Fines, jail, debt: Court policies punish the poor

Low-income court defendants across the country have found themselves in a never-ending cycle of fines, jail, probation and debt. Now one Tennessee district attorney is trying to change that. (July 10)

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Nashville, Indianapolis celebrate Fourth of July

Nashville, Tennessee and Indianapolis, Indiana were among the U.S. cities celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks. (July 5)

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Tennessee Authorities: US Marshals shot and killed man

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman says US Marshals shot and killed a man who had multiple felony warrants, rammed police cars with his vehicle and had a weapon. An angry crowd threw rocks at police, hurting 25 officers. (June 13))

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Anger and chaos after police shooting in Tennessee

Chaos erupted in Memphis, Tennessee as authorities investigated a shooting involving a regional fugitive task force. There was no immediate word of who may have been shot, but angry residents poured into the streets and confronted police. (June 13)

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Country stars offer prayers for Granger Smith

Country stars at the CMA Fest in Nashville, Tennessee, offered prayers for fellow singer Granger Smith, whose three-year-old son died in an accident. (June 10)

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What It’s Like at an Alabama Clinic Still Performing Abortions (HBO)

The day after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed a bill that put her state on the path to banning almost all abortions, a 20-year-old woman from Tennessee walked into an abortion clinic with an ex-boyfriend and underwent the procedure.

“I’m a single mom of three kids,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, after having an abortion. “I have nothing to offer this child. You know, like, I’m already spread thin. I have my other three to take care of.”

She was one of about 20 women who had the procedure that day at the Alabama Women’s Center. Because there, it was business as usual. The ban — which is certain to be challenged in court — won’t go into effect for several months. Meanwhile, abortion is still legal in the state.

Dalton Johnson co-founded the Alabama Women’s Center in 2001, and since then, the center has had to adapt and sue over multiple new laws and ordinances designed to shut its doors.

“It’s been one thing after another. You know, I kind of feel almost at home in the federal courthouse,” Johnson said. “It’s been admitting privileges. It’s been the zoning.”

“The anti-choice group sued the City of Huntsville for issuing my business license, and so that was a whole battle that we had to fight and pay for out of pocket. And, of course, we prevailed in that one. The building codes,” she added. “And probably some more I just can’t even think of.”

So for Johnson, the latest law isn’t much of a surprise. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t emotionally affecting the staff at the clinic, as they answered phones and cared for patients.

“As I was leaving the house this morning, I started to feel like these butterflies in my stomach. The fear was coming over me,” said Makeda Harris, the center’s receptionist. Most days, she’s the first face a patient would see at the clinic.

Outside the clinic, protesters line up every day holding signs and imploring the women who walk inside to choose life. Many of them are regulars, and the staff knows them by name. A mother and daughter prayed outside Thursday after one woman, shielded by the bright umbrellas of the escorts who volunteer in the parking lot, walked in.

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Witness: Inmate prays, sings during execution

A man convicted of killing his wife decades ago prayed and sang hymns as he was put to death Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee. Don Johnson, 68, was executed via lethal injection for the 1984 suffocation of his wife, Connie Johnson. (May 17)

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Exhibit shows Keith Whitley’s legacy

Thirty years after his death, country singer Keith Whitley is getting his first exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. (May 3)

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AP Top Stories May 2 A

Here’s the latest for Thursday May 2nd: Barr says he won’t go to house hearing; Venezuelan protesters fill Caracas streets; Vigil for slain North Carolina students; Dozens of Tennessee homes evacuated due to recycling center fire.

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