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Tennessee Traffic Fatalities
4:00 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

State Safety Officials Focus More Resources On Traffic Fatalities

Credit http://businessclarksville.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/TN-Traffic-Fatalities-icon.jpg

The Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are focusing even more resources statewide on decreasing the number of traffic fatalities, especially counties that have the largest increases in traffic fatalities.

Shelby County has had 18 more traffic deaths this year than last year and Maury County saw fatalities triple from 5 to 15 by the beginning of this month.

Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole says though fatality rates have leveled out a bit, improvements have led to an overall drop of 33% from eight years ago:

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Economics
9:52 am
Fri November 22, 2013

State Unemployment Rate Flat in October

Credit businesspundit.com

Nonfarm employers gained 8,000 jobs in October, but Tennessee's unemployment rate remained stagnant at 8.4 percent.

The Tennessee Bureau of Labor and Workforce Development issued jobless reports for September and October on Thursday, and the numbers showed little improvement since August. Typically, the figures are released monthly, but October's government shutdown delayed the delivery of data state officials needed to calculate September's employment picture.

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Tennessee Drug Task Forces
4:00 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Tennessee Legislators Say Drug Task Forces Need More Accountability And Transparency

Credit surfky.com

Members of a Tennessee Senate Judiciary subcommittee held hearings this week in response to allegations of policing for profit in the state’s 24 drug task forces.

The subcommittee, headed by Chairman Mike Bell, heard reports of agents seizing drug money but never filing criminal charges; misspending taxpayer money; and misappropriating cars, jewels and other items seized from motorists for personal use or profit.

The hearings also found that boards overseeing the task forces have no statutory role, and in some cases, have never met or kept any minutes of meetings.

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University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
4:00 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

UTC Petition And Protests Aim To Ban "Verbally Abusive" Street Preachers From Campus

Credit http://www.utc.edu/admissions/images/campus_oak_09.jpg

Students at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, are petitioning to have a street preacher banned from campus.

So far, about 3,000 people have signed an online petition that asks UT system President Joe DiPietro to keep “verbally abusive” preachers off of the Chattanooga campus.

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Rossini Festival
3:41 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

New Knoxville Street Fair Policy Won’t Affect Rossini Festival

Credit cityofknoxville.org

Huge street fairs can present all kinds of logistical and public safety problems.  So for the last few years, the city of Knoxville has been turning down requests for those types of events on Gay Street. The one obvious exception is the annual Rossini Festival, the street carnival that shuts down a large portion of Gay Street to accommodate as many as 100,000 visitors.

A new agreement between Rossini organizers Knoxville Opera and the city guarantees the festival will continue to be the one exception.

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Same-sex benefits
7:56 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Same-sex Benefits Ordinance Clears Final Hurdle in Chattanooga

Credit WRCBTV.com

With a 5-to-3 vote Tuesday night, Chattanooga city council approved an ordinance on second reading that officially makes the city the third in Tennessee to extend city employee benefits to unmarried domestic partners, either gay or straight.  The ordinance also updates Chattanooga’s discrimination clause to prohibit the city from firing workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity and protects them from workplace harassment. 

After months of fiery public debate, the council approved the first reading of the ordinance last week by a single vote.

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Red Light Cameras
10:44 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Oak Ridge Red Light Scam Turns Out To Be Fake

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

In a press alert sent to local media Monday night, Oak Ridge Police Chief James Akagi described an email phishing scam in which the recipient was informed of a red light camera violation and given a false hyperlink to see photos of the violation and pay the fine.  Akagi’s alert suggested those receiving the email should immediately delete it.

As it turns out, no such scam existed. 

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Drug Tests For Judges?
4:00 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Two Area Legislators Drafting Bill To Require Drug Testing For Tennessee Judges

Credit http://www.capitol.tn.gov/images/slider/legislature.jpg

State Senator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge and State Representative Ryan Haynes of Knoxville say they’ll introduce legislation calling for required drug testing for all Tennessee judges.

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Health Insurance
6:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

BCBS Tennessee Plans to Extend Policies Additional Year

Credit outsidethebeltway.com

Nine days after announcing it would notify 66,000 customers they would have to find new policies, the largest health insurance provider in Tennessee says it plans to extend those policies for another year.

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VW Works Council
10:19 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Volkswagen Labor Official Visits Chattanooga Facility

Credit http://gearheads.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/092112_WEB_a_VW_Sign_t618.jpg

Labor officials with Volkswagen say a decision over union representation at the automaker's Chattanooga plant won’t affect the possibility of expanding production there. Volkswagen officials have said the company may add another vehicle to the production line at its lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga.

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