News

This rural, red Tennessee county was a vaccine success story. Not anymore.

BY: - May 20, 2022

MEIGS COUNTY, Tenn. — At a glance, it seemed like a Southern pandemic success story in a most unlikely place. A small county northeast of Chattanooga, along the twisting banks of Chickamauga Lake, for much of the past year has reported the highest covid-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the […]

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Appeals court revives girls’ videoed sexual abuse lawsuits against Nashville schools

BY: - May 19, 2022

A divided federal appellate court on Thursday resurrected a lawsuit filed against Metro Nashville Public Schools by the parents of two students who were sexually assaulted and videos of their attacks posted online in two different incidents at two different high schools. A two-judge panel of the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals struck down […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

Registry of Election Finance declines to investigate Rep. Sherrell’s fire-hall checks

BY: - May 19, 2022

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance claimed Wednesday it had been “weaponized” in the state House District 43 race and refused to investigate a complaint that Rep. Paul Sherrell wrote checks to volunteer fire halls and asked for cash back. “What we’re being asked here is to assume that Mr. Sherrell is a crook, bottom […]

Shelby County Courthouse. (Photo: ShelbyCounty.gov)

With 21 public defender vacancies in Shelby County, chief pleads for more funding

BY: - May 19, 2022

Shelby County’s Public Defender’s Office struggles to hire and retain staff because experienced attorneys working as public defenders make far less than most attorneys in the state, said Chief Public Defender Phyllis Aluko on Wednesday. During the Shelby County Budget and Finance Committee, Aluko requested $138,000 to hire an investigator and to cover other costs […]

The Tennessee Supreme Court Building in Nashville, Tennessee, is the historic building that houses the Tennessee Supreme Court offices and where the court meets when it is in session in Nashville. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. (Getty Images)

State Supreme Court overturns lower courts, approves governor’s education savings account program

BY: - May 18, 2022

The Tennessee Supreme Court overturned lower court rulings and paved the way for Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account program to provide state funds for students to enroll in private schools. In a ruling released Wednesday, the high court found Lee’s voucher program, which will provide funds to low-income students in Davidson and Shelby County […]

6th Circuit shoots down immunity for TVA coal ash spill contractor Jacobs Engineering

BY: - May 18, 2022

A federal appellate court on Wednesday struck down a last-ditch appeal by a Tennessee Valley Authority contractor accused in the mass poisoning by radioactive coal ash waste of the utility’s Kingston disaster workforce. The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jacobs Engineering Inc. cannot ride the coattails of TVA governmental immunity because TVA itself […]

President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House Aug. 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tyson Foods wrote draft of Trump order keeping meatpacking plants open during pandemic

BY: - May 18, 2022

This story was originally published by Investigate Midwest.  Lawyers for Tyson Foods, one of America’s largest meatpacking companies, drafted an early version of a 2020 executive order that allowed plants to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Congressional report based on company emails shows. It’s been reported that the meatpacking industry wrote a draft version […]

Tennessee State Capitol. (Photo: Ray Di Pietro)

Battle over ethics reform bill rages as group calls for veto

BY: - May 18, 2022

More than two weeks after the legislative session’s end, lawmakers continue warding off the efforts of advocacy groups to kill increased reporting requirements for “dark money” campaign spending. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally this week characterized those who oppose the legislation as either “wildly misinformed or willfully obtuse.” And state Rep. Sam Whitson, a Franklin Republican […]

(Anne-Marie Miller/Getty Images)

Federal judge rejects Tennessee’s transgender bathroom law

BY: - May 17, 2022

A federal judge overturned a state law requiring businesses to post a government-prescribed sign if they allow transgender people to use their restrooms. In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger determined that transgender Tennesseans and the businesses that welcome them “are real,” in spite of the viewpoints of lawmakers and government […]

Eighty percent of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee during 2020 came from prescription and synthetic opioids.(Photo: Mint

Food City seeks to spread blame in opioid lawsuit brought by Tennessee Attorney General

BY: - May 17, 2022

When a Bearden homeowners association blew the whistle on the high levels of opiates a Food City grocery store pharmacy was shelling out to pill mill patients, the company’s chief executive officer called it a lie. When a Knoxville weekly newsmagazine reported the Westwood Homeowners Association’s claims and exposed a slew of opiate-related crimes in […]

Leaked Supreme Court abortion draft raises fears for future of gay marriage, LGBTQ rights

BY: - May 17, 2022

Standing at the top of Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains, Mario Oranday waited until his partner, Andrew Baumgarten, surveyed the endless tree-lined hills before kneeling down and reaching for the ring he had been carefully carrying.  He had asked a nearby couple to film his proposal, and Baumgarten’s resounding “Yes” was forever captured […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Registry delves into fire-hall check-cashing complaint against state Rep. Paul Sherrell

BY: - May 16, 2022

The Tennessee Registry of Election Finance is looking into a complaint that state Rep. Paul Sherrell wrote checks from his campaign account to local fire halls and asked for cash back, potentially pocketing it while campaigning this year. Sparta resident Dale Walker, director of the Tennessee Pastors Network, filed the sworn complaint asking for an […]