In reversal, Tennessee to provide COVID-19 case locations
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In a surprise reversal, Tennessee's top health agency announced that it will provide locations for where coronavirus cases had been confirmed after initially refusing to do so. The agency has since provided county data for each coronavirus case, showing that four cases have been in Williamson County — a fact that had previously been kept hidden from the public. Three other cases have been confirmed in Shelby, Davidson and Sullivan counties. The health department's original stance to keep location data hidden from the public had sparked alarm among some officials worried the move would only stir public mistrust.
Eyeing football start, Tennessee tweaking sports bet rules
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials overseeing the roll-out of Tennessee's online-only sports betting program are offering changes to proposed rules over concerns from sportsbook operators and others. An advisory council for the program and representatives of the Tennessee Lottery hashed out details Tuesday on topics ranging from payout caps to parlay bet restrictions. The proposed changes come as Tennessee Lottery board chairwoman Susan Lanigan said officials are already pushing it if they want to get sports betting up and running for football season later this year. Legislative leaders have also raised concerns about proposed rules, prompting a previous delay on voting on them so officials could make adjustments. The law passed last spring.
Tennessee lawmakers advance abortion 'reversal' bill
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Doctors who fail to inform women that drug-induced abortions may be halted halfway could face felony charges under a bill advancing in Tennessee. Medical groups say the claim isn’t backed up by science and there is little information about the reversal procedure's safety. The measure advanced out of the House Health Committee on Tuesday. It now moves to the full House chamber and must also clear the Senate. However, in the GOP-dominant Statehouse, the bill is likely to be approved by Republicans supportive of abortion restrictions.
FEMA opens Nashville intake center to aid tornado victims
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is opening an intake center in Nashville to help victims of a series of deadly tornadoes last week. The agency made the announcement on Tuesday as residents continued to dig out from the disaster. The FEMA center is at Lee Chapel AME Church in North Nashville. Residents are also urged to download the FEMA mobile app or visit the agency's website at DisasterAssistance.gov. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt University's baseball team announced it was canceling upcoming games against neighboring Belmont University and Lipscomb University after First Horizon Park was damaged. The National Weather Services has said the storm that killed 24 people in Tennessee on March 3 spawned 10 tornadoes.
Tennessee bill would keep most autopsy reports hidden
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Autopsy and toxicology reports would remain largely hidden from public scrutiny under legislation that advanced Tuesday in Tennessee's GOP-dominated Statehouse. According to the measure, public disclosure of any report compiled by a Tennessee county medical examiner would be banned unless it was subject of a subpoena or court order. The bill advanced in a House Health subcommittee on Tuesday and still needs to clear the full health panel before it can go to the House floor. A similar bill is making its way in the Senate. Supporters argue the ban is needed to protect private information, arguing it can be difficult for families when sensitive medical information is made public. But open government advocates say autopsy reports are valuable tools when keeping government accountable.
Investigator: Body had 'exact clothing' as missing toddler