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
8:23 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Tennessee Senate Panel Delays Gun Enforcement Ban Vote

Tennessee’s Senate Judiciary Committee has narrowly decided to delay voting on a bill seeking to ban the federal enforcement of state firearms laws in order to ask for an opinion from the state's attorney general about whether it would be constitutional.

Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet told the committee on Tuesday her bill would make it a felony for federal agents to enforce gun laws she considers unconstitutional.  Fellow Republican Judiciary Chairman Brian Kelsey of Germantown asked for the delay to determine whether the state has the power to nullify federal laws.

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2013 TN General Assembly
8:17 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Health Care Compact Fails in Tennessee House Committee

A measure that would allow Tennessee to approach Congress about forming its own health care system has failed this year. The proposal sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Pody of Lebanon failed with a 9 - 9 House Insurance and Banking Committee vote Tuesday.

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Politics
8:12 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Court Won't Hear Appeal from Ex-Illinois Governor

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan over his corruption conviction. The justices turned away Ryan's appeal without comment yesterday. 

The former governor wanted them to reconsider his conviction based on a 2010 decision saying honest service fraud requires bribery and kickbacks. Ryan says the jury instructions at his trial were wrong, and that it was never proven that he took bribes. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn his conviction, and the high court refused to reconsider that decision.

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2013 KY General Assembly
8:04 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Beshear Sides with Law Enforcement Against Hemp

Credit wikipedia.org

Gov. Steve Beshear says he wants law enforcement's concerns about industrial hemp resolved before Kentucky moves ahead with a push to grow the plant.

State police oppose state Republican leaders’ effort to license and regulate hemp if the federal government ever lifts a ban on it.  Beshear says the Legislature needs to weigh law enforcement's concerns carefully, given Kentucky’s horrible drug problem.

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2013 KY General Assembly
7:53 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Stumbo Says No Tax Reform This Session

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he doesn't expect a tax reform package vote during the current legislative session. Stumbo says such a package doesn't have the 60 votes necessary to pass in the House.

A special commission appointed by the governor proposed reforms that could generate almost $700 million a year in additional revenue.  

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Morning Cram
9:16 am
Tue February 19, 2013

The Morning Cram [ride on the peace train edition]

From NPR: Kenyan graffiti artists are sending a literal peace train through the country as their presidential election nears. The artists are trying their best to stop the kind of violence that erupted after the last election.

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Weather
9:02 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week Focuses on Safety

As spring weather approaches, Tennessee’s emergency officials and weather forecasters are launching a campaign during the state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week to provide important weather safety information. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, along with the National Weather Service and the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, are conducting educational activities and drills this week. 

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Business
8:23 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Small Business Disaster Loan Deadline Approaches

Credit www.en.wikipedia.com

Small businesses and agriculture operatives have less than a month left to apply for federal economic injury disaster loans as result of this summer’s drought. The deadline for the Small Business Administration assistance is March 12.  Loans through the program can be up to $2 million with interest rates as low as four percent for eligible small businesses and three percent for nonprofits.

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Politics
8:20 am
Tue February 19, 2013

New Kentucky Senators Want Pension Opt-Out

Some new state legislators were elected after promising to refuse a state pension, but now find the law does not allow them to opt out. However, State Rep. Diane St. Onge has introduced a bill that would allow them to make good on their promise. The Madisonville Messenger reports that the measure would allow any lawmaker to opt out of the state pension system and would prevent any new legislator elected after July 1 from entering it. Incumbents would not have to drop the pension plan under the legislation.

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Roads & Highways
7:36 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Transportation Cabinet Begins Study to Replace Aging Cairo Bridge

Credit KYTC

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is studying options for improving or replacing the aging Cairo Bridge that connects Wickliffe, Ky., and Cairo, Ill. The bridge carries about 5,400 vehicles daily across the Ohio River. The 76-year-old bridge is considered “functionally obsolete” because it doesn’t meet modern traffic standards.

The nearest alternate upstream river crossing is the Ohio River Bridge in Paducah, and it requires a 2-hour detour. Downstream, it’s the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and the Mississippi River Bridge.

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