Sun
Jan 25 2015
10:38 am
By: WhitesCreek

Always read Tom Humphrey. Tom recounts a conversation with a lobbyist who claims stifling his ability to call and text legislators in committee meeting stifles his constitutional rights.

Yes, but legislators already hear from you guys a lot more than from average folks. You meet with them in their offices, chat in the hallways, have your clients hold receptions, line up campaign contributions and so on. The proposition here is just to say that, while a debate is underway, you can’t text or phone instructions to a legislator on how to vote or what to say.

(link...)

Sat
Jan 24 2015
08:14 pm
By: WhitesCreek

An asteroid a third of a mile wide will fly by earth on Monday. NASA says it will be the closest by any known space rock this large until 2027.

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Sat
Jan 24 2015
10:47 am

This is quite the story...

"Tuesday we checked the immediate area again, we exhausted all leads throughout Tuesday," said Officer Jared Hall, with the Rockwood Police Department.

But when they came back Wednesday, Officer Hall decided to search a different area of woods - this one with thick brush:

"I noticed his knee sticking out of the brush - literally you could have walked within 15 feet and not seen Mr. West.

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Fri
Jan 23 2015
11:33 am

Channel 6 News says they will stay on top of this issue for us.

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Fri
Jan 23 2015
08:19 am

I would like to see more enforcement actions like this until it all gets stopped. Dumping waste may seem like no big deal but it can greatly harm the environment, property values, and even have health ramifications.

Kingston police said a concerned citizen contacted them last week and reported seeing a truck back into a lot at Peachtree Lane and Patton Ferry Road and dump some type of liquid.

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Fri
Jan 23 2015
07:59 am

If you have fast internet I suggest you go follow the YouTube link and watch this in full screen HD. The acceleration of glacial melting is really scary.

Fri
Jan 23 2015
07:02 am

From the WBIR web site:

In Roane County, for example, this new report shows every public dollar spent on drug abuse prevention saves taxpayers more than 14 times that much later.

The new report comes from a team of anti-drug advocates in East Tennessee, including Roane County Anti-Drug Coalition Executive Director Sarah Harrison; Stephanie Armbrister Strutner, executive director of Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) of Anderson County; and ASAP project coordinator Stacey Pratt. The team worked with an economist to compile the data comparing the public costs of prevention to what taxpayers foot when people abuse prescription drugs.


WBIR Story

Thu
Jan 22 2015
08:00 pm

This is different!

Roane County Director of Schools Gary Aytes said because it’s a domestic issue in another county, he doesn’t feel like Jones puts students in any danger. Additionally, since Jones hasn’t been convicted, Aytes says he’s going to wait and see what happens before he considers taking Jones out of the classroom.

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First-graders at Ridge View Elementary in Rockwood have raised most of the funds they want for LED writing tablets, but still have $145 $138 $132 $0 to go. Help these students by donating at DonorsChoose.org ((link...)). Every little bit can make a difference!

-- OneTahiti

Topics:

Via the Roane County Post:

Yesterday, Roane County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson received official notification from the Tennessee Department of Transportation informing him that Roane County would receive a grant to upgrade the Mountain View Road and NS Railroad crossing.

Continued...

This is just plain nuts. I have to agree with the Sheriff.

The Morgan County Sheriff Glen Freytag has stepped down as head of security for the county courthouse, disagreeing with the county commission's vote re-opening all of the doors to the courthouse, bringing metal detectors upstairs and allowing those with gun permits to carry firearms in the building. Commissioners found previous security a huge aggravation and voted to open all the courthouse doors, do away with the security guard position and move the metal detectors. The only people who will now be screened heading to the main courtroom.

I suspect lighting is a major line item in the County budget. I realize the electric utilities will squeal but this is the right thing to do.

The first major league baseball stadium is moving forward. Replacing existing lights at stadiums can reduce operation expenses by over 60% and last up to 50 years.

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Our experience at home is that the latest versions of LED light bulbs are instant on, warm light, and destroy our electric bill. And the light is directed to areas where it is needed so we wind up being able to see better.

Update: Presentation to the TN Conservation Commission is attached (David Fields put this together)

Wed
Jan 21 2015
08:01 am

“At this level of spending, the county may not have the necessary operating cash or working capital to sustain the operations of these funds,” Thompson added.

This is complicated stuff and the state uses a blunt instrument instead of a scalpel, as witnessed by the letters to the Property Assessor's office.

RCN Story

Tue
Jan 20 2015
06:11 pm

Here's a snip:

Gordan Evren Ellis, then 34, bludgeoned his mother, a renowned Oak Ridge physicist, to death in 2004, loaded her body into the trunk of her car, hauled it halfway across the state and set it afire. CNN Anchor Paula Zahn told him to do it.

the kicker came when the state’s only psych ward, which has fewer than 20 beds, wanted to free him on meds, which he WOULD NOT TAKE ON HIS OWN BECAUSE HE’S NOT CRAZY. Under the law, there was not a single thing a judge or the state could do about it. Mr. Ellis had been acquitted – not guilty. Publicity kept Mr. Ellis locked down in the psych ward for a while. Privacy laws bar me from knowing where he is now. Maybe he’s still there. Maybe not. (And that’s crazy scary). It is also the dilemma with an insanity defense, too insane to be guilty, too insane to be safe in society.

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Tue
Jan 20 2015
08:24 am

Apparently, the ability to no longer receive a federal subsidy to help pay your insurance premiums is a "benefit" the TNGOP wishes to generously bestow upon the citizens of Tennessee.


RNeal

Tue
Jan 20 2015
08:08 am

I am becoming a follower of Jamie Satterfield's work. This is a prime example of why...

Whodunnits in the courtroom are rare, especially when it comes to murder. The question almost always is not the who but the why. That’s because the law grades, if you will, the crime of murder by degrees.

At the top of the list is first-degree murder, the worst of the worst. The simplistic definition is that of a cold-blooded killer who makes a conscious decision to take someone’s life. But as the case currently on trial in Knox County Criminal Court shows, it is anything but simple.

Read the whole piece...

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A "free*" concert by the Air Force "Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble" is coming Monday evening, at 7:30 PM, February 2nd to the Princess Theatre. This is an evening's entertainment, sponsored by the Princess Theatre Foundation, and Roane State Community College Arts and Lecture Departments, that is sure to please the whole family! Zack Williamson also played a great role in booking this event.

Even though this is a "free" event, tickets must be obtained in order to assure seating. Tickets will be made available at the usual locations: Rocky Top General Store and Harriman Jewelry Exchange. They should have tickets sometime next week, so call ahead to ensure availability.

For more information GO HERE!

Sun
Jan 18 2015
09:21 am

Is this a good thing?

A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

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A state lawmaker plans to introduce a bill to outlaw red light cameras in Tennessee.

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) says people "are sick and tired" of the cameras. Holt adds that the cameras are nothing more than modern versions of speed traps.

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Thu
Jan 15 2015
02:49 pm

Thursday, January 22 at 6pm
Kingston Public Library

Ken Wise, Professor at the University of Tennessee Libraries, author of "Hiking Trails of the Great Smoky Mountains," and co-author with Anne Bridges and Russ Clement of "Terra Incognita : An Annotated Bibliography of the Great Smoky Mountains, 1544-1934."

This event is free to all and there is no need to RSVP.

Kingston Public Library
1004 Bradford Way
Kingston, TN
865-376-9905

More information at the Kingston Public Library.

“Any group that goes to such lengths to conceal its donors, activities and intent will consider a $5,000 fine to be nothing more than the cost of doing business,” he said. “Average Tennesseans who wish to be involved in the political process and can’t financially compete with secretive PACs dumping thousands of dollars to buy influence are the losers in this ruling. The commission sided with wealthy interests over truthful politics.”

...Mark Winslow, a member of the Tennessee state executive committee and former Tennessee Republican party employee, said the group’s filings “still raise huge questions about their disclosures.” Winslow was among several Republicans to file a complaint with election officials about Strong & Free Tennessee.

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Thu
Jan 15 2015
08:39 am
By: WhitesCreek

So let me get this straight...Accepting two billion dollars in Federal tax incentives is a dreaded "expansion of government" but giving another $300 million in TN taxpayer's money to VW is not? The TNGOP is expected to go along with this as long as VW doesn't strike a secret deal with workers that lets them organize and be represented by a union.

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TVA is incredibly brain dead to the effect their actions have on people's quality of life in their never ending quest to sell more electricity.

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Haslam's plan to extend health coverage to 200,000 low-income Tennesseans is encountering problems among some fellow Republicans in the Legislature, with Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris saying he has yet to decide whether he will sponsor it.

And from our Glen Cassada is a slave to extreme right ideology Department:

House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin said, "There's just several concerns that I have and my constituents have. ... It's an expansion of government. More people are dependent on government."

Secondly, he said, "we're going into partnership with a federal government that's on the verge of bankruptcy."

The hypocrisy of those statements just astounds. This is mostly positioning to pretend that they are keeping the ideology foremost for a little while before they work a deal begind closed doors to get this passed. If there's one thing the GOP loves it's tax money. They've lost over $2 billion for the Tennessee economy already.

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The Tennessee Legislature says they should be free to pass laws to force us to keep lousy internet service. President Obama cites Chattanooga ERB service as good example of what our Legislature is trying to stop. Why are they trying to keep us from having fast internet? Because they are being bribed with campaign contributions to keep lousy providers in business.

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We have a situation in which our governments incentivize large corporations into locating in our region. That's our tax money being funneled to corporations in various forms. I tend to think of it as a bribe. The public has right to know what kind of money is involved since it is, after all, the public's money.

TVA doesn't feel like the public has any right to know how much money it is giving to a Korean corporation to get it to locate in Clinton. Frankly, I totally support the Knox News Sentinel's FOI request to know how much TVA is spending on its bribes. Since the company will create jobs in Clinton, why should Roane County rate payers have to pay for it?

Our Congressman Chuck Fleischmann agrees,

saying it is important that “our government and all related agencies function with proper transparency and oversight.”

KNS Story

This is a great step by the Environmental Review Board and the Roane County Commission. Now will TDEC step up and protect Roane County?

RCERB

Mon
Jan 12 2015
03:38 pm

A worker at TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant doing regular walk-around monitoring Jan. 7 identified a leak of radioactive water at the plant last week.

A Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman said today the leak resulted in a spill of between 100 and 200 gallons and some of that water, mixed with millions of gallons of cooling water, could have migrated to the Tennessee River.

(link...)

Mon
Jan 12 2015
12:23 pm

From the Hard Knox Independent:


Mocksville Reporter: Ramsey Proposes Monument to Lives Lost in War for Profitable Tennessee Health Insurance

The Hard Knox Independent is one of a few new alt weekly newspapers rising up to fill the void of the MetroPulse.

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.