Sergio Martínez-Beltrán | Nashville Public Radio

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán

Political Reporter & Host

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is Nashville Public Radio’s political reporter and host of The Tri-Star State podcast. Before moving to Nashville, Sergio covered education for the Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden, Utah. He is a Puerto Rico native and his work has also appeared on NPR station WKAR, San Antonio Express-News, Inter News Service, GFR Media and WMIZ 1270 AM. 

In his free time (once in a blue moon), Sergio can be found playing volleyball or in Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the coolest uncle (feel free to fact-check) to Olivia and Jimena. 

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

Tennessee’s privately run prisons have experienced twice as many inmate homicides compared to state-run facilities.

That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Defense Center, a prisoner advocacy group. The organization says the deaths are a result of how Brentwood-based CoreCivic operates its prisons.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect a Wednesday ruling by a federal judge.

A new law has banned online ordained ministers from officiating weddings in Tennessee.

Critics of the measure say it’s a violation of First Amendment rights. But for another group — LGBT people in rural and suburban communities — the impact could be even greater.

Shalina Chatlani/WPLN

Tennessee will have more than 70 new laws this year.

They go into effect on Monday, and range from banning handheld devices while driving, to allowing one type of gambling.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has officially set a date for a special session to replace embattled House Speaker Glen Casada.

Some Tennessee lawmakers are asking the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation to do away with a large trade show and conference.

The Environmental Show of the South is put on by TDEC every year. But some of the after-hours meetups between officials and lobbyists have raised concerns.

Alberto G. / via Flickr

A track record of zero downtime when administering statewide exams sold the Tennessee Department of Education on its new testing vendor.

London-based Pearson was awarded the contract to run the TNReady tests, replacing a company that experienced multiple system failures.

U.S. Department of Education

A Tennessee initiative to boost literacy rates is in jeopardy.

The Read To Be Ready program launched in 2016 and had an ambitious goal of increasing literacy among third graders. But its popular summer camp program has officially run out of funds.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

The Tennessee State Museum is facing problems that range from water leaks to a lack of internal control over inventory, a new audit by the Tennessee Comptroller's office has found.

According to the agency, some of these issues put the state’s collections at risk.

TN General Assembly

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said Wednesday it will install a new water monitoring system at Cummins Falls within the next 45 days.

The department appeared Wednesday in front of lawmakers and discussed its response to the death of a 2-year-old boy at the state park during a flash flood. 

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

The Frayser community in Memphis is dealing with the aftermath of Brandon Webber’s fatal shooting.

The 20-year-old black man was killed by U.S. marshals who were attempting to arrest him on outstanding felony warrants. But it was the violent protest that followed that put the community in the national spotlight.