Katie Riordan


Katie joined the WKNO team in 2019. She's always eager to hear your story ideas. You can email her at kriordan@wkno.org

Katie Riordan

After returning from Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans earlier this year, Marilyn Davis became Shelby County’s patient zero—or the first locally documented case of COVID-19 on March 8. 

On Thursday, just over nine months later, she experienced another historic, pandemic milestone as she received one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doled out to Memphis-area hospitals for their frontline healthcare workers. 

Katie Riordan

On a recent Saturday, a group of masked neighbors living on Buena Vista Street in Midtown Memphis congregate—at a distance, of course— on Jeff Warren’s front yard.

“We hope to be the Buena Vista model,” says Warren, who is a medical doctor and a member of the City Council.

Katie Riordan

As teams of inspectors from the Shelby County Health Department scour local establishments this weekend for violations related to COVID-19 restrictions, they'll be showing up with some back up: law enforcement. 

Katie Riordan

Vice President Mike Pence met with executives of hometown shipping giant FedEx on Thursday as he touted the company’s expected role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines this month. As soon as a vaccine is approved, Pence says, immediate shipments can begin.

Pixabay via pixabay.com/photos/hospital-patient-finger-emergency-3192833/

More than 500 hospital beds in the Memphis-area, as of Monday, were occupied by COVID-19 patients, a threshold that has arrived a month sooner than predicted.

Almost a third of the COVID-19 hospitalizations were in the ICU. That’s not including over 50 people still waiting for test results.

Miles Kovarik

Shelby County health officials have ordered new restrictions on restaurants, but have allowed their dining rooms—with capacity limits—to remain open for the time being.

In the health department’s latest directive, which takes effect Monday, restaurants and bars must return to 50 percent occupancy and are required to end service at 10 p.m. A two-hour cap on dining remains in place, along with no bar seating.


The most recent COVID-19 wave is arriving along with the holidays, and local health experts are urgently warning against not just big gatherings, but small ones as well. Officials are asking people to trim down their Thanksgiving rituals and only enjoy the traditionally large meal with those in your household.

Cameron Rutt for WKNO

The process of relocating toxic waste—about 3.5 million cubic yards of it—will soon begin at a Southwest Memphis industrial site. For the next month, the public can comment on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal ash removal plan that has local environmentalists demanding strong oversight.

Katie Riordan


A Unity Walk Against Gun Violence on Saturday brought hundreds of people to Downtown Memphis to draw attention to the city’s record year for homicides and the heavy toll it takes on communities. 

Public Domain


Just under two-thirds of Tennesseans are currently under a mask mandate, according to researchers from Vanderbilt University, who recently found that mandates are, in part, helping to lower hospitalization rates and COVID-19 related deaths.