Articles by: Emily Siner

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.

Judges Pepper Attorneys With Questions Over Tennessee’s Gay Marriage Law

Judges Pepper Attorneys With Questions Over Tennessee’s Gay Marriage Law

August 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held a lively courtroom Wednesday as they heard arguments over whether Tennessee should recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

Sophy Jesty, left, and Valeria Tanco, second from left, were legally married in New York before moving to Knoxville. The couple sued the state last fall for refusing to recognize their marriage. Credit: Daniel Potter / WPLN

U.S. Appeals Court To Weigh In On Gay Marriage In Four States, Including Tennessee

August 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

The Sixth Circuit’s decision could affect only the three Tennessee couples who sued the state. But since the court is ruling on several other cases, the impact could be broader.

A Nashville Armory salesman holds up a $1,000 Saiga rifle, whose imports have been banned with the new sanctions against Russia. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Nashville Gun Owners Aren’t Clamoring To Buy Banned Russian Rifles

August 4, 2014 at 5:17 am

American distributors can no longer import certain brands of popular AK-47 style rifles. Normally, a potential shortage leads gun enthusiasts to snatch up the last items on the market, but Nashville gun shops are not seeing a hike in sales.

George Gruhn opened up the guitar store that would become Gruhn Guitars in 1970. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Listen: Can You Hear The Difference Between A $275 and $100,000 Guitar?

August 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm

The difference between Gruhn Guitars’ acoustic guitars comes in the materials, the collector value and the manufacturing. But how much do those things affect the sound?

A map of affected areas. Click to enlarge. Credit: Nashville Mayor's Office

Broken Water Pipe Leaves Thousands In Davidson County With Little Or No Water

July 30, 2014 at 5:28 pm

A water pipe failure that the city is calling “catastrophic” is affecting service for more than 15,000 customers in Southwest Davidson County. The water shortage is expected to continue until some time tomorrow.

Why Are ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ Classes A Thing?

Why Are ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ Classes A Thing?

July 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Nettie Kraft, a dialect coach on the TV show “Nashville,” teaches some actors how to master the regional twang and helps others shed it.

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

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.

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

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.