President Joe Biden. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Biden signs bill declassifying information on the origin of COVID-19

BY: - March 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. director of national intelligence has three months to declassify information on potential links between China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID-19, after President Joe Biden signed legislation Monday. The bill was one of the first Biden has signed since a 118th Congress split between the two parties began […]

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, photographed in February 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor posted regularly on Knoxville man’s racy Instagram

BY: - March 9, 2023

The lieutenant governor’s office is defending frequent posting by Randy McNally on the racy Instagram pictures of a young gay man over the last three years even though he voted for anti-LGBTQ legislation recently. The story was initially reported by the Tennessee Holler and followed up by several TV stations. McNally, 79, often posted on […]

Gov. Bill Lee, Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Ads to target Gov. Bill Lee’s anti-LGBTQ legislation at SEC tournament

BY: - March 7, 2023

A full page ad in Tuesday’s Tennessean newspaper features a high school yearbook photo of Gov. Bill Lee dressed in drag with a call to action by the Human Rights Campaign against Lee’s anti-LGBTQ legislation. The ad appears a week after Tennessee became the first state to enact a measure that could criminalize public drag […]

Former Sen. Katrina Robinson in the Tennessee Capitol, shortly before her colleagues in the Tennessee Senate voted to oust her in Feb. 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo

Former senator Katrina Robinson sued for failure to pay fines over late disclosures

BY: - February 17, 2023

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance has filed suit against former state senator Katrina Robinson in order to collect financial penalties stemming from her failure to file 2020 and 2021 financial disclosures in a timely manner. Court filings show the Registry first assessed Robinson a $7,500 fine in Aug. 2021 for failing to file the […]

A Metro Nashville Public Schools bus. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Report: Tennessee public school student losses traced to surge in private school enrollment

BY: - February 17, 2023

Tennessee public schools have lost more than 14,000 students since the start of the pandemic — with most switching to private schools and a lesser number newly homeschooled, a new reported from the Urban Institute has found. The report, which relies on state-level data collected by the Institute in collaboration with the Associated Press and […]

Screen grab of Commissioner Margie Quin of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services addressing the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Jan.30. Department of Finance and Administration Dave Thurman and DCS Chief of Staff Andy Verenski are seated to her right.

GOP lawmaker: TBI is investigating current and former DCS employees

BY: - February 2, 2023

A Republican lawmaker said during a public hearing this week that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing the conduct of current and former employees of the Department of Children’s Services – an investigation a TBI spokesperson later said she could neither confirm nor deny. “I’ve been made aware of a specific instance where the […]

The State of Tennessee spent $11 million on messaging before firing Dr. Michelle Fiscus for spreading the message approved by Gov. Lee's office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Hearing set on suit brought by former vaccine chief against Tennessee Department of Health

BY: - January 30, 2023

A federal judge in Nashville has set a hearing for March 10 to consider competing claims in a lawsuit brought by former Tennessee vaccine chief Michelle Fiscus, whose highly publicized ouster from state government during the pandemic came amidst political pushback on vaccinating teens. Fiscus is seeking a so-called “name clearing” hearing — open to […]

Haitian father carries his children across the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas In 2021. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is challenging a Biden Administration program that provides a legal pathway to citizenship to asylum seekers from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tennessee attorney general challenges Biden program allowing asylum seekers path to U.S.

BY: - January 26, 2023

Tennessee on Tuesday joined 19 other GOP-led states in challenging a new Biden Administration program that provides some asylum seekers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela a legal path to entering the U.S. The parole program, announced last month, would give up to 30,000 people per month a chance to legally enter the U.S. if […]

Grassland at the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Austin Peay State University lands grant for study of grassland development

BY: - January 25, 2023

The Southern Grasslands Institute at Austin Peay State University has received a $495,000 grant to study the establishment of grasslands across millions of acres on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama. The grant will be used to “prioritize the habitat needs for at least 185 species of conservation concern that need or […]

Hope Clinic in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

FBI offers reward for info in Hope Clinic vandalism

BY: - January 19, 2023

The FBI Memphis Field Office is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects responsible for the June 30 vandalism of Hope Clinic in Nashville. A window at the clinic, a pregnancy counseling center, was smashed and an unlit Molotov cocktail was […]

After more than three decades, Kathy Walsh is out as leader of the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Her exit follows a federal investigation. (Photo: Tennessee Legislature)

After top departure, an interim director leads Tennessee’s domestic violence nonprofit

BY: - January 17, 2023

The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence has a new, interim head, following the abrupt departure last month of its longtime leader. Jennifer Escue joined the nonprofit two years ago, as director of programs. Before that, she spent nearly two decades with Catholic Charities of Tennessee, overseeing programs for refugees resettling to the state. […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

New law requires Tennessee Children’s Services to cover more kids 18-21 leaving state custody

BY: - January 9, 2023

A new law taking effect this month requires the Department of Children’s Services to add additional services for kids leaving state custody who are between the ages of 18 and 21. The law requires DCS to pay low-income relatives of those children stipends set at 50% of the rate paid to foster parents while kids […]