Wildfires deemed No. 1 TN news story of 2016; four political stories in top 10

An outbreak of late November wildfires in Sevier County, killing 14 people, has been deemed the No. 1 Tennessee news story of 2016 by the Associated Press.

Four stories in the top ten involve state politics – the ouster of former state Rep. Jeremy Durham, Gov. Bill Haslam’s veto of a bill to make the Bible the official state book; legislative fights over LGBT bills and the retirement of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.

The AP’s story on the Tennessee top ten is HERE.

And here’s the list:

  1. TENNESSEE WILDFIRES: Fourteen people killed when wildfires spread out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  2. SCHOOL BUS CRASH: Six elementary school children killed in bus crash in Chattanooga.
  3. LAWMAKER EXPELLED: State Rep. Jeremy Durham becomes first sitting state lawmaker to be expelled from the Legislature in 36 years.
  4. PAT SUMMITT: Pat Summitt, who became the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history at the University of Tennessee, dies at 64.
  5. VANDERBILT RAPE TRIAL: Two former Vanderbilt football players are convicted again on rape charges after previous convictions were overturned.
  6. TITLE IX LAWSUIT: The University of Tennessee reaches a $2.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by eight women who said the school fostered a “hostile sexual environment.”
  7. BIBLE BILL: Gov. Bill Haslam vetoes a bill seeking to make Tennessee the first state in the U.S. to designate the Bible as its official book.
  8. LGBT BILLS: Lawmakers pass bill to allow counselors to turn down patients based on religious reasons or personal principles, but legislation to require students to use restrooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates fails.
  9. VOLKSWAGEN-UNION: The National Labor Relations Board finds Volkswagen is violating federal law by refusing to bargain with the United Auto Workers union.
  10. RAMSEY RETIRES: Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, a leading figure in the Republican takeover of all three branches of Tennessee state government, retires.

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