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GSMNP May 2013
4:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sets Record For May Visits

Credit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

Officials with the National Park Service say the Great Smoky Mountains National Park set a record for visitors in May. The Park had nearly 886,000 visitors in May of 2013. It’s the largest number of visitors to the park ever for the month of May and it’s up by more than 10% from May of 2012.

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Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center
6:30 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Nashville's Symphony Hall: A Showpiece Turned Millstone

The NSO began raising funds to build Schermerhorn Symphony Center less than a decade after emerging from bankruptcy, and the building sustained millions of dollars in flood damage just a few years after opening. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center was built as a tool to propel the Nashville Symphony forward. From an artistic standpoint–or even as a huge, stone billboard–it is a success. The last few months, as the news has gone from bad to worse about the orchestra’s finances, it’s been hard to see the building as anything but a heavy weight. But that wasn’t always the case.

The orchestra that hears itself better plays better

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Pilot Flying J Investigation
6:16 am
Wed June 19, 2013

More Pilot Flying J Employees Plead Guilty To Defrauding Customers

Pilot Flying J corporate headquarters on Lonas Drive in Knoxville, April, 2013 (Photo by Michael Patrick / Knoxville News Sentinel)

Three more employees with Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J pleaded guilty yesterday to scheming to defraud trucking companies out of rebates. Under that scheme, Pilot executives manually reduced fuel rebates on diesel purchases owed to trucking companies they thought would not catch the inconsistency. A federal investigation continues and has so far resulted in plea deals for five employees since a raid on the company’s headquarters on April 15th. Holly Radford, Jay Stinnett, and Kevin Clark pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

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Teacher Training
3:59 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Some Tennessee Teacher Training Programs Show Success Amidst Failure

Credit Image courtesy of nctq.org.

Ten Tennessee teacher training programs have earned high marks from a national education research and advocacy group.

The National Center for Teacher Quality evaluated 30 college and university programs in Tennessee, ranking 14 of them on a four-star scale. The NCTQ reports it based rankings on admissions selectivity - student teaching programs - and curricula including reading, math, history and science.

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Obituary
5:24 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Kenneth Wright, One Of WUOT's Founders, Dies

Kenneth Wright
Credit WUOT News

One of WUOT's founders, Kenneth Wright, died on May 14 in Canton, Georgia. On October 27, 1949, his was among the first voices ever heard on the then-experimental university FM station broadcasting from the basement of Ayres Hall. Wright served as the station's general manager during its earliest years, helping form WUOT's role in the community.

"You heard the culmination of a longstanding dream," Wright said during the inaugural broadcast. "To our listeners, a promise to offer the best radio our intelligence and hard work are capable of producing."

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Niota Shutdown
4:26 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Insurance Loss Triggers City Shutdown

Niota City Hall.
Credit wikimedia.org

  An East Tennessee town is doing without its own police force - fire department - parks and libraries today. At one minute past midnight last night, the town of Niota lost its liability insurance.  Today, Niota let several city employees go, closed its city police, fire, parks and street departments as well as the library with no word on when they might reopen again. 

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Environment and Conservation
8:27 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Oak Ridge to Use State Grant to Cut Air Pollution

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Credit www.tn.gov

For years, people living in the valleys of East Tennessee have had to endure air quality problems, especially in the summer. Now, Oak Ridge leaders will use a $200,000 grant to help combat pollution in the area. The money will pay for LED lighting in the municipal building and the city’s civic center. Governor Bill Haslam presented the check to Oak Ridge mayor Tom Beehan and other local leaders at a ceremony Monday.

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Emergency Recall: Compressed Gas Cylinders
4:00 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Emergency Recall Underway For Gas Cylinders Made In Tennessee

Credit http://www.phmsa.dot.gov

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued an emergency recall for cylinders of commonly-used compressed gas. More than 55,000 of the cylinders in question under the recall are made by Franklin, Tennessee-based Lite Cylinder Company, Incorporated. They are used for stoves and other equipment that use propane fuel.

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Civil Service Lawsuit
4:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Nashville Court To Hear State Employees' Complaint Today

Credit TSEAonline.org

Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon will hear testimony today related to a class-action lawsuit filed against the State of Tennessee, charging the State's Department of Human Resources with violating the two year-old Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act.  The law, passed in 2012 by Bill Haslam's administration with support from the Tennessee State Employees Association, requires the state to provide a 60-day notice and career placement, job testing and job placement for any employees losing their jobs through lay-offs.  The TSEA's lawsuit claims T

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TN Higher Education Rates
4:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

New National Report Ranks Tennessee 43rd In US For College Attainment

Credit http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/tennessee_map.html

College attainment is the percentage of adults between the ages of 25 and 64 holding some kind of post-secondary degree. The new report from the Lumina Foundation found that just over 32% of those adults in Tennessee hold degrees.  The national average is 38.7%. Governor Bill Haslam has set a state goal for college attainment rates of 55% by 2025.  But the Lumina report estimates that at current rates, Tennessee will reach only 39% by that time.

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