Emily Siner

Assistant News Director

Emily Siner is the assistant news director at Nashville Public Radio and host of the Movers & Thinkers podcast. She also reports on a wide range of topics, including higher education, science and military veterans. She's traveled around Tennessee to tell national news stories for NPR and Marketplace.

She's passionate about storytelling on all platforms and spoke at TEDxNashville in 2015 about the station's efforts to share audio online. Before joining the news staff at WPLN, Emily worked in print and online journalism at the Los Angeles Times and NPR. She was born and raised in the Chicago area, so she is not intimidated by Nashville winters. Emily is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Jumpstart Foundry

For the past five years, Tennessee entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a new business idea might have tried to catch the eye of Jumpstart Foundry.

Jumpstart is what’s called an accelerator in the tech world. It’s a company that helps other companies grow — playing the roles of mentor, shareholder and money matchmaker. Since its inception, it’s put about 40 fledgling tech companies through a sort of how-to-run-a-business boot camp, setting them up with seasoned advisors and showing them off to potential investors. And it’s been successful. Last year, an MIT business professor ranked Jumpstart the 14th best accelerator in the country.

greeblie via Flickr

Tennessee drivers received 102,000 seat belt citations in 2014 — 30,000 more than the year before. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the increasing enforcement of seat belt laws is part of its effort to bring down the number traffic deaths.

By the end of 2014, 952 people died in Tennessee as part of vehicle crashes, compared to 986 in 2013. It’s still too many, says Sgt. Bill Miller, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“They’re not numbers to us,” he says. “They’re friends. They’re family.”

Emily R. West / WPLN

The Tennessee Board of Regents is trying to do away with undecided majors. According to the data, officials say, students who choose a college major right away are more likely to graduate.

“What we know is, a student who makes no choice has made a bad choice,” says TBR chancellor John Morgan.

Without a major, he says, students end up taking extra classes that don’t count toward their degree. Morgan told a group of policy makers, including the governor, that the TBR system would no longer have students with undeclared majors, by the end of December.

Emily Siner / WPLN

    

Todd Oney with the Nashville Electric Service is pointing to a utility pole next to I-40. There’s electricity at the top, then telephone at the bottom, and in the middle, three black cable lines.

“One’s Comcast, one’s our own cable, and … I’m not sure who owns the third one,” he says, as cars zoom by.

Screenshot of tennesseepromise.gov

In just a few weeks, students who applied for free community college — and almost every high school senior in the state did — will have their first mandatory Tennessee Promise meeting.

This will give a better indicator of how many students are serious about enrolling in community college next fall, but it won’t give a prediction of how many students will end up graduating.

Tennessee may once again be home to the world’s fastest supercomputer — and that’s not an easy title to keep. It announced last month it’s building a machine capable of running several times faster than the current leader in China.

The Oak Ridge National Lab supercomputing director talks to reporter Emily Siner about just how powerful that is.

Michael Noirot via Flickr

Thomm Jutz, a Nashville songwriter from Germany (who is now a U.S. citizen), has put out a three-part album about one of America’s thorniest periods — the Civil War. Volume 3 of The 1861 Project, which features singers including Kim Richey and Bobby Bare, focuses on the Battle of Franklin. Take a listen to how Jutz crafted the folk music album.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Nashville’s Music City Center has had 750,000 visitors since it opened about a year and a half ago — and a lot of them have probably gotten lost. 

The convention center spans 1.2 million square feet over several floors. To help people find their way, the MCC released a smartphone app, called Music City Center. I tried it out after the official launch event Wednesday morning.

Justin Ochs

Justin Ochs, a businessman from Hendersonville, Tenn., is a pretty smooth talking guy. But when you get him in front of a crowd of people, his voice becomes mesmerizing.

Ochs was the winner of the 2012 International Auctioneer Championship. WPLN’s Emily Siner talked to him about what he’s really saying up there — and how he gets the bids rising.

Pages