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Gov. Lee’s School Voucher Plan Could Extend To Middle-Class Families

Gov. Bill Lee's plan to create Tennessee's first school voucher program calls for extending the offer to middle-class families, in addition to low-income ones. That was one of many details that emerged Wednesday when the plan was officially presented to state lawmakers.

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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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Updated March 6 to reflect new budget projections

The president of the University of Tennessee made a dire statement to the governor last month: Joe DiPietro said the business model of Tennessee’s public universities is “broken.” He pointed to low funding from the state and rising tuition costs for students.

In a recent interview with WPLN, DiPietro said he has learned that he couldn’t count on the state to give the university system the funding that he thinks it deserves.

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.

Google Fiber screenshot

Updated Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.: Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google Fiber will expand to four metro areas — Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Nashville. WPLN's Emily Siner will be live tweeting Nashville's press conference at noon. Follow @SinerSays for more.

Brent Whitmore / / Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Inside a lab at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Reyna Gordon is holding up a tangle of elastic wires connected to electrodes.

“For the kids, we call it a spaghetti hat,” she says with a laugh.

Gordon, a music cognition researcher, fits the spaghetti hat over my head like a shower cap. The electrodes touch dozens of points on my skull. This is how she looks at my brain waves, she explains.

University of Tennessee

Representatives from 76 Tennessee colleges and universities are meeting in Nashville this week to discuss how to better address sexual assault.

The conference comes the same week that a trial wraps up over a high-profile rape case involving students at Vanderbilt University, and several weeks after two University of Tennessee football players were accused of sexual assault.

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?

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Tom Toro didn't always dream of becoming a cartoonist at The New Yorker. Sure, he drew cartoons in college, but he didn't see that as a career path. Instead, he went to film school at NYU.

Then he came to the sudden realization that he was in the wrong field — and he had no idea what he was going to do.

Tucsonrailfan via Flickr

It was already becoming clear that Nashville’s next mayor would abandon divisive plans for the Amp bus rapid transit line. Then Thursday, Mayor Karl Dean did it for them. Prior to the decision to shutdown work on the Amp, WPLN asked the six major candidates where they would like to start work on transit. (Uncut audio of their responses is at the bottom of this post.)

Metropolitan Transit Authority

The Metro Transit Authority has officially pulled the plug on the Amp.

The bus rapid transit line had been in a holding pattern since October, when Nashville Mayor Karl Dean announced he wouldn’t pursue further funding before leaving office this year. The MTA voted today to end all work on the project.

The Amp was one of Dean’s pet projects. He raised the idea of bus rapid transit during his run for the mayor’s office eight years ago, and brought it as far as securing federal funding.

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StoryCorps Returns To Nashville, May 13-24

We are proud to welcome back StoryCorps, as part of its Military Voices Initiative. The national nonprofit will be recording in our studio and inviting you to a special listening party on May 16.

The Latest from 91Classical

Image courtesy Oz Arts Nashville

Before he founded Kronos Quartet, before the ensemble would go on to stretch the notion of what a quartet could be, before they would collaborate with some of the biggest names in classical music (earning 11 Grammy nominations along the way), violinist David Harrington heard a piece of music that would change everything. 

MA2LA

A selection of events from the Arts Calendar that caught our eye this week.

image courtesy Rachel Grimes

A few years ago, when composer Rachel Grimes was helping some family members move, she suddenly found herself with a lot of stuff to sort through. Among the personal items and family photos, she found something that completely shocked her: a bill of sale for a woman and her three children from 1824. The single page document would become a spark for a new folk opera, which will have its Tennessee premiere this week.

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