Gov. Bill Lee

Dr. Michelle Fiscus (Photo: John Partipilo)

Fiscus files lawsuit against Health Department officials, denies mailing muzzle

BY: - September 4, 2021

Fired state immunization director Dr. Michelle Fiscus has filed a federal lawsuit against top Department of Health officials and in her filing claims, under penalty of perjury, she did not send a muzzle to herself. “The complaint and declaration speak for themselves. I look forward to my name being cleared despite the Tennessee Department of […]

Gov. Bill Lee. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Governor won’t take the blame for lawsuits or school closings

BY: - September 3, 2021

Under a federal civil rights investigation, facing two lawsuits out of Shelby County over his mask opt-out order and now seeing school districts closing, Gov. Bill Lee refuses to let the buck stop with him. “My responsibility is to work together to make the best decisions in our state that we believe will benefit Tennesseans […]

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee pictured with his wife, Maria, during a Memphis event in December. (Photo by © Karen Pulfer Focht)

Republican lawmaker questions effectiveness of governor’s mask opt-out order

BY: - September 2, 2021

As Shelby County tries to overturn Gov. Bill Lee’s order allowing parents to opt children out of a school mask mandate, state Rep. Tom Leatherwood contends the governor’s directive is limited already because of health department rules. Leatherwood, an Arlington Republican, said Wednesday he supports parents’ rights to send their children to school without masks. […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses members of the 112th General Assembly at the opening of a special session dedicated to education. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Feds open civil rights probe of Lee mask order

BY: - August 30, 2021

The federal government opened a civil rights probe Monday of Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on masks, threatening to take action against Tennessee if it finds a violation of U.S. law. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights informed Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn it opened a “directed investigation” into whether the state is […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Power Poll members say U.S. is in decline

BY: - August 27, 2021

In one of the more downbeat and depressed projections made in the history of Power Poll, a plurality of members participating in our statewide August survey say the nation overall is “declining.” Approximately 10 percent went so far as to say the declines were so precipitous that the American success story is over and done […]

Dr. Jason Martin (Photo: Martin for Governor)

Nashville doctor announces Democratic gubernatorial bid

BY: - August 23, 2021

Dr. Jason Martin, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Sumner Regional Medical Center, has made official what’s been rumored for months: He’s running for governor.  Martin made the announcement at Meharry Hospital in Nashville Monday morning after launching  an exploratory committee a month ago. He has appointed Keith Maune, founder of a Nashville technology […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Republican lawmakers could look outside mask mandates

BY: - August 20, 2021

Even before Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools balked at Gov. Bill Lee’s opt-out order on mask mandates, legislators were considering curtailing vaccine “passports” and possibly even contact tracing in schools. And with the state at loggerheads with both districts, things could get tough. House Speaker Cameron Sexton says everything is being considered […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a plant dedication Humboldt, Tennessee in March, pictured with plant workers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee lawmakers react to Biden slap at Lee

BY: - August 19, 2021

President Joe Biden and his administration are challenging Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Lee’s order allowing parents to opt out of school mask mandates and questioning its legality. In a tweet, Biden said, “We will not sit by as Governors try to block or intimidate educators protecting kids against COVID-19.” “This isn’t about politics. This is about […]

Tory Watson of Memphis Police Department gets his vaccine. First responders Memphis and Shelby County police officers, firefighters and EMTs get COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday Dec. 29, 2020. The Shelby County Health Department is administering the shots in a process that will go on for several weeks. (© Karen Pulfer Focht)

Shelby County Commission takes steps to combat pediatric COVID crisis

BY: - August 18, 2021

Shelby County has reached limited availability in ICUs across the county due to a surge of positive COVID-19 cases, prompting the Shelby County Commission to take measures designed to combat high levels of pediatric COVID cases.  On Wednesday, commissioners voted to increase the operating budget of Shelby County’s Health Services Division to combat nurse shortages, […]

A woman winces as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Vaccination rates of Tennessee youth among the lowest in the nation

BY: - August 18, 2021

In Sullivan County, where COVID cases have tripled in the past two weeks, the local health department’s medical director has started to see a slight but notable shift among the attitudes of parents whose children are old enough to get a vaccine. Public schools have been back in session for just over a week, and […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor warns school districts to follow new mask opt-out order

BY: - August 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally threatened Tuesday to take “remedial options” against school systems that refuse to follow the governor’s order allowing parents to opt students out of mask requirements. “I am extremely appalled and alarmed at the response to Gov. Lee’s executive order from Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools. This order was […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

School officials, lawmakers react to Lee order on masks in schools

BY: - August 16, 2021

Shortly after Gov. Bill Lee concluded a Monday press conference at which he announced parents across the state will have the option to decide if their children wear masks in school or not, responses began to pour in from elected officials and school districts.  Lee issued an executive order mandating school systems must allow parents […]