WhistlePig and Brothers Osborne Release Limited Edition Whiskey

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – WhistlePig Whiskey and Grammy Award-winning country music duo and reigning CMA Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are celebrating 100 for all, all for 100 this holiday season with the launch of their new whiskey collaboration. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100% Rye Whiskey, created for and selected by John and TJ Osborne, to celebrate those who give 100% in the name of greatness.

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Study: Transgender Industry’s ‘Transition or Die’ Youth Suicide Narrative ‘Factually Inaccurate and Ethically Fraught’

A recent study finds the often “inaccurate” and “incomplete” informed consent process engaged in by transgender industry clinicians is propped up by the activist “alarmist” narrative whereby parents are told their failure to approve their child’s transgender medical treatments could likely result in his or her suicide.

In the study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Dr. Stephen B. Levine, of the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, and his colleagues note the “unprecedented rise in the numbers of children and adolescents seeking gender transition” in under a decade.

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TN-5 Candidate Timothy Lee’s Top Issues: Fentanyl, Mental Health, and Protecting Those Who Protect Us

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, guest host Gulbransen welcomed TN-5 congressional candidate Timothy Lee in studio to talk about why he’s running, his perception of money in campaigning, and his top three issues.

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Study: Teen Cannabis Use Increases, Mental Health Declines in States with Fewer Legal Restrictions

States that have legalized marijuana have seen increasingly strong THC products and a rise in mental health issues among teenagers, a newly released nationwide study reports.

The Drug Free America Foundation authored the study, given first to The Center Square, which reports on “an association between adolescent cannabis use, the use of high potency cannabis products, and increased risk of psychosis.”

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DeWine to Ohio Superintendents: $100 Million Budgeted for School Safety Grants

Ohio schools will receive $100 million in total to purchase security equipment as part of the next round of K-12 School Safety Grants, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) wrote to superintendents on Friday.

The allocations, which come as a part of the state’s capital budget bill that DeWine signed into law last week, will go toward purchases such as outdoor lighting, facility-mapping software, school-radio systems, door-locking technology and visitor-badge systems. The Ohio School Safety Center in Columbus is now drafting the application for schools to access this money and expects to soon start the application process.

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‘Sexualization of Children’: Feminists Join Christian Conservatives to Stop Biden LGBTQ Order

President Biden has strengthened the growing coalition between social conservatives and gender-critical feminists against transgender ideology by issuing an executive order on “advancing equality” for people who are not heterosexual or don’t identify with their sex.

While they disagree on abortion rights and same-sex attraction, this ideological odd couple shares common ground on the primacy of sex-based rights, the harm of pornography and even the “sexualization of children” through exposure to adult themes such as drag.

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Michigan Senate Approves $565 Million for Mental Health

The Michigan Senate approved a $565 million bill, which appropriates mostly federal funding to improve the state’s mental health system.

Senate Bill 714 aims to fund jail diversion, create treatment units to reduce emergency room overcrowding, and bolster substance abuse programs.

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Schools See Rise in Students Seeking Mental Health Assistance After COVID

Over three-fourths of American public schools have reported a rise in the number of students seeking mental health assistance in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As reported by Fox News, the data was released on Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which operates under the guidance of the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The report shows that 76 percent of public schools saw staff express concerns about the mental health of their students, including depression, anxiety, and trauma since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.

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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: Greater School Security Not Something Biden ‘Believes In’ Since ‘The Problem Is with Guns’

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday Joe Biden has no interest in Republican proposals that focus on “hardening schools,” i.e., installing greater security and safety measures, because “the problem is with guns.”

Asked if she could elaborate on Biden’s promise to meet with members of Congress on new gun laws, Jean-Pierre said  gun violence is an “epidemic” across the country.

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Commentary: Red Flag Laws and Unintended Consequences

The senseless murder of 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas is leading to calls for more gun control. To some, “red flag” laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, seem like the obvious solution. These laws allow judges to seize a person’s guns without a trial, based solely on a written complaint that the person might be a danger to themselves or others. All a judge needs is “reasonable suspicion.”

“We know that we can show we can be united to protect our children,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, a famously moderate West Virginia Democrat.

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All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on Texas Shooter and Mental Health

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and The Epoch Times’ Editor-at-Large Roger Simon in-studio to discuss the Uvalde, Texas shooter and mental health in America.

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CDC Study: Remote Learning Hurt Kids’ Mental Health

When schools pivoted to remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first casualty was kids’ mental health.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed teenagers’ mental health from January 2021 to June 2021. Compared with 2019, the study found that the proportion of mental health–related emergency department visits in 2020 increased by about 31% among kids aged 12–17 years.

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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Awards $15 Million to Schools for Mental Health Initiative

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday awarded $15 million to schools throughout the state for a new mental health initiative.

The “Get Kids Ahead Initiative” will utilize the money to “provide direct mental healthcare, hire and support mental health navigators, provide mental health first aid and trauma-based care training, or provide family assistance programs.”

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Michigan Joins Bipartisan Investigation into Social Media App TikTok

Michigan’s Secretary of State Thursday announced that the state will join a bipartisan investigation into popular Chinese-owned social media company TikTok.

“Recent reports on social media’s impact on the mental and physical health of young people raise serious questions among attorneys general across the nation. Ultimately, we are concerned about protecting our youth,” Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said in a press release. “I am proud to join my colleagues in this investigation. Given this is an ongoing investigation, I will not be discussing any details beyond this announcement.” 

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Vanderbilt Concerned After Uptick in Suicide Among Medical Students

Woman in lab coat looking through microscope

Vanderbilt University is concerned after four of its medical school students have committed suicide in less than two years. 

“Vanderbilt University is committed to a culture of caring in which the well-being of all community members—our extraordinary students, the faculty who teach them, and the staff who play an immeasurable role in the success of this remarkable university—is enhanced and supported,” Vanderbilt said in a statement. “We strive to foster a culture of openness through brave dialogue, honest self-reflection, and willingness to invest in this incredible university by investing first in the mental health and wholeness of every member of the Vanderbilt family.”

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Nashville Metro Council Considers Ordinances Modifying License Plate Reader Use

Metro Nashville Council considered three bills on first reading concerning license plate reader (LPR) use and a resolution urging Metro Nashville Police Department to expand use of mental health professionals at incidents at their February 15, 2022 meeting.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper was in attendance.

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Connecticut Governor’s Lifting of School Mask Mandate Depends on Legislature Voting to Extend His Emergency Powers

Connecticut children cannot be certain they can finally be free of wearing masks in school since, although Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he would end the state school mask mandate by February 28, that plan may depend on the legislature voting to extend his pandemic emergency powers, and then on individual school districts.

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Lamont told residents he will roll back some coronavirus restrictions, including the school mask mandate, adding, “You have earned this freedom.”

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License Plate Reader Use and Grant Approvals Highlight Metro Council’s Next Meeting Agenda

Metro Nashville Council has published the agenda for its February 15, 2022 meeting.

License plate reader (LPR) use, mental health professionals and the Metro Nashville Police Department, zoning, easements, contracts, and grant approvals are issues that dominate the Metro Council’s meeting agenda.

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Commentary: Democrats Want to Destroy Your Children

No, this is not another Qanon or Pizzagate conspiracy theory. It’s a sober recitation of the facts and incidents that can support no other conclusion.

Let’s start with one important stage-setting fact: According to OpenSecrets.org two organizations account for practically all of the contributions made by teachers unions: The National Education Association (about $20 million in 2016) and the American Federation of Teachers (almost $12 million). Both groups — which compete for members, but also collaborate with each other through the NEA-AFT Partnership — are consistently among the organizations that contribute the most money to candidates and political groups. From 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million — an all-time high.

Even more than most labor unions, they have little use for Republicans, giving Democrats at least 94 percent of the funds they contributed to candidates and parties since as far back as 1990, where the Open Secrets’ data begins. Go here for a detailed breakdown of teachers union political giving.

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Commentary: Tennessee Republicans Will Work to Keep Communities and Schools Safe in 2022

School bus

Tennessee voters spoke loud and clear last November when they overwhelmingly elected Republicans to represent them at every level. I’m extremely proud that Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have delivered on the promise to uphold conservative values, increase economic opportunities, improve public safety and strengthen education. We still have much work to do and we will continue to work to address these priorities during this upcoming legislative session. 

Our state budget is probably the most significant component of public policy our governor and General Assembly tackle each year. Unlike the federal government, Tennessee’s constitution requires us to balance our budget. The federal government’s debt has amassed to almost $30 trillion, something we should all be concerned about for future generations to come.

Our primary goal each year is always the same: to pass a balanced budget. From top to bottom, Tennessee’s $42.6 billion zero-debt budget is a spending plan that addresses the priorities and needs of all Tennesseans. 

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on OSHA Mandates, Football, and Helping Veteran’s Mental Health in Tennessee

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newmakers line to discuss the OSHA employer vaccine mandates, football, and mental health in Tennessee.

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Commentary: Redditors Flock, Amplify ‘Antiwork’ Movement

When it comes to blaming the masses, no one seems to take the fall more than young people: Weird food trends, the “baby bust,” and now, a labor shortage all seem to be attributed to Millennials and Gen Z. Now, following “The Great Resignation” comes a new phrase, “antiwork.” It’s a movement pointing out the flaws in work and employment. The subreddit grew from 76,000 to 1,019,000 subscribers from January 2020 to November 2021, according to Vice. And they planned a “Blackout Black Friday” strike. So, what’s this movement, and how far will it go?

What is antiwork?

This isn’t simply a lazy act of defiance. The antiwork movement has to do with burnout, mental health, wages, benefits, employer treatment, and many other factors. The pandemic saw many people working themselves to the bone but for low pay under toxic management. Then came The Great Resignation, where millions voluntarily left their jobs. Nearly 40% of those were service jobs— restaurant, hotel, bar, and health care workers, and others—also known as those who are famously underpaid. Now, employees from nearly every workforce sector in the U.S. are coming forward to expose poor treatment and overworking, among other issues.

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Vice President of Independent Women’s Voice, Carrie Lukas Talks Distrust of Public Schooling

Carrie Lukas

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Independent Women’s Voice and author, Carrie Lukas, to the newsmaker line to discuss her recent article related to her distrust of Virginia’s public schools.

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Tennessee Sen. Blackburn Blasts YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat Execs for Allowing Dangerous Content

A U.S. Senate committee investigating the promotion of material harmful to young people on social media expanded beyond Facebook and Instagram Tuesday to include the video-sharing sites YouTube and TikTok as well as the Snapchat messaging application.

Therein, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) deplored the health-threatening viral challenges (e.g. binge drinking, the infamous “cinnamon challenge”), enticements toward illegal drugs, encouragements to engage in drastic dieting and presentations of child-sex abuse that she said have been purveyed to children and teens via these websites. She raised particular alarm regarding minors she said have been led into illicit sexual relationships on Snapchat.

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University of Wisconsin Clarifies Mental Health Hires, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty Still Worried about Racial Stereotyping

Daniel Lennington

One of Wisconsin’s government watchdogs says it’s keeping an eye on whether the University of Wisconsin’s new mental health providers for students of color discharges their duties in a discriminatory fashion.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Wednesday sent a letter to the university after UW-Madison’s September announcement that it hired nine new mental health professionals. WILL took issue with how the school originally framed the new counselors.

The university said “three of these providers will exclusively serve students of color, joining eight providers already in this role.”

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Tennessee Attorney General Slatery Credited with National Role in Anti-Social Media Effort

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has credited Tennessee’s top prosecutor with a major role in leading NAAG’s support for the U.S. Senate’s inquiry into social media’s impacts on mental health and safety. 

The association announced Tuesday it sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security backing that subcommittee’s efforts to probe Facebook and other companies regarding their effects on children and teens.

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Tennessee Senator Blackburn Grills Facebook Head of Safety on Teen Health and Safety Impacts

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) led a bipartisan grilling of Facebook’s Antigone Davis Thursday about apparent troubles the company’s photo-sharing platform causes for teenagers.

Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, testified before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security, of which Blumenthal and Blackburn are respectively chair and ranking member. The meeting focused largely on the psychological hazards that Facebook has quietly acknowledged its photo-album application Instagram has posed to children and teens.

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Apple Reportedly Developing iPhone Technology That Knows When You’re Depressed

Person holding an iPhone

Apple is reportedly working on iPhone technology capable of detecting and diagnosing depression, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The tech giant is developing the iPhone features to reliably detect and diagnose depression as well as cognitive decline, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ. The technology is being developed in partnership with researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and pharmaceutical company Biogen.

The technology is in its early stages of development, according to the WSJ, but will collect data on iPhone users’ mobility and sleep patterns, physical activity, and other behaviors. However, researchers are still unsure whether they can create algorithms that reliably detect the mental health state of users.

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Tennessee Sen. Blackburn Spearheading Bipartisan Probe with Connecticut Sen. Blumenthal of Facebook’s Impact on Youngsters

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) and her Connecticut colleague Richard Blumenthal (D) announced this week they’re launching an inquiry into revelations, reported that morning in The Wall Street Journal, about Facebook’s knowledge of harms its products may pose to their young users.

Blumenthal chairs the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, through which the investigation of the social network will proceed. Blackburn serves as the subcommittee’s ranking member.

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Kids’ Suicide, Mental Health Hospitalizations Spiked Amid COVID Lockdowns, Research Finds

Girl with blonde hair, covering her face with her hands

COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.

Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.

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Mental Health Clinicians to Join Metro Nashville Police on 911 Calls by June 28

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) announced Monday that mental health clinicians will join officers on 911 calls through a Co-Response Crisis Intervention Program starting June 28. The pilot program was reportedly modeled after the Support Team Assistance Response (STAR) pilot program in Denver, Colorado.

“The MNPD’s first ever Co-Response Crisis Intervention [Program] (officers teamed with clinicians) begins 6/28. 16 officers from the North and Hermitage Precincts today begin 40 hours of crisis intervention training alongside Mental Health Co-Op staff in preparation for the start,” wrote MNPD.

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Tennessee Receives $53 Million in Federal Funding for COVID-Related Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Tennessee announced that it received an additional $53 million in federal funds for COVID-19-related mental health and substance abuse treatments. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) will rely on that funding for the next four years. $27 million of those funds will go to mental health services, and almost $26 million will go to substance abuse services.

The funds come from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Biden allocated $3 billion for mental health and substance abuse services nationwide.

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Bill Proposes Sweeping Reforms on Incarceration Alternatives and Probation Stipulations

The General Assembly is considering sweeping criminal justice reforms, namely concerning incarceration alternatives and probation. The proposed legislative changes, filed on the same day by State Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland) and State Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), are lengthy. 

In part, the bill would expand those who qualify for community-based incarceration alternatives addressing substance abuse or mental health rehabilitation. It would also provide new avenues for individuals who break probation to have their probation reinstated (2 years at most), receive incarceration alternatives, or be shielded from extensive sentencing. It also caps probation sentencing to 8 years for felony offenses.

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UM: Students Reporting Huge Spike in Anxiety, Depression During COVID-19

Continuing with a national trend, a University of Michigan study found that college students reported record levels of anxiety and depression during the fall semester of the 2020 school year, during nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns. 

“The UM Healthy Minds Study, an annual web-based survey looking at mental health and service utilization among undergraduate and graduate students, found that 47% of respondents screened positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety – up from 44% last year and the highest since the survey started in 2007,” according to Michigan Live.

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Virginia Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics Releases Stunning Effects of COVID Lockdown on Children

The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released the results of a survey about the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on children in the state, which it calls “alarming.”

“In the nine months since the issuance of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, our patients have experienced a major disruption in their lives, including disruptions to academic structure, participation in activities, peer interactions, lifestyle, and overall physical and emotional health,” the group explained. “To better identify and address the concerns of our patients and providers in Virginia, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a survey in December 2020 of 203 pediatric providers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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National Mental Health Crisis Emerges Among Youth During Pandemic Lockdowns: Reports

Children and young adults are experiencing increased mental health issues, and suicide also is on the rise within the age group at least in part because of ongoing state shutdowns, according to several reports.

Within months of governors and local authorities shuttering schools, children were increasingly brought to emergency room doctors and specialists, according to a by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Metro Nashville School Board Member Fran Bush Talks About Personal Attacks She’s Received on Facebook Because She Advocated for Students to Get Back in the Classroom

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Metro School Board member Fran Bush to the studio to explain why she has continuously advocated for in-person learning and the vicious pushback she’s received.

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Conservatives to Northam: We Earned Freedom of Religion 244 Years Ago

When Governor Ralph Northam outlined his latest COVID-19 restrictions and a curfew last week, he had a message specifically for religious leaders.

“This year we need to think about what is truly the most important thing. Is it the worship or the building? For me, God is wherever you are. You don’t have to sit in the church pew for God to hear your prayers,” the governor said. “Worship with a mask on is still worship.”

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Survey: Mental Health Continues to Plummet Amid Pandemic, Hits 20-Year Low

Americans’ mental health has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures remain in effect across the country, according to a survey published Monday.

Mental health is worse than any other point in the last two decades, Gallup reported on Monday. A survey conducted by Gallup showed 76% of Americans reported their mental health as either excellent or good, a decline from past surveys in which more than 80% of Americans reported positive mental health.

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Mayor John Cooper Announces Detective John Drake as New Metro Nashville Police Chief

Veteran Detective and Interim Chief John Drake has been selected as Metro Nashville Police Department’s new chief, Mayor John Cooper announced Monday at a press conference.

Drake, 56, is a Nashville native who began his MNPD career in 1988 and has served in a number of jobs throughout the department, the city said in a press release here.

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Commentary: Harvard Researchers: Nearly Half of Young Adults Showing Signs of Depression Amid Pandemic

Mounting evidence shows that pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions have inflicted much more harm on younger people than the coronavirus itself. A new report reveals that nearly half of 18 to 24 year-olds are “showing at least moderate depressive symptoms,” and for many the depression is severe.

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Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Saturday aimed at “saving lives” of those suffering from mental and behavioral health needs, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the executive order issued Monday morning, Trump called for more crisis-intervention services to those in “immediate life-threatening situations,” and encouraged increased availability of continuing care after crises, nurture mentorship programs, expanded availability of telehealth, and more.

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Data Shows Pandemic Contributing to Opioid Crisis, Local Health Experts Report ‘More Relapses’

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has contributed to rising drug-related deaths and the ever-worsening opioid crisis in the United States, according to health officials said local data.

Individuals battling opioid addiction have experienced increased stress due to isolation during the pandemic, according to health experts and data collected by the Wall Street Journal reported. Roughly 13% of American adults surveyed in June said they had started or increased drug use, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

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Gov. Lee Shares His ‘Child Wellbeing Plan’ With First Lady Melania Trump

Gov. Bill Lee spoke by phone Wednesday with First Lady Melania Trump on a new task force to address children’s mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House said Penny Schwinn, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, also participated.

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Ohio Gov DeWine’s Office Dodges Question on Resettlement of Refugees Australia Refused to Accept

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision on December 24 that would say yes to more refugees in Ohio would allow the federal government to resettle them from any country, including from an estimated 300 to 720 refugees from the Middle East that the government of Australia has refused to accept.

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