Blake Farmer

Updated 5:30 p.m. This post will be updated as news breaks.

 

A federal appeals court has intervened in the execution of Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski. The Sixth Circuit has issued a stay, which could delay the execution scheduled for Thursday night.

Since 1960, Tennessee has put to death only one person by electrocution. And now a prisoner who is scheduled to die Thursday has opted for the electric chair.

Updated 10:30 p.m.

 

Attorneys for Edmund Zagorski say he'd rather be put to death by the electric chair than Tennessee's current method of lethal injection. The convicted murderer is scheduled for execution Thursday night.

Litigation challenging delays in TennCare coverage for people who qualify finally goes to trial this week, four years after a class action lawsuit was filed. TennCare argues the problems are sufficiently resolved, while the Southern Poverty Law Center presses for a more effective fix.

In an operating room, there's the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, a surgical tech and a scrub nurse. And in many procedures that involve an implanted medical device, there's often someone else standing quietly along the back wall — a sales representative working on commission for the maker of artificial joints or bone screws.

With the exponential growth of procedures like total hip and knee replacements, their presence is under new scrutiny.

Democrat Karl Dean is banking on Medicaid expansion as his winning issue in Tennessee's race for governor, while Republican Bill Lee claims the plan would be detrimental. The opposing views represent the sharpest divide between the candidates.

A disproportionate share of the rural hospitals that have closed in the last five years were owned by for-profit companies, including some based in Nashville, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

TennCare wants to hear what people think about a new work requirement, now that the agency has submitted a draft plan to the federal government. But Tennessee is still at least two years away from implementation.

Nashville-based HCA launched 50 years ago at a time when for-profit health care basically didn't exist. The company has faced five decades of highs and lows. And as it marks its anniversary, executives are being more candid about how the business model has evolved since 1968.

The fiercest attacks in Tennessee's pivotal Senate race have centered on health care, and perhaps that's not by chance. Recent polling from NBC/WSJ puts the issue at the top of concerns for American voters.

Vicki Bartholomew started a support group for wives who are caring for a husband with Alzheimer's disease because she needed that sort of group herself.

They meet every month in a conference room at a new memory care facility in Nashville, Tenn., called Abe's Garden, where Bartholomew's husband was one of the first residents — a Vietnam veteran and prominent attorney in Nashville.

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ELISE HU, HOST:

Country star Mel Tillis died yesterday after a long illness. He was 85. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN says the prolific songwriter's road to fame wasn't an easy one.

This season's massive hurricanes will force communities in Texas and Florida to ask a tough question: How do you make sure homes and businesses never flood again? Since its own devastating flood in 2010, Nashville has embraced one answer: offer to tear them down.

It would seem a welcome way out of disaster, but it's not always an easy sell.

Tennessee caused a stir earlier this year when it ran an audit of the state's 2015 graduating class. The number crunchers in Nashville reported that nearly a third of students who received a diploma didn't complete the required coursework. One in three.

Naturally, parents and politicians alike were baffled and more than a little bothered.

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