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.

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Tennessee now only state to pursue plan for Medicaid block grant

By: - August 18, 2020

Tennessee remains the only state actively pursuing a controversial Medicaid block grant touted by the Trump Administration in January as a “game-changer” that would radically rejigger financing for the federal-state public health insurance program that covers 1 in 5 Americans. Last week, Oklahoma’s Republican governor,  Gov. Kevin Stitt, informed federal officials he was scrapping plans […]

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Six school districts require teachers in class after COVID-19 exposure

By: - August 17, 2020

Beth Brown, president of the Tennessee Education Association, has been fielding increasingly anxious calls from teacher-members, some who learned last week their school districts had adopted a policy requiring employees potentially exposed to coronavirus to report to work instead of isolating at home. In at least six districts across Tennessee, educators have been told they […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

Legislature passes bill to protect businesses from COVID-19 liability

By: - August 13, 2020

A Gov. Bill Lee-backed measure that will shield public and private entities from legal liability over COVID-19 deaths or illnesses was approved by Tennessee lawmakers on Wednesday along party lines.  The measure establishes high legal hurdles for anyone — an employee, a customer or a surviving loved one — who allege they contracted COVID-19 as […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (Photo: Tennessee Secretary of State)

COVID-19 liability legislation moves forward

By: - August 11, 2020

The Tennessee legislature reconvened today to fast-track Gov. Bill Lee’s proposed legislation to exempt public and private companies and institutions from legal liability related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In separate committee hearings on Tuesday, during a specially called session expected to wrap up in less than a week, Democratic lawmakers argued unsuccessfully against the measure.  […]

The exterior of Standing Tall in Nashville. (Photo: standingtalltn.com)

Outbreak at Bordeaux residential facility for delinquent youth infects 28 kids, 15 staff

By: - August 7, 2020

A COVID-19 outbreak at a Nashville facility that cares for children in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services infected 28 children and 15 staff members, according to data provided by the child welfare agency. Standing Tall Music City in Bordeaux provides mental health, drug and alcohol use and other treatment to boys […]

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Metro health board approves revised plan to share limited COVID patient data with first responders

By: - August 6, 2020

A temporary plan approved by the Metro Board of Health on Thursday will allow first responders to access information on individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 under highly proscribed circumstances. The Metro Public Health Department had previously shared patient names and addresses with law enforcement before the controversial data-sharing arrangement was halted in June. […]

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Staff, children recovering after COVID outbreak at Nashville juvenile detention center

By: - August 6, 2020

Eleven children and eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center in June. All have since recovered. The east Nashville facility is one of five juvenile detention centers around Tennessee that have had positive coronavirus cases among staff or youth, according to data obtained from the Department of Children’s […]

Family eats outside at restuarant in

Report: 1,120 Tennessee businesses closed permanently due to pandemic

By: - August 4, 2020

Between March 1 and July 10, 1,959 businesses in Tennessee have shut down in response to the pandemic — with 1,120 reporting their closures are permanent, according to data compiled by the business-rating site Yelp. In the Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro metro areas collectively saw at least 410 business close for good, Yelp reported. An additional 331 have […]

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Lack of internet access puts ‘distance learning’ out of reach for many Tennessee children

By: - August 4, 2020

NOTE: Story has been updated with comments from state Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma. In Chester County, located about 90 miles east of Memphis, parents of public school students have until Wednesday to decide on virtual versus in-person learning ahead of the district’s August 10 reopening. But for many families in the county of about 17,000 […]

A snapshot of July’s rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nashville by zip code

By: - July 30, 2020

Densely populated neighborhoods in South Nashville, Madison and Nashville’s downtown core continue to see the largest number of COVID-19 positive cases, but case counts have sharply increased in other parts of the city as well as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the state’s capitol. Here is a snapshot of COVID-19 positive cases by zip […]

Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences, Lower School (Photo: Chattanooga Schools)

Hamilton County to invest in high-speed internet for 28,000 public school students

By: - July 29, 2020

Low-income families with children in Chattanooga Hamilton County public schools will get access to high-speed internet services under a plan announced Wednesday by city and county leaders. The investment, estimated at $8.2 million over the next ten years, is a first-of-its-kind effort by any U.S. municipality to provide free broadband services to any family with […]

Stratton Elementary School (Photo: Metro Nashville Public Schools)

COVID cases climb among Tennessee children as schools seek to resume instruction

By: - July 28, 2020

A football player at a Knox County Catholic high school tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks after team practice got underway in early July. Practice was suspended for another two weeks as a precaution. In Oak Ridge, a band student and an instructor tested positive for the virus at the public high school’s band camp, […]