Emily Siner

Emily Siner is an enterprise reporter at WPLN. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times and NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and her written work was recently published in Slices Of Life, an anthology of literary feature writing. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 

Although much of the mountain resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge were unscathed, Monday night's wildfires destroyed at least 700 buildings. Many people who lost their homes don't know it yet. They're still waiting to be allowed back into their neighborhoods.

It wasn't a surprise that Donald Trump won big in Tennessee. But even those who forecasted his success didn't predict numbers so high.

Today, the rate increases and changes in insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act actually become a reality for consumers. Many Tennesseans are facing two major questions: how much more their new plan will cost, and whether their current doctors will still be covered.

Enrollment has decreased in many of Tennessee's public institutions this fall, even as the state is pushing to increase the number of people with college degrees. College administrators say they're working against something that tends to bring those numbers down: a good economy.

The state has approved substantial rate hikes for insurance plans offered to Tennesseans on the federal marketplace next year, and Tennessee's insurance commissioner says she has "serious concerns" about its future.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee made headlines earlier this summer when it said it wanted to raise its health insurance rates on the federal marketplace by more than 60 percent. Two other insurance companies — Cigna and Humana — had proposed increases of between 20 and 30 percent, according to the state.

But Cigna and Humana now say their increases weren't high enough, and the state is allowing all three to file new rate requests. 

Gigabit-speed internet has been a buzzword around Nashville, with several companies competing to roll out super-fast connections. But a recent report from the state's economic development office pointed out that some parts of the state are far behind when it comes to getting online.

The state's Alcoholic Beverage Commission has released its latest list of grocery stores that will be able to sell wine starting July 1. More than 430 have gotten approved so far.

British expats living in Nashville have watched the referendum on the "Brexit" with interest — although for some, there wasn't much they could do about it.

Wine bottles are already lining the shelves in some Tennessee grocery stores — even though customers can't buy them yet.

July 1 is the first day that supermarkets are allowed to sell wine, and 279 stores in the state have received licenses to sell so far. More — nearly 400 — have gotten approval to start stocking.

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