politics and Government


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has amassed more than $732 million in grant money intended to help poor working families with no plan for how to spend it.

According to conservative think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee, the state receives $190.9 million annually through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Last year, Tennessee spent just $71.1 million of that money.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Metro Water Services will present proposed water and sewer rate increases to the City Council at the council's meeting Nov. 5.


Look for your water bill to go up effective Jan. 1.


Metro Water Services notes that it hasn’t seen a rate increase since 2011. the department says it has now has a backlog of $1.4 billion worth of maintenance and upgrades in need of funding.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Vice Mayor Jim Shulman is asking for input from Nashville residents on some of the city’s most pressing problems.


Shulman will late in October announce the formation of eight committees to explore issues ranging from improving voter engagement to higher pay for city employees.


Shulman said the committees will include as members both sitting city council members and ordinary citizens. 



WASHINGTON, DC (OSBORNE) -- Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has again sided with Democrats to rebuke of President Donald Trump for diverting military funds to border wall construction.

Alexander and ten other Senate Republicans Wednesday joined 43 Democrats to pass a bill terminating President Trump’s emergency declaration authorizing diversion of the funding. Alexander voted in favor of the same legislation back in the spring, saying the congressional power of the purse must be protected.

Andy Heidt / MTSU

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has a new job. Harwell on Tuesday accepted a Distinguished Visiting Professor appointment at Middle Tennessee State University.

University President Sidney A. McPhee noted Harwell will guest lecture, participate in panels and organize academic events for students.

Harwell was Tennessee’s first female House Speaker. She told WMOT during Tuesday's event she’s especially interested in supporting the university’s aspiring women.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- If your travels take you through downtown Nashville this weekend, expect major traffic delays.

Construction on the overpass at I-440 and I-65 will close both highways from Friday night through Monday morning. A portion of Franklin Road will also be closed between Berry Road and Woodmont Boulevard.

It’s part of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's $153 million dollar I-440 reconstruction. TDOT Project Manager Clayton Markham says expect long delays.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked Tennessee's new restrictions for registering voters from taking effect on Oct. 1, saying Thursday that any benefit of the law won't likely outweigh its potential harm.

The ruling, for now, sets aside a law that goes beyond other states by fining groups that pay workers when too many incomplete registration forms are submitted. The law would also criminalize intentional infractions of a new set of rules, exposing voting advocates to misdemeanor charges.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton is warning Nashville officials that he might attempt to withhold state funding due to the city's recent executive order discouraging local cooperation with immigration officials.

Sexton, a Republican, first made the comments while talking to a local radio show Tuesday morning. A House GOP spokesman later confirmed Sexton's comments to The Associated Press.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Republican Tennessee lawmaker says he was clearly joking when he called in a radio broadcast for the abolishment of higher education in order to cut off the "liberal breeding ground.

However, Sen. Kerry Roberts of Springfield said in a statement Tuesday that he stands behind his critique of liberal arts education in America "one hundred percent."


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration says paid attendance at last weekend’s contest was up slightly, but a photo by the local Times-Gazette shows large open sections in the event’s 30,000 seat arena.


The Big Lick, held in Shelbyville every year since 1939, was once one of Tennessee’s largest tourism draws pumping millions of dollars annually into the mid-state economy.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Emotions ran high Friday as House minority Democrats tried to introduce new measures during a special called session of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called the session to elect a new House speaker, following the resignation earlier this month of embattled Williamson County Rep. Glen Casada. Crossville Republican Cameron Sexton won the speaker's seat with near unanimous support from both Republicans and Democrats.

Jackson County Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- State lawmakers heard Thursday from rural county mayors struggling to pay for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Many rural Tennessee counties no longer have hospitals. EMS first responders are frequently the only emergency medical care available.

Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady gave lawmakers on the House TennCare Subcommittee just one example of what that can cost. Heady described a chronically ill county resident that has to be transported to Nashville for emergency care about once a month.

Scooters to remain on Nashville streets...for now

Aug 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The rental scooters offered by companies Bird and Lime will be allowed to remain on Nashville streets.

A measure by Councilman Steve Glover to ban scooters failed during Tuesday night’s council session. Glover’s bill cited data from Vanderbilt and St. Thomas indicating their ER doctors are treating two to three scooter related injuries a day and an average of one traumatic brain injury a month.

In spite of those grim statistics, District 26 Rep. Jeremy Elrod urged the council to give scooters more time.


MURFREESBORO. Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The CEO’s leading three of Tennessee largest employers are questioning the role of big corporations in American life.

The Business Roundtable claims some of the nation’s top brands as members. The Roundtable this week released a letter signed by nearly 200 member CEOs.

The letter expresses concern that American workers continue to struggle even as corporations thrive. The letter says in part “Too often hard work is not rewarded.”

Groups seek to block Tennessee voter signup penalties law

Aug 20, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Several voter registration organizations are asking a judge to stop Tennessee's new restrictions for signing up voters from taking effect in October, saying the law has already curtailed their ability to enroll voters in communities of color and other historically disenfranchised groups.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said his administration is looking at several policy options to increase safety following two mass shootings over the weekend.

However, the Republican declined on Monday to say specifically which policy proposal he would advocate against the GOP-controlled Statehouse, which has been resistant to adopt gun control measures over the years.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Metro Councilman John Cooper and Mayor David Briley are headed into a runoff in the mayor's race.

Cooper and Briley outpaced multiple challengers in the mayor's first re-election contest in the Democratic-tilted city. Cooper led the incumbent Briley by about 10 percentage points on Thursday night, but neither secured the majority of votes needed to win and avoid the Sept. 12 runoff.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An appeals court has ruled against Tennessee lawmakers in their challenge of the federal refugee resettlement program.

A 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the GOP-led General Assembly hasn't claimed an injury that gives it standing in the case and hasn't established it has authority to sue on the state's behalf.

The March 2017 lawsuit argued the refugee program forces Tennessee to spend money on additional services, including health care and education.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- A mid-state media law specialist says radio powerhouse Cumulus got it wrong when the company cited federal law for refusing to air a Nashville interview with Democratic presidential primary candidate Pete Buttigieg.

Country Music DJ Blair Garner recorded the interview when Buttigieg was in Music City this past week. Cumulus told Garner he couldn’t air the interview on the company’s network of more than 400 U.S. radio stations because it would violate Federal Communications Commission regulations.

City of Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Nashville’s city budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year will not include a new property tax.

WTVF-TV says Metro Council last night debated four alternate budget proposals, three of which included additional spending and property tax increases. The council ultimately approved Mayor David Briley’s proposed budget.

Briley’s $2.3 billion plan features more than $100 million in new spending but does not include a tax increase.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have voted against forming a union.

A win would have offered the United Auto Workers its first fully organized, foreign-owned auto assembly plant in the traditionally anti-union South.

The vote of hourly workers began Wednesday and concluded Friday. The German automaker said in a statement Friday night that preliminary results show 833 employees voted against representation and 776 voted for it.


JAMESTOWN, Tenn. (Osborne)    -- Tennessee will likely see another of its rural hospitals close this coming week.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Tennessee companies will be watching closely as trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico continue Thursday in Washington.

The meeting was hastily called following last week’s threat by President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on Mexico. The president wants Mexico to immediately curtail the number of immigrants arriving at the U.S. southern border.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The company that makes Jack Daniels took a hit from the Trump administration's tariff fight, estimating that the standoff dragged sales growth down by a percentage point for the entire year.

Brown-Forman Corp. posted fourth quarter sales of $744 million, which was well short of the $762 million that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet.

Net income was $159 million, or 33 cents per share, which topped expectations by 3 cents.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Osborne)  -- Some 180 Tennessee attorneys have signed an open letter calling on state officials to investigate controversial statements reportedly made by the Coffee County District Attorney.

Caught on video tape, the statements by DA Craig Northcutt have made national headlines. Multiple media outlets quote Northcutt saying he would refuse to prosecute cases of domestic violence between same sex partners.