Claire Heddles

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

From Tucson, Arizona, Claire has a master’s from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism. Most recently, Claire worked at NPR West in Culver City, California, assisting NPR’s western correspondents with research and production. Claire’s own work has been featured nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered. 

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East Tennessee is not exactly known for its barbecue the way other regions of the South are. Kingsport-native and barbecue expert John Shelton Reed describes his shifting perspective on East Tenessee BBQ in his new compilation On Barbecue writing, "I'm now convinced I was wrong to write that East Tennessee has 'no real barbecue tradition,' but it's fair to say that it has no real tradition of barbecue restaurants, and what restaurants exist now don't adhere to any local tradition."

On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected another constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare. 

In this edition of HealthConnections, Dr. Carole Myers, a professor in the University of Tennessee College of Nursing, and WUOT's Claire Heddles sort-out what the ruling means for Tennesseans, take a look at Republican attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, and consider the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Claire Heddles

The longest-lived insect in North America, the Brood X cicada, is emerging from the ground in fifteen states, including Tennessee. WUOT’s Claire Heddles chatted with University of Tennessee entomologist Jerome Grant about what these noisy critters have been up to underground for the past 17 years.

Unlike its major metropolitan counterparts, Knox County Schools puts an armed officer in every school. The district now has almost twice as many armed officers in its schools than Metro Nashville Public Schools, and more officers than the Nashville district and Hamilton County Schools combined.

Cover art Kristin Grey Apple, cover design by Elizabeth Maines McLeavy

Before the end of National Poetry Month, WUOT’s Claire Heddles caught up with Sara Sams, a poet raised in Oak Ridge and now living in Arizona. Her forthcoming book "Atom City" grapples with the often hidden, harmful aspects of Oak Ridge's nuclear legacy. 

Claire Heddles

A Knoxville police officer who shot and killed Austin-East High School student Anthony Thompson, Jr., April 12 was justified in his actions, Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said Wednesday. No charges will be filed.

Brandon Hollingsworth, April 19, 2021

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified Anthony J. Thompson Jr., 17, as the student killed in a police shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday.

The TBI said in a statement Wednesday the bullet that injured school resource officer Adam Willson was not from the student’s gun, according to preliminary evidence. That finding is contrary to investigators' previous statement on Monday, which said the student fired shots and struck an officer.

Year of Tragedy Continues with Shooting at Austin-East

Apr 12, 2021
File Photo

One person was killed and another wounded in a shooting at Austin-East Magnet High School Monday afternoon, continuing a year marred by gun violence in east Knoxville.

When you hear climate change, you might think of sea-level rise or shrinking glaciers. So what impact does climate change have on landlocked Tennessee? In April's episode of Dialogue, we'll take a look at the relationship between human actions and extreme weather and biodiversity in this corner of the world. We'll also talk about what's being done to fight the impacts of climate change in East Tennessee.

Submitted by Jack Knoxville

Today marks the 12th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. WUOT's Claire Heddles spoke with Jack Knoxville, founder of Trans Empowerment Project and former Knoxville mayoral candidate, about being trans in Tennessee and how he's celebrating the day.