Articles by: Blake Farmer

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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UAW Wants To Delay VW Hearings After New Documents Come To Light

UAW Wants To Delay VW Hearings After New Documents Come To Light

by / on April 2, 2014

The United Auto Workers wants to delay hearings into whether Republican politicians swayed a union vote at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. New documents show the state had $300 million in government incentives riding on what happened there.

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On a per capita basis, Tennessee ranked no. 2 in the U.S. for prescription abuse in a 2013 study. Credit: Michael Chen via Flickr

Vanderbilt Surgeon Finds One in Five Of His Patients Is Pain Pill Shopping

by / on March 31, 2014

An orthopedic surgeon at Vanderbilt has done a very personal study on the problem doctor shopping. He found that 20 percent of his own patients were double-dipping on pain pills.

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Christian Koch comes to Chattanooga from China, where he helped get another VW factory going. Credit: VW

Volkswagen Replaces Chattanooga Chief Weeks After Failed Union Vote

by / on March 27, 2014

Volkswagen is replacing the head of its plant in Chattanooga. The move comes six weeks after a failed union vote. Frank Fischer is moving back to Germany, according to an announcement from the company.

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Sebelius To Hit Nashville On Obamacare Whistlestop Tour

Sebelius To Hit Nashville On Obamacare Whistlestop Tour

by / on March 26, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will make a stop in Nashville Thursday. She’s on a last-minute tour ahead of the deadline to enroll for health insurance.

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Tennessee Now Has The Country’s Largest Share Of Minimum Wage Workers

Tennessee Now Has The Country’s Largest Share Of Minimum Wage Workers

by / on March 24, 2014

New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics make Tennessee the top spot for making $7.25 an hour.

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Sen. Bob Corker meets with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012. Credit: Nashville Chamber via Flickr

Corker Finds Upside In Obamacare: Employers Can Stop Providing Insurance

by / on March 22, 2014

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker sees at least one good outcome from the Affordable Care Act. He says employers should be able to stop providing health insurance to workers.

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Producer John Carter Cash recorded new parts on an album made by his father in the early 1980s in the Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville, Tenn. Credit: Stephen Jerkins

Masterpiece Or Pretty Good Songs? Johnny Cash Estate Releases Lost Album

by / on March 21, 2014

Johnny Cash is out with an album of new music more than a decade after his death. His son – John Carter Cash – has polished some forgotten tunes that were sitting around collecting dust. And he says they show the lighter side of the “man in black.”

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The FedEx Forum uses revenue from taxing NBA players to subsidize recruiting events to the facility. Credit: Otama via Flickr

Compromise Repeals Jock Tax For NHL Players

by / on March 20, 2014

After more than a year of negotiation, compromise has been reached to end Tennessee’s special tax on professional athletes. The so-called “jock tax” is considered the highest in the nation and applies to both home and visiting players.

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