Health Exchange Advisors
8:01 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Background Checks Required On Health Insurance Advisors

Credit http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/files/2013/04/shepherd.png

A judge has refused to block emergency rules  governing those advising others on the new health insurance marketplace. That insurance exchange went online today.

The new state rules require background checks for advisors on the new health insurance exchange. Chancellor Russell Perkins ruled that the new dictates would not do immediate harm.

The Tennessee Justice Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of the League of Women Voters and other individuals. The suit claims the new rules are too broad and could make it difficult for advisors to help people find insurance coverage.

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Obamacare
4:00 am
Tue October 1, 2013

What Tennessee's Health Care Exchange Will Look Like

Credit Knox Area Project Access

Tennessee’s healthcare exchange opens today, giving private citizens a chance to purchase health insurance in a competitive market. For many, the idea of a health insurance marketplace exchange is a confusing and unfamiliar concept. To help sort some of it out, WUOT's Christine Jessel sits down with Erin Hill, Executive Director of Knoxville Area Project Access, a government-appointed “Health Care Navigator”.

Link to Knoxville Area Project Access

Link to Healthcare.gov

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Healthcare
3:59 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Tennessee's Federal Healthcare Marketplace May Remain Closed To Some

Credit Suburban Eye Care, flickr. Photo used under creative commons license.

When Tennessee's healthcare exchange marketplace opens today, government estimates show the state will have some of the lowest insurance premiums in the country. And federal subsidies are expected to further lessen costs for the state’s low-income buyers. But Erin Hill, executive director of Knoxville Area Project Access says because Tennessee opted not to take Medicaid expansion, some buyers will be still be shut out.

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Pilot Fraud Investigation
5:27 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Haslam Updates Pilot Reforms In Wake of Rebate Scandal

Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam, in an April file photo.
Credit Christine Jessel, WUOT News

The trucking companies who say Pilot Flying J cheated them out of rebate money have been paid back. The rebate system under which the fraud took place is being dismantled. And the sales staff whose actions caught the attention of federal investigators is being rebuilt. Those are a few of things pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam said have changed in the five-and-a-half months since FBI and IRS investigators raided company headquarters.

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AP Exams
4:30 am
Mon September 30, 2013

State To Pay AP Exam Fees For Some Knox High School Students

Credit collegeboard.org

Tennessee Department of Education officials will be in East Knox County today to launch a state-funded pilot program that will pick up the tab for some high school students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Successful completion of the $89 end-of-course exams is a requirement for students hoping to get college credit for their AP classes.

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Science and Society
6:00 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

The Method: Matters of Heaven and Earth

Images from the Spitzer Space Telescope show the asteroid 3552 Don Quixote is actually a comet.
Credit NASA/JPL

On this edition of The Method, we meet Josh Emery, a planetary scientist who just found out that not all is as it seems in the heavens above. And then, it's back down to Earth with environmental writer Bill McKibben, who argues that we either need to save the planet or start thinking about calling it something else.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory
9:24 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Job Cuts Looming At Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Credit http://www.oakridgetn.org/library/ORNL-sign_884317551091.png

Uncertainty over budget cuts means job reductions at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason told staff yesterday that as many as 475 jobs could be lost, though the number will most likely be lower.  Mason announced a “voluntary separation program” with financial incentives for employees who willingly leave their jobs.

That program is effective October 1st; employees can apply until November 14th. 

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Coal Ash
4:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Summit Organizers To Push For Federal Regulation Of Coal Ash

Mounds of coal ash waste fill a creek following a 2008 spill at the TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant
Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

In 2008, a storage wall at the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in East Tennessee collapsed, dumping more than a billion gallons of coal ash waste into the surrounding rivers and community.   The wet, gray sludge covered more than 300 acres, killed thousands of fish, destroyed some nearby homes and filled the Emory and Clinch Rivers to their banks.

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Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

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