WASHINGTON, DC  (WMOT)  --  Morality more so than numbers seems to be the focus of discussion as the nation debates President Donald Trump’s first federal budget proposal.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black chairs the powerful House Budget Committee. On Wednesday she welcomed White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as he introduced the budget to Congress.

In her opening remarks, Black was the first to suggest the notion that the federal budget might have moral implications. She said the Trump budget makes good on Republican promises to reign in federal spending.

City of Nashville

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Newly released figures indicate Nashville has overtaken Memphis as Tennessee's largest city.

The Tennessean reports population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau put the state capital's 2016 population at 660,388, compared to Memphis' 652,717. The two have traded places on the list of the nation's largest cities, with Nashville ranking 24th and Memphis 25th.

Estimates show that Memphis experienced a population loss of 1,737 from 2015 to 2016, while Nashville gained 6,310.

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new report on drug overdose deaths as of 2015 in Tennessee says that the fatalities are primarily white, mostly male and increasingly less likely to have prescriptions for the drugs.

  OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Officials are seeking artifacts to display when the International Bluegrass Music Museum opens in a new, larger location next year.

A statement from the museum says objects that "inspire the story of bluegrass over the years," from its beginnings to present day are being sought. That includes instruments, clothing or other memorabilia that were owned by musicians or other prominent figures in bluegrass music.

Items can be loaned or permanently given to the non-profit organization.

Elizabeth Cook is Wired In Live on WMOT

May 25, 2017

Can't join us in person? Watch Elizabeth Cook perform live on WMOT's Wired In from Aurora Nashville. 


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Mid-state a  uthorities say a person has been found fatally shot, the body dumped from a car.

The Daily News Journal reports ( ) that police in Murfreesboro went to an apartment complex near Middle Tennessee State University on Tuesday evening after receiving a report that a person had been shot.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  The State of Tennessee continues to collect more tax dollars than it spends.


The Associated Press reports general fund tax collections exceeded expectations by $159 million in April. Through the first nine months of the budget year, tax collections beat budgeted estimates by $579 million. 



The state's healthy surpluses were a bone of contention between state lawmakers during their just completed legislative session.

 WASHINGTON, Tenn. (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s congressional delegation is weighing in on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal released Tuesday.


Referencing Trump’s visit Wednesday morning at the Vatican, West Tennessee Democrat Steve Cohen was derisive, wondering whether “Trump asked Pope Francis for forgiveness for his budget cuts.” 


Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn was far more supportive, tweeting that she applauds the president for a “bold budget that…lays a pathway to eliminating debt.”

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new report shows that suicides in Tennessee are increasing with middle-aged people being most at risk.

The report by the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network shows that suicides increased by nearly 13 percent in 2015, the latest year figures are available.

Three people die on average every day in Tennessee from suicide and it is the third-leading cause of death for young people age 10 to 19.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A Vanderbilt political scientist says Tennessee Senator Bob Corker could further fracture an already deeply divided Republican Party.

Corker heads the U.S. Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee. The Senator reacted harshly this past week to the possibility that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian diplomats. Corker was quoted saying the White House seemed to be “in a downward spiral.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  If you plan to travel on Tennessee highway's this holiday weekend, you won't be alone.

AAA says more than 39 million Americans are expected to travel during the Memorial Day holiday. The group's Stephani Milani says it will likely be the busiest Memorial Day since 2005.

“If you look at the number of Tennessee travelers, we’re expected to top 785.000 travelers, and that’s a two percent increase over last year.”


WASHINGTON, DC.  (AP/WMOT)  --  Tennesseans could see their federal benefits drastically reduced under a budget proposed by President Donald Trump.

Trump's plan cuts almost $3.6 trillion over ten years from an array of benefit programs including Obamacare, TennCare, student loan subsidies and food stamps.

State officials say there are currently just over 1 million Tennesseans receiving food stamps and one-and-a-half million receiving health care through TennCare -- Tennessee’s version of Medicaid.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill creating a new Tennessee license plate design featuring the phrase "In God We Trust."

The original version of the bill would have required the phrase to be printed on all license plates issued in the state. But after the state attorney general raised constitutional concerns, sponsors agreed to make the make the new design optional.

The new law requires the Department of Revenue to design plates to include the optional "In God We Trust" language once current stocks are exhausted.

United States Senate

  WASHINGTON (AP) — Remember the Republican health care bill?

Washington is fixated on President Donald Trump's firing of FBI chief James Comey and burgeoning investigations into possible connections between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.

Murfreesboro sees dramatic uptick in gun violence

May 17, 2017


  --   Murfreesboro Police say the man killed Tuesday night is just one of more than 20 city residents shot, and the second person killed, since the first of the year.

City officials tell WMOT that nearly all the gunshot victims live in the ring of apartment complexes and rental homes that surround Middle Tennessee State University (see the included map) and cater primarily to students.

The most recent shooting resulted in the death of 18-year-old Kendrick Love.

No charges for white officer who shot, killed black man

May 11, 2017


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A white Nashville police officer won't face charges for shooting and killing an armed black man after a traffic stop in February, a district attorney said.

At a news conference Thursday, District Attorney General Glenn Funk said Officer Josh Lippert's actions met the legal definition of self-defense when he shot and killed Jocques Scott Clemmons following a traffic stop.


MARTIN, Tenn. (AP) — A woman followed a congressman down a Tennessee highway, jumped out of her own vehicle, then screamed at him while pounding on the windows of his car, authorities said.

NASHVILLE Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Earlier this week the Americana Music Association announced nominees for the 2017 Americana Music Awards. Those prizes will be handed out in September during the group’s Americanafest conference and music festival. Now word that the annual event’s economic impact on Middle Tennessee is growing rapidly.

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce recently completed an economic impact study for the festival and conference. Study author Garrett Harper provided WMOT with the hard numbers.

Tenn. lesbian couple get divorce after politically charged battle

May 10, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A lesbian couple have received a divorce decree after a custody battle that was targeted by dozens of conservative Tennessee lawmakers who tried to intervene in the case.

The same-sex divorce and custody case became a political flashpoint after a Knoxville judge initially ruled that one of the women had no parental rights to a child conceived by artificial insemination because she did not meet the legal definition of "husband."

The judge changed his mind, granted the divorce and approved a plan for Sabrina and Erica Witt to split custody.

Tennessee lawmakers adjourn session featuring gas tax hike

May 10, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have adjourned for the year after a session that featured heavy infighting among the Republican majority about Gov. Bill Haslam's gas tax hike and other budget issues.

The House and Senate concluded the first session of the two-year 110th General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

Haslam's road funding plan dubbed the Improve Act raises the tax on gasoline by 6 cents over the next three years. The plan also cuts taxes on groceries, manufacturers and income from stocks and bonds.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee State Board of Education has reinstated the teaching license of a former teacher who pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a student in 2007.

The Tennessean reports ( former Moore County physical education teacher William S. Haynes had his criminal record expunged after serving four years of probation.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has reversed course and decided that it is willing to offer Obamacare insurance plans in the Knoxville area in 2018.

Kevin Walters, a spokesman for the state Department of Commerce and Insurance, said that if the plan is approved by the state, then all counties in Tennessee will have an insurance provider through the marketplace.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney for a white police officer who shot and killed an armed African-American man in Nashville in February said his client wants the investigative report on the fatal confrontation to be released to the public.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A teacher charged with kidnapping a 15-year-old student and taking her to California is back home in Tennessee, facing charges that could leave him in prison for life.

Tad Cummins appeared in a federal courtroom in Nashville on Tuesday to face an additional charge of bringing a minor across state lines for sex. The 50-year-old health science teacher was shackled with leg irons and wearing a striped jail jumpsuit when he entered the courtroom. He smiled at relatives who came to watch.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Havighurst)  -- "This is weird," said songwriter Jason Isbell with a touch of irony as he joined his former band mates Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley for an acoustic performance at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday afternoon. “I like weird,” Isbell added.