A settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental groups means the Tennessee Valley Authority is shuttering 18 of its oldest coal-fired power plants. WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper reports on the resulting job cuts at those facilities…
The University of Tennessee’s director of student judicial affairs has been fired after officials say she refused to cooperate with an investigation. Jenny Wright is being investigated over alleged inappropriate relationships with student-athletes. The university has hired an attorney to investigate those allegations. University officials say they won’t release any details about the accusations or about the students who may be involved.
A judge has ruled that three protesters will stay in jail until their sentencing in September and that releasing them would be too lenient. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed were convicted last week of sabotaging and damaging federal property last July at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The three face up to 30 years each for the crimes. Their sentencing is scheduled for September 23 of this year.
A Nashville jury is in Knoxville today to begin hearing testimony in the retrial of George Thomas, one of five people originally convicted and sentenced for participating in the 2007 carjacking, rape, torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. In 2009, a Hamilton County jury found Thomas guilty for his role in the crimes and he was sentenced to life without parole. However, he was granted a retrial when it became apparent the presiding judge Richard Baumgartner was abusing painkillers during the trial. In November of 2012, a jury convicted co-defendant Vanessa Colem
The National Park Service reports a drop in visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the first four months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. Statistics show 1,620,340 visited the park between January and April. That represents a drop of 359,202 visitors. Rangers suggest the closure of Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg, Tenn. and Cherokee, North Carolina is the most likely reason for the decrease. The road was closed January 13 after a landslide wiped out approximately 200 feet of road surface.
The Tennessee Department of Education will give teachers with the state’s highest evaluation scores signing bonuses to teach in the state’s lowest-performing schools. The Tennessee Department of Education is offering districts across the state enough money to give each new teacher at a priority school a $7,000 signing bonus. In Knox County, one school is a priority school: Sarah Moore Greene Elementary, whose principal recently announced he would overhaul school staffing this year.