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.

Xtend Healthcare in Hendersonville, had no experience with contact tracing when it scored its first state contract for $20 million. (Photo: John Partipilo)

No-bid contract earns company $55 million from state for contact tracing

By: - November 23, 2021

In the early summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed even the nation’s most robust public health programs, Tennessee became one of a handful of states that chose to outsource contact tracing to a private vendor. In June 2020, Hendersonville-based Xtend Healthcare, a for-profit medical billing firm without prior experience in infectious disease, inked […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican lawmaker demands medical board end policy disciplining doctors for COVID misinformation

By: - November 19, 2021

Tennessee Republican Rep. John Ragan has demanded that a state medical board remove a policy statement from its website that warns physicians who spread misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines risk disciplinary action. In a letter sent Monday to Dr. Melanie Blake, president of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, Ragan instructed the statement be deleted “without […]

Supporters of Planned Parenthood in the gallery of the Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro))

Tennessee must pay legal fees for abortion providers

By: - November 18, 2021

The state of Tennessee has agreed to pay attorneys for abortion providers $249,000 to cover legal fees stemming from their challenge to an executive order by Gov. Bill Lee during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily banned most abortions. The settlement — an agreed-upon sum between the office of Attorney General Herbert […]

(Carol Yepes/Getty Images)

Biden bill gives boost to local journalism

By: - November 15, 2021

Several years ago, Danny Peppers launched the Stewart County Standard weekly community newspaper with a graphic designer, a home equity line of credit and, he says, a prayer.  “This is your paper,” read the headline of the very first edition, which was mailed to each of the 6,070 mailboxes in the county, a rural area […]

Andrew Byrd at the farm he owns with his wife, Marianne Menefee Byrd, on historic Holly Tree Gap in Williamson County. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Williamson County land use battle pits utility district against owners of historic farm

By: - November 11, 2021

Holly Tree Gap is a quiet, three-mile stretch of winding road flanked by woods, meadows and horse pastures, with only a few of the spacious homes that characterize much of the rest of Williamson County along its path. But in recent weeks, a proliferation of white signs with black lettering have begun to appear, signaling […]

(Photo: John Partipilo)

Wilson County judicial commissioner sues county

By: - November 4, 2021

A former Wilson County judicial commissioner has filed suit against the county and the county’s director of judicial commissioners alleging she was ordered not to speak to county officials about work-related concerns — which include sexual harassment and secret cameras installed in her offices — before being forced out of her job in July. Patricia […]

(Photo illustration by John Partipilo.)

Lawsuits pile up against former funeral director

By: and - November 3, 2021

Lawsuits continue to pile up against four funeral homes and an ex-funeral director accused of failing to send the remains of deceased immigrants back to their families overseas for burial. On Monday, the family of Ramon Lara Castillo — a 63-year-old Nashville house painter who succumbed to liver cancer in October 2020 — filed a […]

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, left, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Majority Leader William Lamberth, all Republicans, had strong words for Nashville's leadership after Metro Council rejected a contract to hold the 2024 Republican National Committee in the city. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Legislature passes late night COVID omnibus bill

By: and - October 30, 2021

The Legislature backpedaled on COVID-19 bills just enough early Saturday to pass a comprehensive measure and still placate companies such as Ford, which is to receive a $900 million incentive package to build an electric truck and battery plant in West Tennessee. After going through a conference committee to iron out differences, the Legislature approved […]

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives in House Chambers.

Legislature takes discretion from district attorneys general

By: and - October 29, 2021

The House and Senate both voted Friday for legislation enabling the state attorney general to request courts appoint district attorney pro tems for any district attorney general who makes a blanket statement against prosecuting certain classes of illegal activity. The Senate passed its version of the bill on a 25-6 vote. The measure passed the […]

Inside the Tennessee Senate chambers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Senate to reconvene for consideration of omnibus package

By: - October 29, 2021

The Tennessee Senate plans to reconvene this afternoon to consider an omnibus package of bills severely restricting workplace COVID regulations, which have drawn sharp opposition from business and other interests across the state. Among the most influential voices to weigh in against a portion of the package barring companies from issuing mask mandates is  the […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Ford Motor Company officials weigh in as legislature plans to limit business mask mandates

By: and - October 29, 2021

An official with the Ford Motor Company has sent Tennessee Senators a text thanking them for the nearly $900 million incentive package approved last week, but has let them know the company is concerned about an effort to prohibit Tennessee companies from enforcing mask mandates for their employees. A top Ford official sent senators a […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Fines for school board members, limits on the governor: Thursday’s special session bills

By: and - October 28, 2021

A slew of far-reaching measures designed to curb local dissent over state COVID policies, and to check the governor’s emergency powers, sailed easily through Republican-dominated committee hearings during Thursday’s specially called legislative session.  They include harsh new penalties for locally elected school board members who defy executive orders and a mechanism for the Attorney General […]