Briefs

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 29 - First responders Memphis and Shelby County police officers, firefighters and EMTs get COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday Dec. 29, 2020. The Shelby County Health Department is administering the shots in a process that will go on for several weeks. (© Karen Pulfer Focht)

Shelby County approves $1.5 million for COVID testing kits

BY: - January 20, 2022

During a special session Wednesday, Shelby County commissioners approved $1.5 million for the purchase of at-home COVID testing kits as cases continue to spread throughout the county.  Shelby County’s weekly test positivity rate has decreased since last week, but residents are still testing at a positive rate of 35.9%, continuing the county’s streak of the […]

(Mint Images/Getty Images)

Shelby County accepts opioid settlement

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted to accept $20 million as a partial settlement as part of a statewide effort to crack down on the opioid epidemic.  In March 2021, Memphis city officials filed a federal lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in fueling the opioid influx that has significantly […]

Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for Congress in District 5, speaks Monday at a protest of new congressional district maps. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Crowd protests GOP-drawn congressional maps on MLK Day

BY: and - January 18, 2022

Concerns over COVID-19 and lingering snow from a weekend storm halted several Middle Tennessee events traditionally held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to honor the late civil rights leader, but more than 100 people turned out in Nashville to protest new GOP-drawn congressional and legislative district maps. The Nashville Justice League, which is comprised […]

The World Health Organization classified the new COVID-19 variant as a “variant of concern” due to its high mutation and transmission rate. The new strain is called “omicron.” (Getty Images)

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

BY: - January 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort […]

U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: Ariana Figueroa)

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

BY: - January 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys […]

Shelby County Commission. (Photo: Shelby County Government)

Shelby County add funds to target opioid addiction

BY: - January 10, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted Monday to add $168,700 to its operating budget to combat the county’s opioid epidemic. Shelby County previously received $506,000 from the Tennessee Department of Health for the period of Sept 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022 through an effort to target high-impact areas across the state. Today’s vote amended the […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Nashville judge vacates 1987 convictions for child rape and murder

BY: - January 6, 2022

A Nashville judge has vacated the convictions of a couple in the rape and murder of a 4-year-old child in 1987.  Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton ruled in favor of Joyce Watkins and Charlie Dunn, both of whom had always proclaimed their innocence. Watkins served 27 years in prison before being paroled in October 2015 and […]

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 […]

Two Amish men continue their routine of delivering milk, while an American flag flies at half staff. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Biden inspects Western Kentucky tornado damage

BY: and - December 16, 2021

President Joe Biden visited Dawson Springs, Kentucky on Wednesday as part of a tour of areas damaged by powerful storms over the weekend. Photojournalist John Partipilo was also in Dawson Springs, documenting the devastation. Former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, father of current Gov. Andy Beshear, hails from the small town, where 12 people died in […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Metro Nashville Schools contract, Ford deal top annual Pork Report

BY: - December 15, 2021

A $18 million no-bid contract awarded to a Meharry Medical College offshoot by Metro Nashville Public Schools took the top spot in the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s annual Pork Report.  Titled “2021 Pork Report: 12 Recipes for Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse,” the report is formatted to look like a cookbook that offers “recipes” from […]

Dresden Methodist Church was destroyed early Saturday morning. (Photo: Rick Herron)

Slow recovery begins from West Tennessee, Kentucky storms

BY: and - December 15, 2021

Formerly known to most Tennesseans as the home of the late governor Ned Ray McWherter, Dresden, Tennessee joins the roster of towns known by name nationally for the devastation caused by tornadoes: Xenia, Ohio. Greensburg, Kanas. Joplin, Missouri. Mayfield, Kentucky and now, Dresden. The north side of the town’s Main Street was flattened, including City […]

A man pushes his daughter in a stroller through a tornado-ravaged neighborhood. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Governor requests federal emergency aid, issues executive order for storm-stricken areas

BY: - December 13, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee sought federal emergency assistance Monday for nine counties struck by tornadoes Friday and early Saturday killing four people and doing millions of dollars in damage. The governor also issued an order giving counties flexibility to deal with the disasters. For example, individuals will be allowed to help in storm damage cleanup and […]