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Law
6:00 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Alexander Move Blocks Federal Court Nominee From Knoxville

Attorney Pamela Reeves, nominee for the U.S. District Court, East Tennessee.
Credit Reeves, Herbert and Anderson

Knoxville attorney Pamela Reeves has been waiting since May for a confirmation vote that could elevate her to a federal judgeship here in East Tennessee. And she’ll have to wait a little while longer.

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Knox County Cremation Fee
4:00 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Knox County Commission To Vote On Cremation Fee

Credit http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Late_offers/pictures/2010/1/8/1262987226628/cremate-001.jpg

Yesterday, the Knox County Commission approved adding a cremation fee for residents. Yesterday’s approval means the fee will be up for a vote at the Commission’s meeting on the 16th. 

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that if it’s passed, the new $25 cremation fee would help pay for medical examiner operations, one of which is approving cremations. The medical examiner also helps law enforcement and courts in murder and wrongful death investigations.

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Maryville Sales Tax Increase
4:30 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Maryville Residents To Vote On Sales Tax Increase Today

Credit Blountweb.com (Steve Speer)

Voters in Maryville will head to the polls today to decide whether they want to pay more for any purchases they make within the city limits.  A “yes” vote on the sales tax proposal would raise the local sales tax in Maryville from 2.25% to 2.75%.  When combined with the 7.00% state sales tax on most non-food items, the cost of a $100 purchase in Maryville would increase by $.50.  

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James McIntyre
4:24 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Knox School Board Considering McIntyre Extension

Credit knoxschools.org

Tonight's vote on whether to extend Knox County Superintendent James McIntyre's contract through 2017 could go a long way toward determining how much confidence the school board has in his leadership abilities. 

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Government
6:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

As Deadline Looms, Chattanooga Pension Plan Under Review

Credit Frank Kehren, via Flickr/Creative Commons

With the clock ticking ever nearer to an end-of-2013 deadline, a special task force commissioned to study Chattanooga's city pension obligations is racing to reach a consensus.

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Elliott Pet Services
4:00 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Morgan County Pet Crematorium Under Inspection

TDEC workers excavate animals on Elliott Pet Services' property.
Credit Gannett/WBIR

  The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation reports that former pets found in some burial sites in Morgan County cannot be identified.

The remains were dug up this week as part of an inspection of the facility, which contracts with veterinarians to cremate dead animals. TDEC officials say each burial site near the Elliott Pet Services crematorium in Morgan County had about 30 animal graves each and that there’s no way to identify the animal remains that have been found. 

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Health and Wellness
4:30 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Tennesseans Know How To Live Healthier—They Just Don’t Do It

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

A survey of 1200 Tennesseans shows they know the importance of eating right and exercising.  They know they shouldn’t smoke.  They even say they’re ready to make changes in their habits. 

But few are actually going through with it.

The survey was conducted on behalf of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Healthier Tennessee initiative.

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Death Penalty
12:59 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Tennessee Requests Record Number Of Death Row Executions

Billy Ray Irick is scheduled to die by lethal injection for the 1985 rape and murder of the seven year-old Knoxville girl he was babysitting.
Credit Tennessee Department of Correction

In a state that has only executed six death row inmates since 1960, Tennessee appears ready to enter a period in which executions become more common.

The Tennessean reports the State Attorney General’s office recently petitioned the Tennessee Supreme Court to schedule ten executions, an unprecedented number.  One of those requests has been granted; Billy Ray Irick is scheduled to die January 15 for the 1985 rape and murder of a seven year-old Knoxville girl.

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Education
6:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Knox School Board Creates Panel to Hear Teacher Concerns

Teachers, students and supporters attend a meeting of the Knox County Board of Education at the City-County Building, Wednesday, December 4, 2013.
Credit Gerald Witt, Knoxville News Sentinel

Public school teachers in Knox County continue to push county school leaders to address their concerns about teacher evaluations, curriculum pressures and other issues. Twenty-six educators, along with students, parents and supporters, articulated those concerns to the Knox County Board of Education at its regular meeting Wednesday night.

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Health Insurance
6:00 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Study: TennCare Recipients Satisfied With Service

The future of TennCare is shadowed by uncertainty, but the people who depend on the state's Medicaid program say they're happy with the mdical service they get.

The University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research surveyed 5,000 TennCare recipients this summer, and 95 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the medical care they received. TennCare is geared toward providing medical care to 1.2 million Tennesseans, mainly low-income households, the disabled and the elderly.

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