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.

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 […]

Anchor and thin fishing line tied to a branch for an underwater trotline. (Getty Images)

Tennessee agency declines to regulate trotlines, despite allegations of danger

By: - January 13, 2023

The Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission on Thursday declined to take further action to regulate trotlines, an unmanned method of fishing that some recreation groups say poses a danger to kayakers, canoers and swimmers on Tennessee’s increasingly crowded waterways.  A coalition of groups led by the American Canoe Association has been pressing the commission to […]

Conceptual image of a small child's hand reaching to grab a small soft blue toy bunny by the paw. The toy is illuminated by sunlight and shadows provide space for copy.

Report: High levels of “foster care instability” among kids in Tennessee care

By: - January 11, 2023

Kids in Tennessee are more likely to be shuffled from one temporary home to another during their first year in foster care than foster kids living anywhere else in the nation, according to a new report.  The Department of Children’s Services’ high levels of “foster care instability” are highlighted in the “State of the Child” […]

Bristol, Virginia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Suit by landlord targets Bristol Women’s Health Center over abortions

By: - January 10, 2023

Five months after a Tennessee abortion provider moved its clinic across state lines, its Virginia landlords have filed suit saying they want the clinic out.  The lawsuit, filed last month in Bristol, Virginia Circuit Court by commercial property owners Chadwick and Claud King, accuses the operators of the Bristol Women’s Health Center of fraud and […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

New law requires Tennessee Children’s Services to cover more kids 18-21 leaving state custody

By: - January 9, 2023

A new law taking effect this month requires the Department of Children’s Services to add additional services for kids leaving state custody who are between the ages of 18 and 21. The law requires DCS to pay low-income relatives of those children stipends set at 50% of the rate paid to foster parents while kids […]

(Photo: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

Tennessee advisory group recommends task force for waterway conflicts

By: - January 6, 2023

A state advisory group is recommending Tennessee establish a task force to address recreational uses of rivers, lakes and streams — and the increasing number of conflicts between anglers, boaters, paddlers and swimmers competing to enjoy the state’s waterways. The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) was tasked by the state legislature to study […]