Articles by: Blake Farmer

Williamson County Schools superintendent Mike Looney has spent an increasing amount of time on political activities, such as lobbying at the state legislature. Credit: WCS via Facebook

School Superintendent ‘Fearful’ Of Low Turnout In Williamson County Elections

by / on April 24, 2014

The superintendent of Williamson County Schools is pleading with parents to take an interest in local elections. Mike Looney’s open letter follows a move this year by elected officials to limit the political influence of schools.

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Attorney John Jay Hooker speaks at the Tennessee Legislature. The 83-year-old says he has made it his life's mission to prove the current system for selecting judges is unconstitutional. Credit: Sean Braisted via Flickr

Special Court Rebuffs John Jay Hooker’s Latest Swing At Tennessee Judicial Selection

by / on April 23, 2014

A specially-appointed Tennessee Supreme Court has denied a challenge to the state’s selection process for judges. It’s yet another failed lawsuit filed by activist attorney John Jay Hooker.

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New Sounds Stadium Will Be Called First Tennessee Park

New Sounds Stadium Will Be Called First Tennessee Park

by / on April 22, 2014

The largest bank based in Tennessee will put its name on a stadium being built by the Nashville Sounds. The minor league team’s new home will be called First Tennessee Park.

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Baptists Tell Pastors At Sexuality Summit: No More ‘Adam And Steve’ Jokes

Baptists Tell Pastors At Sexuality Summit: No More ‘Adam And Steve’ Jokes

by / on April 21, 2014

Fewer jokes and check your facts – those are two of the tips on handling homosexuality shared with Southern Baptist pastors gathered in Nashville.

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The number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome is rising in Tennessee, and lawmakers want to try a punitive approach. Credit: Katie Collins/PA Photos/Landov

Tennessee Bill Could Send Addicted Moms To Jail

by / on April 21, 2014

The proposal awaiting the governor’s signature has bipartisan support, despite doctors’ opposition. Critics say it could deter expectant mothers from seeking help, or even encourage more abortions.

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Currently, Volkswagen Chattanooga only builds the Passat. But VW would like to build a new SUV there. The other option is at a plant in Mexico. Credit: VW

Even UAW Supporters Puzzled Over Why The Union Pulled Its Challenge To Volkswagen Vote

by / on April 21, 2014

The United Auto Workers surprised even its biggest backers in Tennessee Monday morning when it suddenly withdrew its objections to a failed union vote at Volkswagen.

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Volkswagen has 62 plants across the globe. 61 of them are unionized. In Germany, the employees are represented by IG Metall. Credit: VW

UAW Walks Away From Challenge To Volkswagen Vote

by / on April 21, 2014

Federal hearings into the failed union vote at Volkswagen were set to begin in Chattanooga Monday morning. But the United Auto Workers withdrew its challenge a mere hour before proceedings were set to begin.

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The Tennessee Republican Party has launched a campaign dubbed "Red to the Roots" in order to get more GOP candidates elected to local office. Credit: Kristin_a via Flickr

More Tennessee Counties Hold GOP Primaries, Whether They Want To Or Not

by / on April 21, 2014

More counties than ever in Tennessee will hold Republican primaries next month as the state party has been pushing to have more influence on local governments. But there’s still some resistance within the GOP.

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UAW supporters prop up signs of support in their car windows while parked at work. The VW plant in Chattanooga makes the Passat. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee AG Moves To Get Officials Out Of Testifying At VW Hearings

by / on April 17, 2014

Tennessee’s top lawyer says there’s no reason the governor, legislators and several staff members need to show up in Chattanooga next week. Attorney General Bob Cooper has moved to block subpoenas issued as part of a hearing into the failed union vote at Volkswagen.

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Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at VW in May of 2011. He has now been subpoenaed along with 19 others to testify during NLRB hearings in April. Credit: TN Photo Services

Congress Has Questions About Haslam’s VW Incentives

by / on April 16, 2014

Congressional Democrats are now looking into whether Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam may have broken federal labor laws. Recently-leaked documents show he offered Volkswagen money based on the outcome of a union vote.

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Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a press conference on Charlotte Ave near a bridge that has required emergency repairs. Foxx was previously the Mayor of Charlotte and says he knows how important infrastructure is in a city the size of Nashville. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Problem Bridge Near Downtown Nashville Makes Case For Replenishing Highway Trust Fund

by / on April 15, 2014

The Obama Administration is using a patched-up bridge in Nashville to make it’s case for putting more money into the federal Highway Trust Fund.

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Americans for Prosperity Tennessee collected the signatures of 92 lawmakers of the 132 members in the General Assembly. Credit: AFPTN via Facebook

Haslam Says Cutting Hall Tax Still Not Top Priority

by / on April 15, 2014

Despite being targeted with a critical radio ad from Americans for Prosperity, Governor Bill Haslam says cutting the Hall income tax is not priority number one.

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Coach Bobby Trotz meeting with fans in 2009. Credit: David Cintron via Flickr

The Nashville Predators Fire The Only Coach They’ve Ever Had

by / on April 14, 2014

Team management says Barry Trotz has been off his game for the last two years. After being hired in 1997, he spent 15 seasons in Nashville (the lock out year doesn’t count), which made him the NHL’s longest-serving coach with a single team – until now.

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Lawmakers Have Two Words For Retiring Doug Henry: Gentleman, Statesman

Lawmakers Have Two Words For Retiring Doug Henry: Gentleman, Statesman

by / on April 11, 2014

Lawmakers wiped away tears Thursday as they honored retiring state Senator Doug Henry – the longest-serving legislator in Tennessee history.

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Lincoln County is larger than Davidson (Metro Nashville), but it has just 33,000 people. And considering it's unemployment rate is hovering around five percent, that means fewer than 900 people are considered jobless. Credit: Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Why Does This Rural Tennessee County Have Such Low Unemployment? Luck?

by / on April 10, 2014

Just two counties in Tennessee have had unemployment dip below five percent in recent months: Williamson, which you might expect, and Lincoln. Why Lincoln?

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Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at VW in May of 2011. He has now been subpoenaed along with 19 others to testify during NLRB hearings in April. Credit: TN Photo Services

Haslam And Corker Subpoenaed To Testify On VW Union Vote

by / on April 9, 2014

Attorneys for the United Auto Workers are trying to make U.S. Senator Bob Corker and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam testify later this month. The National Labor Relations Board is investigating whether there was a coordinated effort to prevent unionization at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

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Enovate Medical makes mobile and wall-mounted work stations. The company's expansion announcement adds manufacturing jobs as well as corporate personnel and research and development investments in Tennessee. Credit: Enovate Medical via Facebook

Enovate Medical Moves Michigan Jobs To Tennessee

by / on April 9, 2014

A Murfreesboro-based company that makes computer carts for doctors and nurses has announced plans to expand. Enovate Medical is consolidating its operations in Michigan and moving the jobs to Tennessee.

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Nashville’s Home Sales Streak Ends

Nashville’s Home Sales Streak Ends

by / on April 8, 2014

The streak of climbing home sales numbers has ended in the Nashville area. After three straight years of growth, fewer homes were sold in March than the same month last year.

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Dr. Claire Smrekar has a particular research focus on school choices, such as charter schools. Credit: Steve Green / Vanderbilt

Even If Vouchers Pass, Vanderbilt Expert Finds Few Available Seats At Private Schools

by / on April 7, 2014

Many students who would qualify for private school vouchers would still have nowhere to go, according to a top education researcher at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. Associate professor Claire Smrekar finds few private schools are interested in accepting vouchers and those who would don’t have that much room.

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Nashville Now Accepts Backyard Chickens, But What About Goats?

Nashville Now Accepts Backyard Chickens, But What About Goats?

by / on April 4, 2014

One family in Woodbine has received a stern warning from Nashville authorities – get rid of the goat. A pet goat is testing an ordinance designed to keep farmyard animals out of the city.

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