courtesy MTA

Nashville Mayor Calls For Big Spending To Get Started On Light Rail, Forecasts 'Headaches' To Come

Nashville is ready to pursue light rail train service. That was the big reveal in the “State of Metro” speech by Mayor Megan Barry. “I am very happy to announce that today the work begins to create light rail service on the Gallatin Pike corridor,” she said to applause near the end of her address outside Bridgestone Arena.

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This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

For the past few months, NPR has been telling stories of the millennial generation — the largest and most diverse cohort in American history. To help give them a face, we asked 18- to 34-year-olds to take a selfie. (Groanworthy, I know. Stay with me.)

Dank Depot via Flickr

Most of Nashville’s mayoral candidates support the decriminalization of marijuana to some degree. They were asked about the issue this week at a forum hosted by the Nashville Bar Association and moderated by WPLN.

The call for more systemic changes to prevent mega-hacks is getting louder after hackers hit Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. The company says cyberthieves gained access to the addresses, employment information and Social Security numbers of 80 million customers and employees.

Eighty million individuals is a lot — it's roughly the populations of California, Texas and Illinois combined.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Six of the seven lawmakers who voted to defeat Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee health care proposal are receiving taxpayer-subsidized coverage of their own. That has some of Insure Tennessee’s supporters upset.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee’s largest teachers union is taking another swing at statistics being used to make pay and tenure decisions. In a third federal lawsuit, the union is challenging use of so-called “value-added” scores to evaluate teachers in subjects like art and music, who don’t have test data related to their own students.

Stapes announced this week that it is acquiring Office Depot in a $6.3 billion merger deal.

The deal is expected to be scrutinized by regulators wary of reducing competition. But the two retailers argue that there’s a range of competition online from the likes of Walmart and Amazon, and that the merger would keep them competitive.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at the Atlantic, tells Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young what this merger could mean.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Nashville has a new fund to help artists purchase affordable housing and studios. The Housing Fund, a nonprofit that finances affordable housing around Middle Tennessee, has received a $200,000 grant and pledged $400,000 of its own for loans.

TN Photo Services

Updated Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.

It appears the first vote on Gov. Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion proposal may also be the last. On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Health Committee went solidly against the plan, dubbed Insure Tennessee.

Nissan

Nissan's U.S. workforce now stands at 22,000, up from just 13,000 prior to a post-recession rebound. The company's Smyrna facility, with its 8,400 workers, produced more cars than any other American plant in 2014. But the company's growth, for the most part, has been through the increasingly common and controversial use of temporary workers.

TN Photo Services

The heads of the Tennessee General Assembly are refusing to make a case for Governor Bill Haslam’s Medicaid expansion.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he’s trying to be as “neutral as possible.”

“I’ve been asked to be a little more persuading than I have [been] by the governor," Ramsey told a group of small business leaders Tuesday. "That’s not where we need to be on this. This is not something where it doesn’t really matter so I’ll twist somebody’s arm. Each individual needs to make up his mind where he is on this.”

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The Latest from Classical 91.1

Kara McLeland / Nashville Public Radio

From violent crashing waves to bubbling brooks, water in all its configurations has long inspired classical composers. On April 30 & May 1, the Gateway Chamber Orchestra will perform a program that celebrates nature’s beauty, with John Luther Adams’s water-centered piece Become River as a highlight. Before you see the performance, here are eight more aqueous works to enjoy as a musical amuse-bouche:

John Luther Adams, Become Ocean (2013)

Danny Clinch / nonesuch.com

A mandolinist, a cellist and a double bassist walk into a barn. No, this isn’t the beginning of some terribly bad joke, but it is how Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Yo-Yo Ma came together to record music of J.S. Bach. Their new album Bach Trios was released earlier this month. 

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

The Music City Horn Quartet is a somewhat new ensemble of Nashville freelance French horn players (including one horn maker!), all of  whom also have ties to Clarksville's Gateway Chamber Orchestra: Jennifer Kummer, Tara Johnson, John Gough and Joey Demko. They've brought a collection of music originally written for other instruments or ensembles, arranged for four horns.

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Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump's Tweets, Annotated

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. But 140 characters rarely gives the full context. Here, NPR fact checkers attempt to do just that for key tweets.

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Indivisible

Indivisible: A Special Call-In Show During President Trump's First 100 Days

Listen and be part of the conversation: Monday - Thursday at 7 p.m. on 90.3 WPLN-FM