Sat
Feb 16 2019
06:50 am

A new survey of 41,000 Americans conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation demonstrates why a greater emphasis on American history learning is essential to the nation. The Foundation found that in the highest-performing state (Vermont), only 53 percent of the people were able to earn a passing grade for U.S. history. People in every other state failed; in the lowest-performing state (Louisiana), only 27 percent were able to pass.

Results of new 50-state survey finds only four in 10 can demonstrate basic history understanding. Vermont only state in which a majority passed.

Tennessee had a 38% pass rate.

At the link is a 20 question survey to see how well you would do on a citizenship exam.

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Did y'all see this? What are your thoughts? I know there seems to be a disconnect between the legislators and the TNDP but this seems counter-productive.

(link...)

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Fri
Feb 15 2019
07:01 am

You want to talk about a national emergency?” [House Speaker] Pelosi (D-CA) said. “Let’s talk about today, the one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency.”

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Join DTV Host Renee Hoyos as she hosts a panel of Knox Couty Democratic Party leaders in a discussion about the upcoming Knox County Democratic Party reorganization convention. This discussion includes current KCDP Chair Emily Gregg, Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee member Sylvia Woods and LaKenya Middlebrook who has declared her candidacy for the next KCDP Chair. This program airs live on Friday, February 15th at 7:30 PM on our local Community TV Channel.

DTV streams live (here!) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Thu
Feb 14 2019
02:59 pm

According to the IRS, tax refunds are down 8 percent from the same time last year. But of course the GOP claims it has nothing to do with the tax bill they passed that promised larger refunds for the middle income. The GOP keeps shoveling it out, and the conservative voters keep consuming it and never seem to be bothered by the flies in their teeth.

NPR Article

Thu
Feb 14 2019
11:53 am

Divided board decides to shutter coal plants despite appeals by Trump, Senate Majority leader for delay

(link...)

Thu
Feb 14 2019
09:36 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

NASA: One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA's Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA's return to the Red Planet.

The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. After more than a thousand commands to restore contact, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made their last attempt to revive Opportunity Tuesday, to no avail. The solar-powered rover's final communication was received June 10.

Designed to last just 90 Martian days and travel 1,100 yards (1,000 meters), Opportunity vastly surpassed all expectations in its endurance, scientific value and longevity. In addition to exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, the rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot on Mars - Perseverance Valley.

About Opportunity...

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Thu
Feb 14 2019
06:21 am

In 2017, there were 41 thousand visits to the 30 treatment rooms in the emergency department at Physicians Regional (St. Mary's Hospital). Now that it has closed the other hospitals in the area have to accept possibly 41,000 more ER visits a year. That is a lot to absorb.

Tennova North Knoxville, Fort Sanders, and UT Medical Center appear to be feeling the most affects.

The shutdown has reportedly affected ambulance services as well.

AMR has been dealing with ambulance shortages, in part because ambulances are tied up with lengthy off-load delays in overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, the ambulance service told the News Sentinel last month.

In an attempt to get more ambulances on the road, Knox County is temporarily changing its contract with ambulance provider AMR (Rural/Metro). County Mayor Glenn Jacobs' office announced Monday a 90-day agreement will allow Basic Life Support ambulances to respond to all but the most severe calls. Normally, the contract requires AMR respond to calls with Advanced Life Support ambulances, which carry more equipment, but of which there are fewer.

Did you know that for a Medicare recipient to get admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation therapy they have to be admitted to a general hospital as an inpatient for 3 days? This means that if you are getting observation services, the day(s) under observation do not count towards inpatient status in a hospital. Sitting in the ER would not be included as an inpatient day. Thus, a woman referenced in this article that spent 24 hours in the ER waiting to be admitted would have lost a full day if there had been a need to go to a skilled nursing facility for rehab. It's possible there are clauses in many private health insurance contracts with this requirement.

About five years ago I had to meet an elderly person at the UT Medical Center ER after that person had been taken there by ambulance. When I arrived the elderly person was on a hospital stretcher in the hall near the ER criminal intake area. Not a pleasant experience for this person. Luckily actually being in the ER gets you close to the services you need if it becomes unbearable or life threatening.

I worked at UT Medical Center for about five years, many moons ago. To this day I admire all they do for their patients, employees, and the community. I just hope they can keep up with demand and changes in society.

Let's hope the remaining open hospitals in the area and the ambulance services can continue to provide excellent services as expected.

Wed
Feb 13 2019
10:36 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

From NPR:

Severe mold, asbestos and electrical hazards are among the dangers in private military housing for thousands of service members' families, according to a new survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network.

The report was released Wednesday, in conjunction with a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the state of privately managed military housing.

Nearly 17,000 people responded to the survey across 46 states. And more than 55 percent of participants who lived in private housing said they were dissatisfied with how management companies oversaw their dwellings.

More than 7 million car loans were past due by at least 90 days in the fourth quarter, according to data released this week from the New York Federal Reserve.

Lenders are more frequently offering funds to people with low credit scores, contributing to the increase in the number of car loans.

More Americans behind on car loans ...

Wed
Feb 13 2019
01:41 am

Employers and workers together are spending close to $20,000 for family health insurance coverage in 2018, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Although premiums have increased fairly modestly in recent years, the growth has far outpaced workers' raises over time. The average family premium has increased 55% since 2008, twice as fast as workers' wages and three times as fast as inflation, Kaiser's Employer Health Benefits Survey found.

Getting health insurance through work now costs nearly $20,000

Tue
Feb 12 2019
11:10 am

Trump wants to keep failing TVA coal plant open so a donor can make money

Paradise #3 gets most of its coal from a subsidiary of the Murray Energy company, owned by Robert Murray. Murray also just happens to be a huge Trump supporter.

Tue
Feb 12 2019
07:09 am

Texting while driving is illegal in Tennessee (TCA 55-8-199). Texting while a vehicle is not in motion is not illegal in Tennessee. Like at red lights?

It's ridiculous how often people text and drive. When you see someone driving erratically you can almost guarantee they are texting or using their cell phone in some manner. States are starting to track crashes and cell phone usage. Although, it would appear that texting and driving is not as important as shoplifting when it comes to police action.

Come on, people, put down your phones while driving. It's becoming the new drunk driving. Look up, there may be something or someone in your way.

Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-199

(1) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor, subject only to imposition of a fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) and court costs not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00), including, but not limited to, any statutory fees of officers. No state or local litigation taxes shall be applicable to a case prosecuted under this section.

(2) In addition to any fine imposed pursuant to subdivision (d)(1), a person who violates this section as a first offense shall be required to attend and complete a driver education course pursuant to § 55-10-301 ( A reasonable fee between fifty dollars ($50.00) and one hundred seventy-five dollars ($175) may be assessed for the driver education or driver improvement course; provided, that no one shall be refused admittance for inability to pay.).

Mon
Feb 11 2019
12:53 pm
By: michael kaplan  shortURL

When I bought my Big Ears tickets last year, I noted Regal Riviera as a venue. I now see that there doesn't seem to be a film component in this year's festival. Wonder what happened ...

Mon
Feb 11 2019
11:01 am

I've noticed an ever growing amount of trash along the streets in South Knoxville and the majority appears to be from fast food restaurants. It would be nice to come up with some kind of a solution to stop it, but I keep coming up with mental roadblocks on how to rectify the situation.

Continued...

Since 2007, Middle Tennessee State University alumni, faculty and former students have brought home 16 Grammy awards. The school has classes in everything from digital audio technology and commercial songwriting to copyright law.

Sound of success: Visit the Tennessee university shaping Grammy nominees

DTV's Black History Month program airs tonight at 7:30 PM on the CTV Channel and features Robert Booker talking about Knoxville History from his book Up From the Bottom. The Beck Center's Rev Renee Kessler hosts tonight's program.

DTV streams live (here!) or on cable/satellite at:
Comcast Channel 12
Charter Channel 193
Wow! Channel 6
ATT U-verse Channel 99

Fri
Feb 8 2019
12:51 pm

Bloomberg: The company will separate into one company focused on parts making and another on the production of aluminum sheets, Arconic said Friday in a statement as it reported fourth-quarter earnings. One of the units will be spun off, and Arconic will consider a sale of any operations that don’t fit into either of the businesses.

The company also cut their dividend by two-thirds. The rolled sheet business presumably includes the plant in Alcoa. And they only recently finished changing their iconic tower sign after splitting off from Alcoa.

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Yet, in 2018, the Transportation Security Administration found a record-setting 4,239 firearms in carry-on bags at 249 airport checkpoints around the country.
...
Perhaps more alarming, of the 4,255 firearms found last year, more than 86 percent (3,656) were loaded (another record) and almost 34 percent (1,432) had a round chambered.

TSA found a record-setting number of guns at airports in 2018

Thu
Feb 7 2019
12:16 pm

Press release...

WASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2019) – Congressmen Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Steve Cohen (TN-09) today wrote Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) President William D. Johnson demanding answers about TVA’s announcement that ratepayers might have to pay for the misdeeds of the contractor it used for cleanup work at its Kingston plant following the nation’s worst coal ash spill. See their letter here.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, TVA hired Jacobs Engineering, who later admitted that it lied to workers about the level of risk to which they were ultimately exposed, and struck a deal to pay legal bills for lawsuits Jacobs defends relating to the cleanup.

“TVA’s congressionally mandated mission is to improve the quality of life in the Valley through the integrated management of the region’s resources,” said the Congressmen in their letter. “Regrettably, it seems that TVA’s irresponsible actions have achieved the opposite effect -- more than 40 workers have died, including at least two TVA employees, and more than 400 are sick.”

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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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