Blake Farmer

The typically mundane matter of school bathroom policies has been elevated to the highest levels of state government this year. The Tennessee legislature has already spent hours debating where transgender students should use the restroom. The bill in question was voted down, though the issue may be revived.

Middle Tennessee State University is poised to make a decision on whether to change the name of its ROTC building on campus. The school has been holding public hearings on Forrest Hall, named after controversial Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.

A committee in the Tennessee legislature voted to reject Medicaid expansion yet again last week. WPLN’s Chas Sisk joins Blake Farmer to talk about who is keeping the conversation about InsureTN alive.


Republicans have long preached the virtues of keeping government as close to the people as possible.

But since taking control of the Tennessee legislature, they’ve frequently been accused of hypocrisy.

In another year, these are some of the same lawmakers that might be arguing for more religion in schools. But this year, a few Tennessee Republicans want restrictions. Islam is the primary target.

As polls predicted, businessman Donald Trump trounced the competition in Tennessee with 39 percent of the vote on Super Tuesday.

“I voted for Donald Trump, even though I can’t see him being president," Donelson voter Judy Root said with a laugh. "But I think he’s the only one that can maybe get some things done.”

Root wasn't the only one a little surprised by her own decision.

Sara James, a stay-at-home mother of two who lives in Belle Meade, says she and her husband are active Trump supporters.

We like to listen to Tennessee voters when it's time to go to the polls, so WPLN has been chatting with those casting ballots early in the primary. Reporters collected voices from Hermitage to Springfield and Clarksville to Murfreesboro.

Tennessee voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2014 giving the state legislature more power to regulate abortion. But so far, state lawmakers haven’t seized much new ground. And in some ways, they’ve begun to be much more cautious about how every word will be interpreted in court.

Tens of thousands of Tennessee students steadied their clammy, test-day hands over a keyboard several days ago. And, for many, nothing happened.

It was the state's first time giving standardized exams on computers, but the rollout couldn't have gone much worse.

In lots of places, the testing platform slowed to a crawl or appeared to shut down entirely. Within hours, Tennessee scrapped online testing for the year.

The move comes after schools spent millions of dollars to buy additional PCs and to improve their wi-fi networks.

Top Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have discouraged lawmakers from spending much more time on gun bills. But many perennial proposals are back, along with a few new ones. And the most immediate change of allowing guns in Legislative Plaza may not involve a bill at all. 

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