Rachel Grimes Digs Deep

Composer Rachel Grimes shares the stories and sometimes unpleasant surprises behind her new work, The Way Forth , which she will debut at the Big Ears Festival.

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Knox County Sees Slight Increase in Unemployment Rate

May 23, 2013
Tennessee Department of Labor And Workforce Development

Knox County's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in April, but it still remains the lowest among Tennessee's metropolitan counties. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports a rate of 6.4% in Knox County, up from March's rate of 6.2%.  When compared with other Tennessee counties, Knox County has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state.  Williamson County in Middle Tennessee has the lowest.  Despite a drop of more than one full percentage point in the last month,

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

In downtown Knoxville, the historic Henley Street Bridge will not re-open next month, as state transportation officials had hoped. The project has been plagued not just by construction delays, but by concerns over worker safety. WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth reports.

http://www.isfracking.com/well-fracking-in-tennessee/

A legislative committee has approved the state’s first regulations for extracting oil and natural gas from wells, a practice known as fracking. Yesterday’s vote by the General Assembly’s joint committee on government operations means the rules will go into effect next month. One motion would have required companies to periodically test water wells within a mile of the drilling sites, to disclose all the chemicals they use, and to file plans on what to do with leftover waste water, but that motion did not pass.

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury

An audit by  the Tennessee State Comptroller's Office reports thousands of dollars in donations and adoption fees were stolen from the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society between 2009 and 2011.  The audit was requested by Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain when an employee of the animal shelter discovered several receipts had been backdated so that they wouldn't appear in daily collection reports.  In all, the comptroller's office believes a total of $51,130 has been stolen.  That money was supposed

Carter Hearn / http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/ocoee2/.

 A new study from the University of Tennessee shows visitors who went whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River last year pumped $43.3 million dollars into a 30 surrounding counties. 

The study’s author, U-T Hospitality and Tourism Management economist Steve Morse, found the Ocoee was also last year’s most-visited whitewater river in the U.S.

"This study shows that tourism and visitor spending at the Ocoee River is fueling small businesses, creating jobs, worker paychecks and taxes in rural Tennessee," Morse says.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has been named co-chair of a national task force. Governor Haslam, a Republican, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, will head the National Governors Association Health Care Sustainability Task Force, which will study ground-breaking Medicaid programs.

Emory River Paper Mill added to Superfund List

May 21, 2013
EPA.gov

An abandoned pulp and paper mill on the Emory River near Harriman has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  A Superfund designation by the EPA means the Clinch River Corporation site poses a "significant threat to public health" and the EPA now has the right to require the current owner to conduct or pay for clean-up of the site.  An EPA evaluation of the 30.5 acre site claims the site was contaminated with several by-products of the paper manufacturing process, includi

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

The Tennessee State Building Commission has approved a proposal from the University of Tennessee that would allow UT to purchase three homes in the Fort Sanders neighborhood and demolish them if necessary.  In a press release, university officials say they're hoping to build a new four-to-five story classroom building in the space currently occupied by three Queen Anne-style homes.  The 200,000 square foot building will eventually feature general-purpose classrooms, shared laboratories and house facilities related to the university's microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biolo

City of Knoxville

An eight-person panel whose members have connections to Knoxville's arts, educational and business communities will examine potential changes to the city's World's Fair Park. Deputy to the Mayor Bill Lyons and UT professor Jan Simek will co-chair the exploratory committee that will look at options for the park that hosted the 1982 World’s Fair. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports one of those options is a new home for the Clarence Brown Theatre. The UT-based theater is in need of plumbing upgrades and more classroom space.

Bonnaroo: The Festival's Economic Impact

May 21, 2013

The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has released an economic study showing that the annual festival now makes more than $51 million for Middle Tennessee and the state. About 80,000 people now attend the four-day festival each June in Coffee County. The study shows that about $36 million of the total impact of the Bonnaroo festival comes from direct visitor spending.

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