Author

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state's best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial from the Tennessee Press Association.

A customer at ABQ Guns in Albuquerque. Recent mass shootings have reignited the debate over gun legislation, including red flag laws and expanded background checks. (Photo by Sergio Flores/Bloomberg, Getty Images)

Governor discounts effect of constitutional carry law on Collierville Kroger shooting

By: - September 24, 2021

A day after a disgruntled employee opened fire in a Collierville Kroger, killing one woman and injuring 14 others, Gov. Bill Lee said he believes there is no connection between the shooting and a constitutional carry law he signed this year. Lee called the incident a “terrible shooting” and tragedy, while expressing sorrow for victims […]

COMMENTARY
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster, left, with Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Schwinn denies piloting materials in book adoption, but LIFT did

By: - September 24, 2021

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn told lawmakers this week the state didn’t pilot any materials during the English Language Arts adoption two years ago, nor is it in the upcoming math adoption process. She made the statement just two weeks after state textbook commission members made it clear the 18-month book and material selection lies […]

Shelby County Schools in Memphis, Tennessee on September 15, 2021. Kingsbury Middle School in Berclair neighborhood of Memphis. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Tennessee sees student improvement from summer programs

By: - September 22, 2021

Tennessee students who took part in summer camps improved in English and math, regaining some of their pandemic learning loss, after the Legislature pumped $160 million into new programs, according to new data the state released Wednesday. Test scores from 120,000 students who participated in the classes showed an improvement of 5.97 percentage points overall […]

Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, at a Thursday press conference with Gov. Bill Lee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

State saving monoclonal antibodies for the unvaccinated

By: - September 21, 2021

Apparently reacting to cutbacks from the federal government, Tennessee is recommending monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 be used for the unvaccinated as the state ranks at the bottom nationally for vaccination rates. As reported Tuesday by The Tennessean, the Department of Health issued a statement saying, “Our recommendation to monoclonal antibody providers or individual facilities […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Education panels won’t hear Hakeem’s Black history bill

By: - September 21, 2021

A joint meeting of House Education committees isn’t likely to consider Rep. Yusuf Hakeem’s Black history education bill this week even though he was told it would be made “perfect” in summer study. The Chattanooga Democrat sought to increase Black history curriculum in grades 5-8 earlier this year, but the House Education Instruction Committee voted […]

Gov. Bill Lee addressing members of the Tennessee National Guard. (Photo: tn.gov)

Governor signs letter to Biden requesting border ‘crisis’ discussion

By: - September 20, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee joined 25 Republican governors Monday in sending a letter to President Joe Biden seeking a meeting to resolve the “crisis” at the Southern border where tens of thousands of Haitians and people of other nations are gathered to enter the United States. “As we surpass the eight-month mark of a relentless and […]

Members of the House and Senate Democratic Caucus, including Sen. Jeff Yarbro, left, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, next to him, slammed Gov. Bill Lee for the political firing of a leading health official. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor appoints bipartisan redistricting committee

By: - September 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally appointed a bipartisan panel Friday to draw new state and federal district maps, naming a Memphis Democrat as a chairman to the panel and ordering the group to focus on public input. Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, and Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, will be joined by Sen. Raumesh Akbari, chairman […]

COMMENTARY
(Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Tennessee joins fight against John Lewis Voting Rights Act

By: - September 17, 2021

Tennessee Attorney General Herb Slatery is formally opposing passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, signing on to a letter with Republican AGs saying it would allow the feds to “usurp” states’ authority over elections. “If these provisions are enacted, rest assured that the undersigned will aggressively defend our citizens’ rights to participate […]

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, photographed at the Tennessee Capitol on March 18, 2020 by John Partipilo.

Lieutenant governor continues to oppose COVID-issue special session

By: - September 15, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is staving off requests for a special session by conservative senators who believe the Legislature should react to what they consider government “overreach.” In response to letters by at least four senators, a McNally spokesman issued a statement Wednesday saying the lieutenant governor’s position hasn’t changed and that he doesn’t see […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Legislators put bail bond industry under the microscope

By: - September 15, 2021

West Tennessee bail bond agent Shelly Alexander wept Tuesday as she told lawmakers how she once refused to bail her daughter out of jail for a meth arrest. Alexander knew her daughter had a “habit” and would go right back to debilitating drugs if she bailed her out. In fact, she told other bail agents […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

East Tennessee rep wants lawsuit to block Biden vaccine mandate

By: - September 14, 2021

Kingston Republican Rep. Bud Hulsey is ready for Tennessee to go to court in an effort to stop President Joe Biden’s vaccination order from taking effect here. Just days after the president introduced an executive mandate requiring employers with at least 100 workers to make sure they’re vaccinated or show a weekly negative COVID-19 test, […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a plant dedication Humboldt, Tennessee in March, pictured with plant workers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republicans call Biden vaccine plan “tyranny”

By: - September 10, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee is criticizing President Joe Biden’s vaccine plan for employers, which could affect 80 million workers, and House Republicans are taking it a step further, calling it “tyranny.” Lee, a Williamson County Republican, said Thursday he thinks the Democratic president’s plan to increase vaccines nationwide is “a terrible idea.”  The governor said he […]