Author

Anita Wadhwani

Anita Wadhwani

Anita Wadhwani is a senior reporter for the Tennessee Lookout. The Tennessee AP Broadcasters and Media (TAPME) named her Journalist of the Year in 2019 as well as giving her the Malcolm Law Award for Investigative Journalism. Wadhwani is formerly an investigative reporter with The Tennessean who focused on the impact of public policies on the people and places across Tennessee. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism. Wadhwani lives in Nashville with her partner and two children.

The Private Confederate Soldier Monument in Nashville's Centennial Park. (Photo: Nashville Public Library)

Tennessee Historical Commission to review Nashville request to remove Confederate statue

By: - February 3, 2023

Nashville parks officials are seeking state approval to remove a monument of a Confederate soldier in Centennial Park, where the life-sized bronze sculpture of a young man sits holding a rifle across a field from the iconic Parthenon. Their request for a waiver of state law that generally prohibits removal of memorials on public property […]

Metro Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bill to limit Metro Nashville Council sails through subcommittee on party-line vote

By: - February 2, 2023

A bill that would cut the number of elected representatives on the Nashville Metro Council in half sailed through a legislative subcommittee on a party-line vote Wednesday — one of two bills proposed by GOP lawmakers this year to rejigger the Democratic-leaning capitol city’s local government, which recently bucked efforts to host the Republican National […]

Screen grab of Commissioner Margie Quin of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services addressing the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Jan.30. Department of Finance and Administration Dave Thurman and DCS Chief of Staff Andy Verenski are seated to her right.

GOP lawmaker: TBI is investigating current and former DCS employees

By: - February 2, 2023

A Republican lawmaker said during a public hearing this week that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing the conduct of current and former employees of the Department of Children’s Services – an investigation a TBI spokesperson later said she could neither confirm nor deny. “I’ve been made aware of a specific instance where the […]

Bridal House, built in 1819 by a Revolutionary War veteran, is at the center of a controversy in which private citizens want to take control of the property from the county. (Photo: John Partipilo)

In Sumner County, a bid by private citizens to take over a historic home leads to a lawsuit

By: - February 1, 2023

COTTONTOWN, Tenn. – A Nashville judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Sumner County, preventing local officials from transferring ownership of a publicly-owned historic landmark into private hands.  Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin ruled last week that any decision to give away the Bridal House, a 204-year-old log cabin built by early Middle Tennessee settlers, […]

Department of Children's Services Commissioner Margie Quin with DCS Chief of Staff Andy Verenski, speaking to a legislative committee on December 14, 2022. (Screen grab from Tennessee General Assembly video)

DCS seeks immediate $26.6M to add suitable places for abused and neglected kids to stay

By: - January 31, 2023

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is seeking an immediate infusion of $26.6 million from the state legislature to address a crisis in care that has left kids sleeping on office floors and in hospital beds because there are no other places for them. In making the ask on Monday before the House Finance, Ways, […]

The State of Tennessee spent $11 million on messaging before firing Dr. Michelle Fiscus for spreading the message approved by Gov. Lee's office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Hearing set on suit brought by former vaccine chief against Tennessee Department of Health

By: - January 30, 2023

A federal judge in Nashville has set a hearing for March 10 to consider competing claims in a lawsuit brought by former Tennessee vaccine chief Michelle Fiscus, whose highly publicized ouster from state government during the pandemic came amidst political pushback on vaccinating teens. Fiscus is seeking a so-called “name clearing” hearing — open to […]

Will Burton, a Weakley County farmer, said the overbearing smell of rotting chicken carcasses is affecting his family: "Just death and rotting carcasses."(Photo: John Partipilo)

‘Composting’ birds: Avian flu hits West Tennessee farm and 267,000 birds are destroyed

By: - January 30, 2023

The first sign of something awry was the road closure on the two-lane country road that goes right past Will Burton’s Weakley County farm, his fields, barns and the one-story house he shares with his fiancee and three kids.  White trucks — emblazoned with the seal of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and “fire and […]

Haitian father carries his children across the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas In 2021. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is challenging a Biden Administration program that provides a legal pathway to citizenship to asylum seekers from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tennessee attorney general challenges Biden program allowing asylum seekers path to U.S.

By: - January 26, 2023

Tennessee on Tuesday joined 19 other GOP-led states in challenging a new Biden Administration program that provides some asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela a legal path to entering the U.S. The parole program, announced last month, would give up to 30,000 people per month a chance to legally enter the U.S. if […]

Sign at the entrance to the John S. Wilder Youth Development Center. Reports have chronicled instances of verbal, physical and sexual assault of juveniles housed at the facility. (Photo: Google Earth)

Juvenile justice recommendations from legislature lean heavily on institutions

By: - January 26, 2023

A legislative committee charged with reviewing the state’s troubled juvenile justice system made more than a dozen recommendations on Wednesday that are expected to serve as a blueprint for General Assembly action this year.  Among the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee on Juvenile Justice: constructing a new secure lockup for youth, adding mental health […]

Grassland at the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Austin Peay State University lands grant for study of grassland development

By: - January 25, 2023

The Southern Grasslands Institute at Austin Peay State University has received a $495,000 grant to study the establishment of grasslands across millions of acres on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama. The grant will be used to “prioritize the habitat needs for at least 185 species of conservation concern that need or […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Brielle Robinson, daughter of the late Army Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, joins veterans advocacy groups, activists, politicians and fellow victims' families during a news conference about military burn pits legislation outside the U.S. Capitol on March 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. The legislation, called the SFC Heath Robinson Burn Pit Transparency Act passed the House of Representatives and is aimed at addressing issues impacting toxic-exposed veterans’ access to earned benefits and care. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Calls by Tennessee veterans double after expansion of VA healthcare benefits

By: - January 23, 2023

More than 100,000 veterans in Tennessee may have been exposed to toxic substances during their military service and could be eligible for newly expanded healthcare benefits, according to the state’s department of veteran’s services. In August, President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act into law, expanding Veterans Administration  benefits for men and women who were […]

Diane Derzis, operator of the Bristol Women's Clinic, addresses the media during an emotional news conference in Jackson, Mississippi on Friday, June 24, 2022, held in response to he U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Photo: Neirin Gray Desai/Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting)

Bristol abortion clinic owner: ‘I don’t need a welcome mat’

By: - January 18, 2023

A looming local ordinance banning abortion clinics, daily protestors and a lawsuit by her landlord do not faze Diane Derzis, owner of the newly established Bristol Women’s Health clinic located about a mile across the Tennessee border in Virginia.  Since it opened in July, Derzis’ abortion clinic has also drawn condemnation from the local Catholic […]