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.

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Shakeup at Department of Education includes demotion of state’s top special education official

By: - October 7, 2021

As Gov. Bill Lee battles lawsuits from parents of kids with disabilities — along with a federal civil rights investigation into whether his ban on universal masking in schools discriminates against kids at high risk for serious illness from COVID —¬† the state’s top special education official has been demoted. Theresa Nicholls served as Assistant […]

TWRA officials face pushback over plans to raze old-growth forests in White County

By: - October 5, 2021

SPARTA, Tenn. — Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency faced considerable pushback Monday night at a public meeting in Sparta over plans to raze old growth forest in a popular hunting and recreation area located about about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville. A standing room-only crowd of more than 200 people filled the town’s […]

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plans to raze old-growth forest

By: - October 4, 2021

SPARTA, Tenn. — It’s a pretty bird, easily recognizable by dark stripes on rust colored feathers and a distinct two-syllable chirp that announces its name: “bob” (the high note) then “white” at a lower pitch — also known as the Northern Bobwhite, a species of quail. The otherwise unassuming bird is now at the center […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

COVID-19 deaths of public school employees climb

By: - October 1, 2021

Two long-time Clarksville teachers — both military veterans, men in their early 50’s who worked as social studies teachers in the same tight-knit middle school — died within a week of one after suffering complications from COVID-19, leaving students, employees and families “heartbroken from the loss of these amazing educators.” The men are among four […]

Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, center, and Sen. Kerry Roberts, right, chair the Joint Government Operations Committee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Katie Beckett program for kids with disabilities falls short in first year

By: - September 27, 2021

A program for Tennessee children with disabilities or complex medical needs has enrolled fewer than 1,000 children as it nears the end of its first year in operation, far short of the 3,000 children that state officials originally estimated would be served annually. The Katie Beckett program was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee […]

Doherty, 19, and his mother, Tommi, at their Nashville home. (Photo: John Partipilo)

“I feel like the public schools have let us down.”

By: - September 22, 2021

Last school year wasn’t easy, but with the help of his mother, Joey Doherty kept up with Zoom classes taught by the special education teachers he has known for years. This year, Joey – a high school senior who is 19 years old, blind in one eye, has Down Syndrome and a host of resulting […]

Juan Lombera, owner of MC Granite in Nashville. After weathering supply chain delays and labor shortages, his next challenge is getting his employees to comply with the federal vaccine-or-test mandate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee businesses grapple with Biden vaccine-or test-mandate

By: - September 20, 2021

Like many home contractors, Juan Lombera has had to weather a year-and-a-half of havoc wrought by the pandemic just to stay in business: supply chain slow-downs, labor shortages, workers out sick with COVID all while consumer demand for home improvement — and the marble, slate and quartz countertops Lombera specializes in — continues to rise. […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

At least 14 Tennessee public school employees lost to COVID since academic year began

By: - September 17, 2021

At least 14 employees of Tennessee public schools have died since the academic year began after contracting COVID-19 — a toll that no single public or private agency tracks. The deaths, confirmed by the Tennessee Lookout, include a 42-year-old Metro Nashville Public Schools bus driver who “devoted himself to making sure every child on his […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Four candidates charged by ethics and finance commission

By: - September 15, 2021

The Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance of the Tennessee Ethics Commission on Tuesday filed suit against four local political candidates¬† for failing to comply with campaign disclosure rules. The commission has the authority to assess civil penalties against candidates for failing to file campaign reports that provide a public accounting of a candidate’s […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

COVID toll rises in Tennessee’s DIDD community

By: - September 13, 2021

As the COVID-19 delta strain continues to infect more Tennesseans, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities supported by state programs, and the staff members who care for them, have seen a notable uptick in infections since July as well. DIDD programs serve a total of about 12,500 people with disabilities. At least 1,692 tested positive […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

8 Tennessee public school employees dead from COVID in first month of school

By: - September 9, 2021

Just before she went to bed on Tuesday, Tennessee Education Association president Beth Brown got word of yet another public school teacher who died this week as a result of COVID-19. Brown returned to what has now become a painful but familiar ritual since the pandemic first began. “One of the very last things I […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

COVID cases among kids in DCS custody mount

By: - September 7, 2021

At least 83 kids living in residential treatment facilities that contract with the Department of Children’s Services to provide round-the-clock therapeutic care have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 1, part of a surge in child infections across the state. This summer’s escalation in childhood infections — 50,795 Tennessee school-aged children have tested positive since […]