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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --   Tennessee may never be considered progressive, but it turns out that Murfreesboro is a place where women can find a surprisingly high level of equality, at least where work life is concerned.

The personal finance website Nerdwallet.com decided to rate the nation’s cities for workplace equality and Murfreesboro clocked in at fourth in the medium sized cities category.

WMOT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  You might be surprised to learn that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture has its own police force. It’s a small contingent of nine criminal investigators that handle cases of cattle rustling and other farm related crimes.

Ag Investigators also monitor the movement of livestock, something that impacts every Tennessean, even those who’ve never stepped foot on a farm.

 Ben Black could have spent spring break relaxing in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Instead, the Middle Tennessee State University senior criminal justice major chose to spend it bonding with five older men driving 1,850 miles halfway across the country on waste chicken fat and used cooking oil from university dining facilities.

In what he calls the trip of a lifetime, Black, 21, said driving across the country was an awesome experience and it included driving a 100-mile portion after midnight March 9.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s unemployment rate rose in January after several months of steady decline, but a mid-state economist says it's no cause for alarm.

The Tennessee Department of Labor says the jobless rate inched up one-tenth-of-one-percent in January to 6.6 percent. The rate had fallen steadily since last July.

Mid-state economist Murat Arik isn’t concerned by the uptick. He says Tennessee’s economy has created a healthy 70,000 new jobs in the past year.

MTSU photo by News and Media Relations

Middle Tennessee State University professor Cliff Ricketts is not accustomed to failure. It is not a part of his vocabulary.

So when the 38-year MTSU alternative fuels researcher had his latest “Southern Fried Fuel” expedition aborted by a transmission problem near Kansas City Nov. 11, 2014, he was extremely frustrated but firmly optimistic.

“Attempting to drive from Key West to Seattle has been an adventure,” he said of the journey to drive from the tip of the Florida Keys to near the Pacific coast in Washington. “We’ll postpone it to a later date.”

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