The 27th annual Ijams Nature Center River Rescue of the Tennessee River is this Saturday, April 2nd from 10AM to 2PM. More details and info on how to volunteer in the press release after the break...

Continued...

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From the News Desk of News and Weather of Knoxville

Subway Robber Charged with 8 Various Robbery Charges

Knoxville, Tn. – Knoxville Police have charged Clyde Joseph Hubbard of Knoxville with various robbery charges due to his alleged robbery spree of various Subway restaurants and 2 motels.

Hubbard is now facing 6 robbery charges, 1 aggravated robbery charge, and 1 attempted robbery charge. He is being held at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility (aka Penal Farm), in lieu of a $115,000 total bond. He is due in Sessions Court today for arraignment, and is on the court docket at Felony Court on April 7th for a preliminary hearing of all charges.

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Thu
Mar 31 2016
09:40 am

WBIR files this report about a local company that held a "black tie" fundraiser that was supposed to feature entertainment by Trace Adkins and raise money for the Wounded Warriors organization. Trace Adkins didn't appear, and so far Wounded Warriors hasn't received any money.

In related news, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports that Cancer Fund of America, a Knoxville based charity scam, has settled with state and federal authorities on charges of diverting money for personal use. Under the settlement agreement, the fund's assets will be liquidated, and the operator, James Reynolds Sr., "will have to surrender two pistols, artwork and a pontoon boat, which will be sold to satisfy his portion of the $75.8 million judgment."

PREVIOUSLY: State and federal complaints filed against Knoxville charity

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Wouldn't it be nice if we could continue good services to our elderly and disabled as well as expand services to commercial establishments (e.g. restaurants and bars)?

It has been in the news a lot lately that Knoxville Area Transit is changing trolley routes. One of the biggest changes being discussed is the reduced service to Summit Towers, a 277 unit apartment complex for senior citizens and disabled citizens at 201 Locust Street. They want to add service to the Old City, with the frequency previously offered to Summit Towers residents..

Currently KAT trolleys stop at the Summit Towers every 15-20 minutes (three - four times an hour) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Under the new plan - the trolley would only stop once an hour, but riders would gain Saturday stops. Originally KAT had proposed discontinuing service to Summit Towers. The hourly service is in response to complaints by residents and others.

"They cut us off totally," said A.T. Lincoln, a resident at the towers for more than eight years. "There are real bad cases here. These people can't walk from here down to catch the trolley."

Lincoln said he's collected nearly 100 signatures from residents for a petition he plans..."

Many thanks to Hubert Smith , a member of the Knoxville Transportation Authority, for his efforts to protect the transportation needs of the elderly and disabled.

Have you been to Summit Towers? Have you walked up and down the hill to get there? It is not an easy trek.

The additional leg to continue with the 3-4 times an hour service to Summit Towers is approximately 1,135 feet, about 1/5 of a mile. Wouldn't it be nice if KAT would continue with the existing service for Summit Towers as well as add the Saturday service while adding service to the Old City? Let's show our elderly and disabled citizens how much we care.

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It appears that Knox County Schools had to hire consultants to tell them there are serious problems with the school bus system.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the consultant's report says there are more crashes than the statistical norm, there's a lack of oversight, the buses are too old, drivers aren't adequately trained, and the system is underfunded. The system is "on a dangerous cliff," it says.

You can read the full report here or here.

As if to punctuate this news, WATE reports that a Knox Co. school bus ran through a woman's yard yesterday morning, knocked over her mailbox, and left the scene. She has video from a security camera and notified the police.

With incidents like this occurring almost weekly, you shouldn't need consultants to tell you something is wrong.

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From Knox Co. Administrator of Elections Cliff Rodgers...

Notice of Vacancy: Democratic State Executive Committeewoman, District 5

The election for this office will be on August 4, 2016 and will be held in conjunction with the Federal & State Primary Election, County General Election, and Town Of Farragut Municipal Election

Qualifying Deadline for Candidates: Thursday, April 7, 2016 at NOON Withdrawal Deadline for Candidates: Thursday, April 14, 2016 at NOON

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Tue
Mar 29 2016
12:32 pm

We are moving this website to a different hosting service and it may take a while. New posts and comments have been turned off temporarily until the move is complete. Will update when the move is finished.

UPDATE: If you are seeing this, the move appears to be complete. If not, then you are still seeing the old site (in which case I guess you don't see this message and are waiting for DNS changes to propagate). We are cleaning up some miscellaneous stuff, so please let us know if you see anything amiss. New posts and comments are re-enabled. Carry on.

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Tue
Mar 29 2016
07:31 am

At least five hospitals across the country have been hacked in the past month and a half, three in California, one in Kentucky and most recently one in the Washington D.C. area. The D.C. area MedStar Health systems hack occurred Monday morning, May 28, 2016.

So far the hacks appear to be ransomware attacks, where a virus infects the network and encrypts files. The hackers hold the system ransom for payment.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to get their systems back up and running. Chino Valley Medical Center, Chino, CA, and Desert Valley Hospital, Victorville, CA, both part of Prime Healthcare Services Inc. were hacked Friday, March 18, 2016. Representatives of the hospitals say they did not pay any ransom.

Methodist Hospital, Henderson, KY, was also recently hacked. It is unknown whether they have agreed to pay the ransom.

When hacked these hospitals are nearly forced to return to paper systems, slowing down all activity and in some cases people are not able to make appointments. No one is saying that medical records are in danger.

If hospitals and medical providers are going to be forced to go electronic, then is it possible there should be higher levels of security required? Is more training required for medical staff on what not to do online?

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Mon
Mar 28 2016
07:43 pm

The FBI has asked a California federal court to vacate a previous order compelling Apple to help the FBI gain access to an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI says they have been able to access it with the help of a third party.

So much for Apple's bulletproof security that supposedly protects our privacy.

Apple is now expected to demand information about who helped the FBI and how. The FBI should tell them to take a hike. Apple's security flaws aren't the FBI's problem to solve. Just like national security is apparently not Apple's problem.

NPR: The FBI Has Successfully Unlocked The iPhone Without Apple's Help

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From knoxnews.com ...

Legislation produced and given quick initial approval by a state House panel last week would prohibit public disclosure of most body camera recordings made by Tennessee law enforcement officers for at least a year — and potentially keep video of police misconduct under wraps for even longer.

Bill would black out police bodycam videos in Tenn.

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Sun
Mar 27 2016
08:04 am

Bernie Sanders swept round two out west, racking up big wins in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Delegate counts are difficult to sort out because of the various steps involved in actually allocating delegates in these caucus states. The following are rough estimates based on info from various sources available at the time of this post.

Washington: Sanders 73% 68  Clinton 27% 21
Alaska:     Sanders 82% 13  Clinton 18%  3
Hawaii:     Sanders 71% 17  Clinton 29%  8

Pledged delegates: Clinton 32    Sanders 98 
Pledged total:     Clinton 1243  Sanders 975
Total Delegates:   Clinton 1712  Sanders 1004
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Sat
Mar 26 2016
03:03 pm

This is the sort of business, environment that will hopefully disappear from south of river in near future.

South Knoxville brawl shooting

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Sat
Mar 26 2016
02:48 pm
By: jlynn  shortURL

What: Knoxville SOUP
When: Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 6:00pm
Where: Dara's Gardens

The next SOUP dinner will be April 7th and will be held at Dara's Gardens, 2637 Maryville Pike [view a map to this location].

Doors open at 6 p.m. with proposals presented at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Diners will have about an hour to eat, share and connect with others while voting for the project they like best. By 8:15, the votes will be tallied and the winning project will be awarded all donations raised at the door. NOTE: a suggested donation of $5 will be collected at the door.

SOUP is a community dinner that is part pot luck and part planned. It is an opportunity for the community to gather, share and connect. It is an opportunity to support projects that, in some manner, benefit the community as a whole. It’s where Democracy meets Charity.

For more information or to submit a proposal: KnoxvilleSOUP.org

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Sat
Mar 26 2016
01:55 pm

20160326-DSC_1528.jpg
From the back yard this morning

Dogwoods are starting to bloom. The Dogwood Trails open on April 15th, with other festivities scheduled to begin on April 1st. Seems like the timing is about right...

Dogwood Arts Festival events...

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Fri
Mar 25 2016
04:37 pm

We've been keeping the bird feeders stocked through the winter and here's the list of birds we've seen at the feeders and around the yard through today (our best guesses on a couple):

Red-winged blackbird
Canadian geese
Carolina wren
Chickadee
House finch
Gold finch
Cardinal
Mourning doves
Song sparrow
Red bellied woodpecker
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Downy woodpecker
Cooper's hawk
Dark eyed junco
Mockingbird
Starling
Eastern towhee
White throated sparrow
Northern flicker
Cowbird
House sparrow
Bluebird
Tree Swallow
Robin
Tufted titmouse
White crowned sparrow

The bluebirds and tree swallows were first spotted today. Both have nested in our bluebird box, so maybe these were coming home to nest? Unfortunately, the house sparrows have taken over the box and we've given up trying to keep them evicted.

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Thu
Mar 24 2016
07:08 pm

We purchased a small appliance from Amazon earlier in the week. The day after it arrived, we noticed the price had been reduced on their website. We contacted Amazon yesterday and they credited the difference, no questions asked.

Today we noticed the price had been reduced yet again, and once again we contacted them. Within an hour or so they credited the difference, again.

So, if you purchase something from Amazon, watch the price during the 30 day return period. They appear to be pretty good about issuing price match credits for their own price reductions.

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Thu
Mar 24 2016
03:02 pm

SMG is the only bidder for a contract to take over operations at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium/Coliseum and Chilhowee Park.

Mike Donila has the scoop and more...

"We've also encouraged (employees) who want to remain city employees to look for positions in the city and a number of them have been able to get positions in the city in other departments," [city spokesperson Jesse] Mayshark said.

PREVIOUS DISCUSSION: City outsourcing Coliseum and Chilhowee Park management

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Lost Medicaid Funding

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