Family members of Pervis Payne were in attendance during a meeting led by the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee on Monday Aug. 31, 2020. The group gathered to ask for DNA testing in the death penalty case of Pervis Payne. Payne is a black man with an intellectual disability who was convicted of killing a white woman and her daughter in Millington, Tennessee. He is scheduled to be executed Dec. 3rd, 2020. His sister Rolanda Holman is at left, his father Elder Carl Payne (center) ( photo by © Karen Pulfer Focht)

Memphis coalition pushes District Attorney for DNA tests in death penalty case

BY: - September 1, 2020

A coalition of victims’ and civil rights groups, churches and professional organizations held a press conference Monday at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to urge District Attorney General Amy Weirich to permit DNA testing in the death penalty case of Pervis Payne. Payne was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death […]

(Photo: John Partipilo for the Tennessee Lookout)

Nashville increases event capacity Sept. 1

BY: - August 28, 2020

Starting next month, citizens will be allowed to host parties again, albeit at limited capacity and as long as people continue to socially distance, said Nashville Mayor’s staff member Fabian Bedne in his weekly Spanish-language press conference. Weddings, funerals and similar events will be permitted in event centers starting Sept. 1 at a maximum of […]

Nashville, Tenn. - Hanging a banner on the former statue of Edward Carmack designating the space "Ida B. Wells Plaza." (Photo: Alex Kent)

Black Caucus rips state’s top two leaders

BY: - August 26, 2020

In a Wednesday press conference, members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators sharply criticized the state’s top two elected officials’ handling of racial issues. Specifically, caucus members denounced Gov. Bill Lee for ignoring an Aug. 2 caucus letter asking him for an emergency meeting to discuss treatment of protesters at the Tennessee Capitol […]

Migrant workers place stakes for tomato plants at a commercial farm in East Tennessee. (Photo: John Partipilo for the Tennessee Lookout)

Tennessee has little data on COVID-19 among agricultural migrant workers

BY: - August 26, 2020

Months after COVID-19 outbreaks affected several commercial farms, the Tennessee Department of Health offered to test migrant workers on a volunteer basis, but existing preventative measures are not enforced and no data exists on whether this measure was enough to encourage the protection of migrant workers.  After several news reports about outbreaks in farms across […]

Fabian Bedne with Nashville Mayor John Cooper's office provides a Spanish language update on the city's COVID-19 response Aug. 18. (Photo:

Nashville to offer hotel vouchers to immigrant families with COVID-19 cases

BY: - August 21, 2020

Clarification: Metro is still working on the details of distributing hotel vouchers and will base distributing on the need to provide someone a place to isolate, according to Metro Health Department spokesperson Brian Todd. A previous version of this story said the vouchers were currently being distributed. Hispanics continue to make up more than 19% […]

Bedne urges Hispanic residents, immigrants to continue COVID-19 tests

BY: - August 13, 2020

In spite of efforts to reach Davidson County’s Hispanic residents, who make up 19.3% of the county’s current 2,776 COVID-19 cases, testing has decreased this week, said Fabian Bedne in his two weekly Spanish language press conferences.  Bedne, a former Metro Councilmember who serves as planner in Mayor John Cooper’s office, provides the conferences as […]

Family eats outside at restuarant in

Report: 1,120 Tennessee businesses closed permanently due to pandemic

BY: - August 4, 2020

Between March 1 and July 10, 1,959 businesses in Tennessee have shut down in response to the pandemic — with 1,120 reporting their closures are permanent, according to data compiled by the business-rating site Yelp. In the Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro metro areas collectively saw at least 410 business close for good, Yelp reported. An additional 331 have […]

Veronica Salcedo, a journalist with Nashville Noticias, distributes personal protective gear at a drive up event. (Photo: Dulce Torres Guzman/Tennessee Lookout)

Bedne provides Spanish-language COVID updates in Nashville

BY: - August 4, 2020

Hispanic residents make up 19.2 % of Nashville’s current 4,218 COVID-19 cases, Fabian Bedne, a staff member in Mayor John Cooper’s office, reported Tuesday morning.  Nashville has had 21,770 total confirmed cases and 195 fatalities attributed to the novel coronavirus, with 17,357 total counted as recovered. There are 176 active hospitalizations which put hospital capacity […]

Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences, Lower School (Photo: Chattanooga Schools)

Hamilton County to invest in high-speed internet for 28,000 public school students

BY: - July 29, 2020

Low-income families with children in Chattanooga Hamilton County public schools will get access to high-speed internet services under a plan announced Wednesday by city and county leaders. The investment, estimated at $8.2 million over the next ten years, is a first-of-its-kind effort by any U.S. municipality to provide free broadband services to any family with […]

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett testifies before the U.S. Senate Rules Committee on Absentee Voting. (Screenshot of Senate Rules Committee.)

Hargett to U.S. Senate: Georgia cat’s application to vote proof of voter fraud

BY: - July 23, 2020

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett cited an alleged instance of a voter registration form being mailed to a cat in Georgia as rationale for Tennessee’s continuing emphasis on in-person voting during a Wednesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee.  Among other instances of alleged voter fraud by mail Hargett cited were […]

Nashville-based HCA reports $1 billion in profits in second quarter of this year

BY: - July 22, 2020

HCA, the Nashville-based chain of 186 hospitals, reported more than $1 billion in profits in the second quarter of the year, a span from April to June that saw cutbacks in elective surgeries and other inpatient services as the U.S. healthcare system was hit hard by the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. Revenues were down 12% […]

Nashville Mayor John Cooper at a recent press conference. (Photo: Metro Nashville News)

Nashville lawsuits target unsolicited robocalls in recall effort

BY: - July 20, 2020

Two federal lawsuits were filed on July 17 against an anti-tax group that made unsolicited robocalls to Davidson County voters encouraging support for an effort to recall Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Metro Council members. The class action lawsuits claim that the anti-tax group No Tax 4 Nash broke federal laws that ban such calls […]