Chas Sisk / WPLN

Haslam Administration 'Still Optimistic' Insure Tennessee Health Plan Can Pass

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration took its charm offensive to the state legislature Wednesday, with a session aimed at convincing reluctant lawmakers to take the "courageous step" of supporting his Insure Tennessee health care plan.
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Chas Sisk / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration took its charm offensive to the state legislature Wednesday, with a session aimed at convincing reluctant lawmakers to take the "courageous step" of supporting his Insure Tennessee health care plan.

MNPS via Flickr

A big jump in the number of Nashville schools that rank in Tennessee’s bottom five percent means more personnel decisions for the district. For the most part, Metro Schools plans to keep the current leadership in place.

Out of a dozen schools that now have “priority” status, seven will maintain the current principals, though three of those could lose their jobs if standardized test scores don’t improve this year. In a few cases, spokesman Joe Bass says the district is staying the course because the principals are so new.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to expand Medicaid, known as Insure Tennessee, got a chilly reception during a crucial first hearing at the state legislature.

A Senate panel questioned Tuesday whether the state would be bound forever to the governor's proposal to offer health coverage to 200,000 Tennesseans if it approves the plan at a special session next week.

David Wright Smith

Updated 10:00 pm

Defense attorneys for two former Vanderbilt football players are vowing to appeal the convictions of their clients on charges of rape and sexual assault. They’re also sticking to their argument that campus culture played into a dorm room rape in June of 2013.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Updated Jan. 28 to include statements from competing internet providers

A few minutes before noon Tuesday at Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center, a wall partition lifted and revealed a sign on stage: “Nashville, Fiber is coming.”

Google Fiber’s long-anticipated announcement brought a flurry of excitement from Nashville entrepreneurs, who hope it could thrust the city’s technology industry into the spotlight.

TN Photo Services

A Tennessee lawmaker whose district includes Nissan’s flagship plant is trying to limit the use of temporary workers on the assembly line, which was the most productive in the U.S. last year. The legislation targets companies like Nissan that are receiving government subsidies.

U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

The president of the University of Tennessee made a dire statement to the governor last month: Joe DiPietro said the business model of Tennessee’s public universities is “broken.” He pointed to low funding from the state and rising tuition costs for students.

In a recent interview with WPLN, DiPietro said he has learned that he couldn’t count on the state to give the university system the funding that he thinks it deserves.

Spc. Caitlyn Byrne / U.S. Army

One hundred Fort Campbell soldiers will finally be able to hug their families Tuesday after a months-long deployment in response to Ebola. They’ve been at Fort Bliss, Texas, for the last three weeks waiting out the virus’s incubation period. 

Like with any other mission, soldiers say they’re ready to be with their families and get back to their routines. Sgt. Maj. Thomas Pollack of the 101st Airborne Division says he plans to spend some time outside.

Google Fiber screenshot

Updated Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.: Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google Fiber will expand to four metro area — Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Nashville. WPLN's Emily Siner will be live tweeting Nashville's press conference at noon. Follow @SinerSays for more.

Brent Whitmore / / Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Inside a lab at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Reyna Gordon is holding up a tangle of elastic wires connected to electrodes.

“For the kids, we call it a spaghetti hat,” she says with a laugh.

Gordon, a music cognition researcher, fits the spaghetti hat over my head like a shower cap. The electrodes touch dozens of points on my skull. This is how she looks at my brain waves, she explains.