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AP's top Tennessee stories of 2017

Associated Press • Dec 29, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Here is a look at the top 10 Tennessee stories of 2017, according to an Associated Press survey of reporters, editors and broadcasters.

1. CORKER RETIRES: Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker engages in a war of words with President Donald Trump before and after deciding against seeking a third term. After Gov. Bill Haslam declines to join the GOP race, U.S. Rep. Diane Black and former Rep. Stephen Fincher do. Former Gov. Phil Bredesen says he will make a Democratic bid.

2. GAS TAX: Lawmakers pass Gov. Bill Haslam's road funding program called the Improve Act that includes a 6-cent gas tax increase, the state's first hike since 1989. The measure also cut taxes on investment income, manufacturers and groceries.

3. CHURCH SHOOTING: A man opens fire at a Nashville church, killing one woman and wounding six others.

4. UT FOOTBALL COACH: Turmoil envelopes the University of Tennessee's athletics program after Butch Jones is fired as football coach.

5. TENNESSEE WILDFIRES: Prosecutors drop arson charges against two juveniles in connection with the Tennessee wildfires that killed 14 people and tore through thousands of homes and businesses in 2016.

6. HOLLY BOBO: A jury convicts one of three men charged in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Holly Bobo more than six years after she vanished.

7. MISSING STUDENT: A 15-year-old Tennessee girl is rescued near a cabin in a remote part of northern California more than a month after her 50-year-old teacher kidnapped her and set off a nationwide manhunt.

8. PILOT TRIAL: The federal fraud trial gets underway for former executives and sales representatives at the truck stop chain controlled by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Gov. Bill Haslam.

9. GOVERNOR'S RACE: Five Republicans and two Democrats join the 2108 governor's race.

10. ABORTION LAWS: Tennessee's attorney general agrees that the state will drop two abortion limits similar to Texas laws struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. One of the requirements mandated that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges. The other forced abortion clinics to meet hospital-level surgical standards. State lawmakers also pass a bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks.

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