Sara Ernst | Nashville Public Radio

Sara Ernst

Sara Ernst was the multimedia reporting intern at Nashville Public Radio during spring 2018.

Sara Ernst / WPLN

For some Nashvillians, banal tasks like filing paperwork or reading a prescription are major obstacles to their daily lives.

Adult illiteracy affects one in eight in the city, according to the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, and the problem goes beyond native citizens who didn’t learn during childhood. The NALC says it hits hardest among Nashville’s growing immigrant and refugee populations.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The field of Nashville mayoral candidates is thick: Thirteen people have filed the necessary paperwork to run for Nashville's top office.

They veer from the unorthodox  — a master barber, a former limo driver — to the more traditional lawyers and politicians.

More: WPLN's Complete Coverage Of The 2018 Mayoral Election

To familiarize voters with the menagerie of contenders, WPLN put together a quick and dirty cheat sheet. Who are these people? What are their big ideas?

Tennessee State Library and Archives


In the decades before serene family homes occupied the Glendale neighborhood of South Nashville, exotic animals, lush vegetation and summertime whimsy filled the area. The Glendale Park Zoo sat seven miles outside of downtown, a place where animals roamed and children screamed at the drop of the wooden roller coaster ride.

Metro Parks

Nashville is finally opening a 250-acre addition to Edwin Warner Park this weekend called the Burch Reserve. The expansion offers three miles of hiking trails, as well as new traffic signals and more parking space.

Sara Ernst / WPLN

As Nashville gears up for the May 1 transit referendum, Tennessee labor leaders banded together to announce their official support of the plan. They claim that the multi-billion dollar proposal — which includes a light rail, a downtown tunnel and rapid-bus routes — will create jobs, encourage better employee reliability and decrease worker turnover.

Sara Ernst / WPLN


Thousands flocked to downtown Nashville Saturday morning for March for Our Lives, and it was students who led the pack, spearheading almost every aspect from logistics to publicity to the speaker lineup.

Courtesy of MNPD


Nashville officials are debating a potential cut to former bodyguard Robert Forrest’s pension, following his affair with ex-Mayor Megan Barry and his subsequent decision to retire from his public position. The Nashville Employee Benefits Board has sole authority over setting the terms of the police sergeant’s pension, although Forrest may appeal the decision if he deems it unfair.

Sara Ernst / WPLN

Towering over Charlotte Pike in West Nashville, a life-sized pink elephant stands guard over the University Motors car dealership. The bubblegum-colored pachyderm sports a pair of black wayfarer sunglasses.

Megan Barry business council
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville voters still believe in Mayor Megan Barry, according to a poll released by Vanderbilt University this week.

The poll results measured Mayor Megan Barry’s favorability ratings in 2018. Of the 800 Nashville residents in the survey, 61 percent approved of Mayor Barry, marking a double-digit decrease from Barry’s 72 percent approval rating in 2017.

Nashville Airport

Nashville International Airport has been expanding service to far-off destinations, but the latest announcement is one of the city’s closest neighbors: Atlanta. In August, Southwest Airlines will begin offering flights five times a day.