Karen Feagins joined WJCT in 2005, and has worked in many different roles at the station in both radio and television. Her love of journalism and storytelling began in the 4th grade when she was named editor of the newspaper at her elementary school in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Karen attended the University of Missouri to study Broadcast Journalism, and spent several years as a commercial television news reporter before finding her home in public broadcasting. She is now news director and head of radio programming WJCT, and assists with the production of "First Coast Connect."

3:01 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Tennessee Schools See Dramatic Improvement In National Report

Credit wikimedia.org

Throughout the US, education officials are trying to put their best face on a national report that shows America’s fourth and eighth graders aren’t improving as quickly at math and reading as teachers, administrators, parents and politicians would like.

But not in Tennessee.

Read more
Fall Fund Drive 2013
8:47 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Pledge Today, and Your Donation Can Save a Child’s Life.


January 22, 1999, started like any other day for Adam

Lemel, a 17-year-old high-school basketball player. But later in the day, it all went wrong. While playing the sport he loved, he collapsed and died due to an undiagnosed heart problem.

Read more
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Knox County Teachers Voice Frustrations

Knox County teachers and their supporters crowd the main hearing room at the City-County Building in downtown Knoxville, November 6, 2013.
Credit Lydia McCoy, Knoxville News Sentinel

About 25 Knox County educators and supporters lined up to address the Knox County Board of Education Wednesday night, and they weren't there to celebrate.

Many of the teachers aired their concerns about a number of issues, from new educational standards to the current teacher evaluation system. Several shared concerns that teacher morale is very low, and that the burdens now facing educators could discourage new teachers from entering the profession.

Read more

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.

Rick was one of the first Michigan political reporters to write about “pay-to-play” fundraising, and the controversies surrounding recognition of same-sex relationships. He broke the news that Gov. John Engler was planning a huge juvenile justice overhaul that included adult-time-for-adult-crime sentencing, and has continued to report since then on the effects of that policy decision.

Affordable Care Act & Congress Members
4:00 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Tennessee Congress Members Will Get Health Insurance Through Online Exchanges

Credit http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/3073083524_c6b878f5c6.jpg

All members of the state’s congressional delegation say in January, they and their staff members will leave their federal health insurance coverage and purchase their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's online exchanges.

But the Knoxville News Sentinel reports there is some flexibility for congressional staff members... 

Read more
Mass Casualty Drill
4:00 am
Wed November 6, 2013

East TN Emergency Responders To Participate In Massive Drill

Credit eci-tx.net

It’s being billed as one of the largest hospital emergency drills in Tennessee history.  This morning, 54 organizations from throughout East Tennessee will participate in a mock disaster drill that will draw in hospitals, emergency responders and health departments from as far and wide as Chattanooga, Johnson City and Knoxville. 

All four of Knoxville’s hospitals will participate, as well as approximately 1,000 victim actors.  Many of the actors are Knox County schools students. 

Read more

Ashley Gross is KPLU's business and labor reporter, covering everything from Amazon.com and Boeing to garbage strikes. She joined the station in May 2012 after working for five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.

She studied history at Brown University and earned a master's in international affairs at Columbia University. She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and two sons.

Living With HIV
12:00 am
Wed November 6, 2013

I'm Still Here: My HIV Life

When John was diagnosed with HIV in 1990, he never would have imagined he would still be alive today to celebrate his 50th birthday. 

Twenty-three years later, he views his life with the sense of appreciation and perspective that can only come from someone forced to face his own mortality. “My life is a lot different,” he says, “but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Read more

Ashley Lopez is a reporter for WGCU News. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree. 

Previously, Lopez was a reporter for Miami's NPR member station,