Articles by: Blake Farmer

Governor Bill Haslam was a panelist at a New York Times conference on 21st Century Community College. Credit: NYT via YouTube

Haslam: Free Community College Has 4-Year Universities Trying Harder

September 12, 2014 at 5:22 am

The prospect of free community college in Tennessee has increased competition with universities, who have ramped up recruiting preemptively. Governor Bill Haslam relayed several candid conversations with college presidents at an event in New York this week.

Brentwood Congressman Marsha Blackburn's district includes Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division. Blackburn helped assemble packages for troops with the USO on Wednesday. Credit: Blackburn office via Facebook

Tennessee Congressional Delegation Still Wants To Vote On ISIS Strategy

September 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

Tennessee Republicans are striking a relatively positive tone on President Obama’s plan to combat the militant group ISIS.

Tennessee Walking Horses are permanently outfitted with pads also known as stacks. Credit: HSUS

Record Violations Cited At Shelbyville Walking Horse Celebration

September 11, 2014 at 7:54 am

USDA inspectors disqualified a record number of walking horses at this year’s National Celebration in Shelbyville, according to a Celebration spokesman.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks to parents, teachers and administrators at Oliver Middle School in Nashville. Credit: U.S. Dept of Ed via Flickr

Ed Secretary Arne Duncan Still Showing Love For Tennessee, Despite Growing Resistance To Reforms

September 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan just spent three days on a bus, trekking through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, cheering on teachers and administrators even as they push back on federal involvement in K-12 education.

Tennessee Republicans Prepared To Support Plan To Combat ISIS

Tennessee Republicans Prepared To Support Plan To Combat ISIS

September 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

Tennessee’s congressional delegation is ready to hear President Barack Obama’s plan for combating militants in Syria and Iraq.

School Superintendent Floats Extreme Measures For Charter-Heavy East Nashville

School Superintendent Floats Extreme Measures For Charter-Heavy East Nashville

September 10, 2014 at 8:15 am

Metro Schools superintendent Jesse Register is proposing to create what he’s calling a special “choice zone” in East Nashville, which will also include closing one or more zoned schools. He floated the idea to the board of education Tuesday night.

Dollar General Takes Buyout Offer Directly To Family Dollar Shareholders

Dollar General Takes Buyout Offer Directly To Family Dollar Shareholders

September 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

A bidding war over the Family Dollar discount chain has officially turned hostile. After being twice rejected, Goodlettsville-based Dollar General is taking its offer directly to Family Dollar shareholders.

Belmont University admissions officials say 2,000 new undergraduates are on campus this year, including more than 500 transfer students. Credit: Belmont

Nashville Universities Rise In U.S. News Rankings

September 9, 2014 at 7:56 am

Nashville universities are highlighting their rising status on the US News and World Report’s annual rankings made public Tuesday morning.

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper interviews to keep his job for another eight year term. Behind him, seven other men who want his job, interviewing before the Tennessee Supreme Court. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Competition Hails The Work Of Tennessee’s Attorney General, But Still Wants His Job

September 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Tennessee’s Attorney General defended himself before the state Supreme Court Monday as he vies for a second term.

A perimeter fence has been repaired at Woodland Hills after Monday night's escape. Credit: Emily West / WPLN

No Escapes, But It Was A Night Of Mini Riots At Nashville Youth Detention Center

September 4, 2014 at 7:15 am

Ten detainees who’ve been identified as ringleaders have been taken to a Rutherford County facility after rioting at Nashville’s Woodland Hills Youth Development Center overnight. These are many of the same teens who escaped Monday night.

Assembly of the Rogue moved to Smyrna from Japan in 2013. In August,  21,419 Rogues were sold, an increase of 24 percent over the previous August. Credit: Nissan

Nissan’s Smyrna-Made Vehicles Hit Record Territory For August

September 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Franklin-based Nissan North America is celebrating big sales gains for August, and its top performers are built in Smyrna.

Investigation Launched Into Nashville Detention Center Escape

Investigation Launched Into Nashville Detention Center Escape

September 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm

A press briefing has been planned for 2 pm at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center after 32 young men escaped overnight.

Dollar General is already the largest small-box retailer in the U.S. and has been expanding into new states in recent years. Credit: Dollar General

Dollar General Ups Takeover Offer, Threatens Hostile Bid

September 2, 2014 at 6:06 am

In a letter to Family Dollar’s board of directors, Goodlettsville-based Dollar General has increased its $10 billion bid by roughly two percent after being rejected in favor of a smaller offer from Dollar Tree.

The $53 million Gulch Crossing is under construction now, with a scheduled completion date of next spring. Sony Music, Earl Swensson Associates architecture firm and commercial real estate firm Cassidy Turley plan to move in. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Gulch Developer Sees Downside To Exponential Growth: Losing ‘Neighborhood’ Feel

September 2, 2014 at 4:30 am

When Marketstreet Enterprises started snapping up property in what would become known as the Gulch fifteen years ago, the idea was to establish an urban neighborhood.

According to the CDC, Tennessee sells the second-most kilograms of prescription painkillers. It ranks 13th in the country for its drug overdose death rate.

Prescription Abuse Unseats Alcohol As Tennessee’s Top Drug Problem

August 29, 2014 at 7:18 am

For the first time in Tennessee, more people are heading to rehab for prescription pain killers than for alcohol abuse.

I Am Jose was the World Grand Champion from 2013. Credit: Tennessee National Walking Horse Celebration

Can Blood Tests And X-Rays Solve The Walking Horse Soring Problem?

August 29, 2014 at 4:09 am

The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration hopes to quiet its critics with a new testing regimen. So far, the debate over soring hasn’t quieted.

George Barrett stands with Rita Sanders Geier at a Vanderbilt University event. Credit: Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Attorney Known For Desegregation Of Tennessee Universities Dies

August 27, 2014 at 3:12 am

Nashville civil rights attorney George Barrett has died. He was affectionately known as “Citizen Barrett” as he would take up civil justice causes. In recent years, he unsuccessfully challenged Tennessee’s law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.

Metro Nashville Public Schools rebranded many of its high school reforms in recent years under the "Academies" program. The "Middle Prep" project is a similar effort to help describe some reforms already in place and others that are completely new. Credit: MNPS via Instagram

Nashville Schools Re-brand, Beef Up Middle Grades To Stem Student Loss

August 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Don’t call it “middle school” in Nashville any more. The public school system is re-branding grades five through eight as “middle preps” and adding foreign languages and extracurriculars in an effort to compete with private schools and other county systems.

State Sen. Jim Tracy declares victory prematurely. Credit: Dave Smith for WPLN

Tracy Opts To Concede Instead Of Dispute Primary Results

August 25, 2014 at 10:07 am

More than three weeks after voting ended, state Sen. Jim Tracy has conceded in the 4th Congressional District Republican Primary. Rep. Scott DesJarlais came out on top by just 38 votes.

PFC Cecil Harris was 19 when he went missing near the French/German border in World War II. Credit: TNVA

Shelbyville Soldier’s Remains Return 70 Years After He Went Missing

August 25, 2014 at 7:49 am

The remains of Private First Class Cecil Harris were found last year by a French national under a large rock with a crudely engraved “H” on it. U.S. officials excavated the burial site on hilltop near the French/German border and found Harris’ dog tags.