Working & the Economy

Tennessee Republican House Majority Leader Jeremy Faison has been a frequent critic of unemployed Tennesseans and supported cuts to unemployment insurance, while accepting $79,000 in federal paycheck protection handouts. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s column: The real ‘welfare queens’ are our GOP legislators

BY: - May 21, 2021

I’m old enough to remember when President Ronald Reagan created the myth of the “welfare queen.”  In the 1970s and 80s, Reagan and other conservative politicians cited one woman, Linda Taylor. Originally from Tennessee, Taylor was used as an example of how poor and predominantly Black Americans were too lazy to work. “Welfare queens” would […]

A volunteer paints a boarded up window on Nashville's Second Avenue. Many buildings on the street were heavily damaged by a Christmas Day suicide bomb. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Painting project aims to dress up bombed Second Avenue

BY: - May 21, 2021

Ashley Bergeron had plans to be home in Nashville for Christmas morning, but a nagging feeling told her to make a last minute change of plans. The next morning, she woke up to the news that a suicidal man had detonated a bomb on historic Second Avenue, destroying a huge swath of it. The blast […]

Report: $126M price tag for cleaning up Tennessee’s abandoned coal fields

BY: - May 19, 2021

Tennessee has more than 14,000 acres of abandoned coal fields, but the cost of remediation —such as replanting trees and improving water quality — far outweigh the federal funding available to the state, a new report shows.  The report by the Ohio River Valley Institute, a think tank dedicated to examining Appalachia, concluded that the […]

A police car blocks entrance to the Hernando DeSoto Bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis after a substantial crack was found in it May 11. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht)

Memphis bridge reopening unclear as governor criticizes federal funding plans

BY: - May 18, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee took another shot Tuesday at billions of dollars in COVID-19 federal funding, saying the state should have the flexibility to use that money on roads and bridges as officials said they are expediting work on the cracked I-40 beam that forced the shutdown of Hernando DeSoto Bridge.  Asked about his criticism of […]

Historic Nashville Courthouse. (Photo:

Save Nashville Now, a coalition opposing Metro charter amendment referendum, unveiled

BY: - May 18, 2021

A coalition of business groups, labor groups, faith-based groups and grassroots activist groups announced on Tuesday the formation of a new coalition to oppose the July 27 charter referendum to consider major changes to Metro charter. In total, 19 groups representing dozens of businesses and organizations expressed their opposition to the charter amendment proposal. The […]

A gas station on Lebanon Pike in Nashville displays an "out" messages as consumers rushed to panic buy after the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. (Photo: Tennessee Lookout)

Panic buying, school shutdowns and higher gas prices: effects of a six-day shut down of the Colonial Pipeline across Tennessee

BY: - May 13, 2021

One-third of gas stations in Tennessee were without gas on Thursday, after a ransomware attack on a major fuel pipeline prompted temporarily shut down in operations and consumers' engaged in a panic-driven frenzy to fill up their tanks.

Gov. Bill Lee speaking before the Tennessee General Assembly in January. (Photo: John Partipilo)

‘Stress and uncertainty’ follow Gov. Lee’s decision to end federal unemployment benefits

BY: - May 12, 2021

Nearly 112,000 Tennesseans received unemployment payments during the week ending May 1, and 61,000 have applied for jobless benefits, according to the Department of Labor.

Metro Councilmember Jeff Syracuse speaks. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Metro agencies, nonprofit groups partner to assess live music industry

BY: - May 11, 2021

Metro Council unanimously approved last week a resolution to study Nashville’s beleaguered live music industry and offer solutions that can save its endangered independent concert venues.

Shelby County Commission

Mumpower guides Shelby County on American Rescue Plan spending

BY: - May 5, 2021

Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower told the Shelby County Board of Commissioners to exercise caution in planning for federal funds expected to come in next week, adding that without formal guidance from the federal government, there is little room for them to make mistakes. Based on Shelby County’s population, commissioners expect to receive $181 million from […]

Conceptual rendering of the Oracle campus in Nashville courtesy of Mayor John Cooper's office.

Metro Council unanimously approves $175M Oracle economic development deal

BY: - May 4, 2021

Metro Council unanimously approved a $175 million economic incentive for tech giant Oracle to build a campus on the east bank of the Cumberland River, bringing to fruition a project years in the making. The Oracle project will bring 8,500 jobs with an average annual salary of $110,000. The company is committing to $1.2 billion […]

Tyson Foods’ expansion in west Tennessee is pitting longtime farmers against one of the nation’s biggest protein suppliers

BY: - May 3, 2021

BEECH BLUFF, TN — Larry Blankenship and his wife, Monica, lived in a trailer on his father’s farm for more than 30 years while saving for a home of their own. They finally did in 2019, moving into a pretty one-story ranch built where their trailer used to be.  But their joy was short-lived; the […]

A 2018 photo from a TIRRC demonstration. (Photo: Jon Dragonette/TIRRC Facebook)

Tennessee immigrant groups, union organizers push back on preemptive laws

BY: - April 30, 2021

Immigrant rights advocates and community organizers are urging legislators to restore critical decision making to local governments, adding that if COVID-19 has proven anything, it’s that local officials know what’s best for their residents.  Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and Stand Up Nashville (SUN), a coalition of community leaders and union organizers, joined […]