Blake Farmer

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Mid-South News
6:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Capitol Hill Conversation: First Bill Of 2013 Is About Health Care

Tennessee Senator Brian Kelsey of Germantown authored the year's first bill, which aims to prevent the state from participating in the Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care left Governor Bill Haslam with a big decision—expand Medicaid to include more low-income Tennesseans, or don’t. If the governor chooses to expand coverage, the federal government will foot the entire bill for three years. Then, after three years, the federal government will pay for 90 percent of the expanded coverage.

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Mid-South News
6:00 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Capitol Hill Conversation: New Faces In Nashville

Tennessee's Statehouse in Nashville.

When the Tennessee General Assembly convenes this week, they’ll be many fresh faces in the crowd in Nashville, especially among the majority party. Half of Tennessee’s House Republicans have fewer than two years of experience. Among the new lawmakers, there are lawyers, military veterans, and even a preacher, but many describe themselves as small business owners. “That’s on both sides of the aisle,” said Blake Farmer who is covering the state Legislature for WPLN in Nashville.

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U.S.
5:26 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Army Aims To Use Words, Not Weapons, With Afghans

U.S. Army soldiers learn to play khosai, Afghanistan's full-contact national pastime, at Fort Campbell.
Blake Farmer for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 5:53 pm

The U.S. Army has been ramping up instruction in the languages of Afghanistan, even as troop levels in the country decrease in preparation for the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

This year, key installations have added several hundred speakers of Pashto and Dari to their ranks, more than doubling the number of soldiers trained in the Afghan languages.

But it's not just the country's languages that are foreign to U.S. soldiers — it's the culture, as well.

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Mid-South News
8:30 am
Mon February 27, 2012

State Capitol Report: Republicans Pipe Up on Closing ECD Records

Gov. Bill Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty joined local and company officials on Thursday, Feb. 2 for an official grand opening and tour of the new Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga. Pictured is General Manager Sanjay Shah as he leads.
Tennessee ECD

An effort by the Haslam administration to close records regarding cash grants to private companies is being reworked after hitting a snag in the Tennessee Senate last week. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey repeated what started as an argument from a few Democrats, that the state should at least make public who owns a company seeking state incentives.

The Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department says it needs this confidentiality bill to compete for business with other states.

Around the Nation
11:01 pm
Sun February 19, 2012

As Bear Population Grows, More States Look At Hunts

A family of bears investigates a Dumpster behind a diner in Pomona, N.Y., last fall. Black bears are becoming more common in populated areas around the United States.
Eddy Philippe AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 7:48 am

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