-areas, #tennessee, #vaccination-and-immunization

Tennessee Lawmaker Is Criticized for Remarks on Three-Fifths Compromise

Justin Lafferty, a state representative, was rebuked after offering a historical defense of the agreement, under which three-fifths of a state’s enslaved people counted toward its population.

#black-people, #lafferty-justin-1971, #republican-party, #slavery-historical, #state-legislatures, #tennessee, #united-states-politics-and-government

Damage Reported as Tornadoes Tear Across the South

The National Weather Service planned to survey damage in four Mississippi counties on Monday. Tornadoes were also reported in Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina.

#alabama, #atlanta-ga, #georgia, #kentucky, #mississippi, #national-weather-service, #tennessee, #tornadoes, #weather

Faith, Freedom, Fear: Rural America’s Covid Vaccine Skeptics

Resistance is widespread in white, Republican communities like this one in Appalachia. But it’s far more complicated than just a partisan divide.

#appalachian-region, #christians-and-christianity, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #rural-areas, #tennessee, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare

Tennessee Student Killed by Police Did Not Fire Bullet That Hit Officer, Officials Say

Anthony J. Thompson Jr., 17, a student at Austin-East Magnet High School in Knoxville, Tenn., was fatally shot during a struggle, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

#attacks-on-police, #education-secondary, #knoxville-tenn, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #school-shootings-and-armed-attacks, #tennessee

Salmonella Outbreak Is Linked to Wild Birds and Feeders, C.D.C. Says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 19 people had been sickened in eight states.

#birds, #california, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #hygiene-and-cleanliness, #kentucky, #mississippi, #new-hampshire, #oklahoma, #oregon, #salmonella-bacteria, #tennessee, #washington-state

We Are a Nation of Immigrants. Our Ecosystems Shouldn’t Be.

Americans have cultivated nonnative plants and flowers for so long it has skewed our experience of spring.

#flowers-and-plants, #gardens-and-gardening, #tennessee, #trees-and-shrubs

Devastating Tornadoes Batter Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee

At least six people died in storms that tore through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

#alabama, #coweta-county-ga, #deaths-fatalities, #disasters-and-emergencies, #georgia, #newnan-ga, #ohatchee-ala, #tennessee, #tornadoes

Man Threatened to Lynch 2 Congressmen, U.S. Says

A judge on Monday ordered Kenneth R. Hubert of Missouri held in jail, saying his words rose to the level of posing danger.

#black-people, #cleaver-emanuel-ii, #cohen-stephen-i, #crime-and-criminals, #democratic-party, #hubert-kenneth-r, #missouri, #race-and-ethnicity, #storming-of-the-us-capitol-jan-2021, #tennessee, #threats-and-threatening-messages, #united-states-politics-and-government

Of Nazis, Crimes and Punishment

Some offenses are so hideous that even the distance of history offers no shield. But that doesn’t make justice easy.

#berger-friedrich-karl, #capital-punishment, #holocaust-and-the-nazi-era, #juvenile-delinquency, #prisons-and-prisoners, #tennessee

GM, LG Chem studying the feasibility of a second battery cell plant in the U.S.

General Motors is exploring building a second U.S. battery cell manufacturing plant with its joint-venture partner Seoul, South Korea-based LG Chem.

If the plant moves forward, it would be the latest in a series of investments aimed at building out the auto giant’s portfolio of electric vehicles. The company’s joint venture with LG, Ultium Cells LLC, is already at work constructing a $2.3 billion battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio.

The companies hope to have a decision on the factory in the first half of 2021, GM spokesman Dan Flores told TechCrunch. He declined to specify possible locations for the site but Tennessee is high on the list, according to reporting from the Wall Street Journal.

GM has set ambitious targets for decarbonizing its operations and pledged steep investments to get there. Through 2025 alone the company said it would bring thirty EV models across its brands to the global market and spend $27 billion on electrification and automated technology—a 35% increase from 2020 spending. By the mid-2030s, GM said its fleet will be all-EV.

“Clearly, with our commitment to an all-electric future, we will need a lot of battery cells,” Flores said.

He declined to comment on the ongoing shortage of battery cells, which has affected EV manufacturers Tesla and Nikola. President Joe Biden issued an executive order at the end of February instructing federal agencies to identify risks in the supply chains for batteries, semiconductors, and other critical items, including where supply chains are dependent on “competitor nations.”

GM CEO Mary Barra said in a virtual investor presentation last week that the battery shortage is one reason the company is investing in its own battery cell manufacturing. She alluded to plans to grow the company’s battery cell manufacturing operations but did not go into specifics.

“There’s more coming than we’ve announced already,” she said.

#automotive, #ceo, #electric-mobility, #electric-vehicle, #electric-vehicles, #engines, #ev, #executive, #general-motors, #joe-biden, #lg, #lg-chem, #lithium-ion-batteries, #mary-barra, #mobility, #nikola, #ohio, #president, #semiconductors, #seoul, #south-korea, #supply-chains, #tc, #tennessee, #tesla, #the-wall-street-journal, #united-states

Dolly Parton Statue Has Tennessee’s Support, but Not Parton’s

The state legislature was considering a bill that would kick off plans to erect the statue on Capitol grounds. She has asked that the bill be pulled.

#country-music, #law-and-legislation, #monuments-and-memorials-structures, #parton-dolly, #ryman-auditorium-nashville-tenn, #tennessee, #windle-john-mark

Tennessee Executed Sedley Alley. Was He Innocent?

If DNA exonerates Sedley Alley, it will be the first time someone was proved to have been wrongly put to death.

#alley-sedley, #capital-punishment, #clement-paul-d, #collins-suzanne-marie-1966-85, #decisions-and-verdicts, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #scheck-barry, #supreme-courts-state, #tennessee

The Real Meaning of Hillbilly

I left my hometown because I felt alienated from its conservative values. Turns out many in my community had forgotten our progressive roots.

#appalachian-region, #education-k-12, #guthrie-woody, #harlan-county-ky, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #industrial-workers-of-the-world, #mines-and-mining, #organized-labor, #seeger-pete, #tennessee, #united-mine-workers-of-america, #west-virginia

Tennessee Fires Football Coach Amid Investigation

Coach Jeremy Pruitt and nine members of his football program’s staff were fired after ongoing investigations into the team’s recruitment practices showed violations of N.C.A.A. rules.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #coaches-and-managers, #college-athletics, #colleges-and-universities, #football-college, #fulmer-phillip-1950, #pruitt-jeremy-1974, #tennessee, #university-of-tennessee