Articles by: Emily Siner

A map of AT&T's GigaPower cities and prospective metro areas. Credit:

Why Google Fiber Fans Are Rejoicing Over AT&T’s High-Speed Internet Announcement

July 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Nashville is now one of five cities in the country that will carry GigaPower. The announcement comes months after Google Fiber started to eye the city. One community organizer says competition is the whole point of the Google Fiber buzz.

Shana Goodwin, a sales rep at Thistle Farms, had more than 22 years of sex trafficking and prostitution before coming to Magdalene and Thistle Farms. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

A Nashville Business Run By Former Prostitutes Celebrates $1M In Sales

July 28, 2014 at 4:45 am

In addition to facing the normal challenges of running a small business, Thistle Farms has an unlikely model for success: It hires women like Shana Goodwin, whose sex trafficking began when she was 12. Most of the employees have survived years of homelessness, addiction and abuse.

Nine in 10 dental assistants have an associate's degree or less, according to the Brookings study. Credit: US Army Garrison Red Cloud - Casey via Flickr

For Workers Without Bachelor’s Degrees, Healthcare Is A Booming Field

July 24, 2014 at 7:06 pm

According to a new study from the Brookings Institution, the number of pre-baccalaureate healthcare workers in Nashville has grown by 42 percent since 2000.

The Kurdish region in northeast Iraq is drawing refugees from the northwest, where a militant group has conquered several cities. Credit: Winkpolve / Wikimedia Commons

Nashville’s Large Kurdish Community To Rally For Independence From Iraq

July 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

They hope one day for Kurdistan to include parts of all four countries where Kurds currently live. But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently urged them to remain part of Iraq.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, left, made an appearance with Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander at an event last month. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Why Politicians Shy Away From The Phrase ‘I Endorse’

July 23, 2014 at 4:45 am

To voters, the semantics probably don’t make a difference. So why don’t politicians always just turn a perceived endorsement into an official one?

The Aug. 7 election features races in the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th districts. Credit:

Listen: A Q&A With Nashville’s School Board Candidates

July 18, 2014 at 5:19 am

We asked the school board candidates the exact same 10 questions about their views on education in Nashville and Tennessee.

Barry Wilmore, front right, and a crew of astronauts prepare to launch on the space shuttle Atlantis in 2009. Wilmore was in space for 10 days. Credit:

Tennessee Astronaut (And Dad) Gets Ready To Launch Into Space

July 17, 2014 at 4:45 am

Barry Wilmore, a native of Mt. Juliet, will be taking command of the International Space Station. He talked to WPLN’s Emily Siner about what it’s like to leave his family for the final frontier.

The RTI2 (or "RTI-squared") model divides students into three "tiers." Credit:

In Tenn. Schools, A New Attempt To Help Struggling Students Without Special Ed

July 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

It’s called Response to Intervention and Instruction, or RTI2 for short, and it’s part of a statewide effort to help students catch up earlier. Elementary schools already have a similar model in place, but it could be challenging for high schools to implement it.

Taxi companies are disgruntled with Lyft, whose pink mustache is shown here, and Uber, but Nashville has been working with the ridesharing companies to make them legal in Nashville. Credit via Flickr

Unlike Memphis, Nashville’s Not Likely To Halt Lyft, Uber Service

July 15, 2014 at 7:18 am

Taxi companies are disgruntled with ridesharing services, but Nashville has been working with Lyft and Uber to make them legal under city ordinance.

This highway is in Germany, but highways in the U.S. are facing a potential crisis: The trust that finances many of them, along with bridges and mass transit projects, is set to run out of money by Aug. 1 if Congress doesn't figure out a way to fund it. Credit: Randolf Rautenberg via Flickr

Sen. Corker Calls His Party’s Highway Fund Fix ‘Political Cowardice’

July 10, 2014 at 4:45 am

Right now, an 18.4-cent gas tax pays for $50 billion of transportation projects each year, like highways, bridges and mass transit. But the Highway Trust Fund is set run out of money Aug. 1., and Republican leaders in the House proposed an unusual way to finance it.

Dale Richardson (left) leads her troupe of teens and college students through a children's worship song in the studio of producer Dennis Scott. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Listen Closely To This Child Singing, Because She’s Actually An Adult

July 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm

The secret to producing great children’s music is not to hire children, apparently. “Kid” singer Maggie Richardson, 21, demonstrates how she makes her voiced high-pitched and perfectly imperfect.

Tennessee State University Tries To Defray ‘Sticker Shock’ Of Buying Textbooks

Tennessee State University Tries To Defray ‘Sticker Shock’ Of Buying Textbooks

July 7, 2014 at 9:05 pm

The college has negotiated with textbook publishers to lower their prices — probably because not a whole lot of students were buying from them anyway. Students will now be able to access their general education textbooks online for $365 per semester.

Prince's hot chicken, before we started eating it. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

A 90-Second Review: Nashville’s Original Hot Chicken Vs. A Spicy Newcomer

July 3, 2014 at 8:48 am

Hot chicken began as a form of punishment, but evolved into a Nashville delicacy that even has its own festival, on July 4. We put the original against the buzz-worthy newcomer, head to head.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is one of six   academic hospitals to participate in the program, along with Baylor, Harvard, Duke, Stanford and University of California Los Angeles. Credit: mirsasha via Flickr

Vanderbilt Will Work With The NIH To Investigate Rare Genetic Diseases

July 2, 2014 at 6:18 pm

As many as one in 10 Americans have a rare disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health, and most of them are genetic. Six academic hospital hospitals are collaborating with the NIH to work on diagnosing them — especially the ones that are so rare, they’ve never been diagnosed before.

STEM fields are under a broad umbrella, and you can't necessarily get a job in software development if you're a chemical engineer. Credit: U.S. Army RDECOM / Flickr

STEM Workers Needed In Nashville — With The Right Experience

July 2, 2014 at 5:00 am

A new study from the Brookings Institution found that employers have more difficulty filling jobs in science, technology, engineering or math. But even if you have technical experience to fill them, it can still be hard to get hired if you don’t have the right kind.

Worried About Forgetting Kids In A Hot Car? A Franklin-Based Company Has An App For That

Worried About Forgetting Kids In A Hot Car? A Franklin-Based Company Has An App For That

June 27, 2014 at 4:52 am

This past weekend, a 2-year-old was hospitalized after her father allegedly left her in an Antioch parking lot for 20 minutes. While the number of deaths from situations like this is relatively low, one Nashville parent finds the reminder app to provide some “peace of mind.”

Lynn Warrick, right, and the rest of the choir rehearses before singing to hospice patients. Often, one of the choir members will recline in the middle chair so they choir can practice singing at a bedside. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

To Comfort The Dying, The Nashville Threshold Choir Sings Lullabies

June 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

The choir is part of an international movement founded more than a decade ago. What makes them unique is their audience: They sing soft, simple melodies to people on the threshold of life — people who are terminally ill.

Companies that distribute online courses are among the most successful in education technology right now. Credit: nyuhuhuu via Flickr

Education Startups Are Booming Nationwide, And Nashville Has A Few In The Mix

June 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

But unlike healthcare, education remains just a tiny sliver of Nashville’s growing tech industry. One ed-tech founder says he only knows of three companies in the area that have traction and funding.

Girls’ Coding Workshop Aims To Make Tech Field Less Of A ‘Boys-Only Club’

Girls’ Coding Workshop Aims To Make Tech Field Less Of A ‘Boys-Only Club’

June 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

The programming workshop stops for one day in 10 cities around the state. That’s not a lot of time, and not all the girls will continue learning on their own. But one instructor says that’s OK — to make it in computer science, you have to be self-motivated.

The Kurdish region in northeast Iraq is drawing refugees from the northwest, where a militant group has conquered several cities. Credit: Winkpolve / Wikimedia Commons

Nashville’s Kurdish Community Fears For Family As Civil War Breaks Out In Iraq

June 17, 2014 at 4:30 am

Iraq may be thousands of miles away, but for Nashville’s Kurdish population, the violence there hits close to home.