Gavel Down / TN (Sep. 26–30, 2016)

Tennessee’s largest cities lose an insurer. The state — and the world — mourn the loss of a legend. Our roads may not be top of the class, but ten Tennessee schools shine. And stay tuned for some Tennessee news from POPVOX next week!

BCBST pulls out of largest TN cities; lawmakers react

The big news of the week: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tennessee are pulling out of insurance exchange in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville, affectingapproximately 130,000 people.

  • This will leave 73 counties with only one insurer. Cigna and Humana have submitted proposals for 2017. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1.
  • Lawmakers sparred over the news. Two Democratic state representatives will hold “an informal hearing” on Oct. 12 with state Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. (See map of coverage in TN from the Tennessean)


  • The world remembers legendary Olympic and TSU coach, Ed Temple, and the Tennessee Tigerbelles.
  • Remains of possible Tennessee soldiers who fought in the Mexican-American returned to U.S. after almost 170 years.
  • Some state lawmakers want to ban political fundraisers in the governor’s mansion or other public buildings.
  • Report card: Does Tennessee’s infrastructure make the grade? New report from American Society of Engineers says “mediocre.”
  • Congrats to the ten Tennessee schools named 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools! Bethpage Elementary School (Bethpage), Brentwood Middle School (Brentwood), Buchanan Elementary School (Murfreesboro), Clovercroft Elementary School (Franklin), Falling Water Elementary School (Hixson), Foothills Elementary School (Maryville), Glendale Elementary School (Nashville), Hillsboro Elementary-Middle School (Franklin), Holy Rosary Academy (Nashville), Jackson Elementary School (Memphis).
  • Here are the ten least violent cities in Tennessee.
  • Pretty great pictures of a community “prayer for peace” with residents and police officers at the Madison County courthouse.
  • East Tennessee already preparing for once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse next August.
  • Check out recent board appointments by Governor Haslam.
  • Chattanooga’s open data portal logged 1.3 million views so far in 2016.

“This is not our data,” police Chief of Staff David Roddy said in May. “This is the community’s data. It’s the community’s actions, victimization, response — we just happen to be the ones responsible for writing that information down.”