Eli Motycka

Eli Motycka

Writer based, born and raised in Nashville. Interested in land use, physical internet infrastructure, expos, and the fossil fuel supply chain. Motycka has written stories for the Lookout on marijuana alternative Delta 8, a guaranteed income experiment in North Nashville and the state's opioid crisis. Message me at [email protected] or on Twitter.

Shelby County Courthouse. (Photo:

Week two of Robinson trial in Memphis: Prosecutors call former THI employees

By: - September 23, 2021

Trial continued in Memphis this week for state Sen.Katrina Robinson who is facing federal charges of embezzlement and fraud. The charges allege that she intentionally appropriated federal grant funds meant for her business, The Health Institute, which provides postsecondary education in nursing.  The week’s testimony has focused on discrepancies in annual reports made by The […]

State Sen. Katrina Robinson, D-Memphis, hugs Nashville activist Justin Jones at the Tennessee General Assembly in April. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Prosecutors in Robinson trial try to prove fraud in first week

By: - September 18, 2021

The first week of state Sen. Katrina Robinson’s trial ended Friday afternoon as U.S. attorneys continued efforts to build a case for 17 counts of embezzlement and wire fraud. The Healthcare Institute, a Memphis business owned by Robinson, was awarded a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services in June, 2015. The […]

Sen. Katrina Robinson hugs a supporter in April during legislative session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Robinson trial to resume Friday in Memphis

By: - September 16, 2021

The trial of state Sen. Katrina Robinson resumes on Friday in Memphis, after opening with jury selection on Monday.  Robinson faces charges of embezzlement and wire fraud stemming from an FBI investigation opened in 2016.  Robinson is defending herself against allegations that she improperly used funds awarded by the federal government to The Healthcare Institute, […]

Eighty percent of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee during 2020 came from prescription and synthetic opioids.(Photo: Mint

Opioid overdose deaths jump in 2020

By: - September 13, 2021

Overdose deaths in Tennessee jumped nearly 50% in 2020 according to new data from the Tennessee Department of Health. Close to 80% of overdose deaths were caused by synthetic and prescription opioids. Tennesseans living with addiction point to two major factors in the spike in overdose deaths: support systems interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and […]

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen announces that Purdue Pharma LP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin during a news conference at the Justice Department on October 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty Images)

Commentary: Tennessee plunges deeper into the opioid crisis 

By: - August 3, 2021

Alarming statistics indicate a sharp uptick in opioid-related deaths in 2020. About 90,000 people across the country died from drug overdoses in 2020, up nearly 30% from 2019, when overdose deaths were the leading cause of death in Americans under 50. Tennessee is far above the national average, with overdose deaths jumping 45% in 2020. […]

Jamel Campbell-Gooch and Read Ezell of Moving Nashville Forward (Photo: John Partipilo)

North Nashville’s 37208 zip to get guaranteed basic income pilot

By: - April 29, 2021

Moving Nashville Forward will pilot the city’s first guaranteed basic income experiment in 37208. It announced the project last month and aims to send out ten monthly distributions of $1000 to 100 families starting in November, meant to directly address poverty while generating data about community wellbeing.  The project will focus on the zip code […]

Delta-8 on display at The Perfect Plant in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Reefer madness: Delta-8 produces similar effects to marijuana while still legal

By: - March 4, 2021

While Tennessee sits on the sidelines of marijuana legalization, Tennesseans are choosing Delta-8, a psychoactive cannabis product nearly identical to marijuana. The two are isomers—chemical compounds with the same formula but different atomic arrangements—that offer similar mental effects with medicinal and recreational applications.  Since legalizing CBD oil in 2015, the Tennessee state legislature has failed […]