Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s Republican-dominant Senate have advanced legislation that would require school districts to alert parents of any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill also allows parents or guardians to opt their students out of such instruction.

Backers of the bill argued Monday that the measure strengthens parental rights, but critics counter it could further alienate students already marginalized.

After clearing the Senate, the bill must now pass the GOP-controlled House.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Tennessee man held a key role in spreading English-language propaganda for the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors say 31-year-old Benjamin Carpenter, of Knoxville, has been in custody since his March 24 arrest.

A detention hearing was held Monday, but a judge did not immediately decide whether he should be free pending trial.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee community organizer Odessa Kelly has announced that she will challenge U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in the 2022 Democratic primary.

Kelly is backed by Justice Democrats, a progressive group that helped launch Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign in 2018.

Kelly is the co-founder and executive director of Stand Up Nashville, a coalition made up of community organizers and labor unions.

If she won, Kelly would become the first openly gay, Black woman in Congress.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Department of Health has announced that 1 million residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to a news release on Thursday, roughly 22% of the state’s approximate 7 million population has received at least one dose.

The department says more than half of Tennesseans over the age of 60 have received a first dose, and nearly two-thirds of those over the age of 70 have received their initial dose.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A prosecutor says dozens face federal charges in a violent, years-long drug ring that an inmate orchestrated from inside a Tennessee state prison using smuggled cellphones.

According to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart, a federal indictment unsealed Friday charged 27 people with charges related to a large-scale conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine that has been occurring since as early as 2018.