Nate Rau

Nate Rau

Nate Rau has a granular knowledge of Nashville’s government and power brokers, having spent more than a decade with the Tennessean, navigating the ins and outs of government deals as an investigative reporter. During his career at The Tennessean and The City Paper, he covered the music industry and Metro government and won praise for hard-hitting series on concussions in youth sports and deaths at a Tennessee drug rehabilitation center. In a state of Titans and Vols fans, Nate is an unabashed Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan.

A representative of Stand Up Nashville speaks at a recent meeting of the Nashville Fair Commissioner's Board. (Photo: Stand Up Nashville Facebook)

Stand Up Nashville declines to disclose donors

By: - August 2, 2021

Stand Up Nashville, the nonprofit organization exerting its influence in the debates over an array of city government projects, refused to disclose its donors in response to questions from the Tennessee Lookout. Stand Up Nashville emerged three years ago when it successfully negotiated a first-of-its-kind community benefits agreement with the owners of the Nashville SC […]

A federal agency found the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency fired employee Amanda Woods after she brought compliance issues to agency leaders, a violation of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act. (Photo: John Partipilo)

MDHA retaliated against whistleblower, according to federal investigation

By: - July 26, 2021

The Metro Development and Housing Agency retaliated against a whistleblower who reported poor supervision of workers participating in a federal jobs program, suspending her without pay and effectively demoting her last year. Two federal investigation reports detailed the findings that MDHA retaliated against Amanda Wood, a veteran of the agency with a track record of […]

A group of people gathered outside Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk's house to protest his plea deal with former Nashville police officer Andrew Delke. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Analysis: How the Delke plea affects DA Glenn Funk’s political future

By: - July 6, 2021

The starting point for any analysis about District Attorney Glenn Funk’s political future is the acknowledgment that Funk would not be district attorney in the first place had it not been for the support of Black voters. But a high profile plea deal could put that support in jeopardy a year out from the next […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Education funding lawsuit could head to new 3-judge panel

By: - July 2, 2021

A six-year-old lawsuit over the adequacy of Tennessee’s funding of public education could head to a three-judge panel, providing immediate ramifications of a new state law passed by Republicans seeking more favorable judicial outcomes. The dispute over the state’s basic education formula dates back to 2015. The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit had been Shelby […]

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 28 - A shot from a garage adjacent to downtown Nashville's Second Avenue captures the scope of the damage done by a Christmas Day suicide bomber. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Property owners ask to demolish four buildings damaged in Christmas bombing

By: - July 1, 2021

Property owners of four buildings on Second Avenue North directly across from where the Christmas morning bomb exploded are seeking demolition permits. Representatives for the property owners explained in a letter to several city departments that the demolition will be necessary after inspections by their engineers revealed structural problems. One building’s structure could be moved […]

WeGo buses on Charlotte Avenue. (Photo: John Partipilo)

A fight over bus routes, an awkward budget hearing and growing skepticism over Metro’s new NDOT

By: - July 1, 2021

Drowned out in a Metro budget cycle largely defined by a chorus of cooperation was an 11th hour dust-up between Mayor John Cooper’s administration and Councilman Freddie O’Connell over mass transit funding. With minor tinkering, Cooper’s budget sailed through council on a unanimous voice vote. But an amendment filed by O’Connell to re-route $1.1 million […]

A woman winces as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Inside Nashville’s pop-up vaccination efforts; what’s worked and what has failed

By: - June 28, 2021

At a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside of Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen on June 12, Metro Health Department workers found themselves hurrying to pack up their supplies as hecklers formed a half-circle around them. Metro Health strike team coordinator Emily Gibson recalled a group of about 10 people surrounding them while shouting insults […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

Nashville judge strikes down anti-tax referendum

By: - June 22, 2021

A Nashville judge ruled on Tuesday that a citizen group seeking to make drastic changes to the Metro charter did not follow the appropriate laws on petition-driven ballot initiatives and struck down a referendum election that was scheduled for July 27. Davidson County Chancellor Russell Perkins wrote in his ruling, made public on Tuesday afternoon, […]

Shelia Simpkins, manager of the residential program at Thistle Farms in Nashville and a survivor of hu

Nashville’s one-of-a-kind human trafficking court gains momentum after difficult year

By: - June 21, 2021

Grant-funded government programs do not typically survive the kinds of challenges that Cherished Hearts, Nashville’s unique intervention court aimed at helping human trafficking suvivors, has faced since it launched. In its five-plus years of existence, the program has spanned four judges, two executive directors, an unrelated criminal scandal involving one of those judges and most […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

After Metro Nashville Council passes $2.6B budget, focus turns to Chancellor Perkins’ ruling in referendum lawsuit

By: - June 15, 2021

After three years of bruising budget fights, Metro Council breezily passed a $2.6 billion opening budget on Tuesday night. The unanimous vote was a far cry from the contentious council meetings in recent years when property tax hikes were debated. In both 2018 and 2019, the margin for rejecting the proposed property tax increases came […]

Cardboard cutouts of fans and celebrities, including singer Tim McGraw, are placed in seats at mostly empty Nissan Stadium during the pandemic season of 2020. (Photo: John Partipilo)

How the Tennessee Titans would be affected by proposed Metro charter amendment

By: - June 10, 2021

The Tennessee Titans would be negatively impacted by several provisions of the proposed Metro charter amendment, scheduled to be in front of voters on July 27, according to a legal filing by a business group seeking to halt the referendum. The Titans would stand “to lose potentially in the millions of dollars” should the referendum […]

Long-time racer Ronnie Campbell takes his car for a drive on the Fairgrounds Speedway. Photo: John Partipilo)

Study: Bristol Motorsports plan would reduce racing noise at Fairgrounds Nashville

By: - June 9, 2021

Between using the racetrack less frequently and implementing several noise-mitigation strategies, Bristol Motor Speedway would vastly reduce the noise impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the fairgrounds, according to a consultant’s report made public on Tuesday. Jackson Wrightson with the Texas-based firm WJHW presented the study results to the Metro Nashville Board of Fair Commissioners on […]