Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Science and Society
6:22 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The Method: Bats, Edison and Galactic Opera

Thomas Edison in 1878, a year before he patented the incandescent bulb.
Credit Library of Congress

In this installment of WUOT's The Method, Brandon Hollingsworth talks with author Ernest Freeberg about Thomas Edison's greatest invention: Modern America. Chrissy Keuper speaks with a biologist about the fungal infection threatening bat populations across the country. And we find the common ground between Edwin Hubble and Giuseppe Verdi.

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4:41 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

TVA Loses Biggest Customer

Credit Brian Stansberry

The Tennessee Valley Authority is losing its biggest customer today. USEC, Inc., is shutting down its Kentucky-based gaseous diffusion plant, ending 1,000 jobs over the next year. USEC Senior Vice President Robert Van Namen tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press rising industrial power rates played a big role in the decision.

USEC, which has enriched uranium for TVA and other utilities since 1952, accounted for about 5 percent, or nearly $600 million, of TVA power sales last year.

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Kingston Coal Ash Spill
5:58 am
Fri May 31, 2013

TVA and EPA Update On Kingston Coal Ash Spill


Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the US Environmental Protection Agency met with the public to give an update on cleanup efforts near the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant. A December 2008 spill at the facility unleashed 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic coal ash onto the surrounding countryside and into nearby creeks and rivers. A total of 3.8 million cubic yards of ash will be stored in a 230-acre holding cell, covered with plastic and clay.

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White Nose Syndrome
4:46 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Dr. Gary McCracken On White Nose Syndrome


Wildlife researchers say White Nose Syndrome is now a threat to bat populations across North America, having killed bats in 22 states and 5 Canadian provinces… and it’s still spreading. Gary McCracken is chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee and he's a bat biologist. Dr. McCracken is part of a group studying White Nose Syndrome and charting its spread across the country. He says they’ve already learned quite a bit about both the disease and the fungus that causes it… 

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Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.

Her work has been honored by the Hearst Foundation, the Radio Television Digital News Association, and the Associated Press. Several of Brenna’s stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Brenna accepted a position with the Lexington Mayor's Office in May 2013.

Robert Benincasa is a computer-assisted reporting producer in NPR's Investigations Unit.

Since joining NPR in 2008, Benincasa has been reporting on NPR Investigations stories, analyzing data for investigations, and developing data visualizations and interactive applications for He has worked on numerous groundbreaking stories, including an exclusive on the independence level of nursing home residents, the safety of automated aircraft, and a government mandate to produce $1 coins that Americans don't want.

Prior to NPR, Benincasa served as the database editor for the Gannett News Service Washington Bureau for a decade. In 1995, he joined the Burlington VT Free Press as a staff writer.

Tennessee Senior Health
4:00 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Tennessee Seniors Among Unhealthiest In Nation


The latest America's Health Rankings Senior Report from the United Health Foundation ranked Tennessee 41st in the nation for senior health. The state has the highest rate of physical inactivity in the US; more than 350,000 residents aged 65 and older are inactive.

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Bruce Downsbrough arrested
9:30 am
Thu May 30, 2013

UT Foundation Executive Fired Following Child Pornography Arrest

Credit University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee Foundation has fired Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Bruce Downsbrough following his arrest Tuesday on child pornography charges.  A federal indictment claims Downsbrough downloaded child pornography on three separate occasions between 2008 and 2012.  In the indictment, agents also claim a raid on Downsbrough's home yielded more illegal videos and images.

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