Billions for Tennessee businesses, the new core of the coronavirus outbreak and a Confederate bust – Tennessean

Billions for Tennessee businesses, the new core of the coronavirus outbreak and a Confederate bust  Tennessean

A Confederate controversy, the coronavirus surge and goodbye to another country legend. It feels like we are on repeat. One step forward, two steps back. Hang tight, Dosers. We will keep working for progress. I’m Jessica Bliss, and this is your weekly Dose.

This week’s dose of news

Downtown Nashville is now the core of the coronavirus outbreak

Once concentrated in older Latino communities, the virus is now spreading among a younger population of downtown residents and patrons of bars, honky-tonks and other crowded Lower Broadway businesses. Though younger people are less likely to suffer serious complications from the virus, they can still spread it to others who are more vulnerable — including their parents and grandparents. To combat the swelling outbreak, the city closed downtown bars for two weeks and tightened restrictions on restaurants. Nashville and other surrounding counties are also requiring masks be worn in public as the governor signed a statewide order allowing such safety mandates. Find out: Does your Tennessee county require face masks to be worn in public?

Updates, quick hits and tidbits

  • “The devil bowed his head ’cause he knew that he’d been beat.” Country Music Hall of Fame musician Charlie Daniels has died. His family will hold a funeral service in Murfreesboro and public visitation in Mt. Juliet this week. Here are the details.
  • Private prison corporation CoreCivic has accused Nashville of “playing politics” and announced in a scathing letter it will walk away from its contract with city. It’s a move Nashville leaders were pushing for — but it comes sooner than planned.
  • Is Vanderbilt eliminating its athletics communication department? Letters sent to employees on Monday say key positions will be eliminated.
  • An East Tennessee mayor who led a prayer in the state House of Representatives on the final day of the legislative session in June has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Scrutiny over Franklin High School’s “Rebel” mascot has prompted a petition and new committee to discuss a possible name change. Meanwhile, Williamson County has approved a task force to explore removal of the Confederate flag on its seal.

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All the good feels

The power of positive gossip

Shani Dowell faced racism in high school. Now, she hopes her new app — which provides a link between parents and schools to talk to each other and express concerns about bullying, racism and other issues — will help battle bias. Here’s Dowell’s story, and how she became the first Black woman in Tennessee to raise $1 million for a start-up company to do good.

Gideon’s Army violence interrupters canvass the community to defuse conflicts and bring peace

Hambino Godbody grew up in the housing development known as Dodge City, a stark collection of red-brick buildings spread over several blocks in Nashville’s most violent neighborhood. He knows what it’s like to be a child here. To be raised without a father here. To get caught up in the chaos here. And what it’s like to be locked up in prison after making choices to survive here. Now, he walks the toughest streets in Nashville to change that narrative. As a violence interrupter for Gideon’s Army, he works alongside a bold and unified team committed to mitigating harm in marginalized communities.

Quote of the week

“Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans, and that pain is very real for our fellow Tennesseans.”

— Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, as he explicitly called for the removal of the monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest inside Tennessee’s Capitol. Lee said Wednesday that the bust of the Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader — a sculpture that for years has been the focus of a heated debate — should be relocated to the state museum.

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Numbers worth knowing

More than 93K Tennessee businesses approved for $8.9 billion in PPP loans

You can see for yourself which ones took the largest loans. But first, here’s a look at the numbers:

  • Nearly 88%: Of the businesses were approved for loans of less than $150,000.
  • The remaining 11,269: Were approved for loans between $150,000 and $10 million.
  • An estimated 916,996 jobs: Could be retained in Tennessee if the loans are used. 
  • 23% of all Tennessee businesses: Granted PPP approval by lenders were in Nashville and Memphis 

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Published 8:48 PM EDT Jul 8, 2020