Around The State

Lee’s ex-top deputy to join law firm

NASHVILLE (AP) — The former top deputy and chief legal counsel to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is rejoining a law firm where he once worked.

A news release from the Baker Donelson law firm says Lang Wiseman will practice from offices in Nashville and Memphis, where he lived before joining the Lee administration.

Wiseman joined the Republican governor’s team in 2019 on the heels of Lee’s 2018 election win. Before that, he worked in Baker Donelson’s Memphis office and was a founding partner at the Memphis law firm Wiseman Bray PLLC.

Lee filled Wiseman’s post as top legal counsel with former chief deputy attorney general Jonathan Skrmetti.

Wiseman’s duties at the law firm are expected to focus on financial services and construction, with additional advisory work on economic public policy issues.

Tool, J. Cole, Stevie Nicks to headline Bonnaroo

NASHVILLE (AP) — J. Cole, Tool and Stevie Nicks will headline this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which is set to return after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic and weather.

The lineup for the June 16-19 festival in Manchester, Tennessee, was released Tuesday and also includes The Chicks, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, 21 Savage, Machine Gun Kelly, Roddy Ricch, Flume and Illenium.

Last year’s festival was set to go on with extra COVID-19 precautions in place for fans, but heavy rains from Hurricane Ida left the grounds unsafe for driving or camping. The festival takes place on a former farm in rural Tennessee about an hour southeast of Nashville. Tickets go on sale Thursday.

The 2020 festival was postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic.

Other artists on the lineup include Bleachers, Lord Huron, Disclosure, The War on Drugs, Billy Strings, Porter Robinson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Herbie Hancock.

Tennessee high court pick goes to state AG’s office attorney

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday picked a high-level lawyer in the attorney general’s office for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, signaling a likely shift further right for the court.

The Republican governor selected Tennessee Associate Solicitor General Sarah Campbell, who has represented the state on appeals ranging from abortion restrictions to absentee ballots. The 39-year-old previously had stints as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and for Judge William Pryor on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She joined the attorney general’s office in 2015.

The selection goes in front of state lawmakers for confirmation, where Republicans have supermajorities in both legislative chambers. Supreme Court justices face “yes-no” retention elections every eight years.

The seat was left vacant by the death of Justice Cornelia Clark last September at the age of 71. She had been diagnosed with cancer.

Clark was appointed by former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen. All the remaining justices but one — Sharon Lee, also a Bredesen pick — were appointees of former Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

US Steel to build $3 billion mill in northeast


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — United States Steel Corp. on Tuesday announced it’s building a $3 billion mill in northeast Arkansas that’s expected to employ at least 900 people.

The Pittsburgh-based company announced it has chosen Osceola for the site of its new mill, with construction expected to begin early this year and to be completed 2024. Osceola is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Memphis, Tennessee.

“With this location selected and shovels ready, we are reshaping the future of steelmaking,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt said in a statement. “We had numerous competitive site options, but Osceola offers our customers incomparable advantages.”

Arkansas lawmakers last month passed an incentive package aimed at helping lure the steel project to the state, including an income tax credit for recycling equipment for the facility.

Lee picks Campbell as criminal appeals judge

NASHVILLE (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has picked a Shelby County judge for an opening on the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Republican announced the selection of Judge John W. Campbell Sr. on Wednesday.

Campbell is a criminal court judge for the 30th Judicial District, which covers Shelby County and Memphis. He previously was an assistant district attorney for 27 years.

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