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Tennessee's Allergy Capitals
9:25 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Three Tennessee Cities In The Top Ten For Fall Allergies

Credit http://cmsimg.usaweekend.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=RZ&Date=20130823&Category=HEALTH01&ArtNo=308230012&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&q=80&Fall-allergies-heads-up

Three Tennessee cities are now in the top ten allergy capitals in the US.

The annual list from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation focuses on fall allergies and ranks cities based on pollen scores, rates of medication use, and the number of board-certified allergists in each city.

Wichita, Kansas, is the top allergy capital, followed by Jackson, Mississippi.

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Economics
6:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Manufacturing Leads Knoxville Area Export Growth

Credit Courtesy kenteegardin, Flickr via Creative Commons

Goods and services exported from Knoxville to markets throughout the nation and the world totaled more than $4 billion in 2012, and accounted for nearly 13 percent of East Tennessee's total exports.

Nonprofit think tank The Brookings Institution looked at economic data for 100 metro areas around the U.S. Its report, Export Nation 2013, ranked the Knoxville metro area 73rd among the group of 100, but the more significant findings showed big growth in the area's exports.

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Health Scorecard
10:44 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Tennessee Among Lowest-Performing States On New Health Scorecard

Credit http://authoring.commonwealthfund.org/sitecore/shell/Controls/Rich%20Text%20Editor/~/media/Images/Publications/Fund%20Report/2013/Sep/exhibit%201%20l.jpg

A new report on health system performance and low-income populations puts Tennessee among the lowest-performing states. 

The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations* aims to find ways that states can improve health care, particularly with regard to those low-income residents.

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Education
9:12 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Governor Responds to Open Letter From Local Superintendents

Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said he was disappointed that 60 local-level school superintendents across Tennessee have signed on to a letter asking Haslam to ease off on education reforms being implemented by state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. His response to that letter was both conciliatory to the school administrators and firm in favor of classroom reforms.

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Union County Feud
12:53 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Knox County Schools Security Officer Arrested Following Deadly Feud

Michael Woodby (left) and Kevin Waggoner (right) confront each other in a video shot by Waggoner and submitted to local news outlets. Waggoner has been arrested and faces a criminal homicide charge in Woodby's death.
Credit Kevin Lee Waggoner via the Knoxnews.com

A Knox County school security officer has been arrested  after allegedly shooting and killing his Union County neighbor Monday night.  Kevin Waggoner of Luttrell has been charged with criminal homicide.

A spokesperson for the Knox County Schools would not reveal the location of the school where Waggoner works.  Waggoner has been employed by the school system for slightly more than two years. 

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Education
2:22 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Senate Education Committee Will Review State's Common Core Education Standards

Protest poster.
Credit Steve Rhodes via Flickr Creative Commons.

Another battle over Common Core education standards may be brewing in Tennessee. Tennessee’s Senate Education Committee is scheduled to review and hear testimony on new Common Core State Standards later this week. Committee chairman Dolores Gresham says the hearings will allow parents - teachers - and politicians a chance to air their concerns. Nashville’s WPLN reports local activists plan to bring a list of grievances to the meeting with particular objections to upcoming social studies standards. 

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Speed Limits
4:30 am
Mon September 16, 2013

City Looks To Public For Speeding Solution

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

The City of Knoxville tried building speed bumps and rumble strips.  It put up new speed limit signs and in some cases, lowered speed limits.  It even put police patrols on a rotation.  But nothing seems to prevent lead-footed drivers from tearing through the city's neighborhoods and down its side streets.

So city officials are looking to residents of those neighborhoods for ideas.

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Renegade Mountain homicide
4:01 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Cumberland County Man Arrested In Quadruple Homicide

Credit Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Police have arrested a Crab Orchard man for the murder of four young people on Renegade Mountain in Cumberland County.

TBI investigators say they arrested 26 year-old Jacob Allen Bennett Friday.  Bennett was already in custody in Rhea County after being arrested Thursday night on a parole violation.  . 

The bodies of Danielle Jacobson, 22, Steven Presley, 17, Dominic Davis, 17 and John Lajeunesse, 17 were discovered in a parked vehicle Thursday morning by a resident of this former resort community.  All four victims had been shot to death.

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Environment
2:05 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

University of Tennessee Puts Fracking Plan On Hold

Cumberland Forest.
Credit http://forestry.tennessee.edu/CUForest.html

The University of Tennessee has put a fracking plan on hold after receiving no bidders from potential industry partners. Last week, the University received a “no-bid” response letter from CNX gas company. In the letter, CNX said the project was not economically viable under the university’s terms. UT had proposed opening university-owned land in the Cumberland Forest to hydraulic fracturing, using revenue from the project to research its environmental impact.

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TN DCS & TN Dept of Health
9:38 am
Fri September 13, 2013

State Agencies Providing Cribs For Infants

Credit http://safesleep.tn.gov/datapage.shtml

Tennessee ranks 5th in the US for the number of infants who die before their first birthday, and the state’s Department of Children’s Services and Department of Health are trying to change that.

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