Blake Farmer | Nashville Public Radio

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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Child school Tennessee
TN Photo Services

Tennessee’s agency that takes over low-performing schools wants permission to start recruiting students. It’s a significant change for the Achievement School District, which was originally tasked with making dramatic gains without bringing in new students.

“What’s happening now is that we’ve got kids who want to send their kids to one of our schools," says ASD superintendent Chris Barbic. "And we have to turn those families away.”

Davidson County Court Clerk via Facebook

Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry argues that his late entrance into the mayor’s race is not meant to judge the current field, which is already a crowded one. But he says he feels like his vision for the city is unique.

Rex Hammock via Flickr

Nashville will soon have a curfew for construction noise – at least the loudest kind. The city’s codes department has been authorized to create new rules, which would include a ban on blasting and jackhammering overnight.

MNPS via Flickr

A big jump in the number of Nashville schools that rank in Tennessee’s bottom five percent means more personnel decisions for the district. For the most part, Metro Schools plans to keep the current leadership in place.

Out of a dozen schools that now have “priority” status, seven will maintain the current principals, though three of those could lose their jobs if standardized test scores don’t improve this year. In a few cases, spokesman Joe Bass says the district is staying the course because the principals are so new.

Vanderbilt rape trial
David Wright Smith / WPLN (File photo)

Updated 10:00 pm

Defense attorneys for two former Vanderbilt football players are vowing to appeal the convictions of their clients on charges of rape and sexual assault. They’re also sticking to their argument that campus culture played into a dorm room rape in June of 2013.

TN Photo Services

A Tennessee lawmaker whose district includes Nissan’s flagship plant is trying to limit the use of temporary workers on the assembly line, which was the most productive in the U.S. last year. The legislation targets companies like Nissan that are receiving government subsidies.

Spc. Caitlyn Byrne / U.S. Army

One hundred Fort Campbell soldiers will finally be able to hug their families Tuesday after a months-long deployment in response to Ebola. They’ve been at Fort Bliss, Texas, for the last three weeks waiting out the virus’s incubation period. 

Like with any other mission, soldiers say they’re ready to be with their families and get back to their routines. Sgt. Maj. Thomas Pollack of the 101st Airborne Division says he plans to spend some time outside.

Auxiliarist via Flickr

WPLN asked this: is it the city’s job to help low-income families stay put, even as real estate values soar around them, sending rent and property tax bills through the roof?

Auxiliarist via Flickr

The candidates to be Nashville’s next mayor are rather short on specific ideas to slow gentrification, though they agree its one of the city’s biggest challenges.

WPLN asked this: is it the city’s job to help low-income families stay put, even as real estate values soar around them, sending rent and property tax bills through the roof?

Tucsonrailfan via Flickr

The Amp would have connected East Nashville and West End, via a bus-rapid transit system that sparked controversy and was ultimately scrapped. Prior to the decision to shutdown work on the Amp, WPLN asked the candidates where they would like to start work on transit.