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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TN Photo Services

WPLN asked the candidates for their general feeling on tax breaks and cash grants for companies. 

TN Photo Services

No one running to be Nashville’s next mayor has promised to end corporate subsidies, but their appetites for incentives do vary.

WPLN asked the six major candidates their general feeling on tax breaks and cash grants for companies. Companies would get celebrity treatment with businesswoman Linda Rebrovick as mayor.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The growth of charter schools in Nashville has continued to divide public education advocates, but the candidates for mayor have avoided taking sides. 

WPLN asked each candidate this question: In the complex and nuanced debate about charter schools, do you find yourself more often siding with charter advocates or opponents? 

Blake Farmer

The growth of charter schools in Nashville has continued to divide public education advocates, but the six major candidates for mayor have avoided taking sides. 

WPLN asked each candidate this question: In the complex and nuanced debate about charter schools, do you find yourself more often siding with charter advocates or opponents? Most of them didn't want to respond.

The All-Night Images via Flickr

Should Nashville have its own minimum wage? It's a move made recently in neighboring states and nearby cities.

Most of the states without a minimum wage higher than the federal rate of $7.25 an hour are in the South, and Tennessee is one of them. There's been little-to-no support for raising the mandated base pay at the state level, but there have been rumblings on the city level.

The All-Night Images via Flickr

Should Nashville have its own minimum wage? It's a move made recently in neighboring states and nearby cities.

Most of the states without a minimum wage higher than the federal rate of $7.25 an hour are in the South, and Tennessee is one of them. There's been little-to-no support for raising the mandated base pay at the state level, but there have been rumblings on the city level.

Fort Campbell
Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Tuesday night is Clarksville’s chance to make its case for preserving as many jobs as possible at Fort Campbell. Local leaders have been working to recruit an overflow crowd in order to persuade Pentagons officials, going as far as to put up Interstate billboards advertising the so-called "listening session."

According to Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett, Lamar Advertising donated 10 billboards - five in Clarksville and five in Nashville.

K-12 via Facebook

This year, Tennessee lawmakers must decide whether or not to stay in the statewide cyber school business. The legislative act that paved the way for the troubled Tennessee Virtual Academy needs to be renewed.

For-profit virtual school operator K12 Inc. needed state law changed in order to pull students from all 95 counties. House Education Committee chairman Harry Brooks sponsored the bill in 2011.

HELP Committee via YouTube

In his first days as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, Lamar Alexander is following through on a pledge to fix the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. He’s set a goal of having a bill to vote on within a few weeks.

The Tennessee Republican says there’s general agreement on some changes, like setting realistic goals. But he says there will be real debate on topics like standardized testing.

ORNL

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Lab are at the Detroit Auto Show this week showing off a sleek Shelby Cobra that they built with a 3-D printer.

Lonnie Love, who leads ORNL’s manufacturing systems research group, says he doesn’t expect cars to be mass produced this way in his lifetime. But it might be how car companies start building models, which is currently done with clay.

“You can go out and print a working prototype in weeks, in days,” Love says in a promotional video.

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