Saturday May 18th marks an important anniversary in the history of the Tennessee River Valley. It was on that date in 1933 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the bill that created the Tennessee Valley Authority. Throughout those 80 years, the agency has been the focus of both glowing praise and fervent criticism, all while fighting for its existence in the halls of Congress. To mark the occasion of the 80th anniversary, WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth sat down with Pat Ezzell, the TVA's resident historian.
The first female president of the Tennessee Bar Association and longtime Knoxville lawyer Pamela L. Reeves has been nominated for a seat on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. President Barack Obama announced the nomination yesterday. If confirmed by the Senate, Reeves would replace US District Judge Thomas W. Phillips, who is retiring this summer. Reeves graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1976 and from UT's George C. Taylor College of Law in 1979. She was Tennessee Bar Association president from 1998 to 1999.
An alliance of environmental groups says the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act in granting mining permits at two East Tennessee mines. The lawsuit claims the Office of Surface Mining and the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not consult the most current scientific research in considering the impact of surface mines at Zeb Mountain and David Creek on fish. The suit claims dissolved minerals in wastewater are increasing salt in streams to unendurable levels, threatening the endangered blackside dace and Cumberland darter.
A jury determining the fate of murder suspect George Thomas enters a second day of deliberations Friday morning. Thomas is being retried for his role in the 2007 carjacking, rape, torture and murder of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian. Jurors are being asked to decide whether Thomas was an active participant in the crimes against the young couple or if he was simply a passive observer. Prosecutors have failed to produce forensic evidence connecting him to the actual crimes, but they say the murders required a "team effort" and Thomas "was on that team".
Unless you spend a lot of time doing crossword puzzles or tweeting, counting the number of letters in a word might seem like a pointless endeavor. But for a tiny segment of the population, the urge to count letters is irresistible, sometimes to the point of distraction. WUOT’s Lauren Blankenship knows a lot about counting letters. She's been doing it since she could read. As part of WUOT's Next Wave Radio Project, Lauren filed this reflection...