Chas Sisk

Chas joined WPLN in 2015 after eight years with The Tennessean, including more than five years as the newspaper's statehouse reporter.Chas has also covered communities, politics and business in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Chas grew up in South Carolina and attended Columbia University in New York, where he studied economics and journalism. Outside of work, he's a dedicated distance runner, having completed a dozen marathons

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, a Republican, said on Tuesday he plans to step down from his position after lewd and racist text messages between him and his former chief of staff were leaked to the media.

Casada's decision comes hours after the House Republican Caucus cast an unprecedented 45-24 no-confidence vote for the speaker.

"When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as speaker," Casada said Tuesday.

Chas Sisk-WPLN

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada said on Tuesday he plans to step down from his position. 

Casada's decision comes hours after the House Republican Caucus cast an unprecedented 45-24 no-confidence vote in Casada, after racist and lewd text messages between him and his former chief of staff were leaked to the media. 

"When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with Caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as Speaker," Casada said.

STEPHEN JERKINS / WPLN

Gov. Bill Haslam wraps up eight years in office at the end of this week. His tenure has been marked by some nationally recognized successes — like boosting college enrollment — and one big defeat: the failure of his Medicaid expansion plan, Insure Tennessee.

But in his final days, Haslam told WPLN senior editor Chas Sisk he wants Tennesseans to remember him for one main idea: his pragmatism.


Meribah Knight / WPLN

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee was the surprise winner of the Republican primary for governor Thursday night.

The Christian conservative and owner of the Lee Co. beat out former Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, Congressman Diane Black and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

According to the uncertified election results at the end of the night, Lee won with 36.8 percent of the vote. Boyd took second with 24.3 percent — nearly 100,000 votes behind him. Black came in right behind him at 23 percent. And Harwell took a distant fourth at 15.3 percent.

Melody Cashion rattles off the list of drugs she once needed just to function.

Lyrica, Gabapentin, methadone, oxycodone, valium.

There were more. But those were the every day ones.

In an election year filled with anti-Muslim vitriol, some mosques are urging their worshipers to vote in an attempt to make their voices heard. To do so, they're borrowing a strategy used by African-American churches and organizing "souls to the polls" campaigns.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When companies uproot, executives usually point to factors like lower government taxes or fewer unions.

But one gun maker, Beretta, blames something entirely different — a law passed in Maryland to try to curb mass shootings.

The company recently moved its factory to Nashville, Tenn., because it says the law in Maryland threatened its business. The opening day was celebrated with shooting demonstrations and a warm welcome from state officials.

While a majority of the nation's governors have asked the Obama administration to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their state, a prominent Tennessee lawmaker has gone a step further: He's suggested the National Guard round up recently arrived refugees and prevent the arrival of additional refugees.

"If I err, it will be on the side of not having another Paris, France," said state Rep. Glen Casada, the chairman of the House Republican Caucus in the state Legislature. "When we let them in, we are letting terrorists in."