Nashville VA Hospital Promises Change During Contentious Town Hall Meeting

Nashville VA Hospital Promises Change During Contentious Town Hall Meeting
A veteran stands up and speaks to Juan Morales, director of the Tennessee Valley Health System, which oversees Veterans Affairs hospitals in the region. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

For more than two hours, veterans talked about unexpected appointment cancellations, lost paperwork and long wait times at the Nashville VA hospital. The regional healthcare director said they're hiring more staff, but it will take time to recruit.

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Listen: 60 Seconds With The Folk-Singing, Joke-Telling Milk Carton Kids

Listen: 60 Seconds With The Folk-Singing, Joke-Telling Milk Carton Kids
Joey Ryan, left, and Kenneth Pattengale of The Milk Carton Kids perform at the 13th Annual Americana Music Association Honors and Awards Show on Sept. 17. Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan of the Milk Carton Kids have been compared to Simon and Garfunkle with their lush harmonies and fingerstyle guitar creations, but it was their witty banter that won over the audience at the Ryman Auditorium this week.

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Loretta Lynn Accepts Americana Lifetime Achievement Award (And Then Drives 800 Miles To A Show)

Loretta Lynn Accepts Americana Lifetime Achievement Award (And Then Drives 800 Miles To A Show)
Loretta Lynn talks to the media and other artists before the 2014 Americana Music Association awards show at the Ryman Auditorium. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Loretta Lynn is an icon in country music, but another group of musicians have called her their own. The Americana Music Association honored her Wednesday night for being a pioneer among female songwriters.

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U.S. Astronaut (And Mt. Juliet Native) Preps For His Launch Aboard A Russian Rocket

U.S. Astronaut (And Mt. Juliet Native) Preps For His Launch Aboard A Russian Rocket
Barry Wilmore wears an "Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit" in a vacuum chamber at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. He is assisted by astronaut Mike Foreman. Credit: NASA

Despite a tense political relationship between the U.S and Russia, Americans astronauts like Barry Wilmore are still riding Russian rockets into space. The Tennessee Tech alumnus and Mt. Juliet native is in his final weeks of preparation at a cosmonaut training center in Moscow before he launches up to the International Space Station.

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Rare Mussel Species Returns To The Duck River After More Than Two Decades

Rare Mussel Species Returns To The Duck River After More Than Two Decades
Steve Ahlstedt holds some pale lilliput mussels before they're reintroduced into the Duck River. They were bred from some of the last surviving mussels in Alabama. Credit: Sally Palmer / The Nature Conservancy

Biologists released 800 pale lilliput mussels — tiny brown shellfish, each about the size of a fingertip — into Tennessee’s Duck River this week. "Never thought in my wildest dreams I’d see this many," one biologist said.

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Why MTSU And Other Public Universities Are Recruiting More International Students

Why MTSU And Other Public Universities Are Recruiting More International Students
Singapore is one of the cities where MTSU recruiters travel. The university is focusing on recruiting students from Asia and the Middle East. Credit: Eustaquio Santimano via Flickr

One of the reasons why universities around the country, especially public ones, want more international students? Out-of-state tuition, says the author of a new study from the Brookings Institution. But MTSU says it's globalization, not money, that is motivating the university to recruit students from other countries.

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Nashville Town Hall Meeting On Ferguson Discusses Discrimination And How To Ease It

Nashville Town Hall Meeting On Ferguson Discusses Discrimination And How To Ease It
Dozens of people asked questions at the Nashville town hall meeting on Ferguson, Mo. Among them was longtime Nashville resident Ed Kindall, who asked about the frequency of diversity training within the police department. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Several hundred people squeezed into a North Nashville church Thursday night to hear what police had to say about the events in Ferguson, Mo. Some audience members thanked the police for their service, but others talked about perceived racial tension.

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Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Throws His Support Behind Same-Sex Marriage

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Throws His Support Behind Same-Sex Marriage
Mayor Karl Dean included funding to extend benefits to same-sex partners of Metro employees. Doing so, he said, shows Nashville respects individual dignity and embraces differences. Image: Office of Mayor Karl Dean

Mayor Karl Dean has been promoting giving domestic partnership benefits to Metro employees since last year but recently signaled his support of gay marriage in general.

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MTSU Lowers ACT Scores Needed For Scholarships In Response To Tennessee Promise

MTSU Lowers ACT Scores Needed For Scholarships In Response To Tennessee Promise
MTSU Graduation. Cap and Gown. Not exactly a hard hat, but we couldn't resist including it. Image: TN Photo Services

Middle Tennessee State University is expecting to give out 250 more merit scholarships next year because it is lowering the ACT scores needed to qualify. It's making this move as the state is putting less funding toward freshman and sophomores at four-year schools.

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The Benefits — And Pitfalls — Of Private Sponsorships In Public Schools

The Benefits — And Pitfalls — Of Private Sponsorships In Public Schools
Mark Rowan, president of Griffin Technologies, announces the official naming of the Griffin Academy of Design and Technology at Hunters Lane High School. Credit: Emily Siner / WPLN

Two Nashville-based companies will officially be putting their names on public high school academies this week. One principal says this partnership helps students by exposing them to real world careers, but critics warn that such relationships could hurt students when they're not done with students' best interests in mind.

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