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.

Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, Tenn. (Photo: Facebook)

Eastman Chemical ‘steam line failure’ rains debris in Kingsport neighborhood; traces of asbestos found

By: - February 2, 2022

A day after residents of Kingsport, Tenn. were rocked by the sound of a loud blast, smoke plumes, raining debris and power outages from a “high pressure steam line failure” at the Eastman Chemical Plant, company officials distributed fliers saying the incident was highly unlikely to cause health problems while local news outlets captured images […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a measure to allow private school vouchers in only Davidson and Shelby Counties don't violate the state's home rule law.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Lawmakers spar over new rules to punish teachers, schools for instruction about race, gender

By: - February 1, 2022

A legislative panel on Monday approved temporary rules that guide how Tennessee school districts investigate complaints about classroom discussions of race and gender — and the hefty financial penalties that could befall on school districts that fail to properly abide by the rules. The emergency rules were first proposed in July, then finalized in November, […]

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

Bipartisan bill would strip TWRA of ability to generate agency revenues from timber sales

By: - January 27, 2022

For decades, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has kept the profits from the sale of  timber and other natural resources on publicly-owned lands, folding the payments from logging companies into the agency’s annual operating budget. A bipartisan bill introduced in the Tennessee Legislature this week seeks to bring that practice to an end. The measure, […]

John Partipilo photographed Mike O’Neal, a longtime hunter, as he surveyed an expanse of the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area where clearcutting is planned to create quail habitat.

In rare show of bipartisanship, 34 Tennessee lawmakers slam TWRA plans to clearcut

By: - January 25, 2022

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers on Tuesday urged Tennessee wildlife officials to immediately halt all plans to clearcut 2,000 acres of hardwood trees at the publicly-owned Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in White County. Calling the plan damaging to the environment and the local economy, and criticizing the state’s Wildlife Resources Agency for breaching […]

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

State put on 60-day notice of lawsuit over plans to raze hardwoods on public lands

By: - January 21, 2022

A controversial plan to raze 2,000 acres of hardwood trees on state-owned land in White County may harm numerous protected species in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, a legal notice delivered to state wildlife officials and the Bridgestone company alleges. The Jan. 10 letter from an attorney representing Marvin Bullock, the president of […]

Two Tennessee departments are being sued for not providing access to American Sign Language interpreters.(Getty Images.)

Lawsuit: Deaf people deprived of ASL interpreters in state-funded programs

By: - January 20, 2022

UPDATE: This story has been updated with responses provided after publication from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.   Dontay Battle is profoundly deaf but lives in a state-funded Shelby County group home for adults with intellectual disabilities where neither the staff nor his […]

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)

Judge rules fired Tennessee vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue monetary damages

By: - January 19, 2022

A federal judge has ruled that former Tennessee vaccination chief Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue claims for monetary damages against the state’s top two Department of Health officials after her controversial firing last summer — but the remainder of her lawsuit seeking a ‘name-clearing hearing’ and a finding that the state violated her constitutional rights […]

Wildlife officials release details of controversial plan to clearcut wilderness area

By: - January 13, 2022

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials have released details of a controversial plan to clear thousands of acres of forest in a popular, publicly-owned hunting and recreation destination in White County. About 2,000 acres in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area in White County — located about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville — will be cleared […]

Southern Services Landfill in Nashville's Bordeaux community. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Fight over landfill in historically Black Nashville neighborhood heads to court

By: - January 12, 2022

UPDATE: On Wednesday, after publication of this story, the court rescheduled the date for a hearing in the legal battle over expanding a Bordeaux landfill. The hearing, originally set for Thursday, Jan. 12, is now scheduled for Tuesday, March 1. A dispute over the future of a landfill in the historically Black Bordeaux neighborhood of […]

Gov. Bill Lee with officials from Tyson Foods in Humboldt in April 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lawsuit: Tyson Foods shorted construction firm millions for Gibson County plant

By: - January 5, 2022

A construction company has filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against Tyson Foods and the Industrial Development Board of Gibson County, claiming it was shorted payments for building and designing a poultry processing plant in Humboldt, Tenn. last year. The 375,000 square-foot Tyson facility opened in April 2021 on property owned by the Gibson County board […]

Utility district withdraws effort to confiscate private land from influential Williamson Co family

By: - January 4, 2022

A small water utility company has stood down from its legal fight to seize private property belonging to a prominent Williamson County family who waged a fierce public campaign against the plans to install large tanks holding millions of gallons of water on their land. The Milcrofton Utility District last week withdrew its petition to […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

State employee files public records suit over denial of COVID consultant report

By: - December 23, 2021

A state employee has filed suit against the Tennessee Department of Human Resources after being refused a copy of a tax-payer funded report prepared by McKinsey & Co, a global consulting firm hired to help guide the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas Wesley — described by his attorney as a state employee acting […]