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Unique Spotless Giraffe Gets a Fitting Name

She's dubbed Kipekee, which means 'unique' in Swahili

(Newser) - The rare spotless giraffe born at a Tennessee zoo now has a fitting name. After an online vote, the baby giraffe was named Kipekee, which means "unique" in Swahili. Some 40,000 people from around the world weighed in, chosing Kipekee over Firyali ("unusual" or "extraordinary"),...

As 'Tennessee Three' Member Is Silenced, Shouts of 'Fascists'

GOP lawmakers in state House bar Dem Rep. Justin Jones from speaking amid tense session

(Newser) - Republican lawmakers voted Monday to temporarily silence a Democratic member of the so-called "Tennessee Three" during an already tense House floor session after determining the young Black member violated newly enacted rules designed to punish disruptive members. The move directed at Rep. Justin Jones prohibited him from speaking on...

This Baby Might Be World's Only Giraffe Without Spots

She was born at a Tennessee zoo last month

(Newser) - A spotless giraffe may be the only one of her kind on the planet, according to the zoo where she was born. The baby with no spots was born July 31 at Brights Zoo in Limestone, Tennessee, WJHL reports, and zoo officials say that since spots are able to be...

Shooting Suspect's Dad Killed by Police 20 Years Ago

2004 complaint filed by suspect's mom says her son suffered emotional distress at the time

(Newser) - An eerie detail has emerged after a man fired shots outside of a Jewish school in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this week. NBC News reports that the father of 33-year-old suspect Joel Bowman was shot dead by Memphis cops in May 2003 after they received a 911 call of him "...

Both Expelled Members of 'Tennessee Three' Win Their Seats Back

Justin Pearson and Justin Jones win their special elections

(Newser) - Tennessee Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones, who became Democratic heroes as members of the "Tennessee Three," reclaimed their legislative seats Thursday after they were expelled for involvement in a gun control protest on the House floor, the AP reports. The young Black lawmakers were reinstated by local...

In Nashville, 'Outlaw' Country Artists Push Back on Tradition

Alternative performers pigeonholed as 'Americana' try to break into the mainstream—but it's not easy

(Newser) - When you hear "Tennessee," it's hard not to think of "Music City"—the nickname for the state capital of Nashville, home to the Grand Ole Opry and the heart of country music. But while that may call forth visions of white dudes in cowboy boots...

Teen Suspended for Mocking Principal Sues

Tennessee student says free speech rights were violated after Instagram posts made fun of school

(Newser) - It's not unusual for students to poke fun of teachers or administrators, but one high school principal who suspended a teen for doing so is now on the receiving end of a First Amendment lawsuit. The Washington Post reports on the complaint filed Wednesday in the US District Court...

Police: Patient Shot, Killed Surgeon in Exam Room

Police arrested suspect outside clinic in Collierville, Tennessee

(Newser) - Police say a patient fatally shot an orthopedic surgeon in an exam room at a Tennessee clinic on Tuesday. Dr. Benjamin Mauck, a husband and father of two young children, was shot dead around 2pm in what police described as a targeted "one-on-one interaction" at Campbell Clinic Orthopedics in...

He Left Phone at Restaurant. Cops Say It Held Awful Videos

Videos of boys being raped were allegedly found on soccer coach's phone

(Newser) - A popular Tennessee soccer coach left his cellphone at a restaurant, and police say what was found on that phone was unimaginable: hundreds of pictures and videos of unconscious boys between the ages of 9 and 17 being raped. Camilo Hurtado Campos, 63, is accused of filming the rapes over...

Cops: Man Fatally Shot Estranged Wife, 4 Others

Tennessee police at burning home where 3 kids died say gunman Gary Barnett also killed himself

(Newser) - Six people are dead in Tennessee, including three children, after police responding to a call of gunfire showed up at the scene to find a house on fire. Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett tells WRCB that the call in Marion County came in around 8:45pm on Thursday, at which...

He Got Engaged. Cops Say She Went to 'Online Killers Market'

Tennessee woman accused of hiring hit man to take out wife of man she'd met on Match.com

(Newser) - A Tennessee woman has been arrested after cops say she tried to hire a hit man to take out the wife of a guy she'd met through a dating site. ABC News reports that 47-year-old Melody Sasser allegedly sent about $10,000 in bitcoin to a dark web site...

Judge Scraps Tennessee's Controversial Drag Law

Thomas Parker strikes down legislation on restricting drag, calling it 'unconstitutionally vague'

(Newser) - A federal judge says Tennessee's first-in-the-nation law designed to place strict limits on drag shows is unconstitutional. In a 70-page ruling handed down late Friday night, US District Judge Thomas Parker wrote that the law was both "unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad." He also added that the...

Biden Tells Expelled Lawmakers They Stood Up for Democracy
Biden Welcomes
Expelled Lawmakers

Biden Welcomes Expelled Lawmakers

Three Tennessee Democrats visit White House

(Newser) - President Biden on Monday thanked three Tennessee lawmakers for "standing up" after they faced expulsion for participating in gun control protests at their statehouse. "You're standing up for our kids, you're standing up for our communities," Biden told Reps. Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria...

Onstage in Tennessee, Lizzo Makes a Statement

Singer invites drag performers to share her stage

(Newser) - Lizzo made her feelings about a new Tennessee law clear on Friday night, inviting drag performers to join her onstage in Knoxville. The acts who shared her stage at Thompson-Boling Arena included Aquaria, Asia O'Hara, Kandy Muse, and Vanessa Vanjie, Deadline reports. The legislation prohibits "male or female...

After School Shooting, Tennessee Moves to Shield Gunmakers

Bill passes state Senate to protect manufacturers from liability, will now head to governor

(Newser) - In the wake of a deadly school shooting last month, Republican lawmakers in Tennessee awarded final passage Tuesday to a proposal that would further protect gun and ammunition dealers, manufacturers, and sellers against lawsuits. The Senate's 19-9 vote sends the bill to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, despite pushback from...

Feds: Man Applied to Be Hit Man at Parody Site

Air National Guardsman was arrested after meeting undercover FBI agent

(Newser) - Jake Teixeira isn't the only 21-year-old Air National Guardsman facing criminal charges. Tennessee's Josiah Ernesto Garcia was arrested last week after he allegedly offered his services to Rent-a-Hitman.com, unaware that it is a parody site whose owner contacts law enforcement when it looks like requests could...

Florist Refuses RNC Job: 'There's Blood on That Money'

Owners of FLWR Shop urge others in the event industry to follow their lead

(Newser) - The owners of a Nashville floral shop have turned down a lucrative opportunity to provide flowers for a Republican National Committee fundraising event, saying the blood of the those killed in a recent school shooting in the city would be on any money received. The event—which will include former...

2nd Expelled Tennessee Lawmaker Is Reinstated

Board voted 7-0 to appoint Justin Pearson to state House seat before special election

(Newser) - The second of two Democratic lawmakers expelled from the state legislature last week has now been reinstated. The Shelby County Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 Wednesday to reappoint Rep. Justin J. Pearson to his seat in the state House of Representatives, NPR reports. The AP reports that Pearson marched through...

Tennessee Governor Takes Big Step on Gun Control

He urges lawmakers to pass 'red flag law'

(Newser) - Tennessee's Republican governor has taken some firm steps on gun control in the wake of the Nashville mass shooting that killed six people, including one of his wife's closest friends. Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Tuesday that will strengthen background checks for gun buyers, the Tennessean...

Nashville Sends Ousted Democrat Right Back to House

Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones retakes the oath of office to supporters' cheers

(Newser) - Days after he was expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives, Justin Jones has been returned to the legislature on a unanimous vote by the Nashville Metropolitan Council. Supporters cheered as the Democrat again took the oath of office on the state Capitol steps Monday afternoon, per the Hill . Jones,...

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