Top Stories

Headed to college? Beware of scammers!

Aug 11, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Middle Tennessee’s colleges and universities will be welcoming students back to school between now and the end of the month.

Fisk University is open Monday. Vandy, TSU, Lipscomb, and Belmont open the week of Aug. 21, while Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee open on Aug. 28

That means a lot of students and parents are frantically looking for last minute college scholarships, grants and loans. Claire Marsalis with the Tennessee’s Division of Consumer Affairs says that makes them vulnerable to scammers.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An autopsy has found that the son of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry died from a combination of several drugs, including two opioids.

The Tennessean reports that the drugs found in Max Barry's system after his death were Xanax, marijuana, methadone and hydromorphone. The autopsy also found he had recently used cocaine.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) — A family has filed a $30 million lawsuit against a private Christian school in Tennessee, alleging failure to act after a 12-year-old student was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by teenage boys.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --  Tennesseans are older and suffer from more handicaps that the nation as a whole.

That’s the finding of the non-partisan group Think Tennessee.

The group crunched census data to discover that Tennesseans are about 15 percent older than the national average. The state’s residents also have higher rates of disability than Americans as a whole.

Both problems are even more pronounced in rural communities. Think Tennessee’s Shawna Hughes will be delivering the study to the state’s lawmakers.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge is ordering the nation's largest public utility to dig up coal ash at a Tennessee power plant and move it to a lined waste site where it doesn't risk further polluting the Cumberland River.

U.S. District Judge Waverly Crenshaw in Nashville ruled Friday in favor of two environmental groups, saying coal ash storage at Tennessee Valley Authority's Gallatin Fossil Plant is leaking pollutants into the river and violating the Clean Water Act.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new study provides an unflattering look at Tennessee’s public schools. WMOT reporting partner ranked the states on education and Tennessee scored tenth from the bottom.


Wallethub says it compared 21 key measures, including academic scores, pupil-to-teacher ratios and safety concerns.


Analyst Jill Gonzales says the one thing that most impacted Tennessee’s score was the level of violence in public schools. For example…


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says her only child has died of an apparent drug overdose.

A statement released Sunday from Barry and her husband, Bruce, says 22-year-old Max Barry died Saturday night in Denver.

Max Barry graduated in June from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

The statement says the couple "cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child."

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Education officials are pointing to improvements in just released TNReady statewide academic testing scores. In a press statement Commissioner Candice McQueen notes “Tennessee high school students improved across all subject areas."

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), Tennessee’s most influential education advocacy group, agrees the improvement is significant, saying more students will graduate with the skills to succeed in college or in the workplace.

ALERT: Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

Jul 26, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  You may not be a fan of the band Linkin Park, but suicide prevention advocates say you still should be aware of the recent death of the band's lead singer, Chester Bennington.

The Associated Press says that the 41-year-old Bennington was found hanged in the bedroom of his Los Angeles home July 20.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Phil Roe's office says he has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer and will undergo treatment next month in Tennessee.

Roe's website said the cancer was discovered after a routine physical and that his prognosis is excellent. He will be treated in East Tennessee during the August district work period, and treatment isn't expected to conflict with his legislative schedule.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled that same-sex couples in Tennessee have the same rights as heterosexual couples who have children born through artificial insemination.

Four lesbian couples sued after the state passed a law that requires using the "natural and ordinary meaning" of words in state law. Gay rights groups said the requirement was a sneaky way to deny same-sex couples the legal rights and protections granted to a "husband," a "wife," a "father" or "mother."

Brentwood company shares addiction stories online

Jul 24, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Given how bad the opioid epidemic has gotten every Tennessean is likely either fighting addiction, or know someone who is.

WMOT News recently came across a resource you might want to check out.

Brentwood based American Addiction Centers is hosting an addiction themed podcast that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times. The company now has 12 facilities nationwide. The Center’s Makaila (muh-KEYE-luh) Brooks says they were a little surprised to learn that clients wanted to share their stories.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After more than 16 years, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services is free of federal oversight from a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that a federal judge approved an agreement in the lawsuit filed in 2000 by the nonprofit Children's Rights.

Haslam's office said the state worked for years with a committee of nationally recognized child welfare experts serving as the federal court's monitor. He called Tuesday's news monumental.

Williamson County

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Williamson County officials received some sobering news earlier this month from a new study on road funding projections in coming years.

The county hired a consulting firm to study road needs just in the unincorporated areas, and the tentative estimate is $378 million dollars’ worth of improvements. County Planning Director Mike Matteson says one of the factors contributing to that very large number is the county’s anticipated growth.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  If you’re not familiar with the remarkable life and mid-state legacy of the late Jim Ridley, here’s your chance to remedy that oversight.

The College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State and White Avenue Studio are partnering to conduct a memorial for Ridley Friday evening in Nashville.

Ridley was the long-time editor of Music City’s alternative news weekly, The Nashville Scene. He died a little over a year ago following a short illness.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A vigil of support is planned for Tuesday tonight at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, following word that the Center’s Mosque was vandalized over the weekend.

The Daily News Journal says expletive laced graffiti was sprayed on walls, doors and pavement Sunday.

The mosque’s construction was the focus of a long-running 2010 lawsuit trying to void its building permit. The center has endured public protests, vandalism, arson of a construction vehicle and a bomb threat.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee couple has been charged in the death of their 11-month-old daughter, who authorities say died after being left in a hot car.

Chattanooga police arrested Travis McCullough, 30, and Jessica Tollett, 24, on Sunday in connection with the baby's death on Saturday, news outlets reported.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --   The Greater Nashville Realtor’s Association reports a record number of home sale closings last quarter.


Just over 11,000 properties closed in the second quarter. That's about a three percent jump over last year and a little over 100 closings above the previous high in 2006.


The Nashville Business Journal notes that if mid-state home prices continue to rise at the current pace they’ll reach all-time highs by the end of this month.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A new study ranks the most family-friendly cities in Tennessee and you might be surprised by the results.

WMOT reporting partner compared 21 livability indicators to rank the states’ largest communities. Analyst Jill Gonzalez says it was the smaller cities and suburbs that scored the highest.

No more drought in Tennessee

Jul 7, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee's long drought appears to be over.

Weather Service meteorologist Justyn Jackson says Metro Nashville precipitation is currently six-tenths above average year to date. he says the uptick is even more pronounced this past week.

“Even since we flipped the calendar to July we’ve had nearly 2 and a half inches of rain for July so far, which is about…nearly two inches above normal.”

Here's a link to the Nashville Zoo panda-cam

Jul 7, 2017

Here's a statement from the Nashville Zoo regarding the recent birth of a pair of Red Panda cubs. You'll find a link to the zoo's panda-cam at the bottom of the page:

 Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of two red pandas on June 16. The cubs are doing well and bonding with their mother, Mei Mei, in their off exhibit den.

SAVANNAH, Tenn. (AP) — A trial in the disappearance and killing of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo has been delayed until September.

Media outlets report that Judge C. Creed McGinley on Thursday postponed the trial of Zachary Adams until Sept. 11 after new evidence was discovered in the case.

Adams has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, rape and murder charges. His trial had been set to begin Monday in Savannah.

Bobo was 20 when she was reported missing from her home in Parsons in April 2011. Her disappearance led to a massive search in Tennessee and the South.


 JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man has been indicted in the death of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent.

The Jackson Sun reports that 24-year-old Brenden Burns will be arraigned Monday on charges including first-degree murder in the August 2016 fatal shooting of TBI Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier.

Incentive to get your computers backed up NOW!

Jul 6, 2017

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  (WMOT)  --  If you needed some motivation to get around to backing up your computers and updating your virus protection, here it is.

The Daily News Journal reports that the Murfreesboro Police and Fire departments have been hit by a WannaCry ransomware attack.

A city spokesman says 19 computers and 2 servers were infected and most data on them lost.

Ransomware encrypts data on targeted computers so it can’t be accessed unless the victim pays a ransom to the hackers. The ransomware often arrives in email attachments.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Robertson County Sherif''s office says one of its deputies has improved to stable condition after being shot multiple times during a struggle with an inmate who was killed.

On Friday, Robertson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ryan Martin updated the status of 36-year-old Deputy Josh Wiley in a news release.

A Nashville police statement says Wiley and Deputy Tomisha Jones were taking convicted bank robber 37-year-old Rodney L. Cole to a medical clinic Wednesday when the inmate asked to go to the bathroom and Wiley escorted him there.