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.

Screenshot of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development homepage.

Audit critical of Tennesee’s economic incentive program after companies failed to create promised jobs

By: - September 18, 2020

Nine companies lured to do business in Tennessee with generous economic incentive packages have been referred to the Tennessee Attorney General for possible legal action after failing to live up to their end of the bargain, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe told lawmakers this week in response to a critical audit of the […]

Red Robin's Academy in Memphis was cited by the Tennessee Comptroller's office in an audit showing the non-profit took funds for meals it didn't provide to children. (Source: Tennessee Comptroller)

Comptroller: Two Memphis nonprofits who received thousands in federal dollars lied about feeding low-income kids

By: - September 17, 2020

In 2018, suspicion had grown about a Memphis child care organization that was supposed to be distributing food to low-income children who were out of school for the summer — food paid for by taxpayer funds in a program overseen in Tennessee by the state’s Department of Human Services. Red Robin’s Academy of Learning had […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

As Tennessee prepares to distribute $61M in broadband grants, an audit questions fairness of the grant application process

By: - September 16, 2020

Over three years, state officials have awarded more than $45 million in grants to municipalities and private companies to expand broadband internet access in rural Tennessee.   An audit released Tuesday by the Tennessee Comptroller is now raising questions about how the Department of Economic and Community Development selected who was awarded the highly competitive grants.  […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

State senator proposes court for “harassing” open records requests

By: - September 9, 2020

A proposal by Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, would allow state and local authorities to take individuals seeking public records to court if their repeated requests for government information is found to constitute “harassment.” Haile sought input on his proposed legislation Wednesday from the the Advisory Committee on Open Government, which works with the Tennessee Office of […]

Gov. Bill Lee gives his bi-weekly media briefing Aug. 18. (Photo:

Gov. Bill Lee administration defends emergency powers used to combat COVID-19

By: - September 4, 2020

Members of the administration of Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday provided testimony justifying the sweeping emergency powers adopted by the governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since the onset of the pandemic in Tennessee, Lee has drawn on the state’s 20-year-old Emergency Powers Act to issue 44 executive orders that have had direct impact […]

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) holds a mask to her face as she arrives for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation" on Capitol Hill on August 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Crossfire Hurricane was an FBI counterintelligence investigation relating to contacts between Russian officials and associates of Donald Trump. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

Nashville attorney makes cameo appearance in Senate Russian interference report

By: - August 31, 2020

Deep within the 966-page Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference in the U.S. political process, released August 18, a Nashville lawyer who formerly served as attorney to the campaign of U.S. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn makes several cameo appearances.  Kline Preston, IV is a long-time Nashville attorney —  a graduate of the Nashville School of […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Nearly 1,000 positive cases, 14 deaths associated with Tennessee programs for people with disabilities

By: - August 28, 2020

The toll COVID-19 has taken on people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in Tennessee continues to climb: there are now 14 people dead and 333 more who have tested positive for the virus among the people served by state programs. The men and women are among about 12,000 served by public programs overseen by the […]

Food service workers are among the groups who most often have workers' compensation claims denied. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Workers compensation for COVID-19 an uphill battle for Tennessee workers

By: - August 27, 2020

More than 40% of initial COVID-19-related workers’ compensations filings in Tennessee have been denied, according to data provided by state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Among workers most likely to get an initial “no” for seeking medical expenses and lost wages as a result of claiming they contracted the disease on the job? Agricultural, […]

(Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Metro Health’s role in vaccine trials prompts internal conflict

By: and - August 25, 2020

Among the Nashville institutions assuming a role in upcoming clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine is the Metro Public Health Department, a decision receiving pushback from some members of its oversight board. The decision for the already overstretched department to partner with a private for-profit company in a vaccine trial has not received the […]

Planned Parenthood clinic

State asks judge to lift injunction on Tennessee’s heartbeat abortion law

By: - August 24, 2020

Attorneys for the state are asking a federal judge to set aside a preliminary injunction barring a “heartbeat” abortion law from taking in effect. In a Friday legal filing, state attorneys notified U.S. District Judge William Campbell they plan to appeal his July 24 order temporarily halting Tennessee’ controversial abortion law from being enforced. They […]

Clinical Research Associates, housed in a nondescript Midtown building, will administer two clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: John Partipilo)

How Nashville will play a critical role in developing the COVID-19 vaccine

By: and - August 24, 2020

In the national race to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, officially dubbed “Operation Warp Speed,” Nashville residents are at the starting gate.  Two major Phase III vaccine trials are separately getting underway at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College. A Nashville research firm is tentatively partnering with the Metro Health Department on two […]

Gov. Bill Lee gives his bi-weekly media briefing Aug. 18. (Photo:

Lawmakers begin review of sweeping emergency powers granted to governor

By: - August 21, 2020

Since the onset of the pandemic in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee has drawn on sweeping emergency powers granted under state law to issue 44 executive orders, including stay-at-home orders, business closures and limits on nursing home visitors. On Thursday, state lawmakers met to consider whether those powers should be reigned in going forward. “Does (the […]