Blake Farmer

News Director

Blake Farmer is Nashville Public Radio's news director. While he still makes time for some reporting, he's the primary editor of WPLN's on-air stories. When he's in the field, his reporting focuses on education and the military. But a good story is a good story, which is why he's also done pieces about frog gigging and churches holding gun raffles. 

Blake grew up in East Nashville, attending Lipscomb Academy. He went to college in Texas at Abilene Christian University, where he cut his teeth in radio at KACU-FM. Before joining WPLN full time in 2007, Blake also wrote for the Nashville City Paper. He's an active member and past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists Middle Tennessee Chapter. And he keeps his audio recorder with him, even on vacation, just in case there's a story to be told.

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Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Trump Administration is getting a pat on the back from Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, who says he had his doubts about the president on foreign policy.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

A prominent Nashville Democrat has announced she will run for the state senate. But so far, it's unclear whether that means she'll have to challenge the current occupant. 

Craig Fitzhugh
Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

The Tennessee legislature is in horse trading mode as it nears final votes on Governor Bill Haslam's signature infrastructure funding bill, which includes a gas tax increase along with cuts to taxes on groceries and manufacturing. Passage will almost certainly require the help of Democrats. And minority party leaders have decided to offer their votes in exchange for support of an educational endowment.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Plumbing, electrical and HVAC repair companies are beginning to see the military as a prime talent pool. Handyman services have had a tough time recruiting in recent years, especially as the job market improves. Perhaps none have turned their attention to former service members like Nashville's Hiller Plumbing, which has made Fort Campbell into almost a sole source of manpower.

Alberto G. via Flickr

State education officials are dubbing the first day of standardized testing in Tennessee schools "nearly flawless."

Without a doubt, day one went more smoothly than last year. In 2016, computer glitches were followed by printing problems for the paper backups. TNReady's launch got off to such a rough start that testing was basically scrapped for the year.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Hundreds of bills are filed when the Tennessee legislature revs up at the first of the year. And dozens of them attract attention — sometimes from around the country. But this year, most of those headline-grabbing proposals quietly fizzled out. WPLN’s statehouse reporter Chas Sisk joins Blake Farmer to walk through what happened to some of them.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Dozens of officers from the 101st Airborne are spending part of the week in Nashville, getting face time with business and community leaders. The visit is part of the Army division's efforts to go out of its way to strengthen personal relationships far from the installation at Fort Campbell.

courtesy MNPS via Facebook

Metro Schools plans to spend heavily on non-English speakers in the coming year. Immigrant students were a focus of superintendent Shawn Joseph's first "state of schools" address.

Susan Urmy / courtesy VUMC via Flickr

Congressman Jim Cooper is doubtful that the missile strike on a Syrian air base Thursday night will have much affect, saying the barrage of Tomahawks were "little more than a pin prick."

"Syria has many military bases, and this is just more of a beginning of an effort than an end of an effort," the Nashville Democrat tells WPLN. "We tiptoe into these other struggles because it makes somebody feel good to push a button and have an explosion on TV. This is not the way to conduct military or foreign policy."

TN Photo Services

Tennessee has submitted its plan to federal authorities to replace the No Child Left Behind accountability system. And education officials say growth will get new weight in some areas.

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