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The Benefits and Challenges of Syringe Exchange Programs

For the first time in Tennessee history, local-level nonprofits will be able to establish and maintain syringe exchange programs . The programs are politically controversial , but medical experts generally agree they reduce disease transmission and may offer a path for addicts to enter recovery.

The law that allows establishment of SEPs provides no state funding. Its wording has been interpreted to mean government agencies, such as county health departments, are also barred from...

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Miss a performance by the Knoxville Symphony and/or Chamber Orchestras? You can listen to the 2016-2017 season performances on WUOT, Monday nights at 8 o'clock!
Tennessee Department of Probation and Parole

The Tennessee Department of Correction will soon require the state's probation and parole officers to be armed. WATE-TV reports that there are currently 783 probation and parole officers in Tennessee and those officers will choose whether or not to undergo a two-week training to be armed. But all probation and parole officers will be armed by 2018.

The biannual Tennessee Women's Health Report Card gave the health of Tennessee women a grade of C, an improvement over a D in 2011. State health officials say there remain several areas of concern, however:  the percentage of women who smoke during pregnancy, the prevalence of the sexually transmitted infections Chlamydia and Syphilis, and deaths from breast and cervical cancer in African-American women all received an F.

Oyoyoy, Creative Commons Wiki

Low-cost airline carriers have had a turbulent history in the Knoxville market. But city and county leaders hope to make an announcement today to change that.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero have jointly set aside $370,000 dollars for what they’re calling a Competitive Airfare Partnership.

Jim Evans, Vice President of Marketing at McGhee-Tyson airport, says they’ve had some hits and misses with lowfare carriers before.

http://www.tennessean.com/assets/gif/DN112759714.GIF

A settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental groups means the Tennessee Valley Authority is shuttering 18 of its oldest coal-fired power plants. WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper reports on the resulting job cuts at those facilities… 

The University of Tennessee’s director of student judicial affairs has been fired after officials say she refused to cooperate with an investigation. Jenny Wright is being investigated over alleged inappropriate relationships with student-athletes. The university has hired an attorney to investigate those allegations. University officials say they won’t release any details about the accusations or about the students who may be involved.

Haslam To Veto Ag Gag Bill

May 14, 2013
Governor's Office, February 2012.

Knoxville, Tenn. - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam will issue the second veto of his term on a controversial bill centered on livestock abuse.                                                 

The bill would have made it illegal to video or photograph livestock abuse without turning in the evidence within 48 hours.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee submitted 34,000 signatures urging a veto earlier this month; executive director Hedy Weinburg says she commends Haslam's decision. 

Number of Tornadoes in Tennessee Above Average

May 13, 2013
http://www.picturestoryblog.com/2010/01/tornado-sewanee-tennessee-using-the-camera-you-have.html

The National Weather Service says the number of tornadoes in the US this year is way down. But WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper reports the numbers in Tennessee are above average for the year…

Y-12 Protesters Will Stay in Jail

May 13, 2013
Transform Now Plowshares

A judge has ruled that three protesters will stay in jail until their sentencing in September and that releasing them would be too lenient. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed were convicted last week of sabotaging and damaging federal property last July at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The three face up to 30 years each for the crimes. Their sentencing is scheduled for September 23 of this year.

Retrial of Christian-Newsom defendant begins today

May 13, 2013
Police Photo

A Nashville jury is in Knoxville today to begin hearing testimony in the retrial of George Thomas, one of five people originally convicted and sentenced for participating in the 2007 carjacking, rape, torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.  In 2009, a Hamilton County jury found Thomas guilty for his role in the crimes and he was sentenced to life without parole.  However, he was granted a retrial when it became apparent the presiding judge Richard Baumgartner was abusing painkillers during the trial.  In November of 2012, a jury convicted co-defendant Vanessa Colem

Smoky Mountain Visitation Down for First Part of 2013

May 12, 2013
nps.gov

The National Park Service reports a drop in visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the first four months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  Statistics show 1,620,340 visited the park between January and April.  That represents a drop of 359,202 visitors.  Rangers suggest the closure of Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg, Tenn. and Cherokee, North Carolina is the most likely reason for the decrease.  The road was closed January 13 after a landslide wiped out approximately 200 feet of road surface. 

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