The latest America's Health Rankings Senior Report from the United Health Foundation ranked Tennessee 41st in the nation for senior health. The state has the highest rate of physical inactivity in the US; more than 350,000 residents aged 65 and older are inactive.
The University of Tennessee Foundation has fired Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Bruce Downsbrough following his arrest Tuesday on child pornography charges. A federal indictment claims Downsbrough downloaded child pornography on three separate occasions between 2008 and 2012. In the indictment, agents also claim a raid on Downsbrough's home yielded more illegal videos and images.
This fall, many state colleges and universities will start using a pilot program that is intended to increase the number of graduates. University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents schools are partnering with Coursera to offer more online courses. They’ll cost the same as other classes and will be available only to those enrolled in the schools. The program will last for 18 months and will then be evaluated. Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan says less than 35% of adult Tennesseans have postsecondary degrees.
A new report by the real estate web site Zillow shows about one in five Knoxville homeowners is underwater on their mortgage. The quarterly report by Zillow looks at the number of homeowners who have what’s called “negative equity”—they owe more on their homes than what they could get if they sold them.
In Knoxville, 20 percent of the homes are underwater, but that goes as high as 36 percent in some parts of the city. The farther west you go from the city center, the more the rate drops. For example, only about 9 percent of homeowners are underwater in Farragut.
Georgia and Alabama are among several states that recently proposed dropping Common Core curriculum. Susan Benner, the Director and Associate Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, has been following the political tussles.
The Associated Press reports two employees of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain have pleaded guilty in a federal probe of the company’s business practices.
Northeastern sales director Arnold Ralenkotter pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Knoxville. Regional accounts representative Ashley Smith Judd also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
The TennCare Office of Inspector General reports that since 2005, there have been more than 1,700 arrests for fraud against the health care system. The office began operating in 2005. Since then, investigations have led to more than $3.5 million in restitution to the TennCare system.
Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation say they uncovered evidence of an illegal dog fighting operation over the weekend while executing a narcotics search warrant at a Chattanooga home. McKamey Animal Services of Chattanooga was called in to investigate the scene after law enforcement officials found a dozen dogs, an indoor fighting ring and several dog fighting tools, including a treadmill used to condition fighting dogs. McKamey Executive Director Karen Walsh tells WUOT News it's rare to find this much evidence because dog fighting operations are notoriously mobile.
Commissioner Jim Henry of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services says almost every case the DCS now investigates is somehow connected to drugs. The agency reports that in 2012, more than 41% of DCS investigations involving child abuse also involved drugs, up nearly 60% from cases in 2008. In that same period, the agency reports an increase in the number of children taken into state custody because of parental substance abuse.
Today, the Knox County Commission will consider a proposal to pay retiring workers for their unused sick leave. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that retiring county employees could receive a maximum of $10,000 for that unused leave time. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says the move is meant to keep those who are retiring from abusing that leave time when they leave their jobs.