Tennessee committee extends and increases Pearson testing contract by $40 million

BY: - May 25, 2023

Amid uproar over third-grade reading scores and the prospect of thousands of failing students, Tennessee lawmakers extended the testing vendor’s contract and bumped up the total payout by nearly $40 million. The Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Review Committee voted Wednesday to tack on another year for British-based NCS Pearson to administer TNReady and increase the total […]

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, photographed by John Partipilo.

Nashville sues to block law lowering the votes needed to approve new NASCAR track

BY: - May 24, 2023

Metro Nashville’s legal department filed a lawsuit to block a new state law making it easier for the Metro Council to approve a new racetrack at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The measure — passed by Tennessee lawmakers earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee on May 5 — overturned a Metro Nashville […]

Medication abortion, a two-step regimen, is used in more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States. Phil Walter/Getty Images

Arguments on landmark abortion pill case to be heard Wednesday in appeals court

BY: - May 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — The lawsuit over access to the abortion pill goes before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday, the next step on a path that will likely end at the U.S. Supreme Court.  The three-judge panel will decide whether to keep, overturn, or alter a ruling from U.S. District Court […]

The property is now home to four Superfund sites, a designation given by the federal government to property containing hazardous substances harmful to human health for generations to come. 

Landfill developer sues Marshall/Maury County over denial of project on Monsanto site

BY: - May 12, 2023

A months-long battle over plans to establish a regional trash disposal facility on a federal Superfund site in Maury County that sits alongside the Duck River has now landed in court. Remedial Holdings filed suit Wednesday against the Marshall/Maury Municipal Solid Waste Planning Region Board, which in April rejected the company’s application to expand a […]

The FDA could approve the drug for over-the-counter use this summer, moving the U.S. in line with at least 100 other countries that offer contraception over the counter. (Getty Images)

Health experts urge FDA to approve over-the-counter birth control in unanimous vote

BY: - May 11, 2023

 Dyvia Huitron started having sex when she was 16. Worried about getting pregnant, she talked to her parents about getting on hormonal birth control. Instead, they grounded her. The now-19-year-old had expected pushback – she was living in a religious community in conservative McAllen, Texas. But she underestimated how many years it would eventually take […]

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (Photo: John Partipilo)

House speaker indicates staff, subcommittee spent money in harassment case

BY: - May 9, 2023

House Speaker Cameron Sexton is pointing at the Office of Legislative Administration and a House ethics subcommittee in the expense of nearly $9,000 in the case of a 19-year-old intern harassed by former Rep. Scotty Campbell. Yet an anonymous member of the bipartisan panel wasn’t aware the subcommittee had the authority to spend money or […]

Gov. Bill Lee, surrounded by Republican lawmakers during an April 3 press conference at which Lee announced he would direct funding towards school safety measures. (Photo:John Partipilo)

Gov. Lee sets special session for late August in response to school shooting

BY: - May 8, 2023

Five months after a shooter killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville, Gov. Bill Lee will bring lawmakers back to Nashville to cobble together a solution to the mass murder. Lee announced Monday he will call the General Assembly into a special session on Aug. 21 to bolster public safety and “preserve” constitutional […]

Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn, pictured at right. with former Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, at a 2020 press conference.(Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn to resign

BY: - May 1, 2023

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced her resignation Monday after four years in the post, a time in which education issues ran from private school vouchers to a new K-12 funding formula. Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, vice president of the nonprofit ExcelinEd, is to replace her when she steps down June 1, an education news outlet […]

The Covenant School, where seven people, including the shooter, died in a mass shooting in Nashville, Tenn. on Monday March 27, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Republicans balk at governor’s order of protection bill, calling it “red flag”

BY: - April 19, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated. In final days of the 2023 session, House Republicans are ready to block Gov. Bill Lee’s last-minute pitch for a temporary “order of protection” law designed to stop mass shootings such as the one that killed six people at The Covenant School. House Speaker Cameron Sexton declined to […]

Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives carries on business Monday as Bishop William Barber, II, in white robes, waits at the back of the chambers. Barber was at the Capitol for "Moral Monday," a protest for gun safety laws. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Guns gum up works as Legislature speeds to adjournment

BY: - April 18, 2023

Lawmakers are heading for a showdown over the governor’s extreme risk protection order plan and, possibly, a gun safe storage bill as they try to adjourn for the year before the end of the week. The National Rifle Association stepped into the arena Tuesday with a statement saying “red flag” laws turn the Second Amendment […]

A man walks his daughter from a school near Nashville's Covenant School on March 27, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

The other first responders: Covenant shooting victim advocates describe devastating day

BY: - April 18, 2023

Valerie Craig was between appointments, in her car, when she got the call: there had been a shooting reported at The Covenant School minutes before, District Attorney Glen Funk told her. He was on his way. A family assistance center was being set up at Woodmont Baptist Church. Funk’s call to Craig, cofounder of Tennessee […]

Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were on the way to Chicago for a family funeral when they were pulled over in Coffee County. Williams was arrested and their young children taken from them. (Screengrab from Zoom)

Five children taken from Black family after rural Tennessee traffic stop returned home

BY: - April 14, 2023

Five young children taken from their parents after a traffic stop in Coffee County nearly two months ago have been returned home, a family attorney said Friday. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Service took custody of the children of Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams after state troopers pulled the family over for driving with “dark […]