Blake Farmer

Copyright 2016 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit Nashville Public Radio . STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: President-elect Donald Trump's promise to bring back manufacturing jobs was attractive, even to card-carrying union members who have historically supported Democrats. It's not clear how or if Trump can deliver. And even if he does, there's been a price in recent years when manufacturing jobs are brought back to the United States - American workers accept lower salaries. Blake Farmer of...

Jean Shepard, one of the first women to find success in country music as a solo act, died Sunday at age 82. Shepard was a feisty, straight-shooting singer who created a career in an industry where she had few female role models. When Shepard was first driving from town to town playing honky-tonk bars, there were only a couple of other women in country music — Kitty Wells and Minnie Pearl among them — who were putting out music by themselves. More often, the women of country were performing...

Jack Daniel's is a historic brand built on stories and legend. To this day, all of the whiskey is made in the hills of little Lynchburg, Tenn. And as part of its 150th anniversary, the company is highlighting a lesser-known part of its story: how a slave played a key role in its founding. The story of Nearis Green first got national attention earlier this summer, when The New York Times ran an article about his role in Jack Daniel's history based on a pitch from the company. Until now, the...

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It's the afternoon lull at Bongo Java East, and five students from KIPP Academy are tripping over each other behind the counter of this hip Nashville coffee joint, trying to show off what they've learned. They're grinding espresso beans. They're packing the grounds. They're steaming milk. "Let's see how this goes," 10th-grader Ayanna Holder says as she knocks a steel pot of scalding milk on the counter to keep foam from forming. She takes a freshly pulled espresso and begins pouring the latte...

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Tens of thousands of Tennessee students steadied their clammy, test-day hands over a keyboard several days ago. And, for many, nothing happened. It was the state's first time giving standardized exams on computers, but the rollout couldn't have gone much worse. In lots of places, the testing platform slowed to a crawl or appeared to shut down entirely. Within hours, Tennessee scrapped online testing for the year. The move comes after schools spent millions of dollars to buy additional PCs and...

There's a school bus driver shortage in districts from Indiana to Florida, and Nashville, Tenn., has one of the most pressing. Nearly a quarter of the city's 550 slots for drivers are unfilled — and that's when no one is sick. Being short-staffed on routes is stressful as drivers scramble to try to cover for each other. Earlier this year, for example, one Nashville high school's 10 routes had no dedicated drivers. Veteran driver Suzanne Adams says she was running back-to-back routes to make...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: It's been an important week for the military. The Pentagon paved the way for women to officially serve in ground combat jobs. The move opens some 200,000 positions to women service members. So we sent Blake Farmer of member station WPLN to Fort Campbell, Ky., to gauge reaction. BLAKE FARMER, BYLINE: Walk into Stacey Hopwood's civilian office, and it feels a bit like a Marine Corps museum. STACEY...

Opioids have a stranglehold on parts of the U.S. And where addictive pain medicines are the drug of choice, clinics for addiction treatment often follow. Sometime these are doctor's offices where patients can get painkiller-replacement drugs, such as Subutex and Suboxone. These medicines, brand-name forms of buprenorphine , can ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opiates. They can be prescribed in an office setting, unlike methadone. And the drugs, also mild narcotics, can block the...

Ninety percent of students at Hobgood Elementary in Murfreesboro, Tenn., come from low-income households. Most of the school's teachers don't. And that's a challenge, says principal Tammy Garrett. "If you only know middle-class families, you may not understand at times why they don't have their homework or why they're tired," Garrett says. When she became principal four years ago, Garrett decided to get her teachers out of their classrooms — and comfort zones — for an afternoon. Once a year,...

"Chow bus! Chow bus! Chow bus!" chants Gunner Fischer, 3, as a custom-painted school bus rounds the corner and rumbles toward his apartment complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn. About 21 million students nationwide eat free and reduced-price meals throughout the school year, but getting those same kids fed during the summer is a challenge. Only a fraction of those make it to schools or community centers for summer meals. So some school districts are getting creative in the way they're using USDA...

A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms. "We'll probably never fill up every single classroom with one of those teachers," says Bryan Hassel, founder of Charlotte-based education consulting firm Public Impact. But, he says, it's important...

Leaders of the country's largest Protestant denomination have a message for millennials: get married already. The Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention and its nearly 16 million members continue to resist societal trends like gay marriage and cohabitation. They also want to go against the grain on the rising marital age. But back in 1972, Pam Blume was pretty typical. She was just a few years out of high school when she walked down the aisle. "Looking back, I can see a 20-year-old, you...

It's Saturday in East Nashville, Tenn., and LaTonya White finds herself knocking on a stranger's door. It's awkward. Someone peers out at her through the window. White looks away, pretending not to notice. After an uncomfortable few seconds, the door finally cracks open. White seizes her chance: "My name is LaTonya White. I'm the principal at Rosebank Elementary School. How are you doing?" she asks, glancing at the clipboard in her hands. On it: a list of families in the area with soon-to-be...

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