Former Nashville Healthcare Executive Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $700,000

The former president of Nashville-based Omnis Health pleaded guilty last week to embezzling $763,887 from the company and evading taxes.

U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee said 50-year-old Robert Burton was charged in February with wire fraud and tax evasion related to his embezzlement scheme. Burton was the president of Omnis Health, which sells diabetic testing kits, from July 2013 to May 2017.

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Nashville Official Says No Truth to Claims Housing Project Residents Being Forced to Test for COVID-19

A Nashville official on Saturday denied that she and her colleagues are forcing residents of the city’s housing projects to test for COVID-19, even though some people on social media say that’s what’s happening.

On Friday a Nashville resident named Hatuey Hiawhatha shared a photo of what looked like Nashville Police officers and National Guard troops outside a housing project.

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Nashville Police Will Show Up if Newly-Reopened Businesses Don’t Follow COVID-19 Rules

Nashville business owners who are gearing up to reopen Monday better comply with all of Mayor John Cooper’s safety rules for COVID-19, or else police might pay them a visit.

As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, after days in quarantine, Nashville will move to Phase One of Cooper’s plan to reopen the city’s economy, at least partially, this coming Monday.

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Tennessee Star Senior Reporter Laura Baigert Suggests Mayor Cooper Should Pro-Rate Property Tax Payments for the Amount of Time He’s Demanded the Shut Down

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy spoke to Tennessee Star Senior Reporter Laura Baigert on the newsmakers line.

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Commentary: Mayor Cooper’s Tax Increase Would Torpedo an Already Reeling Nashville

Mayor John Cooper’s proposed 32 percent property tax increase is a terrible idea and would be detrimental to the city of Nashville, potentially creating a chilling effect across Middle Tennessee. An increase of such magnitude would bring additional pain and suffering to untold thousands of Nashvillians already harmed by the government-mandated COVID-19 lockdown and the tornado that preceded it.

Decisions about tax increases should be delayed until next spring. After the Mayor has made significant cuts and structural changes in Metro government. It also must come after Mayor Cooper has hosted townhall meetings in every Nashville neighborhood. At such times he can educate voters about what he will have done to cut spending and exactly how he will operate the city in a fiscally conservative manner.

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The Beacon Center’s Mark Cunningham: People Need to Look at City Leadership Over These Past 10 Years

Towards the end of the third hour of Monday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, The Beacon Center’s Marks Cunningham weighed in on Mayor Cooper’s proposed 32% property tax increase stating that it was the wrong time to be doing this to the citizens of Nashville in lieu of the government-mandated shutdown and recent tornado destruction. He suggested that government cuts and freezes need to be put on the table if they are going to hinder small businesses while corporate businesses receive tax breaks and incentives.

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Jahangir: COVID-19 Didn’t Hit Nashville as Hard as Some Originally Feared

Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair Alex Jahangir said Monday that COVID-19 didn’t hit Nashville as hard as computer models originally predicted.

“Just a few weeks ago we were planning for a 1,000-bed auxiliary hospital because models had shown that our hospitals would be overrun,” Jahangir said, without saying how many people in Davidson County were to have supposedly caught COVID-19, per those models.

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Owner Carey Bringle of the Peg Leg Porker BBQ Restaurant in Downtown Nashville Joins Leahy to Discuss His Recent Letter to Mayor Cooper

Live from Nashville, Tennessee, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by Carey Bringle who is the local business owner of the popular BBQ restaurant located in The Gulch of downtown Nashville the Peg Leg Porker.

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Carol Swain: ‘Democrats, in My Opinion, Have Become Enemies of the State’

Live from Nashville, Tennessee Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by former Vanderbilt and Princeton Professor Dr. Carol Swain.

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Nashville School Board Members Say No to More Charter Schools

Members of the Metro Nashville School Board this week shot down the idea of having five more charter schools.

Members offered a variety of reasons.

Board members said, among other things, that charter school staff didn’t meet the county school district’s curriculum standards. Board members also said that charter schools relied on too many volunteers and turned in too many generic applications.

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Nashville’s Small Business Owners Have New Resources to Reopen After COVID-19

Nashville’s small business owners have new online resources to help them reopen and navigate their way out of COVID-19.

Nashville Metro At-Large Council member Steve Glover announced one new website, SBTFNashville.com at a press conference Monday.

Glover co-chairs the city’s Small Business Task Force. For assistance, business owners may sort through that website for a list of financial resources, he said.

“We are also working with the Metro Health Department in the coming days to try to develop a systematic plan for how we help you and the employees train, get ready for how to reopen and hopefully determine a date [to reopen],” Glover said, adding he and members of the task force are coordinating with Mayor John Cooper’s office.

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Crom Carmichael Talks About the Democratic Party Who View the Private Sector as Unimportant

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

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Public Affairs Strategist Clint Brewer Reacts to Mayor Cooper’s Reopen Plan

Public affairs strategist and all-star panelist Clint Brewer joined The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Friday morning on the newsmakers line.

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Senator Kerry Roberts Weighs in on What Tennessee’s April Revenues Will Look Like While Davidson County Remains Closed Under Mayor Cooper Rule

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the line during the program’s second hour by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts.

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Knox vs. Davidson County: Two Mayoral Responses to the Financial Impact of COVID-19

As the economic shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic continue on and the start of the upcoming fiscal year on July 1 draws near, Tennessee’s government leaders are laying out their response to the financial impact.

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Nashville Tea Party Founder Ben Cunningham says ‘Express Your Opinion, Get Involved and Make Your Voice Heard. That is What Government is All About’

On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy welcomed guest host and Nashville Tea Party founder Ben Cunningham to the show.

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Public Art about COVID-19 and Recent Tornadoes on the Way, Courtesy of Nashville Taxpayers

Metro Nashville officials plan to spend taxpayer money to create public art that, in some way, acknowledges the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the tornadoes that battered Middle Tennessee last month.

Last Friday Metro Nashville Arts Commission board members approved re-allocating $40,000 from their operating funds toward this project, part of their THRIVE program, said Metro Arts spokeswoman Emily Waltenbaugh.

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Metro Councilman At-Large Steve Glover Weighs in on Mayor Cooper’s Sharp Tax Increase Proposal

During the third hour of Monday’s, Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, Metro Councilman at Large Steve Glover expressed his disagreement with the significant property tax increase proposed by Mayor Cooper last week. He stated that he didn’t believe that this was a solution to the problem and vowed to stand up to his promise of protecting the people of Davidson County’s wallets.

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Nashville Chief Public Defender Wants Even More Inmates Released Due to COVID-19

Metro Nashville Chief Public Defender Martesha L. Johnson has formally asked that members of the Davidson County Criminal Court immediately release an additional number of inmates from jail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These inmates are housed in the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and at Core Civic facilities, Johnson said.

“It is perhaps an unprecedented request for relief in Nashville, but has been utilized in jurisdictions across the country,” Johnson said in her motion.

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Nashville Nurses Pray Over Patients on Hospital Roof During Their Break: ‘Go to the Helipad and Pray’

A group of Nashville nurses went to the roof of the hospital during their break to pray for hospital staff and patients suffering from coronavirus.

Nurses Angela Gleaves, Sarah Franklin Kremer, Beth Hofflin Tiesler and McKenzie Gibson went to the roof of Vanderbilt University Medical Center to pray over the patients and staff in their hospital. Photographs show the nurses praying with hands folded on the rooftop of the building before posing for selfies with one another.

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Crom Carmichael: ‘The Government Itself Should Not Be Immune to the Same Types of Issues That the Private Sector Has’

Broadcasting live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the phone by all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

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Nashville Mayor Reveals Plan to Raise Property Taxes Amid Tornado Devastation and Coronavirus Pandemic

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced during his virtual State of the Metro address Tuesday that he plans to “sharply increase” the city’s property tax rate.

Cooper said the Nashville Finance Department predicts that revenue from sales taxes and other activities will be down between $200 and $300 million because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the unusual circumstances, Cooper didn’t have a budget proposal to discuss but said the budget ordinance he plans to present to the Metro Council in April will “sharply” increase the city’s property tax rate. Cooper said the final rate will still be lower than other cities throughout Tennessee.

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Tennessee Medical Association Asks All Mayors to Issue Shelter in Place Orders

The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) sent a letter to every mayor in the state Friday asking them to request authority from Gov. Bill Lee to issue shelter-in-place orders for their communities.

Lee has thus far declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, which prompted more than 2,000 health care workers to sign a petition asking him to change course, The Tennessee Star reported. As of Sunday, 26 states had issued stay-at-home orders, including the neighboring states of North Carolina and Kentucky.

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The Tennessee Star Report: Caller and Nashville Dentist Billy Tells Leahy That This is Way Past the ‘Rainy Day Fund’ Situation for Small Businesses in Tennessee

On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy was joined on the line by a caller and Nashville Dentist named Billy.

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Governor Bill Lee Orders Bars And Restaurants to Close

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued an executive action Sunday ordering the closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created both an economic and a health crisis and our response must continue to address both aspects,” Lee said in a statement. “Our goal is to keep the public, especially vulnerable populations, safe while doing everything possible to keep Tennesseans in a financially stable position.”

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Nashville Mayor Issues ‘Safer at Home’ Order

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a sweeping “Safer at Home” order Sunday aimed at limiting community spread of COVID-19 in Davidson County.

The order requires all non-essential businesses to shut, beginning on Monday, March 23, and for residents to remain in their homes for all but the most necessary activities for the next two weeks until April 6.

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Davidson County Sheriff Reduces Jail Population During Coronavirus Emergency

Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall announced he has initiated plans to reduce the number of inmates in sheriff’s office custody as the coronavirus emergency continues.

This, according to a press release Hall put out this week.

Those plans include expanding pre-trial release criteria and eliminating the work release program. PTR participants are expected to double over the next few days and all work release inmates are being furloughed immediately, the press release said.

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