Mar 18 2019
06:12 am

In 2011 a law was passed in Tennessee to protect businesses from hefty punitive damages awards in cases of civil wrongdoing, placing a cap on punitive damages — awarded in cases in which a jury finds the wrongdoer acted maliciously, fraudulently or recklessly — no matter a jury’s decision on the amount to be paid."The law was designed to improve the State’s business climate and its economy by offering businesses a way to quantify risk with some degree of predictability and, thus, encourage businesses to create jobs in Tennessee by locating and expanding here." The cap is currently $750,000.

In late December 2018, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the Tennessee law as unconstitutional.

"The Appeals Court ruling is a result of a jury penalizing Jackson National Life Insurance Co. with $3 million in punitive damages for bad behavior in trying to keep from shelling out $350,000 in life insurance benefits to two children whose father died in 2013".

Now, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, a host of business lobbyists and a handful of state legislators are intervening in the case, trying to get the appeal decision overturned and get the case in front of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Ah, yes. Protect business, not individuals.

Mar 18 2019
06:11 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

The King of Surf Guitar has died at the age of 81.

We had the good fortune of seeing him live sometime back in the 90s at a nightclub in Florida. He blew the doors off the place.

I remembered this brief interview from years ago with some sage advice for young musicians...

Mar 17 2019
11:09 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Alexa, what time is the SEC championship game?

“On December 1st in the SEC Championship Game, Alabama beat Georgia, 35 to 28.”

Alexa, what time is the SEC championship basketball game today?

“Leading the Championship are Norwich City, with 69 points, a record of 20 wins, 9 draws, and 6 losses, and a goal differential of plus 26.”

Hey Google, what time is the SEC championship game?

Today, Auburn will play Tennessee at 1 PM.

Mar 15 2019
06:55 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

UT (interim} President Randy Boyd announced the UT Promise scholarship program.

In case you missed it, it provides last dollar (after all other grants and financial aid) scholorships to pay tuition for any student attending the University of Tennessee for any family with income of $50,000 or less.

This is a good thing.

Boyd should have been governor, if we have to have a Republican governor, which seems to be a given. Too bad he miscalculated and went all Trump on us.

His move is in sharp contrast to our elected governor, who seems intent on dismantling public education.

Mar 15 2019
08:24 am

Trump says the police, military and bikers have his back and it could get "very bad."

Mar 14 2019
07:53 pm

...are apparently off the table. Thanks, Trump!

DTV Host Greg Mackay discusses current legislation under consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly with Knox County Representatives Rick Staples (D-15) and Gloria Johnson (D-13)

DTV airs on Friday, March 15th at 7:30 PM and can be viewed online (here!) or on your local cable channels:

Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Mar 14 2019
10:27 am

The City of Knoxville has announced $595,158 in historic preservation grants for properties in the downtown area. Projects include work on the Bijou Theatre exterior, improvements to the Fourth and Gill "Birdhouse" neighborhood center and funds for obtaining National Register of Historic Places designation for Standard Knitting Mills, among others.

Details in the press release after the break...


Mar 13 2019
11:01 am
  • Homeless

According to a report from the KNS, many people showed up at the Vestal Community Organization Monday night to discuss the growth of the homeless population in South Knoxville. Some of the people blamed the increase on the closing of the homeless camp on Broadway.

Michael Dunthorn, the city’s program coordinator for the Office on Homelessness, said "he had calls from people concerned about the homeless population before the “day space” was created and he’s had some afterwards. It’s hard to tell."

Eric Johnson is the Vestal Community Organization’s president, but he also works as a social worker for Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Office on Aging. He is quoted a saying "As a social worker, I think (cleaning up homeless camps) is literally more favorable. Now, I know it’s impacting residents and properties, but what it is is homeless people congregating in places that are safer for them.”

  • Opioid use

The KNS report also discusses how South Knoxville has been hit hard by opioid use.

An average of four people a day in Knox County received naloxone from emergency workers to counter opioid overdose, a new report says, and the South Knoxville saw a massive increase.

South Knox County, in particular, saw a significant increase — 61 percent — between the two years studied, October 2016-September 2017 and October 2017-September 2018. The report showed the areas most affected were the Vestal area (including Montgomery Village housing development), South Haven, South Knoxville close to downtown and Old Sevier.

The Knoxville City Council will vote tonight whether it will give up to $151,000 to artist Addison Karl to paint a new alleyway mural on the Market Square Garage that will feature a rainbow spectrum of colors and multiple local faces

Market Square garage mural

Mar 12 2019
09:11 am

The Trump budget also proposes to slow spending on Medicare, the federal program that gives health insurance to older Americans, by $845 billion over the next 10 years, in part by limiting fraud and abuse and payments to hospitals. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said he would not cut Medicare or Social Security, the retirement program for the elderly, but his budget last year also included a proposed cut of more than $550 billion to the program.

With the millions of baby boomers at or near the age for Medicare, it seems odd to reduce Medicare spending. It is understandable and important to limit Medicare fraud. I don't get cutting payments to hospitals. If you don't know already, Medicare payments to hospitals are already low.

The South made up 52% (19,968) of the new HIV diagnoses in the US, followed by the West (7,270; 19%), the Northeast (6,011; 16%), and the Midwest (5,032; 13%). US dependent areas made up 458 (1%) of new HIV diagnoses.

The rates (per 100,000 people) of HIV diagnoses were 16.1 in the South, 12.3 in the US dependent areas, 10.6 in the Northeast, 9.4 in the West, and 7.4 in the Midwest.

In most of the Deep South, it is difficult for people at risk of contracting HIV to find the medication [,PrEP/Truvada, the once-a-day pill that protects users against HIV infection,] critical to protecting themselves from the virus that causes AIDS and ending the 38-year-old epidemic.

Pre-exposure prophylactic medication, better known as PrEP or Truvada, is more than 90 percent effective at preventing HIV infection via sex and more than 70 percent effective in blocking it in injection drug use.

Truvada sells for more than $1,600 a month. Is that why it is not as freely available in the South or is it something about Southern culture?

Contact your state legislature and back this one ...

As introduced, the bill expands the current offense for talking on hand-held devices while driving within marked school zones to talking on such devices on any road, highway, or street.

Tennessee Rep. wants to ban talking on hand-held devices while driving

House Bill HB 0044


You can zoom into small areas ...

The Radiance Light Trends website, which went live last week, presents a world map that shows where night skies are still relatively dark and where there are hot spots — areas where the blues and black indicating darkness are replaced by greens, yellows and reds indicating the glow of artificial light at night.

New interactive map shows how light pollution affects your hometown

Radiance Light Trends website

Mar 11 2019
01:13 pm

Two Boeing 737 Max 8 jets have crashed in five months. One of the flights crashed in Jakarta, the other in Addis Ababa. Three hundred forty six people have died in the Boeing plane crashes.

Mar 11 2019
11:26 am

Nearly two years ago then Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett announced the funding of a BMX bike facility at South-Doyle Middle School. A year ago it was determined the cost would be more than the $750 thousand originally estimated.

It is now being reported that Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has axed the project in favor of renovating and improving the athletic fields at South-Doyle Middle School.

“The county has promised these improvements to the South-Doyle Middle School students and faculty and we intend to see them through to completion,” Jacobs said. “It’s not fair to them to have fields that are in such poor condition and we want to make sure that they have top-notch fields that the community can utilize and enjoy for years to come.”


The proposed rule — which is subject to a 60-day comment period — would raise the salary cap under which non-management employees could earn overtime from $23,660 to $35,308, or from $455 to $679 weekly.

New Labor Department rule would give 1.1 million workers overtime eligibility

Mar 9 2019
07:36 am

In Arkansas, the state senate’s Judiciary Committee debated gun legislation. After many failed efforts, three Republican state senators proposed a bill that would remove a clause from the current law that required a “duty to retreat” in self-defense cases. This would allow for a “stand your ground” type of law in Arkansas.

The state’s Judiciary Committee tried to limit debate time on the issue. Sen. Flowers would have none of it.

Addressing gun rights supporters in the room, Flowers said it was “crazy” to limit debate on such a sensitive issue.

“I am the only person here of color. I am a mother, too, and I have a son,” Flowers said. “And I care as much for my son as y’all care for yours. But my son doesn’t walk the same path as yours does. So this debate deserves more time.”

Sen. Flowers, you make many of us proud.

Mar 8 2019
12:48 pm

The Ecopod dispenses biodegradable cleaning products — laundry detergent, fabric softener, all-purpose cleaner, dishwashing gel and dish soap — into refillable containers.

Pino is hoping the refills, which he says cost about 50% less than what consumers pay for a new bottle of cleaner or detergent, will help cut down on single-use plastic bottles, which are polluting oceans and piling up in landfills.

This vending machine can help save the environment -- and save you money


DTV features a discussion on the six week abortion ban bill before the Tennessee General Assembly along with a number of other women's health bills coming up in the Tennessee General Assembly. The panel discussion includes:
Corinne Rovetti, FNP, Co-Director at Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health (KCRH)
Bekki Vaden, Surgeon Assistant/Outreach at Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health (KCRH)
Tory Mills, Director of Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi (PPTNM)
Renee Hoyos, DTV Host

DTV airs on Friday, March 8th at 7:30 PM and can be viewed online hereL (here!)
or on your local cable channels
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

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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)

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