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

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.

Tennessee lawmakers have narrowly rejected an effort to move the tomb containing the remains of James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah, putting an end for now to a two-year debate over what to do with the memorial to the nation's 11th president.

Tennessee lawmakers are pointing fingers at one another over the failure of a resolution condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis, after a House panel defeated the measure earlier this week.

Supporters of a measure that would overhaul how songwriters get paid are still working to get it off the ground. The Music Modernization Act was unveiled in Congress late last year, but no action has been taken yet.

There were high hopes among state lawmakers at the start of this year’s legislative session that they could get done early and without much controversy as many have elections looming this fall.

But as bills have moved forward, some emotional debates have brought an unwanted spotlight. This past week saw fights over a bill banning bump stocks, a resolution honoring a Memphis community activist and whether autopsy records should be kept open.

The Senate campaign for Phil Bredesen says it's been targeted in a sophisticated attempt to steal its funds.

In a letter sent Thursday to the FBI, an attorney for the former Tennessee governor says unknown parties tried to trick the campaign into wiring money to a foreign bank account by masquerading in email messages as the Bredesen campaign's media buyer.

The leading topic of discussion nationwide continues to be guns in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. And state capitols around the country are feeling pressure to act and help put an end to the wave of massacres.

Last year's shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas raised the prominence of a particular accessory used in that killing — bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at rates comparable to machine guns.

Now in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., massacre, Tennessee lawmakers are considering cracking down on them.

Eight years ago, when Republicans were outside the White House, their political advertising in Tennessee largely stuck to a single formula.

"You would take a picture of the Democratic candidate. Put a picture of Barack Obama on one side," says Kent Syler, a professor of political science at Middle Tennessee State University. "You know, throw in some Nancy Pelosi. And link them to that national ticket."

It worked. But Democrats are unlikely use the same playbook to turn Tennessee voters against the GOP.

Last week’s shooting at a high school in Florida has reignited the debate over the nation’s gun policies.

That includes Tennessee, where in a terrible coincidence, a panel of state lawmakers happened to be holding their first hearing on new gun bills while the tragedy in Florida was unfolding.

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