Matt Shafer Powell

Director of News Content/Executive Producer

Matt was born and raised in Western Michigan, near Grand Rapids. Like many of his generation who eventually worked in radio, Matt spent an inordinate amount of time as a boy with a tape recorder, a microphone and 45s stacked an inch high on the record player. His dreams of being on the radio became reality at the age of 17, when he convinced the news director at a Grand Rapids radio station to let him work for free. Later, while working toward a broadcasting degree at Central Michigan University, he discovered the thrill of the audio production process; in the years since, he's worked as a producer of radio commercials and as an audio engineer, creating soundtracks for videos and films.

In public radio, he's found the perfect confluence of his interests in storytelling, news, writing and audio production. He joined WUOT in November 2002 after heading up Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Bureau. A self-described "sports geek," he also enjoys writing fiction, playing guitar and laughing ‘til it hurts with his wife and three children. Among his guilty pleasures, he lists hockey fights, socks with sandals and the BeeGees' disco-era stuff.

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Developing
3:33 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

"The Ultimate Statesman": Tenn. Senator Howard H. Baker Dies At 88

Credit politico.com

  Here's a collection of quotes and articles honoring the late Senator Howard Baker, Jr., who passed away Thursday at the age of 88:

"Howard Baker was Tennessee’s favorite son, one of America’s finest leaders and for Honey and me an indispensable friend. He built our state’s two-party political system and inspired three generations to try to build a better state and country. It is difficult to express how much we honor his life and how much we will miss him."  (U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander)

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Science
4:30 am
Tue June 17, 2014

ET Researchers Developing Preventative Treatment For Chemical Gas Attacks

An August 2013 sarin gas attack in Syria left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
Credit Reuters

 Researchers at the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory say they’re moving closer to the development of a drug that can be taken to limit the effects of a chemical gas attack.

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Dialogue
1:13 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Dialogue: Fragments Of Hate

Credit Knoxnews.com/Paul Efird

  In 1968, Charles Moulden was shot while fishing for trout in an East Tennessee stream.   There was little mystery regarding the reason for the attack-- Moulden was  black and his attackers wanted him to understand he wasn't welcome there.   Forty-six years later, he carries vivid memories of that day, as well as fragments of the bullet that brought him down.

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Education
4:30 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Oak Ridge Schools Tech Initiative Faces Critical Test

Credit WUOT News, Matt Moon

The question of whether the city of Oak Ridge will fund a program that aims to put a digital tablet in the hands of every Oak Ridge Public Schools student is in the balance tonight when the city council casts what may be the final vote on its 2015 budget.

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Awards
11:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

WUOT Honored With Prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award

  

  WUOT has been recognized by the Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) with the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

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2014 Men's Health Report Card
4:30 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Men's Mortality In TN Often Determined By Race, Geography

Credit cdc.gov

  The way in which a man dies in Tennessee may have to do with where he lives.  Or the color of his skin.  

A new report by Vanderbilt University, Meharry Medical College and the Tennessee Department of Health shows a man's mortality is affected by several factors.  Some, like tobacco use and lifestyle are predictable indicators of a man's death.  But others, like ethnicity and geography are less obvious.

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Chikungunya
4:18 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

TN Health Officials Investigating Possible Cases Of Mosquito-borne Virus

The aedes aegypti mosquito is known to transfer the chikungunya virus, as well as Dengue and other yellow fever viruses.
Credit James Gathany/CDC Public Health Image Library

  The Tennessee Department of Health announced today it is investigating several possible cases of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that produces high fever and painful swelling in the muscles and joints.  There is no vaccine nor has a successful method of treatment been developed yet.   Symptoms can usually go away within a week, but some victims have reported pain for years after infection.

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A Key to My Room
3:35 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

A Key To My Room: The Women Of The YWCA

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

It's that easy hour between the end of another workday and the promise of the evening.

In the lobby of the Downtown Knoxville YWCA, a woman comes down from her room to play the piano. Other women move in and out of the building, some stop to chat with the staff at the front desk, get their mail. Others relax on the couches, listening to the music and talking with friends.

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TVA
3:51 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Study Advises Against TVA Sale

Credit WUOT News, Matt Moon

A study by the financial services firm Lazard suggests the federal government’s sale of the Tennessee Valley Authority could be expensive, disruptive and current TVA customers might end up paying more for electricity.

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Crime
4:30 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Report: Crime Rate Falling In Tennessee Schools

Credit cato.org

An annual survey of crime at Tennessee’s elementary and secondary schools shows a significant drop in the number of crimes reported over the past three years.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 2013 School Crime Report suggests a total of 9741 crimes were committed at Tennessee schools in 2013, down from 12,466 in 2011.  That represents a 21.9 percent decline over the three-year period. 

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