Shawn Anfinson

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Anfinson) -- Local environmentalists and concerned citizens are raising a stink about air quality in the area surrounding Murfreesboro’s Middle Point Landfill, referred to by many local residents as Mt. Trashmore.

Recently, citizens gathered at Walter Hill Elementary, a spot within direct sight of Middle Point landfill, to voice their concerns to the Tennessee Department of Air Pollution Control and BFI/Allied Waste Systems. BFI is the company that operates the landfill, and they are applying to renew their operating permit.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) – An increasing number of Americans say the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to the State of the First Amendment national survey. 

Conducted since 1997, the survey gauges the public’s knowledge and opinions about First Amendment rights.

According to the latest results, more than a third of Americans say the First Amendment provides too much liberty. That finding represents a 13 percent increase from last year, the largest single-year increase in the history of the survey.

MTSU photo by Andy Heidt

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  The new Tennessee Journalists Hall of Fame honored its inaugural inductees Friday.

Among the first six members named to the Hall was John Seigenthaler. He was the longtime editor and publisher of The Tennessean, the first editorial director of USA today, and founder of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  The topic of slavery may be history to some, but it’s a living reality for others. Unfortunately, slavery still exists--even in our own backyard. One group of activists is doing their part to "End It" for good.

A 2011 report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found that Human Sex Trafficking has been reported in 85 percent of the counties in Tennessee. The average age of a sex trafficking victim is just 13.

Photo courtesy of Erin, Anfinson

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  (Anfinson) -- The Native American Indian Association of Tennessee is making plans to break ground on a new cultural center here in the mid-state.

This past week, the NAIA hosted its annual Pow-Wow and Fall Festival. It's a colorful celebration of Native American culture and the organization's largest fundraiser.

Pulsating drums and song resonate throughout the day. Inter-Tribal dancers decorated in feathers and beadwork move like crimson and gold-flecked birds against the blue sky. It's quite an atmosphere.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Native American Indian Association is hosting its 31st Annual Pow-Wow and Fall Festival this weekend.

The gathering coincides with Native American Indian Month in Tennessee and serves to raise money for the organization’s projects and charities.

NAIA President, Sally Wells, is thankful for the public’s past support and attendance. With a long-time goal just within reach, she’s hopeful for another good turnout.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  One-in-ten cases is fatal, yet nearly a third of Tennessee adolescents are not vaccinated for Meningitis. School nurses in Tennessee and beyond are speaking out on the issue.

In a campaign to prevent meningitis, the National Association of School Nurses has formed Voices of Meningitis. They provide facts, advice, and video testimonials from real people who have been affected by the disease.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  Main Street businesses in Murfreesboro are joining forces to support the arts.

Following on the success of Nashville’s popular Artcrawl, MTSU sculpture student, Russell White is coordinating an Artwalk in Murfreesboro.

Local art lovers can hop from one Main Street venue to the next and view a variety of work made by local artists like Glen Merchant. Merchant is also the owner of Moxie Art Supply, which will serve as one the Artwalk venues.

MTSU photo by Darby Campbell

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON)  --  As part of its annual Constitution Day celebration, Middle Tennessee State University played host to a naturalization ceremony for 300 immigrants. The celebration also included student-led readings of the Constitution.

Nearly 300 immigrants gathered in the Murphy Center along with friends, family and members of the community. Judge Joe B. Brown of the US District Court for Middle Tennessee led the swearing-in ceremony.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Anfinson) -- Record numbers of college freshmen are enrolled at state schools across Tennessee, but a legislative change in arithmetic means a new economy of results will replace the long-used economy of scale.

Enrollment at TBR colleges rose over 26 percent between 2001 and 2011. Prior to recent legislation, public funding was tied to student enrollment, but passage of the Complete College Tennessee Act changes that calculus.  State appropriation is now based on retention and graduation rates rather than the number of students.

Editor's Note: Motorcycle accidents in Tennessee are up dramatically in 2012. The grim numbers are more than statistics for WMOT Reporter Shawn Anfinson.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (ANFINSON) -- I’ve been riding a motorcycle for the better part of 15 years. With high prices at the pump, it’s a cheap way to get around, and it’s fun. But the large number of motorcyclists killed this year have given me pause.


Editor's Note: Reporter Shawn Anfinson recently shared his family's summer fair experience with WMOT listeners.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Shawn Anfinson) -- My family and I decided to take in the Wilson County Fair this past weekend. We avoided miles of afternoon traffic by arriving early, but there was no way around big crowds on the mid way.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- More than 300 members of the Tennessee National Guard are coming home this week after a year’s deployment in the Middle East.

Guard officials say over 160 soldiers from the 230th Engineer Battalion are arriving at the Smyrna Airport Tuesday.

National Guard spokesman, Randy Harris, says the troops have been deployed in Kuwait supporting operation New Dawn in Iraq and operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.