In the new feature film American Folk, the character Joni (played by Amber Rubarth), on an unplanned cross-country road trip in the days after 9/11, makes a pact with her traveling companion and fellow musician Elliott (Joe Purdy), to “bring back the folk.” She shouts it out the window to a passing America - a cry for communication, unity and empathy invigorated through music.

Sierra Hull's Bluegrass Odyssey on The String

Feb 14, 2018
Jacqueline Justice

Sierra Hull resolved that bluegrass music would be her life’s work when she wasn’t even ten years old. Growing up in tiny Byrdstown, TN, the music was all around her, not at concert venues but in jams at the local cafe and at homes, including her own and her uncle’s next door. The precocious young talent was signed to Rounder Records and released her debut album at 16 years old. Less than ten years later, she was named the first female IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, an honor she’s won twice in a row.





Chris and Oliver Wood built their singular sibling duo patiently, transitioning over several years from divergent and distant musical careers. Since moving from separate cities to Nashville and adding drummer Jano Rix about five years ago however, The Wood Brothers have enjoyed accelerating success.

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Diane Black

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In her bid for governor of Tennessee, Republican Rep. Diane Black will run an ad during the Super Bowl pregame show saying "it's too bad that the league doesn't respect the patriotism of our national anthem."

Black's campaign spokesman, Chris Hartline, said Thursday that the ad urging fans to stand will run on one network in several Tennessee markets at a cost of more than $50,000. Some will see it right before kickoff, he said.

BOSTON (AP/WMOT) — A Massachusetts pharmacist convicted for his role in a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak that left 14 Tennesseans dead apologized to victims and their families before being sentenced to eight years in prison.

Nearly 80 people died and almost 800 were sickened in what's considered the worst public health crisis in recent U.S. history. The fungal meningitis outbreak was caused by mold-tainted steroid injections produced by the New England Compounding Center.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former state Sen. Mae Beavers says she is dropping out of the crowded Republican field for the Tennessee governor's race.

On Facebook Tuesday, the Mt. Juliet ex-lawmaker said it was not a light decision to suspend her campaign because people embraced her conservative message. But she wrote that it is the right choice to make.

Beavers wrote that she's looking forward to her retirement after decades of serving as an elected official.

She only raised $163,900 from July through mid-January and had $167,400 cash on hand.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Gov. Bill Haslam is out with his state budget proposal, a plan he outlined Monday night during his final State of the State address before the Tennessee General Assembly.

Before detailing his budget priorities for the fiscal year that begins in July, Haslam touted his administrations accomplishments. He noted record low unemployment, advances in education, lower taxes and job creation.

The governor then challenged lawmakers to maintain that momentum.

Doctor says bad weather averted Tenn. flu 'disaster'

Jan 30, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  This year’s flu season is one of the worst in years, but the current president of the Tennessee Medical Association says it could be worse.

Nita Shumaker is a Chattanooga Pediatrician and leads the TMA. She says the snow, ice and cold Tennessee saw middle of the month likely kept this year’s flu season from getting even worse.

“It was set to be just a disaster until we had the cold weather that kept kids out of school and away from each other a little bit. So now we’re still seeing it. We’ve probably seen three this morning.”


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new report says Tennessee’s business leaders remain bullish on the economy thanks in large part to President Trump’s recent tax cut.

Dr. Tim Graeff heads the Business Barometer survey taken quarterly by Middle Tennessee State University.

The new tax structure means significant savings for most businesses and Dr. Graeff says it has business leaders feeling upbeat.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)   --  Veterans Administration hospitals in Middle Tennessee say they’ve reduced the number of opioid pain medication prescriptions they write by 38 percent in the past five years.

The VA says it’s the only health-care system in the country publically disclosing opioid prescribing rates. The agency says it’s part of a wider effort to be more transparent about veteran care.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A Lipscomb University conflict resolution expert says he’s seeing signs that Americans are tiring of the constant political, religious and cultural turmoil.

Dr. Steve Joiner directs the Lipscomb Institute for Conflict Management.

Joiner concedes civil discourse is at a real low point just now. He says Americans have, his words, “somehow gotten the idea that the way you get things done is to be louder.”

But Joiner says he’s seeing signs that people are ready for a change in atmosphere.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is offering a surprisingly grim assessment of the law enforcement challenges the state currently faces.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn spoke to the House Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday.

Gwyn told lawmakers than in his three decades at TBI, he’s never witnessed the kind of pressure agents now face.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/AP)  --  Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to address the opioid addiction epidemic received a warm reception from the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services.

The organization represents many of the state’s addiction treatment facilities and counselors.

On Monday the governor promised $25 million in additional spending for treatment. The Association’s Mary-Linden Salters said she’s happy with that increase.


Brent Cobb on Wired In

Brent Cobb on WMOT's Wired In

Cobb is a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album

Tennessee Divided

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  FBI Director Christopher Wray says he’s concerned about a now common type of partnership between the Chinese government and American universities, partnerships that can be found on three Tennessee campuses.

The Chinese currently sponsor Confucius Institutes at about 100 colleges in the United States. UT Knoxville, the University of Memphis and Middle Tennessee State all host Institutes on their campuses.

Plant a tree this weekend...hugging is optional

Feb 19, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Environmentalists are closing in on their goal of planting 250,000 trees across Tennessee this coming weekend.

The Tennessee Environmental Council has been hosting annual tree planting events for several years. This year’s 250K Tree Day is scheduled for Saturday.

Council President John McFadden says volunteers are being asked to plant trees on their own property and at pre-approved public sites as well.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general wants the state Supreme Court to set eight execution dates before June 1, saying it's uncertain whether officials can get the lethal injection chemicals after that.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery's court filing Thursday says juries delivered death sentences decades ago, and each man has exhausted the three-tier appeals process.

The state's last execution was in 2009.

Slatery cited "ongoing difficulty" getting lethal injection drugs.

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Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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