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Sara Heyburn is currently the assistant commissioner of teachers and leaders. Credit: TNDOE

Huffman Lieutenant Named To Lead Tennessee Board Of Education

October 31, 2014 at 3:01 pm

The board has hired Sara Heyburn, who is now the head of teachers and leaders in the Department of Education.

Roughly 75 parents and teachers attended a meeting at Churchwell Elementary Thursday night. Credit: David Wright Smith

District Won’t Close Underperforming Schools In North Nashville

October 31, 2014 at 6:46 am

Underperforming schools in north Nashville will remain open, according to district superintendent Jesse Register. Unlike East Nashville, Register says, there are not enough other schools for students to attend if one or two closed.

Voters wait in line to cast a ballot early in La Vergne. While there was a surge on the final day of early voting, totals are still well behind 2010 and even further behind 2006. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Late Surge In Tennessee’s Early Voting, But Totals Are Still Down

October 31, 2014 at 6:32 am

More than 13,000 people voted in Davidson County on the final day of early voting — even though only a few hundred a day were showing up during the first few days.

A Volunteer State staff member helps Madison Cone, middle, complete the Tennessee Promise application, along with the community college's application for admission. Her mom came with her. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee Promise’s Biggest Accomplishment: Adding ‘Free’ To College Conversation

October 31, 2014 at 4:53 am

The governor’s Tennessee Promise program guarantees that students can go to community college for free. And calling it free is more than a monetary statement: It’s also wildly effective marketing.

Mayor Karl Dean speaking in support of the Gulch Bridge at an event on Wednesday. Credit: Bobby Allyn

Amp Skeptics Call for Metro Spending On the Project To Stop

October 31, 2014 at 4:04 am

Records show that nearly four out of every five dollars of the city tax dollars has been spent on engineers planning the route.

Garnering federal financial aid, using a form known as the FAFSA, can be a confusing process for students, state officials say. Tennessee Promise requires that students fill out the FAFSA before getting the state's last-dollar scholarship. Credit: Bent Tree via Flickr

Half Of Tennessee Promise Students Were Already Eligible For Federal College Funding

October 30, 2014 at 6:19 am

Many students attending community college under Tennessee Promise next fall will get their tuition paid by the federal government — meaning they could go to school tuition-free even without the state program.

Astronaut Butch Wilmore prepares his suit in advance of his October 15 spacewalk. Image Courtesy NASA

Supply Rocket Explosion Doesn’t Temper Thrill Of Space For Tennessee Astronaut

October 30, 2014 at 5:00 am

Mt. Juliet native Butch Wilmore watched this week’s rocket explosion from 200 miles above the surface of the planet. The accident destroyed both food and scientific equipments earmarked for the astronaut’s six-month mission. But just the fact that he’s on the International Space Station seems to be keeping Wilmore in good spirits.

Ralph Schulz, who leads the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, says it would be a mistake for the next mayor not to carry on Mayor Dean's 7-mile bus rapid transit project. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Supporters of The Amp Turn Their Attention To Mayoral Candidates

October 30, 2014 at 4:56 am

Ralph Schulz, who heads the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, says maybe the Amp needs to continue with a different name, since it’s had some branding problems, to put it lightly.

Early voting runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 4. Credit: Bobby Allyn / WPLN

Poll Shows Many Tennesseans Undecided On Abortion Amendment

October 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Ads dominating the airwaves for and against Tennessee’s abortion amendment still may find a receptive audience. A sizeable share of voters haven’t made up their minds.

Christopher Yuan is now an instructor at Moody Bible Institute. He came out as gay when he was young, sold drugs through college and grad school and ended up in a federal prison on drug charges. He then converted and applied to go to seminary while he was still in prison. Credit: ERLC via Facebook

Speakers Who Say They Used To Be Gay Address Southern Baptist Leaders

October 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

At the Southern Baptist conference on homosexuality, pastors and church leaders heard the testimonies of four people who claim to be formerly gay.

Charles Robert Bone announced his mayoral candidacy on Thursday. (Photo:

Ten Months Before Nashville Mayor’s Race, The First Straw Poll Ends In Dead Heat

October 29, 2014 at 5:06 am

Bone turned out his supporters. Parked outside the event: a big black SUV with an image of him holding a map of Davidson County.

The Amp is expected to run in dedicated bus lanes, though Mayor Karl Dean recently scaled back that proposal. Image via the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee

Mayor Dean Leaves The Amp To His Successor

October 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Mayor Karl Dean announced today that he would not seek local or state financial support for his administration’s controversial seven-mile bus rapid transit project.

Soldiers at Fort Campbell listen to briefings Thursday before leaving for Liberia later this month. Soldiers have been told they won't be in contact with the local population, but they are learning how to wear protective gear just in case. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Fort Campbell Soldiers In Liberia Knew 21-Day Isolation Was Likely

October 28, 2014 at 6:30 am

The Pentagon says a dozen soldiers – including a two-star general – are being held on a base in Italy before being allowed to come home. The Department of Defense says this will be the policy for the time being, though it’s not required by Pentagon guidelines.

Southern Seminary president Albert Mohler opened the Southern Baptist Convention's conference on homosexuality. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Southern Baptists Admit Errors On Homosexuality But Reject Gay-Affirming Churches

October 28, 2014 at 5:39 am

Southern Baptists say they’ve gotten some things wrong on homosexuality, but they still see acceptance of gay marriage as a line that cannot be crossed.

Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, signs up to be a Tennessee Promise mentor. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee Thinks Most Students Signing Up For Free Community College Won’t Actually Attend

October 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Almost three quarters of high school seniors in the state have applied for Tennessee Promise, the last-dollar scholarship that covers community college tuition, which has doubled the state’s expectations.

Cesar Bautista and about a dozen others are embarking on a get-out-the-vote effort targeting Nashvillians born in other countries. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Undocumented Immigrants In Tennessee Push For Voter Turnout Among Immigrants With Citizenship

October 27, 2014 at 5:05 am

Cesar Bautista, 26, is one of about a dozen canvassers who are planning to knock on the doors of some 4,000 voters before the Nov. 4 election.

Ben Cunningham speaks to the crowd at a rally in support of the amendment. Credit Nina Cardona/WPLN

Is Tennessee’s Amendment 3 Vote Just About The Income Tax?

October 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

In some political battles, the two sides see a core issue so differently that they barely seem to speak the same language. And then there’s the fight over adding an amendment to Tennessee’s constitution that would ban a state income tax.

Southern Baptists ministers gathered in Nashville at the end of April to discuss sexuality. The October conference includes pastors as well as lay people. Credit: ERLC via Flickr

Baptists Ask If Gay Marriage May Be An Issue ‘Where We Just Agree To Disagree’

October 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

Southern Baptists are publicly wrestling with homosexuality this week. The Nashville-based denomination invited pastors and lay people to Opryland for a follow-up event to a similar, smaller summit on sexuality held earlier this year.

Ritchie Francisco, a freshman at Volunteer State, signs a poster that says he's committed to finishing college. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

State-Trained Mentors Try To Make The Road To Free Community College Less Confusing

October 24, 2014 at 5:18 am

More than 40,000 high school seniors have signed up for Tennessee Promise, the new state scholarship that sends students to community college for free. But they still have a lot to do before their first day of class, and sometimes even the smallest hiccup can derail would-be college students.

Judge Casey Moreland is pushing on on calls for him to resign. Credit:

TN Conduct Board Scolds Judge Casey Moreland Over Handing Of Domestic Assault Case

October 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Moreland’s involvement in the episode, according to the conduct board, amounted to an abuse of judicial prestige in an effort to advance a personal interest