Emily Siner / WPLN

When It Comes To Abortion, Which Women's Opinions Should Tennessee Lawmakers Heed?

As the state legislature prepares to vote on three new abortion regulations, opponents of the bills held a press conference Monday discussing why lawmakers should listen to women when it comes to abortion. Francie Hunt was one of several women with Planned Parenthood who shared stories about their own abortions and why they think more regulations are a bad idea. “We don’t need a state-mandated 48-hour waiting period to help us make up our minds. We don’t need to be told we must look at an...
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Gentry Campaign

Mayoral candidate Howard Gentry grew up in Nashville when parks and restaurants were off limits to blacks. He experienced racism, like the time a little girl at a city swimming pool asked him why he didn't have a tail.

But he also knew privilege, as the son of African American icons. And his parents wanted to make sure their children didn't get too big for their britches. 

“Howard just was one of the children running around," 90-year-old Carrie Gentry says. "That’s the way he presented himself, and that’s the way we wanted him to present himself.”

Emily Siner / WPLN

As the state legislature prepares to vote on three new abortion regulations, opponents of the bills held a press conference Monday discussing why lawmakers should listen to women when it comes to abortion. 

Francie Hunt was one of several women with Planned Parenthood who shared stories about their own abortions and why they think more regulations are a bad idea.       

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Police in Tennessee could soon have to develop written policies banning racial profiling, a move state lawmakers believe will help prevent a Ferguson-style eruption in the state.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Monday night in favor of the Racial Profiling Prevention Act, sending the measure to Gov. Bill Haslam for review.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

The state of Tennessee is phasing out the bonuses state workers receive for staying on the job.

Tennessee lawmakers voted Monday night to continue giving current employees "longevity bonuses" of up to $3,000 a year. But new hires will not get the payments.

That will eventually free up money for more merit-based raises, says House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga).

"We've made a philosophical decision to pay people based on performance and not just years of service," he said.

Mike Mozart via Flickr

Tennessee lawmakers have voted to ban sales of e-cigarettes and other vaping products to anyone under 18.

The decision extends the state's ban on sales of cigarettes to minors. Rep. Joe Towns (D-Memphis) says the measure, Senate Bill 411, will keep teenagers from harming themselves.

"It's a good piece of legislation," he says. "(We) should have done it a long time ago."

The bill would go into effect July 1, if signed by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Out of all the issues discussed at the Tennessee capitol this legislative session, the one that brought the most robust, free-flowing floor debate was over a state symbol. 

WPLN capitol reporter Chas Sisk stopped by to talk about the passions that arose over whether to recognize the Bible as the state book of Tennessee. 

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

The Tennessee Valley Authority sees no need for additional nuclear power plants for at least the next 20 years.

The energy market has changed in unexpected ways since the last time TVA reviewed its energy needs in 2011. Growth in power demand has gone from 3% annually to just 1% because of things like more efficient light bulbs, and the price of natural gas has remained relatively low.

City of Tullahoma

One of the things the city of Tullahoma is proud of is its waste collection.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The Middle Tennessee town touts its recycling program, which accounts for about a third of its waste. Now it’s adding another way to get rid of trash sustainably: composting. 

Annie Clements, a longtime Tullahoma resident, already sets aside organic waste like food scraps and plant trimmings to decompose, the process known as composting.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

In the Tennessee General Assembly, the main voices you hear are those of lawmakers, but perhaps the most unusual belongs to someone who's never been elected.

Chief Senate Clerk Russell Humphrey doesn't just keep the records of what goes on. With his barking baritone, he also sets the pace. 

Kathleen Barry / United Methodist Publishing House

As long as the United Methodist Publishing House has had its headquarters in downtown Nashville, there’s been plenty of room to store dozens of rare books — some even older than the United States. But now the office is getting ready to downsize, so it’s time to assess what’s there and make some decisions.

The Methodist Publishing House dates back to the 1780s, and from the beginning, editor Brian Milford says the clergymen once known as “book stewards,” needed to have reference material on hand.

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Jorge Diaz / Wikimedia Commons

Is This Thing On?? How Public Radio Reporters Do A Mic Check

There are countless ways to make sure you've got a good level on your microphone. You know the old SNL sketch with Tom Hanks as an Aerosmith roady. "Sibilance, sibilance."
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A Live, Public Radio Event

Join us as we talk to some of Nashville's most interesting innovators — April 30th