A controversial plan to raze 2,000 acres of hardwood trees on state-owned land in White County may harm numerous protected species in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, a legal notice delivered to state wildlife officials and the Bridgestone company alleges.

State put on 60-day notice of lawsuit over plans to raze hardwoods on public lands

Topics:

"Artemis Rayford was 12 years old when he wrote a letter last year to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, expressing concern about a new state law that allows most adults to legally carry a gun without a permit."

“I am a sixth-grader at Sherwood Middle School, and it is my opinion that this new law will be bad, and people will be murdered,” Artemis wrote the governor."

When Artemis’s teachers found out about his death, one of them sent his mother a photo of the letter that was addressed to Lee.

"His prediction came true. Artemis was murdered on Christmas morning. Memphis police say a stray bullet took his life."

Sun
Jan 23 2022
06:10 am

In a recent newsletter, Tennessee U.S. Senator Hagerty calls the Build Back Better Plan "debt-fueled" and "big-government socialism policies."

HagertyNews_20220121.jpg

Doesn't sound like socialism to me. Sounds like a progression of our society to be better and helping those who cannot meet the needs of daily living. The U.S. minimum wage is still $7.25/hour and businesses don't want to pay enough to support a minimum living situation. Because of the pandemic, many businesses are upping their hourly wages to $10 - $14 an hour, in the East TN area. But, again because of the pandemic, this barely covers surviving. Those that have children have an even harder task to survive with schools closing all the time.

Senators Hagerty and Blackburn along with Representative Burchett do not seem to care about those less fortunate.

The Build Back Better Plan offers:

Preschool, child care assistance, expands access to child care, improved Medicaid coverage for home services, support for residential rooftop solar, incentives to grow domestic solar, wind, and other critical industries, expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare, which is more popular than ever), investments in affordable housing, providing tax credits for 17 million low-wage workers, expand free school meals to include benefits during the summer, etc.

All fully paid for with corporate taxes and reduction of corporate tax benefits when shifting profits and jobs abroad as well as an surtax on incomes of multi-millionaires and billionaires, the top 0.02 percent of Americans.

Sun
Jan 23 2022
12:28 am

Procter & Gamble (PG) said Wednesday that it was raising prices by an average of about 8% on retail customers next month for its Tide and Gain laundry detergents, Downy fabric softener and Bounce dryer sheets.

Doing laundry is about to get more expensive

A Wharton professor asked her students what the average American earns and 25% guessed it was over $100,000.

Wharton students guessed the average American income. Their answers went viral

Thu
Jan 20 2022
04:09 pm

From Knox County, as of 1/15/2022,
and from State of Tennessee as of 1/15/2022,

since the inception of COVID-19, approx. 1/23/2020...

the Knox County Health Department reports 78,032 coronavirus cases and 22,366 probable cases. Over 11,298 cases cases in 16 days, averaging 706 cases a day, more than 500 cases a day than 16 days ago.

There have been 1,103 deaths due to coronavirus in Knox County.
That is up from 1,065 total deaths as of 12/30/2021.
38 deaths in 16 days.

Deaths by age group (age breakdown as of 01/15/2022, Knox County count of 1,091 deaths ):

Note: not reporting an additional 12 deaths as reported by the State of Tennessee.

48 in the 18-44 age group (4%) (12% (+5) increase since 12/30/21)
231 in the 45-64 age group (21%) (9% (+18) increase since 12/30/21)
261 in the 65-74 age group (24%) (8% (+20) increase since 12/30/21)
551 in the 75+ age group (51%) (10% (+48) increase since 12/30/21)

As of 01/15/2022, there are
471 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in the Knox County region. More than double the number of hospitalizations on 12/29/2021 at 229.

As of 1/15/2022 there are
104 COVID-19 patients in ICU. A 49% increase over 12/29/2021 patients in the ICU at 70.

Hospitalizations up from a low of 21 on 7/4/21.

As of January 15, 2022, ICU bed available capacity is at 9.5% of 317 total ICU beds.

As of January 15, 2022, the TN Dept of Health reports the average positivity rate over the past 7 days is 44.5%, up from 19.9% on December 30, 2021. Higher than the 5.6% on 7/14/2021.

Vaccinations reported, last updated 1/19/2022:

% with 2 doses - 57.28% (up from 56.69% on 12/30/2021, up from 56.31% on 12/21/2021, up from 54.55% on 11/18/2021, up from 53.87% on 10/18/2021, up from 50.68% on 9/17/2021, up from 49.54% on 9/12/2021, up from 48.99% on 8/27/2021, up from 47.28% on 8/13/2021, up from 46.14% on 7/27/2021, up from 45.42% on 7/14/2021)

% with at least 1 dose - 62.60% (up from 61.88% on 12/30/2021, up from 61.34% on 12/21/2021, up from 59.56% on 11/18/2021, up from 58.17% on 10/18/2021, up from 57.04% on 9/17/2021, up from 56.10% on 9/12/2021, up from 54.66% on 8/27/2021, up from 52.43% on 8/13/2021, up from 50.22% on 7/27/2021, up from 49.09% on 7/14/2021)

The price of new and used cars increased by 11.8% and 37.3% respectively in December 2021 from December 2020, while wages increased by 4.9% in that same period.

Americans needed to work five weeks more on average to afford a used car in 2021

Topics:

Cybercriminals are trying to steal financial information from Americans through the QR codes that restaurants and businesses have increasingly turned to during the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI warned this week.

FBI says crooks are using fake QR codes to steal money

Wed
Jan 19 2022
05:57 am

Get free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests by going to covidtests.gov.

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

If you need a COVID-⁠19 test now, please see other testing resources for free testing locations in your area. Other testing resources include local retail stores and pharmacies for at home tests or you can go to one of the many testing sites in your area (e.g. pharmacies and health centers).

Note: The tests available for order are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR tests. PCR tests are very accurate whereas rapid antigen tests are fairly accurate.

Nashville International Airport, in particular, saw a record spike that singlehandedly broke the previous state record. The TSA caught 163 guns at BNA checkpoints in 2021 -- more than all other Tennessee airports combined. Nashville's airport also saw the fifth-most guns caught at TSA checkpoints compared to the rest of the U.S.

Nashville airport alone breaks all-time TN record for gun seizures at TSA checkpoints in 2021

Topics:

"Republicans in multiple states created forged election materials and sent the documents to, among others, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Archivist, as if the materials were legitimate. They were not."
...
"Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday she referred to federal prosecutors a probe into Republicans who signed and submitted a certificate falsely claiming Donald Trump won Michigan's electoral votes."

Then it is reported that Republicans in more states did the same thing, i.e. Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada.

"The fake documents had identical formatting, spacing, fonts, and phrasing, leaving little doubt that there was a template for Republicans to follow in each of these states."

It's shocking and sad. Will they get away with this? Unacceptable. Young people in these states should be protesting. Is our Democracy going down?

Mon
Jan 17 2022
05:52 pm

Happy Birthday lyrics by Stevie Wonder

You know it doesn't make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
'Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I'm sure you would agree
What could fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be
...

Topics:
Mon
Jan 17 2022
06:27 am

Tennessee House Republicans are trying to dilute minority districts in the large urban areas (Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville) so there are no minority districts.

"House Redistricting Committee Counsel Doug Himes deemed the committee plan to have met all the criteria. It splits 30 counties — the maximum allowed under state law. It preserves 13 majority-minority districts statewide, meaning the majority of voting-age residents living in those districts are racial minorities."

Two Democratic House Reps in Davidson County (Nashville) will lose their districts. Gloria Johnson in Knox County will lose her district. A Shelby County (Memphis) Democratic House Rep will lose his district.

Let's hope someone in Tennessee will dispute this redistricting as they did in Ohio. "The Ohio Supreme Court has declared newly drawn district maps that retain Republican supermajorities invalid and ordered them redrawn."

Alabama's redistricting plan blocked. "Three federal court judges found the map dilutes the voting power of Black residents and blocked the proposal."

Photos and videos showing piles of empty boxes littered alongside rail tracks in Los Angeles County, California have gone viral as shipping companies say they've seen a dramatic spike in railroad theft. Some of the boxes are packages from companies like UPS, Amazon and FedEx.

Thieves in LA are looting freight trains filled with packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon

Sat
Jan 15 2022
07:18 am

Or senior citizens?

As of January 7, 2022, in Knox County, 75% of COVID-19 deaths (767) have been residents 65 years of age and older. 767 deaths in 2 years, 32 deaths a month, over 7 deaths a week.

From WBIR: As of January 13, 2022, "the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is rising across East Tennessee, according to health leaders... Dr. James Shamiyeh from the University of Tennessee Medical Center ... said 429 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus in medical facilities in East Tennessee.".. At UT Hospital there are " 112 people in the hospital as of Jan. 13. That is around double the number of people hospitalized compared to the start of January." One day later the number of people hospitalized at UT Hospital has risen to 119. 76% of them are unvaccinated.

From the Maryville Daily Times, "Blount County averaged more than 130 new COVID-19 cases a day Jan. 2-8, and cases at Blount Memorial Hospital have nearly doubled in the past two weeks, to 39." "About 75% of those currently hospitalized are unvaccinated. While BMH said 10 of 39 patients in the hospital Thursday, Jan. 13, were vaccinated, that doesn’t mean they had received a booster shot."

As I mentioned in a previous comment, it is hard to understand how some places you will see plenty of mask and others you won't. An acquaintance whose husband liked to frequent a well known convenience store called it a petri dish the other day and I agreed. I try to avoid them.

Then there is the Everett Senior Center in Maryville holding a Mood Swing Dance along with dance lessons. You have to wonder how close these people are getting. You have to get kind of close to dance. Are they fully vaccinated? Are they wearing good KN95 or N95 masks? Are they aware that any one dance partner could have been recently infected?

Alas.

Fri
Jan 14 2022
05:28 pm

Twitter link to a complaint that KN95 masks are made in China. Hah. So you don't want to wear them if made in China? So you think the U.S. can start making enough N95 masks to prevent having to import KN95 masks from China? The Republicans should have thought about that during the Obama and Trump administrations when the Republicans decided not to finance pandemic prevention. And, come on, most everything is made in China. If that needs to be changed it will take years.

Twitter post complaining about not wanting to require voter IDs but yes to requiring proof of vaccine. He doesn't understand why there should be proof of vaccination to do certain things but they don't want to require voter IDs. Duh. Not all states currently even require voter IDs. Does he understand we are in a pandemic situation? If we could have gotten everyone vaccinated and required everyone to where mask we might be in better shape and we might not have so many deaths. Particularly senior citizen deaths.

He just has to complain about something that the good people are trying to do to help this democracy. He's beginning to sound like Marsha.

Fri
Jan 14 2022
06:50 am

A vaccination requirement still stands for millions of health care workers. Whereas, the "Supreme Court has blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers."

Several large employers are requiring vaccines.

"United [Airlines] CEO says vaccine mandate appears to have ended weekly deaths of employees from Covid."

Wells Fargo, "which had 230,000 employees as of its last annual report, has a mandate that closely resembles the federal vaccine-or-testing requirement."

"Citi’s [Bank] stricter vaccine mandate will still go into effect on Friday. The bank is requiring its 210,000 employees be vaccinated, or else be fired at the end of this month. Head of human resources Sara Wechter said Thursday evening that the company has reached 99% compliance."

"Apparently, there is still a federal rule for federal contractors in place that still requires vaccines. The federal rule covers companies like Boeing, with 141,000 employees, and Honeywell, which has 103,000 employees, American Airlines."

Tune in on Friday @ 9:30PM for Democratic TV’s MLK Day show. This week the show features a panel made up of these distinguished civil rights leaders in Knoxville:

The Reverend Dr. Harold Middlebrook, Civil Rights Leader Emeritus

Rev Sam Brown, President of the NAACP Chapter in Knoxville and pastor at the Logan Temple AME Zion Church

Rev Renee Kesler, President of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center

LaKenya Middlebrook, Knoxville City Director of Community Safety

Rev Sam Brown leads a lively discussion of the impact of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act on their lives over time as well as their hope for continued progress on voting rights and ballot access in the future.

DTV airs live on the Knoxville Community Television Network every Friday at 9:30 PM. The Community Television Network can be viewed at 9:30 PM on Friday on these stations.

AT&T Uverse: Channel 99
Comcast NBC Universal: Channel 12
WOW! Channel 6
Charter: Channel 193

Community TV can also live streams and 9”30 PM on Fridays (here!)

Thu
Jan 13 2022
06:20 am

You can apply for 2022 Marketplace health insurance right now

You can apply for the first time, update, or change your plan for 2022. Open Enrollment ends January 15, 2022.

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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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