Articles by: Nathan T. Baker

Tennessee Battleground for Legislature Elections

August 16, 2006 at 5:07 pm

The National Conference of State Legislatures labels Tennessee as one of the top ten battleground states for legislative elections in November. The NCSL calls the state’s Republican controlled Senate and Democratic controlled House within “striking distance for the minority party.” Alex Johnson directs the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee. He says he doesn’t expect his party to overtake Democrats in the Tennessee House, but he does think they’ll keep control inRead More

International Bluegrass Music Award Nominees

August 15, 2006 at 3:02 pm

Perennial favorite Alison Krauss and Union Station received 11 nominations, including Vocal Group and Instrumental Group of the Year, from the International Bluegrass Music Awards today. The group Blue Highway was close behind with 10 nominations, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year for “Marbletown.” [“Marbletown” sample] Bluegrass veterans Doyle Lawson and Rhonda Vincent, who along with their bands, Quicksilver and The Rage, each garnered an EntertainerRead More

TDOT introduces 511 traffic number

August 14, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Today Tennessee became the 24th state to have a state-wide 511 phone number for traffic and weather updates. The system is voice automated. “To hear up to date traffic information, say traffic conditions, or press one.” TDOT Motorist Information Coordinator John Hall is the voice of 511. He says callers can name a specific route such as I-65 or I-40 and learn of traffic delays. Hall says the information forRead More

Songwriters Nominated to Hall of Fame

August 11, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Margaritaville‘s Jimmy Buffett and Jimmy Weatherly, who wrote “Midnight Train To Georgia” were among the 15 people nominated for possible induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall Fame yesterday. Only three of the nominees—two songwriters and one songwriter/artist—will gain entrance into the Hall of Fame in October. As a camera flashed, Tony Joe White, who wrote “Rainy Night in Georgia,” smiled and held his framed nomination. His son Jody stood byRead More

New Walk of Fame

August 10, 2006 at 6:07 pm

Nashville will now honor its musical heritage with a Music City Walk of Fame. Permanent sidewalk medallions featuring the names of musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and music industry executives, will line a section of Demonbreun Street from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to Music Row. The Walk of Fame is part of an effort by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau to brand this area as the “Music City Mile.” SingerRead More

Airport Sees Delays after Security Upgrade

August 10, 2006 at 5:13 pm

Nashville’s International Airport experienced an increase in delays this afternoon after the security level increased for all flights. This morning, travelers waited in line for nearly half an hour, more than twice the usual amount of time. By midday lines were near normal. The Transportation Security Administration is prohibiting liquids to be carried onto planes. You can bring beverages, lotion, or hair gel, but only if you check it withRead More

Country Music Marathon

August 8, 2006 at 5:43 pm

The County Music Marathon will hit the streets again next year as organizers continue to look for a title sponsor for the event. This year, in the most successful year to date, more than 22,000 participants registered for the half marathon and marathon. Event manger Adam Zocks says they expect even more participants in 2007, especially kids. “The first year we added the kid’s marathon to this event, which wasRead More

Property Tax Ammendment

August 8, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Volunteers turned in a petition today that could give Nashville voters a say in property tax increases. The Davidson County Election Commission is currently reviewing the over 15 thousand names on the petition. If enough of the names are verified, then the amendment will appear on this November’s ballot. Organizer Ben Cunningham says the number of signatures is an indication that people will vote for the amendment. He says heRead More

Some Parents Excused for First Day of School

August 8, 2006 at 11:15 am

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell wants parents to join their kids as they walk through their school doors on the first day of school next Monday. He praises Nashville businesses that have adopted policies to allow employees with kindergarten to high school-aged kids a couple hours off the clock to be there on opening day. “We hope that every parent will be there in school for at least part of thatRead More

211 service phone number to expand

August 6, 2006 at 3:42 pm

Middle Tennesseans can simply dial 2-1-1 to find volunteer opportunities, find an after school program, or be connected to an agency or crisis line, but around 22 rural counties still lack the service. United Way and the Tennessee Alliance of Information and Referral Systems hoped to reach border to border 211 coverage last month, but have been facing setbacks due to delayed funding and technical issues. Tennessee 211 director DougRead More

Frist behind Corker in Senate race

August 4, 2006 at 3:39 pm

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill First’s decision to step down has drawn national attention to who will take his spot in Tennessee. Republican Bob Corker will face off against Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in November. Both men won their primary last night. Frist says he’ll begin campaigning for Corker tomorrow. “I will be very, very visual. My legacy over the last 12 years will be determined by that occupant andRead More

Cooper calls minimum wage, estate tax bill “political trick”

August 2, 2006 at 1:23 pm

The Senate is discussing a bill this week that would increase the minimum wage by 2 dollars and 10 cents over the next 3 years. The bill also significantly cuts the estate tax and changes pension law. The House voted mainly along party lines last Friday, advancing the bill in a 230 to 180 vote, with most Republicans in favor. Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper was the only representative from TennesseeRead More

Tenn. Tourism Industry Grows

July 25, 2006 at 5:11 pm

Tennessee’s tourism industry grew by $1 billion last year, with all 95 counties seeing an increase in tourism dollars—something that hasn’t happened in 8 years. Speaking in Goodlettsville today, state tourism commissioner Susan Whitaker says the momentum from last year should continue. Witaker says a recent state tourism commercial, featuring Dolly Parton inserted into old footage of Elvis Presley driving a convertible, has boosted attention to the state. “…such aRead More

Another Park To Have Free Wi-Fi

July 17, 2006 at 2:06 pm

According to Metro’s Information Technology Services Department, the number of people using the city’s free, wireless internet access at Centennial Park is rising steadily. Last year Metro Parks and ITS installed Wi-Fi at Centennial because of it’s central location. Last month alone, 500 people logged on. Metro Parks Spokesman Barry McAlister says the increased number of web surfers is noticeable. “We still, because of what the park is, still seeRead More

Bredesen Hopes To Raise Bond Rating

July 12, 2006 at 5:50 pm

After spending a day and a half meeting with credit rating agencies in New York, Governor Phil Bredesen says the state made a good case for raising Tennessee’s bond rating. In 2000, the state lost its triple-A rating, the highest bond rating available, because for three consecutive years, the legislature spent one-time money on recurring expenses. The message Bredesen says he took to New York is that the state hasRead More

Unions Petition NLRB

July 12, 2006 at 5:49 pm

More than a hundred union members carried signs and chanted labor slogans as they marched to the local office of the National Labor Relations Board in downtown Nashville today. They delivered a petition calling for public hearings on how the term “supervisor” is defined. Under law, supervisors can not unionize.  Union members say employers are now attempting to reclassify many workers, including nurses, as supervisors. Stewart Acuff is the nationalRead More

Drug Possession Largest Zero Tolerance Violation

July 10, 2006 at 5:36 pm

A new report shows that 63 percent of zero tolerance violations in Tennessee schools were drug related for the 2004-2005 school year. A zero tolerance violation can result in a student being expelled, without prior violations or warnings. Most zero tolerance violations took place in 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. Researchers with the Comptroller’s office of Education Accountability compiled the survey. They recommend that this age group be targeted forRead More

Imported Meth Increases in Tenn.

July 10, 2006 at 2:12 pm

State officials and local law enforcement say that production of methamphetamine in Tennessee is decreasing, which is turning many addicts to imported meth from super labs in Mexico and the Southwest U.S. Around half as many meth labs were seized in 2005 compared to a year before in Tennessee, partly because of a new law that restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in making meth. While meth labRead More

Move Over Law Strengthened

July 7, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Fines are going up for drivers who fail to give emergency vehicles proper space. Tennessee’s “Move Over” law took effect two years ago. It requires drivers to move over or slow down if they can’t change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Since the law was enacted, a highway patrol officer, a metro police officer, and a Department of Transportation worker have been killedRead More

Taskforce Looks To Close Digital Divide

July 5, 2006 at 3:18 am

A Metro taskforce is searching for ways to close the digital divide in Nashville so more low-income families can afford internet access. Councilman David Briley is on the taskforce. He says one idea is for the city to partner with an internet provider such as Comcast or Bellsouth. The company could offer reduced prices in exchange for government compensation. Briley says this type of program would strengthen the community byRead More