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Gov. Bill Haslam gives out pens to Overton High School students after the final ceremonially signing of the bill. Credit: Micah Bradley / WPLN

What The State’s Largest Public College System Expects From Tennessee Promise

October 13, 2014 at 5:21 am

The Tennessee Board of Regents may see 5,000 to 6,000 new students next year — meaning students who otherwise wouldn’t attend a TBR school — as a result of Tennessee Promise. Four-year schools will be competing within the system for freshmen who could go to a community college for free.

Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist was the 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court case that catalyzed the proposed abortion amendment today. One justice even wrote a dissent laying out the conservative reasoning for a constitutional amendment. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Behind Amendment 1: How The Fight Over Abortion Laws In Tennessee Began

October 13, 2014 at 5:10 am

The story of Amendment 1 begins in 1883, when the legislature passes the state’s very first abortion law. It’s untouched until Roe v. Wade 90 years later, followed by a series of court cases that left Tennessee in a fierce debate over abortion regulations.

At a rally in Nashville on Oct. 10, 35-year-old Halmat Qazi, left, says he believes it's time for the international community to start backing Kurdish fighters. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Watching Violence Abroad, Nashville Kurds Call On U.S. Support Against ISIS

October 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Salih Doski was among the couple hundred people rallying for support in downtown Nashville on Friday. He doesn’t have family in the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, but he says: “Kobane today, tomorrow will be Dahook city, where my family lives.”

Soldiers at Fort Campbell listen to briefings Thursday before leaving for Liberia later this month. Soldiers have been told they won't be in contact with the local population, but they are learning how to wear protective gear just in case. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Some 101st Airborne Troops Fear Ebola More Than Enemy Fighters

October 10, 2014 at 5:52 am

One of the military’s most heavily deployed Army divisions since 9/11 is prepping for a mission where flack jackets will do very little and rubber gloves save a lives. The 101st Airborne leaves for Liberia over the next few weeks. And soldiers say in some ways, Ebola is a more intimidating enemy than insurgents.

A woman in Lwala, Kenya, sews for the New Visions Sewing Cooperative. Thistle Farms will be selling the cooperative's handmade aprons this winter. Credit: Thistle Farms

Nashville’s Thistle Farms Launches Global Trade Partnership To Help Women In Poverty

October 10, 2014 at 5:00 am

The Shared Trade online marketplace sells jewelry from India, fabric from Mozambique and silk scarves from Cambodia. Thistle Farms is also selling its vision: that customers can make a difference by buying from businesses that want to improve women’s lives.

Former Governor Phil Bredesen stands with Governor Bill Haslam in an ad in support of passing Amendment 2. Credit: Yes on 2

Governors Haslam And Bredesen Join Forces In TV Ad For Constitutional Amendment

October 10, 2014 at 4:48 am

Right now, the governor has most of the power (through appointment) and Vote Yes on 2 advocates want to keep it that way.

Judith Hoag and Connie Britton, playing fictional characters on the TV show Nashville, stand outside Music City Center — one of the points of interest on the Nashville bus tour, because many scenes are filmed here. Credit: ABC

ABC’s ‘Nashville’ Has Become A Boon For Its Namesake City

October 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

The TV show Nashville is about the lives of fictional country music stars and aspiring stars — and its popularity is drawing visitors to the real city from around the world.

"I was slapping myself in the face," singer Doug Seegers says of his recent success. "I kept saying, 'Am I dreaming? When am I going to wake up and go back to living under the bridge?' " Credit: Gregg Roth/Courtesy of the artist

Homeless In Nashville, Huge In Sweden

October 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm

After decades in obscurity, country singer Doug Seegers went from down-and-out to up-and-coming in an instant.

Nissan sold 30, 976 Altimas in August, compared to 45,000 Toyota Camrys. Photo via Nissan

Nissan Gets Most Improved Gas Mileage In EPA Ranking

October 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

Franklin-based Nissan North America has improved fuel efficiency more than any other automaker in the U.S., according to an annual report from the Environmental Protection Agency. Nissan’s entire product line hit 26.2 miles per gallon, up 2.1 mpg compared to the prior model year.

The app will show a vendor’s ID photo so that a buyer can be sure the QR card being scanned actually belongs to the vendor offering them a paper. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Now You Can Buy The Contributor Through An App, Spurring Homeless Vendors To Open Bank Accounts

October 9, 2014 at 5:46 am

Nashville street newspaper The Contributor is launching a smartphone app. It lets buyers pay via credit card with a quick scan of a QR code and a few clicks. The new technology means a whole set of changes for the homeless and formerly homeless vendors.

Year to date, home sales are up more than five percent from 2013 with an especially big sales jump in September. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Davidson And Rutherford Counties Drive Nashville Area Home Sales

October 9, 2014 at 5:22 am

So far this year, home sales in Davidson and Rutherford counties have been driving much of the area’s growth in real estate closings. Figures were up by 19 percent in September compared to the prior year, according to newly released figures from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors.

Mayoral candidates Megan Barry and Jeremy Kane were among the panelists at Wednesday's forum on walkability issues. Credit: Adams Carroll

Nashville Mayoral Candidates Mull A More Walkable City

October 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

It marked the first time all five candidates appeared on a forum together, and it’s expected to be the first of dozens more to come.

Commander of U.S. Africa Command General David M. Rodriguez conducts a press briefing about the Department of Defense response to Ebola at the Pentagon Wednesday. Credit: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Fort Campbell Troops On Ebola Mission Won’t Get Full Protective Gear

October 8, 2014 at 8:42 am

Troops from the 101st Airborne Division leading the military response to Ebola in West Africa will only need gloves and masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus, so said Gen. David Rodriguez at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday.

30 Music Square West was on the market 24 years before Bravo Development bought it. Credit Nina Cardona/WPLN

RCA Studio A Buyer Calls Purchase ‘A Spontaneous Act’

October 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Aubrey Preston, who purchased the property, said: “I don’t think he wanted to sell it. It was an offer almost put forth as a dare. And I just took the dare.”

Doctors Marion Kainer David Reagan and health commissioner John Dreyzehner address media questions about Ebola. Credit: Emily R. West/WPLN

Tennessee Health Commissioner On Alert, But Thinks Ebola Risk Is Low

October 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner says he doesn’t want Tennesseans to panic when they travel, and he wants them to pay attention to the facts about the disease.

The five declared mayoral candidates are expected to discuss walkability issues at an event on Wednesday. Credit:

Mayoral Candidates To Be Asked How They’d Make Nashville More Walkable

October 7, 2014 at 5:12 am

Just around 6 percent of the city’s annual budget goes to funding sidewalks. But half of that money is used for repairs, not installing new ones.

The Supreme Court will not yet hear gay marriage cases from the states. Credit: Jeff Kubina / WPLN

Supreme Court Announcement On Gay Marriage Cases Won’t Change Much In Tennessee Yet

October 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court announcement means that gay marriage is effectively legal in five more states. But not in Tennessee, which is still awaiting a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — a decision that could change the landscape of gay marriage throughout the country.

Maj. Gen. James McConville (left) has been promoted to a job in the Pentagon. Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky (right) took over command of the 101st Airborne Division in a ceremony Friday.  Credit: Larry Noller / U.S. Army

How Will Fort Campbell Troops Protect Themselves From Ebola? First, No Handshakes

October 6, 2014 at 1:29 pm

The 700 soldiers are being sent to Liberia to build hospitals, but they will be working with locals who could be infected.

U.S. Senate hopeful Gordon Ball at an Americans for Prosperity rally in Nashville. Credit: TK

Lamar Alexander Again Defending Stance On Common Core, This Time From A Democrat

October 6, 2014 at 5:31 am

One way Gordon Ball is attempting to broaden his statewide appeal is adopting at least a few positions shared by Tea Partier Joe Carr.

Vanderbilt was one of the first schools in Tennessee to offer MOOCs — an acronym that refers to free, open online courses. They've put out 10 MOOCs in the past year and a half. Credit: Elspeth Briscoe via Flickr

Vanderbilt’s Online Courses Enroll 600,000 Students — And Most Haven’t Paid A Dime

October 6, 2014 at 5:12 am

Although MOOCs are completely free for students, the average course costs Vanderbilt $45,000 to $50,000 to produce. But Vanderbilt doesn’t expect financial return here: It’s hoping to get the university’s work — and name — out to thousands of people.