News

Home studio owner Lij Shaw, 52, has been fighting over the home studio business since 2015. "People can't play together over the internet, it's just not possible." ((Photograph by John Partipilo ©2020

Pandemic pushes bill to legalize home recording studios

BY: - May 12, 2020

Just a few weeks before thousands of Davidson County residents were forced to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Metro Council bill to legalize home-based businesses advanced to the brink of passing. The legislation, sponsored by Councilman Dave Rosenberg, has stalled since then but is scheduled to be considered for public hearing […]

An ambulance picks up a sick patient, (Cavan/Getty Images)

Release of health data to law enforcement raises privacy concerns

BY: - May 11, 2020

The release of private health information of Tennesseans who have tested positive for COVID-19 to law enforcement by Gov. Bill Lee’s administration is facing pushback from lawmakers, advocates for minority communities and at least one police force that originally agreed to get the information.  The Tennessee Black Caucus on Saturday called on Lee to end […]

Update: DNC Member Owen: “I didn’t give money to McConnell”

BY: - May 11, 2020

On Wednesday, the Tennessee Lookout reported Bill Owen, a former state senator from Knoxville and one of four Tennessee members on the Democratic National Committee, survived a challenge from party officials that would have removed him from the DNC. Among the charges levied against him were his numerous contributions to Republican elected officials. Owen has […]

Joelton Elementary School (MNPS website)

North Nashville schools would be consolidated under new proposal

BY: - May 11, 2020

The Nashville school board will consider a plan at its Tuesday meeting to close several schools in the Pearl-Cohn and Whites Creek cluster as part of a multi-year consolidation proposal by new Director Adrienne Battle. The board isn’t likely to vote at the May 12 meeting on the consolidation plan called Metro Schools ReimaginED. In […]

UPDATE: List of Law Enforcement Agencies with MOUs

BY: - May 8, 2020

The Tennessee Department of Health has provided a list of law enforcement agencies in the state that have entered into memorandums of understanding with the state to accept personal data about COVID-19 patients in their jurisdictions. As the Tennessee Lookout reported earlier, Gov. Bill Lee requested the Department of Health to provide daily updates to […]

Screen shot of a Bill Hagerty campaign ad

GOP Senate hopeful serves with his donors on White House panel

BY: - May 8, 2020

WASHINGTON — Tennessee Senate candidate Bill Hagerty is serving on a White House economic advisory panel alongside several of his highest-profile campaign donors.  Hagerty — who served as President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Japan until last July — was named by the president in April as a “thought leader” on the panel aimed at reopening […]

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Health department gives names, addresses of Tennesseans with COVID-19 to law enforcement

BY: - May 8, 2020

The Department of Health is providing the names and addresses of Tennessee residents who test positive for COVID-19 to sheriffs and chiefs of police across the state on a daily basis — a practice raising deep concerns about privacy and government intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens. The offer to share the otherwise protected […]

Voters wearing masks wait in line to vote in Milwaukee's April 7 primary. Only staff five polling sites out of 180 were staffed because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Isiah Holmes/ Wisconsin Examiner)

The Equity Alliance leaders make case for mail-in voting amid pandemic

BY: - May 8, 2020

Tennessee is one of 16 states that requires an excuse in order to vote by mail, a policy stance under increased scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit and nonpartisan Nashville-based Equity Alliance filed a lawsuit last week seeking to expand vote-by-mail because of the pandemic. Tennessee allows for mail-in voting if someone is ill, […]

A screenshot of the virtual hearing at which Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin gave her ruling on the state of Tennessee's request to allow them to continue implementing the new education voucher program pending its appeal of her ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

TN voucher law in limbo as state loses request to stay judge’s order

BY: - May 7, 2020

A Nashville judge rejected the state of Tennessee’s request to allow parents to continue applying for education savings accounts pending a legal appeal of her earlier ruling that the new law is unconstitutional. Chancellor Anne Martin ruled from the bench on Thursday that the Department of Education can accept no more applications for the new […]

A heat map of COVID-19 cases by Nashville zip code. (Courtesy of Metro Nashville Department of Health.)

COVID-19 spike in heavily immigrant communities tied to fear of ‘Public Charge’

BY: - May 7, 2020

A “heat map” released by Metro Nashville officials shows concentrations of COVID-19 cases in two Davidson County zip codes — 37211 and 37013 — that are home to many of the area’s immigrants.  Some local advocates for the immigrant community say fear of the federal policy known as “Public Charge” is one reason for the […]

TIRRC joins national coalition to protect meatpacking workers

BY: - May 7, 2020

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) discussed a nationwide coordinated effort with other immigrant rights leaders in order to highlight COVID-19’s impact on immigrants. In response to the rising number of infected workers across the country, adult children born in the U.S. have collaborated on behalf of their parents, many of whom  are undocumented […]

Tennessee-based Dollar General sued over COVID response. (

Dollar General hit with labor complaint over COVID-19 response

BY: - May 7, 2020

Dollar General is the subject of a federal unfair labor practices complaint filed by a former corporate employee who said the company has failed to keep its workers safe and pay them adequately during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Twitter thread on Tuesday evening, Daniel Stone, who worked as a marketing and planning analyst for […]