News

The exterior of TIRRC's new building explodes with colorful murals. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee immigration advocates head to DC to urge pathway to citizenship

BY: - September 20, 2021

On Sunday, immigrant-rights advocates were disheartened to learn that a pathway to citizenship for thousands of immigrants in Tennessee was excluded from the congressional Democrats $3.5 trillion social policy budget. Earlier this month, the Democratic Party began the push to expand the nation’s social safety net focused on health care, child and elder care, education […]

Gov. Bill Lee addressing members of the Tennessee National Guard. (Photo: tn.gov)

Governor signs letter to Biden requesting border ‘crisis’ discussion

BY: - September 20, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee joined 25 Republican governors Monday in sending a letter to President Joe Biden seeking a meeting to resolve the “crisis” at the Southern border where tens of thousands of Haitians and people of other nations are gathered to enter the United States. “As we surpass the eight-month mark of a relentless and […]

Juan Lombera, owner of MC Granite in Nashville. After weathering supply chain delays and labor shortages, his next challenge is getting his employees to comply with the federal vaccine-or-test mandate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee businesses grapple with Biden vaccine-or test-mandate

BY: - September 20, 2021

Like many home contractors, Juan Lombera has had to weather a year-and-a-half of havoc wrought by the pandemic just to stay in business: supply chain slow-downs, labor shortages, workers out sick with COVID all while consumer demand for home improvement — and the marble, slate and quartz countertops Lombera specializes in — continues to rise. […]

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Lil Nas X during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS)

Memphis HIV/AIDS nonprofit gets boost from Lil Nas X

BY: - September 20, 2021

Representatives for the Memphis-based nonprofit Relationship Unleashed (RUNL) announced Friday the group has been chosen for rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Nas X’s “baby registry” to celebrate the release of his new record.  Montero is the artist’s debut full-length album; he’s worn a pregnancy belly and called the new album his “baby.” Lil Nas is asking […]

State Sen. Katrina Robinson, D-Memphis, hugs Nashville activist Justin Jones at the Tennessee General Assembly in April. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Prosecutors in Robinson trial try to prove fraud in first week

BY: - September 18, 2021

The first week of state Sen. Katrina Robinson’s trial ended Friday afternoon as U.S. attorneys continued efforts to build a case for 17 counts of embezzlement and wire fraud. The Healthcare Institute, a Memphis business owned by Robinson, was awarded a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services in June, 2015. The […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Education committee drops discussion of Black history education

BY: - September 17, 2021

Chattanooga Democratic Rep. Yusef Hakeem says he is “surprised and disappointed” the Joint Legislative Education Committee won’t be discussing a bill he introduced during legislative session to provide the study of Black history to public school students.  In April, HB1460 was deferred to summer study, which typically means a bill has little traction. Hakeem wrote […]

Members of the House and Senate Democratic Caucus, including Sen. Jeff Yarbro, left, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, next to him, slammed Gov. Bill Lee for the political firing of a leading health official. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor appoints bipartisan redistricting committee

BY: - September 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally appointed a bipartisan panel Friday to draw new state and federal district maps, naming a Memphis Democrat as a chairman to the panel and ordering the group to focus on public input. Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, and Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, will be joined by Sen. Raumesh Akbari, chairman […]

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

At least 14 Tennessee public school employees lost to COVID since academic year began

BY: - September 17, 2021

At least 14 employees of Tennessee public schools have died since the academic year began after contracting COVID-19 — a toll that no single public or private agency tracks. The deaths, confirmed by the Tennessee Lookout, include a 42-year-old Metro Nashville Public Schools bus driver who “devoted himself to making sure every child on his […]

Sen. Katrina Robinson hugs a supporter in April during legislative session. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Robinson trial to resume Friday in Memphis

BY: - September 16, 2021

The trial of state Sen. Katrina Robinson resumes on Friday in Memphis, after opening with jury selection on Monday.  Robinson faces charges of embezzlement and wire fraud stemming from an FBI investigation opened in 2016.  Robinson is defending herself against allegations that she improperly used funds awarded by the federal government to The Healthcare Institute, […]

Former governor Phil Bredesen, photographed in West Tennessee in 2018. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bredesen company brings renewable energy to small companies

BY: - September 16, 2021

Following a groundbreaking ceremony held earlier in September, solar startup Clearloop is set to bring economic and workforce development to Jackson, TN. The new project, co-founded by former governor Phil Bredesen, offers companies the chance to invest in renewable energy and offset their carbon footprint. Because there’s no minimum investment, Clearloop gives smaller companies and […]

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, photographed at the Tennessee Capitol on March 18, 2020 by John Partipilo.

Lieutenant governor continues to oppose COVID-issue special session

BY: - September 15, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally is staving off requests for a special session by conservative senators who believe the Legislature should react to what they consider government “overreach.” In response to letters by at least four senators, a McNally spokesman issued a statement Wednesday saying the lieutenant governor’s position hasn’t changed and that he doesn’t see […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Legislators put bail bond industry under the microscope

BY: - September 15, 2021

West Tennessee bail bond agent Shelly Alexander wept Tuesday as she told lawmakers how she once refused to bail her daughter out of jail for a meth arrest. Alexander knew her daughter had a “habit” and would go right back to debilitating drugs if she bailed her out. In fact, she told other bail agents […]