Latest Tennessee news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Tennessee governor announces safer-at-home order

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that he is issuing a statewide “safer-at-home” order to help stem the state's rapid spread of coronavirus by mandating the closure of all non-essential businesses. Lee also urged all residents on Monday to remain at home whenever possible for the next two weeks. The Republican's decision comes just a day after his administration revealed that 74 residents at a Tennessee nursing home tested positive for the new coronavirus and had been transported to a hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, 63 remaining residents had been shuttled to nearby facilities to be quarantined and monitored.


Judge won't halt Watkins College-Belmont University merger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Nashville judge has ruled against two students and a teacher who are attempting to block the proposed merger between Watkins College of Art and Belmont University. Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal issued a ruling Friday that found that the students and teacher lacked standing to stop the merger. Moskal wrote that for purposes of the temporary injunction Watkins is governed by the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act. That limits who can challenge the school's actions to a few parties including the Tennessee Attorney General and school directors. Moskal also noted that the merger is still subject to review by the Attorney General's office.


Singer John Prine is in stable condition, his wife says

NEW YORK (AP) — John Prine is in stable condition after being placed on a ventilator while being treated for COVID-19-type symptoms, his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine said Monday. The singer-songwriter's family said Sunday that Prine was critically ill. Fiona Prine's message Monday on social media, suggested his condition had improved overnight. Prine remains hospitalized. News that Prine's health was in jeopardy provoked an outpouring of affection for Prine. Joan Baez responded with a video of her playing his song “Hello In There" from her kitchen.


Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music names Candelaria new dean

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt University in Tennessee named Lorenzo Candelaria as dean of the Blair School of Music. Candelaria has been a tenured professor of music and dean at Purchase College, State University of New York, for two years. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale and also taught at University of Texas at El Paso and University of Texas at Austin. The university says it will appoint him to a five-year term as dean, effective July 1, pending board approval. He will succeed Mark Wait, who has been dean since 1993.


Country singer Joe Diffie dies of coronavirus complications

NEW YORK (AP) — Country singer Joe Diffie, who had a string of hits in the 1990s with chart-topping, rock-tinged singles such as “Home” and “Pickup Man” has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 61. A spokesman for Diffie on Friday announced he had contracted the coronavirus, becoming the first country star to go public with such a diagnosis. Diffie's publicist said the singer died Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee, due to complications from the virus. Diffie was a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 25 years. His hits included “Honky Tonk Attitude" and “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)."


Singer-songwriter Jan Howard dies at 91

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer-songwriter Jan Howard has died at 91. The Grand Ole Opry announced her death Saturday; she had been a member for almost 50 years. Howard's hits included “For Loving You,"   “Evil on Your Mind,” “Bad Seed,” and her first success, “The One You Slip Around With.” She also wrote the songs “It’s All Over But the Crying” and “I Never Once Stopped Loving You.” She had her biggest success as a duo with Bill Anderson, including “I Know You're Married,"  “Someday We'll Be Together” and"For Loving You," which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard country chart in 1967.