Online Education
5:55 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Pilot Program To Offer More Online Courses Begins This Fall In Tennessee


This fall, many state colleges and universities will start using a pilot program that is intended to increase the number of graduates. University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents schools are partnering with Coursera to offer more online courses. They’ll cost the same as other classes and will be available only to those enrolled in the schools. The program will last for 18 months and will then be evaluated. Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan says less than 35% of adult Tennesseans have postsecondary degrees.

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Home Equity
5:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Report Shows One In Five Knoxville Homeowners Owe More Than Their Home Is Worth

A new report by the real estate web site Zillow shows about one in five Knoxville homeowners is underwater on their mortgage. The quarterly report by Zillow looks at the number of homeowners who have what’s called “negative equity”—they owe more on their homes than what they could get if they sold them. 

In Knoxville, 20 percent of the homes are underwater, but that goes as high as 36 percent in some parts of the city.  The farther west you go from the city center, the more the rate drops. For example, only about 9 percent of homeowners are underwater in Farragut.

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Core Controversy
12:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Local Pickup Of National Common Core Curriculum May Face Challenges

Credit File photo by Christine Jessel.

Georgia and Alabama are among several states that recently proposed dropping Common Core curriculum. Susan Benner, the Director and Associate Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, has been following the political tussles.

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Kat Chow is a journalist covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's new Code Switch team. In this role, Chow is responsible for reporting and telling stories using social media, sparking conversations online, and blogging.

Prior to coming to NPR, Chow worked with WGBH in Boston and was a reporting fellow for The Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper in Phnom Penh.

4:17 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Two Pilot Employees Plead Guilty in Fraud Investigation

Credit Moxley Carmichael Public Relations

The Associated Press reports two employees of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain have pleaded guilty in a federal probe of the company’s business practices.

Northeastern sales director Arnold Ralenkotter pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Knoxville. Regional accounts representative Ashley Smith Judd also pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

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TennCare Fraud Report
6:50 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Fraud Report From The TennCare Office Of Inspector General

The TennCare Office of Inspector General reports that since 2005, there have been more than 1,700 arrests for fraud against the health care system. The office began operating in 2005.  Since then, investigations have led to more than $3.5 million in restitution to the TennCare system. 

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Ben Philpott covers politics and policy for KUT 90.5 FM. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002. He's been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and twice by the Houston Press Club as Radio Journalist of the Year. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Chattanooga Dog Fighting Operation
5:13 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

TBI Agents Discover Dog Fighting Operation

Animal cruelty investigators remove a treadmill from a Chattanooga home on Friday. The treadmill was allegedly used to condition fighting dogs.
Credit WRCB-TV

Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation say they uncovered evidence of an illegal dog fighting operation over the weekend while executing a narcotics search warrant at a Chattanooga home.  McKamey Animal Services of Chattanooga was called in to investigate the scene after law enforcement officials found a dozen dogs, an indoor fighting ring and several dog fighting tools, including a treadmill used to condition fighting dogs.  McKamey Executive Director Karen Walsh tells WUOT News it's rare to find this much evidence because dog fighting operations are notoriously mobile. 

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Kurt began his radio career at 16 as weekend disc jockey at KOLS-AM/KKMA-FM (now KMYZ) in Pryor, Okla. He gradually began doing news work at his home town radio station. Kurt studied journalism at Oklahoma State University, serving two terms as managing editor of "The Daily O'Collegian." He returned to his radio roots while at Oklahoma State, working first as a part-time news producer, then as Morning Edition host at KOSU. Kurt left the station in 1990 returning to Pryor to be a part of a new business, ViaGrafix, that developed computer training videos. He eventually sold his business to attend seminary at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver and Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla. He served as minister of communications for St.

Tennessee Department of Children's Services
4:30 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

DCS Commissioner Says Almost Every Case Of Child Abuse Now Connected To Drugs

Commissioner Jim Henry of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services says almost every case the DCS now investigates is somehow connected to drugs. The agency reports that in 2012, more than 41% of DCS investigations involving child abuse also involved drugs, up nearly 60% from cases in 2008. In that same period, the agency reports an increase in the number of children taken into state custody because of parental substance abuse.

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