Ammunition site owner put on education board


Ammunition site owner put on education board

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee lawmakers have upheld the governor’s appointment of a businessman to the State Board of Education despite lawsuits over his company’s online sale of ammunition, including bullets used in a mass shooting at a Texas high school.

The Republican-majority General Assembly gave final approval to Jordan Mollenhour in a 71-14 House vote on Thursday. The Senate approved the choice last week.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee named Mollenhour to the 11-member council in November. GOP lawmakers have praised his business acumen and commitment to his community.

Mollenhour’s profile on the board’s website indicates that he and his business partner, Dustin Gross, have started, purchased, or invested in numerous U.S. businesses since founding private investment firm Mollenhour Gross LLC in 2004. Some d of them moved to Knoxville.

Democratic lawmakers have centered their opposition on his role in Lucky Gunner, a Tennessee-based online ammunition dealer owned by Mollenhour Gross. Some also asked how his resume qualified him for the education role.

“There are 7 million people in this state,” Senate Democratic Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro said during a debate last week. “We should be able to find one who isn’t involved in ongoing litigation over possible responsibility in a school shooting.”

House Republican Majority Leader William Lamberth defended Mollenhour on Thursday, saying “if one person sells enough ammunition, there will be an evil person who abuses it.”

Ohio court rejects voting cards for third time

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a third set of Ohio Statehouse district maps that Republicans said reflected the state’s partisan collapse — and sent them back for a fourth try then even as final ballots were being prepared for the May 3 primary.

In another 4-3 ruling Wednesday night, the court found that the Republican-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission’s final maps failed to pass constitutional review. No Democrats supported any of the three plans, and Republican auditor Keith Faber, a member of the commission, joined Democrats in opposing the third plan.

The court ordered the group to reconvene and submit a set of legal maps to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s chief election officer and member of the commission, by March 28. The plan must be filed with the court by March 29. plan, outlining the Ohio House and Senate districts, remains subject to objections and further judicial review.

As circumstances grew more pressing, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a moderate Republican who has repeatedly joined court Democrats in invalidating the maps, opted to write the majority opinion herself. .

“Substantial and compelling evidence shows beyond reasonable doubt that the primary purpose of those who drafted the second revised plan was to favor the Republican Party and disadvantage the Democratic Party,” she wrote for the court.

Minnesotan injured in protest for $2.4 million

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis man who lost an eye when he was hit by a projectile fired by police during protests following the killing of George Floyd will receive a $2.4 million settlement.

Soren Stevenson, 27, was among a large group of people standing in a grassy area near a freeway on-ramp when he was hit by a 40mm projectile on May 31, 2020.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, had died six days earlier after then-officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee while Floyd was handcuffed and face down in the street, sparking protests against racism and police brutality that quickly spread. across the United States

A report earlier this month on the city’s response to the Minneapolis protests was highly critical and included several recommendations, including improving police training on crowd control tactics.

Stevenson, who now wears an eye patch over a prosthetic eye, told reporters Wednesday in an interview at his attorney’s office that he believed a SWAT officer shot directly in his face.

“I didn’t riot, I didn’t vandalize, I didn’t cause any damage to persons or property, I didn’t even disobey police orders,” Stevenson said.

Texan charged with murdering two dentists

TYLER, Texas — A Texas man has been arrested for capital murder after fatally shooting two dentists at a clinic, authorities said.

Steven Alexander Smith, 40, is accused of shooting the two people Wednesday afternoon at Affordable Dentures in Tyler, about 90 miles southeast of Dallas.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said Smith “got angry with the clinic staff” and retrieved a handgun from his van, returning to the lobby and opening fire.

Two dentists were hit by gunfire and both died, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities identified them as Dr Blake Sinclair, 59, and Dr Jack Burroughs, 75. Both were from Tyler.

Smith fled, authorities said, but police eventually arrested him at his home. He is being held in Smith County Jail in lieu of $2.5 million bail.

– Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from dispatches

Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo speaks to reporters after a meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)
Photo FILE – In this Sept. 15, 2021 file photo, Republican Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, foreground, speaks to seated Senator Vernon Sykes, the co-chair of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, as other members of the panel prepare for a meeting at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. The GOP’s focus on the makeup of state supreme courts intensified this week after a series of legal setbacks frustrated the party’s efforts to redraw the maps of Congress in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. That has prompted some prominent Republicans to pressure the party to pay more attention to the November election in which some Supreme Court justices will face voters. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth, File)

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