“The Dose,” a weekly dose of news you can actually use.
Ayrika L Whitney, The Tennessean

The temperature in Nashville was how cold? A Popeye’s Chicken employee did what? The people who work in the Nashville mayor’s office make how much? We tell you that and more. I’m Jessica Bliss, and this is your weekly Dose. 

This week’s dose of news

Drew Morrison, 12, works on his homework with his mother Erin Morrison at their home in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

The power of choice in Nashville public schools

School choice — ability for parents to select a public school for their kids that sits outside of their assigned neighborhood zones — is seen as a boon. It provides kids with academic options, sometimes allowing them to opt out of attending low-performing schools. But the options can also have a negative financial impact on neighborhood schools, as money follows the student, sometimes to already wealthier areas. That leaves at least one school board member to wonder: How does the school district get to a place where parents choose their neighborhood schools?

More than 1 in 3 students — about 32,000 of the 86,300 children enrolled this year — commute to a public school outside of their designated neighborhood zone. And, for some parents, school choice is a daunting system to navigate. We understand Nashville’s school choice system can be complicated. Here’s what you need to know

Updates, quick hits and tidbits

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Numbers worth knowingWho is working for Nashville Mayor John Cooper, and how much do they earn?

We have all the answers to that very question. Here are a just few, by the numbers.

The top of the pay list? Cooper’s new senior adviser of transportation and infrastructure Faye DiMassimo is being paid $200,000. Of that, $50,000 is from Metro Water Services “due to the percentage of her work that is dedicated to infrastructure.” 

By comparison: The mayor himself is paid $180,000.

Cooper’s senior advisers Benjamin Eagles and Mary Falls, who joined the administration after working on Cooper’s campaign, both make $137,891.

Currently, the salaries of all the mayor’s staff (27 people, though two are leaving soon) is $2.77 million. Predecessor David Briley (at the end of his time in office) had 31 staff members earning a combined $2.9 million.

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All the good feels

(You get a double dose today! Enjoy.)

School resources Officer Angela Booker saw a need for a summer camp for girls with special needs. So she started one. With her own money. On her own time. Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Larry McCormack / The Tennessean)

Vietnam War veteran George Thomas’ health has steadily deteriorated, likely tied to exposure to the toxic Agent Orange herbicide while Thomas served in the Army as a combat engineer. But his love for the Titans is as strong as ever. The day before Veterans Day, Nissan Stadium roared and the 72-year-old Thomas choked up when the Titans presented him with a new wheelchair on the field in honor of his service.

Quote of the week”We are three females who enjoy the glitz and the glitter.”

— Country music star Reba McEntire on co-hosting this year’s CMA Awards with Dolly Parton and Carrie Underwood. The trio took center stage to celebrate “the year of the woman.”

And the women were more than just shiny centerpieces. Jennifer Nettles made a fashion statement on the red carpet wearing a pink cape with a feminist message: “Play our f*@#!n records, please & thank you.” Jenee Fleenor — longtime fiddle player for Blake Shelton — became the first-ever woman to win a CMA Award for Musician of the Year. Also this week: CMT honored Brandi Carlile and introduced its 2020 Next Women of Country class. Rock on, ladies.

Jennifer Nettles backstage during the 53rd Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Photo: Andrew Nelles /

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