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Remembering How Mel Tillis Overcame Stuttering To Be A Country Music Star

One of Nashville's most prolific hit-makers died Sunday. Mel Tillis spent the last year dealing with intestinal issues, according to his publicist. He died at a hospital in Ocala, Florida, at age 85.

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U.S. Army/Sgt. Ange Desinor

On January 1, the World Health Organization will be reinstated as the lead element in training health care workers in how to handle Ebola patients, taking over for a team led by Fort Campbell troops.

Since arriving in late October, Defense Department teams have trained some 1,500 doctors, nurses and even clean-up crews from Liberia and around the world.

Col. Laura Favand from the 86th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Campbell is the chief of training and says groups on the ground were already doing a good job of improving hygiene and changing burial practices.

Spc. Rashene Mincy / U.S. Army

The U.S. military’s mission to build tent hospitals and train health care workers to handle Ebola is coming to an end sooner than first thought. But as 700 Fort Campbell soldiers begin making their way home from Liberia, where they’ve been leading the Defense Department’s response, they still have a three-week isolation period to endure.

Metro Government

Nashville’s police chief has become something of an Internet hero after a letter he wrote in response to an upset resident ricocheted across the Web.

A resident wrote Anderson expressing “frustration and outrage.” It was concerning the way Anderson’s department dealt with protests over recent police killings of unarmed suspects in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City that have spurred nationwide protests over police conduct.

The Hermitage

Of all the tokens of appreciation governments sent him after the Battle of New Orleans, a small gold box, about the size of a deck of cards, was one of only five Jackson mentioned in his will. The snuff box was recently returned to Jackson’s home, but for years, it seemed the box might never leave the Hermitage at all.

The engraved box was a high honor bestowed on Jackson by the City of New York. It named him one of the nation’s greatest heroes.

It came with the freedom of the city, which was basically kind of making him a temporary citizen.

The city’s new regulations for Lyft and Uber eliminated minimum fares for the ridesharing services, an overlooked and sure to be contested aspect of the recently passed rules.

Emily R. West / WPLN

The Tennessee Board of Regents is trying to do away with undecided majors. According to the data, officials say, students who choose a college major right away are more likely to graduate.

“What we know is, a student who makes no choice has made a bad choice,” says TBR chancellor John Morgan.

Without a major, he says, students end up taking extra classes that don’t count toward their degree. Morgan told a group of policy makers, including the governor, that the TBR system would no longer have students with undeclared majors, by the end of December.

Emily Siner / WPLN

    

Todd Oney with the Nashville Electric Service is pointing to a utility pole next to I-40. There’s electricity at the top, then telephone at the bottom, and in the middle, three black cable lines.

“One’s Comcast, one’s our own cable, and … I’m not sure who owns the third one,” he says, as cars zoom by.

Screenshot of tennesseepromise.gov

In just a few weeks, students who applied for free community college — and almost every high school senior in the state did — will have their first mandatory Tennessee Promise meeting.

This will give a better indicator of how many students are serious about enrolling in community college next fall, but it won’t give a prediction of how many students will end up graduating.

The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

A team of historians and scientists from Middle Tennessee hope to soon welcome home the remains of soldiers who died on foreign soil nearly 170 years ago.

Construction workers in Monterrey, Mexico unearthed the bones of more than a dozen men several years ago: US soldiers who died in in the Mexican-American war. Because of their location, where the 1st Tennessee Regiment fought and later set up camp in the 1846 Battle of Monterrey, historian Tim Johnson believes it’s likely they were volunteers from the midstate.

TN Photo Services

The agency charged with turning around Tennessee’s lowest performing schools has to find new funding. The Achievement School District was born in 2010 out of the Race to the Top program. All of that prize money will be gone next year.

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The Latest from Classical 91.1

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Former Tennessee Tech professor Wonkak Kim is back in Middle Tennessee for a visit, so of course we made sure to have him swing through our studios for a performance. Kim, a clarinetist, brought with him the Parker String Quartet. The ensemble is currently on tour and is serving a residency at Harvard.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Mozart wrote his opera, The Marriage of Figaro, in the late 18th century, long before reality television. However, a new production featuring Blair School of Music students highlights the similarities between the over-the-top antics and scheming of the classical-era plot and modern-day shows like Big Brother and The Bachelor. Ahead of their very contemporary production, singers from the Vanderbilt Opera Theater came to sing highlights from the show.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Baritone Jeffrey Williams is a cheerful, friendly guy, but he loves singing roles that explore the darker side of life. The Austin Peay State University professor obtained a Center for Excellence grant for composer Leanna Kirchoff to write a mono-opera based on Guy de Maupassant's "Diary of a Madman," which premiered on a Halloween night recital of spooky and creepy classical music at Austin Peay. Williams is joined by Ben Harris on piano and Kevin Jablonsk playing double-bass, with the composer on hand to tell us about her approach to the piece.

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