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Death Row
3:30 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Tennessee Attorney General Rules On State's Execution Policy

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The Tennessee Attorney General’s office has released an opinion on the state’s execution policy.

Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper’s office says it's constitutional for the state to electrocute inmates if the drugs needed for lethal injection are unavailable or if the practice itself is found to be unconstitutional.

Executions have been on hold in Tennessee since 2009, partly due to the unavailability of one lethal injection drug and partly because of other legal challenges.

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Economics
6:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

January County Jobless Rates A Mixed Bag

January unemployment rates went up in the counties shaded in orange, decreased in the counties shaded blue, and stayed the same in the counties shaded gold. Based on data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Credit Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

In January, unemployment rates fell in 34 Tennessee counties, rose in 49 and stayed the same in 12. That was the picture presented in figures released by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday.

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Tennessee Courts
3:30 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Claim: Partisan Politics Affecting The Tennessee Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission

Credit http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/court-gavel.jpg

A member of the state’s Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission and a sitting justice on the state's high court both say partisan politics have affected the way the commission does business. The commission reviews the state’s appellate judges.

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Economics
6:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Comptroller: Tennessee Reduced Debts By $347 Million in 2013

Credit Courtesy kenteegardin, Flickr via Creative Commons

An annual assessment of the state's debt load showed marked improvement in 2013. Tennessee shaved more than a third of a billion dollars from its debt obligations, according to the report released Wednesday by state Comptroller Justin Wilson.

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Food Trucks
5:00 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

City Ready For Feedback On Food Truck Plan

Credit insideofknoxville.com

Residents of Knoxville, local restaurateurs and food truck owners will have the chance to comment on the city's new Mobile Food Vendor Pilot program tonight.  The program gives mobile food vendors rules on when they can operate and where.   

After months of planning, the City of Knoxville released guidelines for its Mobile Food Vendor Pilot Program Tuesday. The program includes designated metered areas where mobile vendors will be permitted to park, established hours of operation and a $500 annual mobile food vendor permit.

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108th Tennessee General Assembly
3:30 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

State Legislation Update: Agritourism And Common Core Bills

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New legislation waiting for a signature from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam authorizes entertainment activities on Tennessee farms. 

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the measure was drafted by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture with the intent to allow farmers to more fully participate in agritourism.

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Oak Ridge Animal Shelter
3:18 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Animal Shelter To Reopen Thursday After Death Of 30 Dogs

Credit facebook.com

The Oak Ridge Animal Shelter will reopen Thursday after a “difficult” week that included the death of 30 dogs, all euthanized to fight a deadly, highly-contagious virus.

“It was very tough (on the shelter employees),” said Police Lt. Robin Smith.  “They bonded with those animals.” 

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Government
6:00 am
Tue March 11, 2014

State Audits Finds "Concerns" In Grainger County

The Grainger County Courthouse, in Rutledge.
Credit File photo/Family Search

County departments failing to follow state law. A clerk who admitted stealing $10,000 in fees. Five employees of the sheriff's department now facing trial on charges related to theft and rape. Those are just some of the findings of a state audit on Grainger County's government.

The report, released on Monday, highlighted what state Comptroller Justin Wilson called "a number of issues, up to and including criminal activity."

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UT Lady Vols
4:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

All In the Family: UT Co-Coaches Rule The Diamond Together

Since taking over the Lady Vols softball program in 2001, Karen and Ralph Weekly have taken five teams to the College World Series, won SEC Co-Coach of the Year two times and fielded 25 All-American players.
Credit utsports.com

 When the University of Tennessee’s Lady Vols softball team takes the field against Western Carolina Tuesday, it’ll be led by not one, but two head coaches.  Both coaches are knowledgeable, experienced and considered among the best in their profession.  Their success on the diamond is a product of their ability to communicate and work together,  skills that come in handy when it’s time to do the laundry.  WUOT’s Todd Steed explains:

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Methamphetamine
1:55 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Some Still Oppose Toned-Down Meth Bill

A watered-down anti-meth bill passed by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week would restrict the purchase of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine to 44.8 grams per year. Some groups say that's still too restrictive.
Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

  Last week, members of Tennessee’s House Criminal Justice Subcommittee passed a toned-down version of Governor Bill Haslam’s Anti-Meth Production Act.  But some opponents of the bill say the new version is still too restrictive.

Haslam’s proposal would limit individuals to 14.4 grams of the popular allergy and cold medicine pseudoephedrine per year.  Any amount beyond that limit would require a prescription.  Under pressure from pharmaceutical companies and groups like the American Association of Retired Persons, House members increased the limit to 44.8 grams per year.  

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