Ben Pounds, Oak Ridger

For Cold War Workers, Finding Compensation an Uphill Struggle

For many years, workers who blamed health issues on work they did at federal nuclear or chemical facilities had little recourse. That began to change in 2000, when Congress authorized money to pay medical expenses and other costs . But obtaining and filing the required documentation to get that money is laborious, complicated and frustrating. Larry Lane and Ben Carpenter worked at Oak Ridge National Lab for decades. They attribute their declining health to chemicals they worked with. But...

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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.

http://www.targetcw.com/blog/seattle-paid-sick-leave/

Today, the Knox County Commission will consider a proposal to pay retiring workers for their unused sick leave. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that retiring county employees could receive a maximum of $10,000 for that unused leave time. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says the move is meant to keep those who are retiring from abusing that leave time when they leave their jobs.

Tennessee Sees Increase In Number, Variety Of Ticks

May 27, 2013
Graham Hickling

Researchers at the University of Tennessee's Center for Wildlife Health say Tennessee is becoming a sort of "meeting place" for different varieties of ticks, a tangible result of a changing climate.  Each new species of tick brings its own bacteria and viruses, complicating the task of diagnosing and treating tick-borne illnesses.  The Center's Dr.

The Island, Facebook.com

  An opening day's getting closer for a Sevier County attraction almost a decade after construction first began.

The Pigeon Forge attraction “The Island” is scheduled to open in mid-June.

“The Island” was originally “Belle Island” back in 2003. That attraction got as far as holding job fairs for potential employees - then its backers ran into financial trouble. 

The development, then 80% complete, sold in foreclosure for $23.9 million in 2009; it sat vacant until 2011 when it was sold as part of a city deal that would also create an events center.

More Arrests Made In Alleged Investment Scheme

May 24, 2013
knoxnews.com

U.S.

facebook.com / Breastfeeding Welcome Here

The Knox County Health Department is working with area businesses to create welcoming spaces for moms who breastfeed their kids. 

While Tennessee law says a mother can breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, Knox County Health Department director Martha Buchanan says a new partnership will work to encourage more people to accept the practice.

http://www.polarisproject.org/state-map/tennessee

The Trafficking in America Task Force Conference begins May 23 in Nashville and Tennessee now has one of the nation’s most comprehensive programs to combat human trafficking. Trafficking is defined as coercive adult prostitution and any sexual exploitation of children. State legislators passed 12 new laws that will go into effect this year, which include harsher criminal penalties for traffickers, allow more time for prosecutors to bring charges against alleged traffickers and include trafficking as grounds for the termination of parental rights.

Knox County Sees Slight Increase in Unemployment Rate

May 23, 2013
Tennessee Department of Labor And Workforce Development

Knox County's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in April, but it still remains the lowest among Tennessee's metropolitan counties. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports a rate of 6.4% in Knox County, up from March's rate of 6.2%.  When compared with other Tennessee counties, Knox County has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state.  Williamson County in Middle Tennessee has the lowest.  Despite a drop of more than one full percentage point in the last month,

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

In downtown Knoxville, the historic Henley Street Bridge will not re-open next month, as state transportation officials had hoped. The project has been plagued not just by construction delays, but by concerns over worker safety. WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth reports.

http://www.isfracking.com/well-fracking-in-tennessee/

A legislative committee has approved the state’s first regulations for extracting oil and natural gas from wells, a practice known as fracking. Yesterday’s vote by the General Assembly’s joint committee on government operations means the rules will go into effect next month. One motion would have required companies to periodically test water wells within a mile of the drilling sites, to disclose all the chemicals they use, and to file plans on what to do with leftover waste water, but that motion did not pass.

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Thursday, October 11 at Bridgewater Place in Knoxville

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