Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez, a reporter in Nashville since July 2011, covers city news, features inspiring people, and seeks out offbeat stories. He’s also an award-winning juggler and hot chicken advocate who lives in East Nashville with his wife, a professional bookbinder. During his time at The Tennessean newspaper, his investigative reporting and feature stories were honored in the state and nationally. Gonzalez grew up near Chicago and came to Nashville after three years reporting and editing at Virginia's smallest daily newspaper, The News Virginian.

Sumner County Schools via Facebook

Sumner County students return to classrooms in person Tuesday as the district discards its hybrid schedule.

For the first two weeks, most students had been in classrooms just two days per week.

The district says it’s following its re-entry plan, which sought a return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. But the announcement still triggered nearly 700 comments on the district Facebook page, ranging from celebratory to distraught.

Sumner County reported 268 actively contagious cases coming out of the holiday weekend. The county has reported 87 deaths during the pandemic, the third-most in the state.

Chas Sisk | WPLN

Tennessee’s election officials have yet to properly inform voters that people in high-risk groups for COVID-19 and their caretakers can request an absentee mail-in ballot this year.

That’s the finding in a new court order Tuesday.

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle has given the state a deadline — noon on Monday — to revise the form that voters use to ask for a mail-in ballot.

The state must mention COVID-19 by name, and make clear that anyone with an underlying health condition that makes them more susceptible to contracting the virus, including caretakers of such people, have a reason to vote absentee. The state also must tell county-level election officials to do the same.

TDOH via Twitter

More people in Tennessee are confirmed to have the coronavirus right now than at any point during the pandemic, according to tracking by WPLN News.

The state has also seen an upward trend in new cases and hospitalizations in recent days. About two dozen additional patients enter a hospital each day, statewide.

While there have been more than 26,000 coronavirus cases in Tennessee as of Sunday, most people fully recovered weeks ago. So it’s becoming more important to watch the number of cases considered actively contagious. That number of “active” cases is as high as it’s ever been: 8,741, and it’s been rising for days.

TBI via Twitter

The seven people found dead in Sumner County over the weekend include the father, mother and uncle of the suspect.

The other four victims' relationship to the suspect is still unclear, authorities said at a press conference Monday morning. The suspect, 25-year-old Michael Cummins, remains in custody.

Law enforcement discovered the incident Saturday following a 911 call. They located several people dead near the small town of Westmoreland, about an hour northeast of Nashville. They also learned of a second scene nearby, where another person had been killed.

It was a weekend for Rep. John Lewis to remember his past. The Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon filled a Nashville auditorium and told stories of his role in the student movement.

And he showed that he can still rally a crowd of hundreds.

"When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just," he said, "you have a moral obligation, a mission and a mandate, to stand up, to speak up and speak out, and get in the way, get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble."

In 2003 the Supreme Court struck down state laws that made homosexual conduct a crime, and overnight, prosecutions under so-called "sodomy" laws ended.

But for some, the decision came too late — their charges were logged in court files and subject to background searches.

That's what brought a Nashville man this summer to seek out attorney Daniel Horwitz. The man sought expungement, the clearing of his record.

In Spring Hill, Tenn., people often lurk outside the library on their laptops — before it opens and after it closes.

Librarian Jennifer Urban says it's not that they're just mooching the free Wi-Fi. The cost may be one aspect, but this town of about 30,000 people is also growing fast, she says, so fast that Internet providers can't keep up with home construction.

"There are subdivisions here that no one in the subdivision has Internet access, for one reason or another," she says.