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.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Vanderbilt Poll: majority of Tennessee voters support red-flag laws

By: - May 3, 2023

A majority of Tennessee voters support so-called red flag laws designed to take guns out of the hands of people at risk for harming themselves or others, according to a new poll by Vanderbilt University  The Vanderbilt Poll was conducted three weeks after a deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School claimed the lives of […]

Dr. Amy Gordon Bono speaking at a Aug. 24 press conference about Tennessee's abortion ban. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Gov. Bill Lee signs law carving out narrow exceptions to Tennessee abortion ban

By: - April 28, 2023

Eight months after Tennessee enacted one of the strictest abortion bans in the nation, Gov. Bill Lee on Friday quietly signed a law providing narrow exceptions. The new law, which went into effect immediately, allows physicians to perform abortions in limited medical emergencies: molar or ectopic pregnancies, to remove a miscarriage, to save the life […]

A man walks his daughter from a school near Nashville's Covenant School on March 27, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The other first responders: Covenant shooting victim advocates describe devastating day

By: - April 18, 2023

Valerie Craig was between appointments, in her car, when she got the call: there had been a shooting reported at The Covenant School minutes before, District Attorney Glen Funk told her. He was on his way. A family assistance center was being set up at Woodmont Baptist Church. Funk’s call to Craig, cofounder of Tennessee […]

Margie Quin, center, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. (Photo: John Partipilo)

DCS reports hiring new caseworkers, end to children sleeping on office floors

By: - April 18, 2023

Four months after a scathing audit found the Department of Children’s Services repeatedly put children in harm’s way, its leadership reported back to lawmakers steps taken to address crises within the agency.  The department has reduced caseworker vacancies nearly in half, enlisted more than 1100 families to begin the process of becoming foster parents, and […]

Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were on the way to Chicago for a family funeral when they were pulled over in Coffee County. Williams was arrested and their young children taken from them. (Screengrab from Zoom)

Five children taken from Black family after rural Tennessee traffic stop returned home

By: - April 14, 2023

Five young children taken from their parents after a traffic stop in Coffee County nearly two months ago have been returned home, a family attorney said Friday. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Service took custody of the children of Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams after state troopers pulled the family over for driving with “dark […]

Rev. Dr. William Barber knocks for entry at the Dollar General Corp. shareholder's meeting at Goodlettsville City Hall in 2021 as then-State House candidate Justin Jones prays. (Photo: John Partipilo)

National, state faith leaders to hold ‘Moral Monday’ event at state capitol

By: - April 13, 2023

This story has been updated. State, local and national faith leaders laid out plans this week for a national day of action in Nashville on Monday in response to the expulsions of  two Black men, Democratic Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, from the Tennessee Legislature.  On Saturday, gun reform advocates — Tennessee Students Demand […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Legislature poised to dissolve community-led police oversight boards in Nashville and Memphis

By: - April 12, 2023

The Tennessee Legislature could soon eliminate community-led police oversight boards and replace them with advisory groups with little power to investigate citizen complaints.  If enacted, HB0764/SB0591 would dissolve existing boards in Nashville and Memphis within 90 days.  In their place would be seven-member “police advisory and review committees” whose members would be selected solely by […]

Emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5 is pending. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bill limiting DCS ability to seek vaccinations for juvenile justice, foster kids draws alarm

By: - April 11, 2023

The Tennessee Legislature is poised to pass legislation that would stop the Department of Children’s Services from giving any vaccine to a child in custody without written permission of a parent or guardian — a measure that could have “unintended consequences” such as an inability to act swiftly in an outbreak of meningitis at a […]

Rep. Justin Jones, left, and Justin Pearson, right, were expelled from the Tennessee House. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A VP visit, a national clergy rally and denouncements follow expulsion of two Tennessee lawmakers

By: - April 7, 2023

The reactions have been swift.  A day after Republicans in the Tennessee House of Representatives took the extraordinary step of expelling two Black freshman lawmakers, Vice President Kamala Harris quickly scheduled a trip to Nashville to meet with the men, Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, who was spared from ouster. State […]

Metro Public Healthy Molly Shine preps a vaccine while sisters Maya and Sara Gana wait at a Nashville mobile vaccine clinic in 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bill to ax policy giving teens access to vaccines without parental permission advances

By: - April 6, 2023

A bill that effectively ends the so-called “Mature Minor” doctrine that has allowed some Tennessee teens to get vaccines without parental permission advanced in the legislature Wednesday. The bill, HB1380/SB111, by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge and Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma is an outgrowth of Republican backlash at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when […]

A bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was removed from the Tennessee Capitol in 2021 after years of wrangling with lawmakers and the Tennessee Historic Commission. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Bill would create new commission to review historic monument removal requests

By: - April 6, 2023

A bill to create a new “Tennessee Monuments and Memorials Commission” to review any petitions to remove or relocate historical memorials on public property advanced in the legislature on Tuesday. The measure (SB1100/HB1025) by Sen. Janice Bowling, R.-Tullahoma and Rep. Ed Butler, R-Rickman would create a new nine-member volunteer commission appointed by the governor, Senate and […]

Voters at Nashville's Downtown Library.(Photo: Ray DiPietro)

GOP-backed bill requires polling places to warn voters against voting in “wrong” primary

By: - April 5, 2023

A GOP-backed bill requiring every Tennessee polling place to display signs saying it is a crime to vote in a primary without being a bona fide party member advanced Tuesday in the legislature.  The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, said the intent of the bill (SB0978/HB0828) is to “remind people they have to vote […]