Blake Farmer

For the first time in Governor Bill Haslam's administration, the number of people applying for jobs with the state is going down, not up. And that's after instituting pay-for-performance and adjusting the salaries of some of the state's lowest paid jobs.

Tennessee's social studies scores from the first year of the TNReady test show just how much harder it is. High school results in all subjects were released Friday with a warning that they represent a "reset moment" for the state.

The polarizing presidential campaign has officially resulted in Tennessee's largest-ever turnout for early voting. More than 1.6 million people cast ballots — easily surpassing totals from President Obama's elections.

Middle Tennessee drivers are beginning to feel a pinch at the pump as gas becomes a bit harder to find. The Colonial Pipeline, which supplies most of the region's gasoline, is expected to be down for the rest of the week after Monday night's deadly explosion in Alabama.

Turnout continues at a record-setting pace in Tennessee, with nearly 1.2 million ballots cast as of this weekend. Among those who've made a point of making it to the polls, some admit that they haven't always.

Tennessee is getting a big pat on the back from the country's top education officials. Science scores are in from the National Assessment of Education Progress, and the state leap-frogged ahead to become "most-improved" since 2011.

Nearly half a million votes have already been cast in Tennessee. Early voting is on pace to break turnout records set in previous presidential elections. Some voters say they want to avoid the drama of November 8.

It will still be weeks before scores are released for the few Tennessee students who completed new standardized testing in the spring. But already education officials are warning that the numbers will look bad.

Jean Shepard, one of the first women to find success in country music as a solo act, died Sunday at age 82. Shepard was a feisty, straight-shooting singer who created a career in an industry where she had few female role models.

Coach Ed Temple, who built the Tennessee State University women's track team into an international powerhouse, died Thursday night. He also coached two Olympic teams, leading his runners to 15 gold medals.