Whitney Jones

News Reporter

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.

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Politics
8:21 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Richie Farmer to be Subject of Grand Jury Meeting

Credit AP

A Kentucky basketball icon turned politician could be the subject of a federal grand jury meeting Friday.

Frankfort defense attorney Guthrie True says the grand jury will look at former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. The Executive Branch Ethics Commission charged Farmer last month with 42 administrative ethics violations for allegedly misusing government funds and employees while in office.

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2013 TN General Assembly
8:18 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Both Chambers Adopt Haslam's Budget Plan

Both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly adopted Governor Bill Haslam's $32.8 billion budget proposal.

The Senate unanimously approved the spending plan Wednesday afternoon, and the House followed suit. The House vote came after the chamber rejected a Democratic proposal to include a provision allowing the state to spend up to $3 billion in federal Medicaid money if the governor succeeds in negotiating an expansion under the federal health care law.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:37 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Tennessee Charter School Authorizer Bill Advances

Legislation that changes the way certain charter schools are authorized in Tennessee is headed to the Senate floor.

The proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Dolores Gresham passed the Senate Finance Committee 7-3 Wednesday. The advancing measure is one of at least three proposed versions. The previous version sought to create a state panel to authorize charter schools for five counties where there are failing schools.

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Politics
7:33 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Illinois House Approves Use of Medical Marijuana

Credit wikimedia.com

The Illinois House has approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Lawmakers voted 61-57 Wednesday to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions. The legislation goes to the state Senate, where a similar version was approved in 2009. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says he supports the legislation.

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Politics
7:27 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Illinois House Erupts Over 'May Issue' Gun Bill

The difficulty over how lawmakers will craft a law allowing public possession of guns in Illinois has been clearly demonstrated on the House floor.

After being goaded by a Democrat, a pro-gun Republican got upset during a debate yesterday on legislation that would let local law enforcement officials decide who gets a permit to carry concealed weapons.

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Politics
7:24 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Senator 'Disappointed' by Gun Proposal Failure

Credit Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says he's disappointed that the Senate has rejected expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Kirk was one of four Republicans to vote in favor of the proposal, which failed Wednesday, 56-46. Five Senate Democrats voted against the measure.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:20 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Tennessee House Barely Approves Animal Abuse Reporting Bill

A Tennessee bill requiring anyone recording or taking photos of livestock abuse to turn images over to law enforcement within 48 hours has been approved in the House with 50 votes -- the bare minimum needed to clear the chamber.

Animal protection activists like the Humane Society of the United States say the bill would have a chilling effect on whistleblowers and prevent undercover operations from establishing a pattern of abuse.

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Morning Cram
9:08 am
Wed April 17, 2013

The Morning Cram [fierce fish edition]

From NPR: Lionfish are fearsome for other little swimmers in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. In just two years, lionfish contributed to the loss of 65 percent of prey fish in the Bahamas.

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2013 TN General Assembly
8:48 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Tennessee Virtual School Cap Passes, Charter Schools Delayed

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Tennessee House has approved a proposal that caps enrollment in virtual schools.

The House voted 66-29 Tuesday to pass the bill that allows beginning online schools an enrollment of 1,500 with the ability to expand as long as they meet performance requirements. If they fail to do so for three consecutive years, then the state education commissioner could chose to cap enrollment or direct the local school board to close the school.

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Politics
8:39 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Illinois Doctors Ask for Medical Marijuana Legalization

Credit wikimedia.com

Nearly 250 Illinois physicians are calling on state lawmakers to legalize the use of marijuana for seriously ill patients.

Some physicians say marijuana can be a safer and more effective treatment than narcotics for patients with diseases such as cancer and HIV.

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