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)

Feds approve using COVID relief funds to expand home services for Tennesseans with disabilities

By: - October 28, 2021

The federal government has approved a plan to use COVID relief funds to enroll up to 2,000 Tennesseans with disabilities — who are currently on a waiting list —  into a state program that provides home and community-based services. The expansion of the program  — known as Employment and Community First CHOICES, or ECF-CHOICES — […]

Lawmakers weigh in to oppose TWRA clearcutting

By: and - October 25, 2021

Elected officials who occupy positions on hunting-oriented caucuses are weighing in on a controversial plan to clear hardwood trees in order to  create a grassy habitat for quail — a game bird — on popular wilderness area in White County. U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, and state Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville — members, respectively, of […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

COVID death toll among Tennessee public school employees rises

By: - October 22, 2021

School counselors were on-hand at Walter Hill Elementary in Rutherford County as students and staff learned Thursday of the latest COVID death to impact the school system: a 49-year-old custodian, who had worked at other schools in the district before starting a new job at the elementary school in September. The employee, Angela Dawn Crook, […]

Tree trunks in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in Sparta marked for clearcutting, despite local opposition. Photo: John Partipilo

Congressional sportsmen’s group endorses clearcutting plan

By: - October 21, 2021

A controversial plan by state wildlife officials to raze portions of a popular recreational area in White County got a surprising stamp of approval from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to support the hunting and fishing policy objectives advanced by federal and state lawmakers The endorsement came as a surprise because […]

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 […]

Tree trunks in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in Sparta marked for clearcutting, despite local opposition. Photo: John Partipilo

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 […]