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At Neely's Bend, Elliot Smalley represented the Achievement School District and fielded questions from parents and teachers. Credit: David Wright Smith / WPLN

State Picks Nashville’s Neely’s Bend Middle School For Takeover

December 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

The Achievement School District, which is charged with turning around low-performers, made the announcement Friday afternoon.

Sydney Jordan (right) discusses her health insurance circumstances with a certified counselor, who is waiting on hold for help from the federal Marketplace. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville’s Uninsured Rush To Sign Up For Obamacare Health Plans Before Deadline

December 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

Nashville’s Obamacare Navigators – who help people sign up for insurance plans on the federal Marketplace – are expecting a rush over the weekend. Monday is the last day to apply for coverage and have it kick in by January 1st.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) says she preferred not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and voted for a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government for the next two years. Credit: TN Photo Services

Here’s How Middle Tennessee Congressmen Voted On Last-Minute Spending Bill

December 12, 2014 at 5:23 am

Congresswoman Diane Black was the Nashville area’s only representative to vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill that passed the House Thursday night.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says one can argue the prescription requirement either way. Apart from meth, Tennessee also has a serious issue with prescription painkillers. So Ramsey doubts requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine will fix the meth problem. “That’s the reason I’ve been going back and forth on this. What I’m gonna tell you is law enforcement, everybody says this needs to be (done). Again, I am just shocked by the poll that says 65 percent of the people think that needs to be done.” Image: WPLN/Daniel Potter

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey Joins Haslam In Call For Gas Tax Hike

December 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Ramsey said one proposal being weighed by state lawmakers would calculate a tax based on weight, making truckers, especially those passing through the state, contribute heavily.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell  bested a tea-party opponent on Wednesday to again take the help of the legislature's lower chamber. Credit: Governor's Office

Tennessee Republican Party Rebuffs Tea Party Challenge For Leadership, Again

December 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

House Speaker Beth Harwell easily beat her opponent on Wednesday for over control of the state’s lower chamber, marking the second time in a week that the Tennessee Republican Party overwhelmed a tea party effort to get into leadership.

Metro Schools opened three new pre-K centers this fall, including this facility at Casa Azafran on Nolensville Rd. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the district has 155 classrooms at 57 sites. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Federal Grant Puts Nashville A ‘Giant Step’ Closer To Universal Pre-K

December 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Metro Schools will get $33 million from the federal government over the next four years to expand pre-kindergarten – an amount that comes close to how much the district got from the much-heralded Race to the Top program.

The state charter authorizer at one point would have allowed applicants to come directly to the panel with proposals for any part of the state. Image courtesy North Georgia State

Kirkpatrick Charter Conversion On Hold Over Technicality

December 10, 2014 at 7:54 am

The decision to hand over East Nashville’s Kirkpatrick Elementary to charter school operator KIPP Academy was put on hold Tuesday night.

Thousands of teachers in Tennessee received training on Common Core over the summer. The state has now fully incorporated math and reading standards, though the Common Core testing has yet to begin. Credit: Education Plus via Flickr

Governor Haslam Moves To Lower Stakes Of Standardized Testing

December 10, 2014 at 6:17 am

The administration has outlined a series of steps in an effort to “support teachers.”

President Obama addresses a small group at Casa Azafran in South Nashville. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Obama Visits Nashville To Promote His Immigration Action

December 9, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Obama took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and answered for about an hour sitting on a stool in a small room in Caza Azafran on Nolensville Pike.

Volkswagen's workers voted in February and narrowly rejected representation by the UAW following intense pressure from Republican politicians. Credit: VW

UAW Wins Long-Awaited Recognition At Volkswagen, Though No Collective Bargaining

December 9, 2014 at 5:52 am

Volkswagen has formally recognized the United Auto Workers after a years-long effort by the union to organize at the Chattanooga plant. A note was distributed to its 1,500 hourly employees Monday afternoon.

Federally-trained Certified Application Counselors and Obamacare Navigators helped uninsured Nashvillians sign up for coverage on Monday. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Doomed From The Start: Tennessee May Just Scrap Computer System For Determining Who Gets Medicaid

December 9, 2014 at 4:39 am

TennCare hired Northrop Grumman to build a system that supposed to be done a year and a half ago and remains nowhere near complete.

Gov. Bill Haslam, fourth from left, along with architects of the new TCAT building, symbolically broke ground on the building's site in Smyrna. It's directly across from a Nissan North America plant. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Tennessee’s Newest Public College Will Double As A Training Center For Nissan

December 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm

A new $35 million building, across the street from Nissan’s factory in Smyrna, will serve as both an extension of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro, as well as a training center for Nissan.

Gov. Bill Haslam has been pitching his Tennessee Promise free community college plan around the state, like at this event in Greeneville. Credit: TN Photo Services

Tuition Only Pays For Part Of Students’ Educations, Community Colleges Tell Governor

December 8, 2014 at 5:22 am

Higher education officials say tuition covers a little more half of the total price tag of community college. The school still has to dish out about $3,000 per student.

A Boeing 787 flies in San Francisco. Japan Airlines is one of several to offer direct flights to Tokyo, in a total of about a dozen U.S. cities. Credit: iflyfsx via Flickr

There’s More To Do Before Nashville Airport Snags A Direct Flight To Tokyo

December 8, 2014 at 4:31 am

What are the odds that Nashville will get a nonstop flight route to Japan? “Ten years ago, you’d be better off getting a lottery ticket,” according to one analyst, who is now a bit more optimistic.

Darin Gordon is the head of TennCare, which has grown by 120,000 this year even though the state has not expanded who qualifies for the health coverage. Credit: TN Photo Services

TennCare Swells Under First Year Of Health Insurance Mandate

December 8, 2014 at 4:18 am

The number of Tennesseans on Medicaid has shot up by 120,000 since the beginning of the year, according to newly released data from TennCare.

State representative Joe Carr addressing Republican Party executive committee during a chairman election on Saturday. Credit: Bobby Allyn/WPLN

Tennessee’s GOP Re-Elects Chairman Despite Tea Party Challenge

December 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Devaney’s opponent was state representative Joe Carr — who notched 41 percent of the Republican vote against Lamar Alexander during the August primary — and he painted the state’s Republican party as a fractured body in need of repair.

Tennessee's Correction Commissioner is proposing to close the Charles B. Bass jail as a cost-cutting move. Credit:

Corrections Officials Propose Closing Nashville Prison To Save Money

December 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

If approved, the 119-acre site could be mothballed by June. According to the Davidson County Assessor’s office, the property is valued at $4.2 million.

Tennessee hospitals have warned that some will close if the state doesn’t expand its Medicaid program as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act. Credit: Marissa Anderson via Flickr

Gov. Haslam Will Decide On Medicaid Expansion Before Christmas, He Says

December 5, 2014 at 1:53 pm

The governor said Friday morning he’s been talking with the White House about funding an alternative expansion plan for Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income residents.

Cari Hassell-Morrows, who has two children at Madison Middle School, asks questions about the possibility of conversion to a charter school. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Amid Questions And Uncertainty, Meetings Over Nashville School Takeover Turn Combative

December 5, 2014 at 5:20 am

Meetings at Nashville’s Madison and Neely’s Bend middle schools — over which of the two low-performing schools will be taken over by the state — turned contentious last night. The nearly two-hour discussions attracted parents, teachers, school officials and a handful of students.

President Obama will speak in Nashville on Tuesday about his recent action on immigration. Credit:

President Obama Set To Speak About Immigration In Nashville On Tuesday

December 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm

On Wednesday night, an email from the White House popped into the inbox of Renata Soto, who leads the non-profit Conexion Americas: Obama would be coming.