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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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Ocoee Economic Impact
3:05 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Ocoee River Tourism Generates $43.3 Million Dollar Economic Impact

Kayaking on the Ocoee.
Credit Carter Hearn / http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/ocoee2/.

 A new study from the University of Tennessee shows visitors who went whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River last year pumped $43.3 million dollars into a 30 surrounding counties. 

The study’s author, U-T Hospitality and Tourism Management economist Steve Morse, found the Ocoee was also last year’s most-visited whitewater river in the U.S.

"This study shows that tourism and visitor spending at the Ocoee River is fueling small businesses, creating jobs, worker paychecks and taxes in rural Tennessee," Morse says.

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NGA Task Force
6:21 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam To Co-Chair National Task Force

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has been named co-chair of a national task force. Governor Haslam, a Republican, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, will head the National Governors Association Health Care Sustainability Task Force, which will study ground-breaking Medicaid programs.

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Clinch River Corporation
4:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Emory River Paper Mill added to Superfund List

Credit EPA.gov

An abandoned pulp and paper mill on the Emory River near Harriman has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).  A Superfund designation by the EPA means the Clinch River Corporation site poses a "significant threat to public health" and the EPA now has the right to require the current owner to conduct or pay for clean-up of the site.  An EPA evaluation of the 30.5 acre site claims the site was contaminated with several by-products of the paper manufacturing process, includi

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Fort Sanders homes
12:42 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

UT receives permission to purchase, demolish three Fort Sanders homes

The University of Tennessee has received permission to purchase three homes on White Avenue in the Fort Sanders neighborhood. UT officials plan to use some of that space to build a new classroom building.
Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

The Tennessee State Building Commission has approved a proposal from the University of Tennessee that would allow UT to purchase three homes in the Fort Sanders neighborhood and demolish them if necessary.  In a press release, university officials say they're hoping to build a new four-to-five story classroom building in the space currently occupied by three Queen Anne-style homes.  The 200,000 square foot building will eventually feature general-purpose classrooms, shared laboratories and house facilities related to the university's microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biolo

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Urban development
10:08 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Knoxville/UT panel to examine options for World's Fair Park

World's Fair Park in downtown Knoxville.
Credit City of Knoxville

An eight-person panel whose members have connections to Knoxville's arts, educational and business communities will examine potential changes to the city's World's Fair Park. Deputy to the Mayor Bill Lyons and UT professor Jan Simek will co-chair the exploratory committee that will look at options for the park that hosted the 1982 World’s Fair. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports one of those options is a new home for the Clarence Brown Theatre. The UT-based theater is in need of plumbing upgrades and more classroom space.

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Bonnaroo Economics
10:01 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Bonnaroo: The Festival's Economic Impact

The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has released an economic study showing that the annual festival now makes more than $51 million for Middle Tennessee and the state. About 80,000 people now attend the four-day festival each June in Coffee County. The study shows that about $36 million of the total impact of the Bonnaroo festival comes from direct visitor spending.

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Author: Rick Atkinson
8:15 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Author Rick Atkinson: Writing About Military History

Credit npr.org

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Rick Atkinson just finished his Liberation Trilogy, a history of World War Two. His final book is called The Guns at Last Light. Atkinson was a longtime reporter on national defense and military issues for the Washington Post, though now he concentrates on his books. He was in Knoxville and told WUOT's Chrissy Keuper that his near-obsession with the Second World War comes from his childhood on military bases…

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