Good morning, Nashville. The controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the Tennessee Senate this weekend with a few changes, despite recent protests by Nashville students. The bill restricts educators from including instruction about homosexuality in lesson plans before 9th grade, though an added amendment does allow them to respond to questions about homosexuality from students. The bill still has to go before the House, and is not likely to come up until the 2012 session.
- Hard rain’s gonna fall. Our hearts go out to everyone in and around Joplin, Missouri today. Authorities report at least 89 dead from yesterday’s massive tornado that leveled the city just weeks after a similarly deadly tornado tore through Alabama and the surrounding areas.
- Vote on it. Tennessee legislators were busy this weekend wrapping up final business for the year. The House passed a constitutional amendment that aims to impose more restrictions on abortions in Tennessee, and the measure will go before voters in 2014. They also passed a bill that will allow high-gravity beers to be served at Tennessee breweries, and dropped the controversial “pilot program” amendment.
- Bits & pieces. The Country Music Hall of Fame welcomed Reba McEntire, Jean Shepard and Bobby Braddock to their ranks this weekend … Nashville got a little Antiques Roadshow this weekend … News Channel 5 investigates the very important issue, “Breast implants: Silicone or saline?” … They also just noticed that there are a lot of food trucks rolling around in Nashville these days … Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Nashville today to promote flex fuel … Yesterday’s stormy weather may revisit us this afternoon … Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now… Help Now” performance this weekend raised over $750,000 for Alabama tornado relief.