Elbert Barnes / Flickr

VIDEO: Oak Ridge Boys Celebrate Hall of Fame Nod; Jim Ed Brown, Grady Martin Also Chosen

The Country Music Hall of Fame named its class of 2015 Wednesday morning in a ceremony hosted by singer Brenda Lee. The Oak Ridge Boys accepted the honor in person, as did Jim Ed Brown and the Browns (his two sisters, Maxine and Bonnie). Guitarist Grady Martin, who rounds out the class, died in 2001.
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Office of Karl Dean

The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles unveiled plans Thursday to establish a satellite display in Nashville. The interactive exhibit targets school children. It’s meant to explain the process of turning music into a recording.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Dozens of Nashville-area high school students took time off from their Spring Break to lobby state lawmakers about college tuition.

They hoped to build support for a bill that would grant in-state tuition to undocumented students. 

The group included Adriana Herrera, a senior at Overton High School who was brought to the U.S. as a child. Her father was deported four years ago, leaving her mom as a single parent.

Herrera said she wants to become an attorney and work with juvenile offenders.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Tennessee lawmakers have gotten moving on plans to rewrite Common Core education standards, though some are asking whether their solution will really do anything.

The Senate Education Committee voted 8-0 Wednesday to set up an advisory committee that will oversee a review of Common Core that Gov. Bill Haslam's administration launched last fall.

WPLN / Chas Sisk

A bill meant to even the playing field for wages for men and women was rejected by state lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.

The measure would have let women file wage complaints at their local courthouses. Currently in Tennessee, only federal courts can handle pay discrimination suits.

Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) said federal laws have failed to eliminate the pay gap between men and women. Yet the issue has grown critical as more families have come to rely on womens' earnings.

But Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) said the pay gap is overstated. She said many women make less because they take time away from their careers to tend to their families.

Christian Schirner via Flickr

A much-talked-about bill to make the Barrett 82A1 sniper rifle the state's official firearm has been pushed off until next year.

The .50-caliber rifle is made in Tennessee by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. Jonesborough Rep. Micah Van Huss, a former Marine who came up with the idea, requested the delay but gave no reason for doing so.

Elbert Barnes / Flickr

The Country Music Hall of Fame named its class of 2015 Wednesday morning in a ceremony hosted by singer Brenda Lee.

The Oak Ridge Boys accepted the honor in person, as did Jim Ed Brown and the Browns (his two sisters, Maxine and Bonnie). Guitarist Grady Martin, who rounds out the class, died in 2001.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Cows, tractors and crates of sweet potatoes lined the entrance to Legislative Plaza, and House and Senate leaders squared off for a corn-shelling contest in the General Assembly's annual Ag Day celebration.

A three-person team led by House Speaker Beth Harwell used an old-fashioned, hand-crank sheller to drop just over five pounds of kernels into its bucket in a minute's time. That was a few ounces more than the Senate team — though, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, a part-time farmer, tried to save face by claiming he'd gone easy on Harwell.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Two months into the session, Tennessee lawmakers finally took their first steps toward passing new regulations on abortion, opening a long-awaited debate. 

The House Health Subcommittee voted to make women wait 48 hours before getting abortions and to require doctors to read a mandatory warning beforehand. Lawmakers also agreed to make abortion providers register as surgical centers.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

A plan to open every park in Tennessee to guns moved toward a final vote in the state House of Representatives yesterday, but not without some heated debate.

The House Finance Committee approved House Bill 995, the final hurdle before it goes before the entire chamber. They set aside reservations from Gov. Bill Haslam and Democrats.

TN Photo Services

Governor Bill Haslam calls the revival of his plan to expand Medicaid “an encouraging sign,” though he doubts the legislation will get much farther.

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