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Health: Mental Illness / Substance Abuse
4:00 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Federal Health Care Law Could Mean Help For Mental Ilness And Substance Abuse In Tennessee

Credit http://www.clearviewtreatment.com/files/2012/02/SAMHSA-Mental-Health-Survey.jpg

Starting January 1st, the Affordable Care Act will include care for mental illness and substance abuse.

The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that means all insurance plans must cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, prescription drugs, rehabilitative, prevention and wellness services. Pre-existing conditions will be included.

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College Graduation
1:15 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Grant To Encourage TN Students To Graduate Sooner

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

 Tennessee has been named one of three states to receive a million-dollar grant to address the length of time it takes for a college student to graduate.

In most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities, it takes the average student about five years to earn a bachelor’s degree.  And it takes the average student at a two-year college approximately four years to earn an associate’s degree.

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Christmas 2013
4:30 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Short Shopping Season Forces Retailers To Scramble

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

As Holiday shopping seasons go, this has been a strange one.

For starters, Thanksgiving came six days later this year than last.  “That’s significant,” says Ann Fairhurst, a retail professor and head of the Department of Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management at the University of Tennessee.  “That’s six fewer days that the retailers have to capture those dollars and so they’re really pushing promotions all the way to Christmas.”

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Kingston Fossil Plant spill
1:56 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

TVA “Looking Ahead” As Ash Spill Anniversary Looms

Swan Pond Road in Harriman overlooks a sea of coal ash following the December 2008 spill of ash from the TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant.
Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

It was one of the darkest moments in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s long history. 

Residents of the Swan Pond community living near the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant awoke early on the morning of December 22, 2008 to a sea of gray sludge barreling its way through the community.  More than a billion gallons of coal ash being stored in a nearby pond had broken through a retaining wall and blanketed more than 300 acres around the plant, destroying homes, killing fish and filling local waterways with a thick muck laden with toxic materials.  

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Economics
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Tennessee Jobless Rate Shows Improvement In November

A chart showing monthly unemployment rates in Tennessee and the nation as a whole.
Credit Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Tennessee's unemployment rate saw its biggest month-to-month improvement since 2010 last month, and one economist says the improvement is real.

The statewide jobless rate clocked in at 8.1 percent in November, according to figures released Thursday from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The rate is still far above pre-recession levels, but it represents a drop of nearly half a percentage point since October, the biggest single downward shift in unemployment measured since April 2010.

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K-25
2:26 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Crews Complete Demolition Of K-25 Plant In Oak Ridge

The K-25 building in Oak Ridge was once the world's largest building under one roof.
Credit osti.gov

 An important link to Oak Ridge’s nuclear history no longer exists.

This morning, crews completed the demolition of the K-25 plant, the giant U-shaped building that once served as the nation’s main source of bomb-grade uranium.  At the time it was built, the K-25 plant was the world’s largest building under one roof.

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Community Health
6:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Two ET Social Services Agencies To Merge In 2014

Credit Helen Ross McNabb Center

Two East Tennessee community health and services agencies plan to join forces starting New Year's Day. The Helen Ross McNabb Center and the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee (SACET) will merge on January 1, according to a press release.

SACET will operate as a division within the McNabb Center. It serves victims of sexual assault in a 15-county region of East Tennessee, in addition to services that include community education, advocacy and therapy.

The ultimate goal is to bring the services provided by SACET and McNabb under one roof, strengthening both agencies.

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Labor & Workforce
4:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Tennesseans Affected By Ending Unemployment Benefits

Credit http://www.techyville.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/benefitsapplication.jpg

About 18,000 Tennesseans will lose some unemployment benefits after the end of the year.

The extension of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) insurance payments will expire at the end of the year.

The final EUC payments are received during the week ending January 4, 2014.

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Holiday Travel
4:30 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Record Number Of Travelers To Hit Tennessee Roads This Christmas

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

If you’re looking for one of the positive by-products of the Great Recession, consider the fact that holiday travel dropped off substantially in 2009.  That means those who did venture out on the open road found it decidedly less crowded.

Those days are gone.

AAA’s National Travel Forecast suggests a record 94.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday season.  That’s a .6% increase and represents the fifth consecutive year of increases in travel volume. 

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Homelessness
4:00 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Annual Homeless Memorial Day This Evening In Knoxville

Credit http://www.nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Candles.jpg

An annual nationwide gathering to honor the homeless will take place in Knoxville this evening.

The 5th Annual Knoxville Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is a public gathering, honoring homeless and formerly homeless Knoxvillians who died in 2013.

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