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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2013 TN General Assembly
7:51 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Tennessee Beer Tax Bill Headed to Haslam

A proposal to freeze Tennessee's beer tax is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration.

The measure was approved in the House Wednesday. The Senate passed it earlier this week.

Tennessee's beer taxes outstrip any other state's because the bulk of the levy is based on price rather than volume. The more a beer costs, the higher the taxes that must be paid to buy it.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:30 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Charter Panel Bill Advances in Tennessee House

A proposal that would create a special panel to authorize charter schools in several Tennessee counties is advancing in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark White was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Committee Wednesday and will now be scheduled for a vote by the full House. 

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Politics
7:28 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Illinois Senators Concerned About Gambling, Corruption

A key Senate committee is meeting to discuss concerns that expanding gambling would open the door to political corruption and organized crime.

Senate President John Cullerton invited representatives of the Illinois Gaming Board and the Chicago Crime Commission to appear before the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday . Cullerton’s spokesperson Rikeesha Phelon says the Chicago Democrat wants to try to find a way to address the issue. But she says Cullerton has doubts about whether the concerns are legitimate or "hyperbole" intended to derail the measure.

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Politics
7:19 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Obama Budget Suggests Possible Sale of TVA

The Obama administration's 2014 budget is calling for a strategic review of the Tennessee Valley Authority, opening the possibility the federally owned utility could be sold.

TVA officials seem to have been caught off guard by the budget proposal released Wednesday. Board chairman Bill Sansom says the utility doesn't know what options the review will consider. He promises the board will "continue operating TVA in a sound financial manner" in the meantime. 

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Morning Cram
8:10 am
Wed April 10, 2013

The Morning Cram [one word: plastics edition]

Credit freakingnews.com

From NPR: Much of the money given through Pell Grants is going to students who never graduate. The group these grants serve is also drastically changing. Students aren’t just fresh-faced high school grads anymore. They’re adults who have lost their jobs and are trying to improve their chances of getting a job by furthering their education.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:30 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Bill Banning Cameras in Polls Withdrawn

A bill seeking to ban cameras in polling places has died for the year amid concerns that voters wouldn't be able to document problems.

Republican Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver withdrew the bill Tuesday after lengthy debate spanning several meetings of the House State Government Committee. 

State Election Coordinator Mark Goins suggested at an earlier meeting that the bill would prevent people from presenting photographs of their votes for pay. He later acknowledged he had no evidence of such schemes occurring in Tennessee. 

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:26 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Charter Panel Bill Stalls in Tennessee Senate

A proposal that would create a special panel to authorize charter schools in five of the Tennessee's lowest performing counties appears to be struggling in the legislature.

The measure was delayed in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday after members expressed concerns about the need for a new entity that will pay its executive director more than $100,000.  Currently local school boards decide whether to authorize a charter application.

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2013 TN General Assembly
7:22 am
Wed April 10, 2013

School Security Bill Advancing in Tennessee Legislature

Teachers in Tennessee with prior law enforcement experience would be allowed to carry a gun at school under a proposal that's advancing in the state legislature.

The measure passed the House Education Committee Tuesday.  The companion bill was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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Politics
7:17 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Illinois GOP Leader Mum on Supporting Gay Marriage

The top Republican in the Illinois House won't say how he would vote on a measure allowing same-sex couples to marry.  

House Minority Leader Tom Cross declined to publicly state his position yesterday, a day after Republican Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. came out in favor of the issue. Sullivan said momentum for legalizing gay marriage is building. Cross said House Republicans will vote based on their backgrounds, beliefs and personal experiences. 

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Morning Cram
8:01 am
Tue April 9, 2013

The Morning Cram [imagination station edition]

From NPR: Ron Howard is heading a project that crowd sources not funding, but creativity. He sent out a call for images that were then culled to inspire several short films. Howard isn’t directing any of them. He’s just mentoring people like Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, actor Jamie Foxx and actress Eva Longoria as they dive into directing.

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