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Features by Blake Farmer

What happens when you put rich and poor students together in charter schools?

One knock on charter schools is the lack of diversity -- filled with either all minority and low-income students, or mostly affluent students. Some charter schools see a benefit to pulling students from both sides of the tracks.
Posted In: Education, charter schools

Amazon's world domination plan: No profits?

Amazon is looking to grow and dominate, and is willing to sink billions into risky ventures like its streaming video service.
Posted In: Amazon, Wal-Mart, profits

Where everyone graduates high school, but few go to college

In parts of Tennessee, about one third of working-age residents have a college degree. In a few counties, the rate drops to fewer than one in 10.
Posted In: tennessee, high school. college attendance

A housing-first solution to chronic homelessness in Nashville

Nashville's homeless get housing from private landlords in a new experimental program.
Posted In: homelessness, homeless, Nashville

Vanderbilt's football team fights to put fans in the stands

Vanderbilt still has the poorest attendance record in the Southeastern Conference even though it’s coming off its best season in a century.
Posted In: college sports, Sports, football, college

'Dead malls' get new life

Shopping malls around the country are dropping like flies. Roughly a third have trouble keeping the lights on.
Posted In: dead malls, Malls, shopping, shopping mall

Could the country’s largest public power utility really become private?

President Obama floated the idea of selling the Tennessee Valley Authority in his budget, released last month. He started receiving pushback almost immediately.
Posted In: Obama, federal budget, energy

Nashville's Music City Center hopes to make a lasting note

Nashville's Music City Center cost $600 million and has a lot of cutting-edge bells and whistles. But convention organizers looking for a new convention center have a lot of options.
Posted In: Nashville, conventions

How some rural areas are being pinched by lack of Medicaid expansion

An expansion of Medicaid is supposed to cover more of the working poor. But Republican-led states have been opting out and outlying areas in states like Tennessee may be the hardest hit.
Posted In: tennessee, medicaid

Tax refunds can burn a hole in your pocket

Some retailers run special promotions to lure customers in during tax refund season.
Posted In: tax refund, Savings

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