Articles by: Emily Siner

Steve Ahlstedt holds some pale lilliput mussels before they're reintroduced into the Duck River. They were bred from some of the last surviving mussels in Alabama. Credit: Sally Palmer / The Nature Conservancy

Rare Mussel Species Returns To The Duck River After More Than Two Decades

September 12, 2014 at 5:05 am

Biologists released 800 pale lilliput mussels — tiny brown shellfish, each about the size of a fingertip — into Tennessee’s Duck River this week. “Never thought in my wildest dreams I’d see this many,” one biologist said.

Heidi Williams, an assistant professor who's teaching freshman English, shows students how they can follow along with her PowerPoint slides on their tablets. Credit: Rick Delahaya / TSU

Not All TSU Freshmen Are Ready To Swap Physical Textbooks For Digital Ones Just Yet

September 8, 2014 at 5:43 am

Tablets are part of Tennessee State University’s plan to make textbooks cheaper for students.

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

Lipscomb Is Hoping Students Will Get College Credit For Its Free Online Courses

September 5, 2014 at 4:58 am

It’s pretty rare in the world of MOOCs to receive college credit for them, but Lipscomb University is designing its MOOCs with a twist.

What Is Woodland Hills, Exactly? A 50-Second Explanation

What Is Woodland Hills, Exactly? A 50-Second Explanation

September 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Woodland Hills Development Center in Nashville has made international headlines this week after 32 teens escaped and 10 teens staged a small riot. The BBC called it a prison. Other news outlets are calling it a detention center or simply a state-run facility. In reality, it’s a little bit of all of those things.

Singapore is one of the cities where MTSU recruiters travel. The university is focusing on recruiting students from Asia and the Middle East. Credit: Eustaquio Santimano via Flickr

Why MTSU And Other Public Universities Are Recruiting More International Students

September 2, 2014 at 3:54 am

One of the reasons why universities around the country, especially public ones, want more international students? Out-of-state tuition, says the author of a new study from the Brookings Institution. But MTSU says it’s globalization, not money, that is motivating the university to recruit students from other countries.

Corker Calls For Action Against ISIS In A Divided Syria

Corker Calls For Action Against ISIS In A Divided Syria

August 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm

ISIS controls parts of Iraq and Syria, and Corker supports beginning military support in Syria. But fighting in Syria is a complicated situation, with three major factions battling for control.

Dozens of people asked questions at the Nashville town hall meeting on Ferguson, Mo. Among them was longtime Nashville resident Ed Kindall, who asked about the frequency of diversity training within the police department. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Nashville Town Hall Meeting On Ferguson Discusses Discrimination And How To Ease It

August 22, 2014 at 4:00 am

Several hundred people squeezed into a North Nashville church Thursday night to hear what police had to say about the events in Ferguson, Mo. Some audience members thanked the police for their service, but others talked about perceived racial tension.

Mayor Karl Dean included funding to extend benefits to same-sex partners of Metro employees. Doing so, he said, shows Nashville respects individual dignity and embraces differences. Image: Office of Mayor Karl Dean

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Throws His Support Behind Same-Sex Marriage

August 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Mayor Karl Dean has been promoting giving domestic partnership benefits to Metro employees since last year but recently signaled his support of gay marriage in general.

In Seattle, Wash., protesters march in support of those in Ferguson. Credit: Joe Wolf via Flickr

Nashville Police And Black Leaders Ask How The City Would Handle A Ferguson Situation

August 21, 2014 at 5:25 am

The head of one of Tennessee’s largest African American churches is organizing a town hall meeting to ask: How would the city address a tense racial incident? And how can the city prevent one altogether?

MTSU Graduation. Cap and Gown. Not exactly a hard hat, but we couldn't resist including it. Image: TN Photo Services

MTSU Lowers ACT Scores Needed For Scholarships In Response To Tennessee Promise

August 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Middle Tennessee State University is expecting to give out 250 more merit scholarships next year because it is lowering the ACT scores needed to qualify. It’s making this move as the state is putting less funding toward freshman and sophomores at four-year schools.

Mark Rowan, president of Griffin Technologies, announces the official naming of the Griffin Academy of Design and Technology at Hunters Lane High School. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

The Benefits — And Pitfalls — Of Private Sponsorships In Public Schools

August 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Two Nashville-based companies will officially be putting their names on public high school academies this week. One principal says this partnership helps students by exposing them to real world careers, but critics warn that such relationships could hurt students when they’re not done with students’ best interests in mind.

Sen. Bob Corker, right, stands next to former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki during a news conference in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Credit:

Nashville’s Kurds Disappointed, But Not Surprised, By U.S. Policy In Iraq

August 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

Despite Nashville Kurds rallying for independence from Iraq, they’re not getting the full support they want from Sen. Bob Corker and other U.S. foreign policy makers.

Corker has served on the U.S. Senate since 2007. Credit:

Sen. Bob Corker Seems To Regret Mentioning The Presidency

August 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm

At a media event Friday, during a question about his possible presidential run, Corker clarified that he had given a “stream-of-consciousness” answer earlier this week and that he’s not ready to make a decision yet.

Current protocol says that if patients' injuries will result in certain death, they do not need to be taken to the hospital. The fire department is clarifying: Make sure they're not breathing. Credit: Dave via Flickr

Nashville Fire Department Spells Out What ‘No Signs Of Life’ Means

August 14, 2014 at 7:14 pm

This comes after emergency responders left a man as dead Wednesday morning, though later they were called back because he was still breathing. He was taken to the hospital two and a half hours after they first responded.

A constitutional Amendment can only pass if it has 50-percent-plus-one of the total number of the voted tallied in the governor's race. Credit: Vox Efx via Flickr

One Route To Getting On The Ballot As A Third-Party Candidate: File A Lawsuit

August 14, 2014 at 5:30 am

The Libertarian Party is suing state election officials to get its candidate for governor listed as a Libertarian on November’s ballot. Lawsuits like these have forced the state legislature to change ballot access laws, as they’re known, in recent years.

Mayor Karl Dean was the one cutting the ribbon at the opening of KIPP Nashville's new high school, but Nashville schools superintendent Jesse Register spoke at the ceremony. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Charter School Director Calls Jesse Register’s Increasing Support ‘Refreshing’

August 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm

When KIPP Nashville celebrated the opening of its new high school, Metro’s school superintendent was there to help cut the ribbon. It marks a continuing shift in the rocky relationship between the school board and charter operators.

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 Kurds Organize Efforts To Send Medical Supplies To Iraq

August 11, 2014 at 5:04 am

They’re working with the Kurdish regional government in Washington, D.C., which will fly in medical supplies including IV fluids, band-aids and antibiotics.

Academy Sports's existing distribution centers are in Katy, Texas, and Jeffersonville, Ga. Credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Academy Sports To Open New Distribution Center In Cookeville

August 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

Academy Sports already has nine stores in the state, with a 10th coming soon to Memphis. The retailer’s CEO says part of the appeal of Tennessee is its central location.

Lamar Alexander gives his victory speech in Nashville after the AP calls the election. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Sen. Lamar Alexander Accepts Republican Nomination With Bipartisan Message

August 8, 2014 at 12:25 am

Tea party challenger Joe Carr repeatedly accused Alexander of siding with Democrats. Alexander seemed to at least partially embrace that accusation during his acceptance speech.

hot air balloon / Emily Siner

Listen: Here’s How One Nashville Middle School Celebrated Its First Day

August 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Spoiler: It has to do with a hot-air balloon made out of tissue paper.