Associated Press

Loretta Lynn & Patsy Lynn Russell

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn's friendship in the early '60s created an unbreakable bond between the two country music trailblazers.

In a new memoir “Me and Patsy: Kicking Up Dust,” Lynn reveals the backstage stories of the two friends who leaned on each other through good times and bad.

Lynn says Cline was like her sister, teaching her how to shave her legs, lending her clothes and teaching her how to navigate the male-dominated music business.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Unemployed Tennesseans waiting to receive an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits from the federal government will need to wait a bit longer.

Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development Department spokesman Chris Cannon says the department is having to reprogram its computer system to accommodate the changes from the federal coronavirus relief package.

Cannon says programers are working as quickly as possible to make the changes, but he cannot give a date when the work will be completed.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ten people have now died in a coronavirus outbreak at a Tennessee nursing home where more than 100 people tested positive. 

Sumner Regional Medical Center spokesman Kyle Brogdon confirmed the additional fatalities from the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing.

State health officials said more than 70 residents and more than 30 staffers tested positive at the facility, which was temporarily evacuated.

The state contracted out a deep cleaning of the facility and inspected it.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in Tennessee say a man fatally stabbed three people and wounded a fourth at a travel center before a deputy shot and killed him.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded Tuesday morning to a call at the Pilot Travel Center off Interstate 40 to find a person with stab wounds outside the store and a man armed with a knife in the parking lot.

The bureau said the man refused to drop the weapon and a deputy fired, killing the suspect.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed several election law changes that lawmakers passed before they recessed due to the coronavirus.

Changes to voter registration penalties were hailed as a win by groups that sued and convinced a judge to block the harsher restrictions passed last year.

The new law removes misdemeanor penalties for not completing certain administrative requirements and eliminates fines for submitting too many incomplete registration forms.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's job losses are soaring in the coronavirus pandemic.

New unemployment claims in Tennessee climbed to about 94,500 last week, up from 39,100 the previous week and 2,700 three weeks ago.

With the huge influx, applicants have hit snags trying to access the state’s online portal. State labor officials added capacity after a 2,000% increase in usage on Tuesday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct decades ago has reversed course and says he will seek reelection after all.

In announcing his reelection bid Tuesday, Republican Rep. David Byrd did not mention the accusations of sexual misconduct by three women when he was their high school basketball coach and a teacher, before being elected.

He stressed the importance of having an experienced lawmaker during the coronavirus pandemic.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee has announced that Tennessee will soon release location information on where coronavirus deaths have occurred in the state after his administration initially declined to do so.

The Republican had been facing pressure to provide the county-level information as Tennessee's death toll from the virus climbed to 23 Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Lee said the state would list not only county information for COVID-19 deaths but also the number of negative tests on a county level. 

Mayor John Cooper (Twitter)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The American Red Cross has announced that it once again was extending the deadline for emergency financial help for Middle Tennessee residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed earlier this month by several deadly tornadoes.

The Red Cross said in a Monday news release that the new deadline to file an application for financial assistance is now April 7. The organization had previously announced it would extend the deadline to April 1.

John Prine

NEW YORK (AP) — John Prine was reported in stable condition Monday after being placed on a ventilator while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms.

The update was shared on social media by Prine's wife and manager, Fiona Whelan Prine.

The singer-songwriter's family said Sunday that Prine was critically ill. Fiona Prine's message Monday on social media, suggested his condition had improved overnight.

Prine remains hospitalized.

News that his health was in jeopardy provoked an outpouring of affection for Prine.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee saw more than 14 times as many new unemployment claims filed last week compared to the previous one, showing the stark economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered businesses to try to curb further infection.

According to U.S. Department of Labor figures, Tennessee had 39,096 new claims during the week that ended Saturday. That was before Gov. Bill Lee limited restaurants and bars statewide to takeout, delivery and drive-thru and closed gyms, which took effect Monday.


NASHVILLE (AP) — A teenage driver will face a vehicular manslaughter charge in adult court in connection with a fiery collision with a police car that killed a Nashville officer.

A juvenile court judge transferred the case to adult court Monday, meaning Jayona Brown could receive a more severe punishment if convicted.

Investigators allege Brown drove through an intersection on July 4, 2019, hitting officer John Anderson's cruiser. She was 17 at the time.

The Tennessean reports the 28-year-old officer was also speeding when the cars collided.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee death row inmate is seeking a stay of his execution in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Tennessee Supreme Court filing Wednesday, attorneys for Oscar Smith say the court can stay the execution for six months to let the outbreak run its course so Smith's legal team can conduct crucial work representing him.

The filing says it would be irresponsible and against the public interest for attorneys to conduct necessary interviews, travel, meetings with Smith and other tasks as they pursue clemency and court challenges.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Republican-led Legislature is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider their failed challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program, which claims the state shouldn't be forced to spend money on Medicaid and other services for refugees.

The petition filed this week claims lower courts wrongly ruled the Legislature lacks legal standing in the case.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A health board in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday agreed to close bars and limit restaurant capacity in the country music capital to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville and Davidson County declared a public health emergency while approving the request of Mayor John Cooper.

Thomas R Machnitzki

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's highest court has suspended all in-person judicial proceedings until the end of the month due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

The Supreme Court order was issued Friday.

It applies to state and local courts, including appellate, trial, general session, juvenile and municipal courts.

However, judges, court clerks and other essential constitutional functions will continue to proceed. Likewise, court proceedings by telephone, video, teleconference and email will continue to be allowed.

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee authorities say they have positively identified the remains of a 15-month-old girl who had been missing for weeks.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Leslie Earhart said Wednesday that the remains found Friday are those of Evelyn Mae Boswell. No other details were released.

The bureau said earlier that the remains were found in Sullivan County on property belonging to a family member. Authorities have said she hadn't been seen since at least December.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says he will make an appointment in the coming months to a panel considering an initial vote on what to do with the bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader in the Capitol.

The Republican said other priorities have arisen since the Capitol Commission slot opened last month before the group met to take public comment on the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Tennessee is recovering from deadly tornadoes and is responding to the coronavirus.

Mt. Juliet Police

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The storms that tore through Tennessee this week have left communities reeling from the loss of at least 24 lives.

They were toddlers, young parents, a couple married for nearly six decades, bartenders, a Walmart manager and Sunday school teachers.

The devastation hit hardest in Putnam County, where a tornado tore a 2-mile-long path through the county early Tuesday, killing 18 people, including five children under 13.

Three others died in Wilson County, two were killed in Nashville's Davidson County, and one person died in Benton County.

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Remains believed to be that of a 15-month-old girl were found in Tennessee, ending the 17-day search across three states for a missing toddler, authorities said.


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump is again assuming the role of national consoler as he travels to Tennessee on Friday to tour neighborhoods where lives and homes were destroyed by tornadoes that swept through parts of the state earlier this week.

Trump is touring hart hit communities in Putnam County, where a tornado tore a 2-mile-long path, killing 18 people, including five children under 13.

Many more people were injured, some critically.

Statewide, the death toll stood at 24 from a pair of storms.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift is donating $1 million to tornado relief efforts in Middle Tennessee, where deadly storms ravaged counties this week, including in Nashville.

In an Instagram post made Thursday, Swift said “Nashville is my home.”

She added that “the fact that so many people have lost their homes and so much more in Middle Tennessee is devastating to me.”

She included a link to the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund. The statewide death toll was 24.

A spokesperson for the pop singer confirmed the donation.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — President Donald Trump will visit disaster areas in Tennessee on Friday just days after storms that whipped across the state left 24 dead and many more injured.

Trump will be joined by Gov. Bill Lee, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and other top officials during his visit.

The White House says Trump approved a disaster declaration Thursday, making federal funding available to those affected by the tornadoes.

The White House hasn't specified exactly where Trump will visit.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)  --  Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey announced the state has confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus.

In a Thursday morning news conference, Piercey said the patient is an adult male living in Williamson County who recently traveled out of the state. Piercey says he's isolated at home with mild symptoms and his household contacts are being evaluated.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee has activated a task force to coordinate the state's efforts to prevent and treat coronavirus.

The move comes after Tennessee's top officials recently warned the state will likely soon see its first cases of COVID-19 as the disease continues to spread.

To date, no one in Tennessee has tested positive for coronavirus.

Lee's office said Wednesday the task force will oversee precautionary measures, resource allocation, emergency response plans should the need arise.