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Knox County Commission: Retirement and Sick Leave
5:44 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Knox County Commission To Weigh Paying Retiring Workers For Their Sick Leave

Credit http://www.targetcw.com/blog/seattle-paid-sick-leave/

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.

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Ticks
4:00 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Tennessee Sees Increase In Number, Variety Of Ticks

Black-Legged ticks are among the variety of tick species moving into Tennessee
Credit Graham Hickling

Researchers at the University of Tennessee's Center for Wildlife Health say Tennessee is becoming a sort of "meeting place" for different varieties of ticks, a tangible result of a changing climate.  Each new species of tick brings its own bacteria and viruses, complicating the task of diagnosing and treating tick-borne illnesses.  The Center's Dr.

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The Island Pigeon Forge
5:00 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Pigeon Forge Attraction Nears Completion Almost A Decade After Construction Began

The Island, Pigeon Forge.
Credit The Island, Facebook.com

  An opening day's getting closer for a Sevier County attraction almost a decade after construction first began.

The Pigeon Forge attraction “The Island” is scheduled to open in mid-June.

“The Island” was originally “Belle Island” back in 2003. That attraction got as far as holding job fairs for potential employees - then its backers ran into financial trouble. 

The development, then 80% complete, sold in foreclosure for $23.9 million in 2009; it sat vacant until 2011 when it was sold as part of a city deal that would also create an events center.

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Benchmark Capital, Inc.
9:17 am
Fri May 24, 2013

More Arrests Made In Alleged Investment Scheme

Charles "C.D." Candler committed suicide March 1, 2012 just as federal investigators were beginning to look into a possible investment scheme at Benchmark Capital, Inc.
Credit knoxnews.com

U.S.

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Breastfeeding Welcomed
5:00 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Knox County Businesses Pledge To Support "Breastfeeding Welcomed Here" Program

Decals like this will welcome mothers to area businesses.
Credit facebook.com / Breastfeeding Welcome Here

The Knox County Health Department is working with area businesses to create welcoming spaces for moms who breastfeed their kids. 

While Tennessee law says a mother can breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, Knox County Health Department director Martha Buchanan says a new partnership will work to encourage more people to accept the practice.

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Human Trafficking in Tennessee
4:30 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Trafficking in America Task Force Conference Begins Today in Nashville

Credit http://www.polarisproject.org/state-map/tennessee

The Trafficking in America Task Force Conference begins May 23 in Nashville and Tennessee now has one of the nation’s most comprehensive programs to combat human trafficking. Trafficking is defined as coercive adult prostitution and any sexual exploitation of children. State legislators passed 12 new laws that will go into effect this year, which include harsher criminal penalties for traffickers, allow more time for prosecutors to bring charges against alleged traffickers and include trafficking as grounds for the termination of parental rights.

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Unemployment
3:31 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Knox County Sees Slight Increase in Unemployment Rate

Credit Tennessee Department of Labor And Workforce Development

Knox County's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in April, but it still remains the lowest among Tennessee's metropolitan counties. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports a rate of 6.4% in Knox County, up from March's rate of 6.2%.  When compared with other Tennessee counties, Knox County has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state.  Williamson County in Middle Tennessee has the lowest.  Despite a drop of more than one full percentage point in the last month,

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Labor
12:26 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Safety Stalemate Continues at Knoxville's Henley Street Bridge

Construction cranes flank the main arch of Knoxville's Henley Street Bridge on May 22, 2013.
Credit Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

In downtown Knoxville, the historic Henley Street Bridge will not re-open next month, as state transportation officials had hoped. The project has been plagued not just by construction delays, but by concerns over worker safety. WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth reports.

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Tennessee Fracking Regulations
6:16 am
Thu May 23, 2013

General Assembly Committee Approves Tennessee's First Set of Regulations on "Fracking"

Credit http://www.isfracking.com/well-fracking-in-tennessee/

A legislative committee has approved the state’s first regulations for extracting oil and natural gas from wells, a practice known as fracking. Yesterday’s vote by the General Assembly’s joint committee on government operations means the rules will go into effect next month. One motion would have required companies to periodically test water wells within a mile of the drilling sites, to disclose all the chemicals they use, and to file plans on what to do with leftover waste water, but that motion did not pass.

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Morristown Animal Shelter
3:51 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

State Audit Finds Thousands Stolen from Morristown Animal Shelter

Credit Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury

An audit by  the Tennessee State Comptroller's Office reports thousands of dollars in donations and adoption fees were stolen from the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society between 2009 and 2011.  The audit was requested by Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain when an employee of the animal shelter discovered several receipts had been backdated so that they wouldn't appear in daily collection reports.  In all, the comptroller's office believes a total of $51,130 has been stolen.  That money was supposed

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