Marijuana Arrests
3:52 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Knox County Blacks More Likely To Be Arrested For Pot Possession Than Whites

Credit Dohduhdah via Wikimedia Commons

In a county where nearly 87% of the population is white, blacks in Knox County are arrested for marijuana possession more than six times as often as whites.  That's despite statistics that show marijuana use among blacks and whites is similar.  The findings were revealed in a recent study of FBI crime data by the American Civil Liberties Union.   The ACLU concluded blacks in America are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for possessing pot than whites.  At 4.0, Tennessee's disparity rate is slightly above

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To the Point on WUOT-2

Take a rapid-fire tour of the day’s hot-button issues with To the Point. Award-winning journalist Warren Olney leads an informative and thought-provoking discussion of major news stories with expert guests that bring multiple perspectives on each issue. Daily Newsmaker and Reporters Notebook features round out each episode with a personal touch.

From Foster Care To College, Part Three
9:30 am
Thu June 13, 2013

From Foster Care To College, Part Three: A Little Help Improving The Odds

Kenyetta Windmon-Smith, one of about two dozen students involved with the Alabama REACH program, after her finals outside the University of Alabama's Ferguson Student Center.
Credit Dan Carsen

 

To understand this story, you have to understand something that happened in 2010.

It's fall. Students arrive on campus in SUVs driven by family who help unload furniture and other things they'll need for their new lives. But one young man, who came from a foster home and had not been to orientation, shows up holding nothing but his admissions letter.

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Occupy Nashville
6:06 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Occupy Nashville Protestors

Katy Wolf, left, Lamercie Saint Hilaire and other protesters sing 'We Shall Overcome' at a candlelight vigil on Legislative Plaza during an Occupy Nashville Rally in 2011. / John Partipilo / File / The Tennessean

A federal judge has ruled that the state unlawfully arrested members of Occupy Nashville during the group’s protest encampment on War Memorial Plaza. In October 2011, the Tennessee Highway Patrol arrested 55 people on charges of misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed suit in 2011 on behalf of the members of Occupy Nashville. Judge Aleta Trauger ruled that those arrests violated First Amendment rights to free speech. The ruling means state officials must pay all monetary awards and attorneys’ fees. 

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Spraying For Mosquitoes
3:59 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Mosquito Spraying For West Nile Virus Begins Today

Credit http://health.state.tn.us/factsheets/wnv.htm

A wet spring means lots of standing water, which makes a prime breeding  ground for mosquitoes. And a routine weekly test confirmed West Nile Virus in South Knoxville mosquitoes this week. It's the first positive report of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes for Knox County. 

“To date, Knox County has had no confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in humans,” said Knox County Health Department Environmental Health Director Ronnie Nease. “By spraying to reduce the population of mosquitoes, we hope to reduce the potential of mosquito-to-human transmission,” he says.

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Boy Scouts
1:44 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Some ET Churches Considering Split With Boy Scouts

Credit bsamuseum.org

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Houston, Texas today have passed a resolution opposing the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to accept gay scouts.  And while the resolution doesn't encourage individual churches to sever ties with their affiliated troops, Baptist churches throughout the country are considering just such a move.  In East Tennessee, at least three churches are weighing their options, but not all are Baptist.  Scout Executive Larry Brown of the Great Smoky Mountains Council of the Boy Scouts of America wouldn't identify the specific churches, b

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Methamphetamine in Tennessee
6:37 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Tennessee Once Again First In US In Meth-Lab Seizures

Ninth Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson (left), Tennessee State Senator Ken Yager (center), Tennessee State Senator Mike Bell (right) - Photo by Bob Fowler, Knoxville News Sentinel
Credit http://www.knoxnews.com/photos/2013/jun/11/356913/

Tennessee legislators, prosecutors and police from all over East Tennessee gathered in Kingston for the yearly meeting of the Ninth Judicial District’s Drug Task Force. Officials say Tennessee is once again first in the nation in the number of methamphetamine labs found by law enforcement. State Senator Mike Bell says next session, he’ll introduce legislation that would require prescriptions for cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

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I'm a reporter with Harvest Public Media based at KUNC, covering the wide range of agricultural stories in Colorado.

Russell Lewis is the Southern Bureau Chief for NPR News, a post he has held since 2006. Lewis focuses on the issues and news central to the Southeast — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers alike, working closely with local correspondents and public radio stations. He also spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the rebuilding effort. He's currently based in Birmingham, Alabama.

From Foster Care To College, Part Two
3:59 am
Wed June 12, 2013

From Foster Care To College, Part Two: An Uphill Climb

Credit Christine Jessel

Last September, Briyana Dunn was enrolled at Pellissippi State Community College through a Department of Children's Services program for former foster care kids.

"I started from A and right now I feel like I’m all the way on like R - I’m getting to my Z," she said then.

But it didn’t work out. Briyana says she spiraled into a depression after a hard breakup with a boyfriend. She stopped turning in assignments - then she started missing classes.

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