History teacher, ORHS grad to appear on Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament

Lydia Cuffman

Lydia Cuffman, a 2004 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, will compete in the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament on Tuesday. The show will air at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on WBIR-TV in Knoxville. (Photos courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)


Lydia Cuffman, a 2004 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, will compete in the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament on Tuesday. The show will air at 7:30 p.m. on WBIR-TV in Knoxville.

Cuffman is now a history teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California.

Her mother, Kym Cuffman, said 200,000 people sign up to take the Jeopardy test each year. One hundred fifty thousand actually take the test, and 400 make it to the final contestants’ pool, Kym Cuffman said. There were 15 K-12 teachers chosen to be in the Teachers Tournament. [Read more…]

Conservative talk show ‘Let’s Talk Frank’ returns to airwaves

The television show “Let’s Talk Frank” is returning to the local airwaves, host Lee Frank said.

The show will air live every Thursday on Comcast Channel 12 from 7 to 8 p.m., and it will feature state and local guests, commentary, and news. The show will also accept calls from the viewing audience, a press release said.

Founded in 2002, the conservative-oriented local show aired for seven years on BBB Comcast Channel 12 in Anderson and Roane Counties. [Read more…]

Guest column: Explosive interest in ‘Manhattan’

Cynthia C. Kelly

Cynthia C. Kelly

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The WGN America television show “Manhattan” has galvanized the interest of millions of viewers. Shown on Sunday nights, national audiences are riveted by the dramatic tension between rival groups of scientists and the omnipresent security police in Los Alamos in 1943. “Manhattan” follows the scientists as they confront the challenges of making a workable atomic bomb while dealing with an intrusive military force, intense rivalries, and strained marital relations where couples can no longer confide in each other.

The show is a blend of fact and fiction. The primary characters are entirely fictional including the main scientist, Frank Winter; Chinese-American physicist, Sidney Liao; and wunderkind Charlie Isaacs and his most attractive wife, Abby. But “Manhattan” has preserved at least two real persona, J. Robert Oppenheimer as the director of Los Alamos, and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr who visits the laboratory to offer his advice.

The central tension is the race to develop two different approaches to a plutonium-based bomb. Winter believes an implosion bomb offers the best option but most of the scientists—including Oppenheimer—are more confident in a gun-type plutonium bomb similar to the design used for the uranium-based bomb. While the enmity between the two groups is exaggerated for television, “Manhattan” does a good job showing the challenges the scientists and engineers faced knowing little about the newly discovered and quite bizarre element plutonium.

In a 1965 interview with journalist Stephane Groueff, J. Robert Oppenheimer recalled: “I think the set of problems connected with implosion was the most difficult, and it required very new experimental techniques. It was not a branch of physics anyone was very familiar with. It was, from a theoretical, an observational, and a practical point of view, quite an adventure. Plutonium was a terrible test from beginning to end and never stayed quiet: it gets hot, it is radioactive, you cannot touch it, you have to coat it, and the coating always peels. It is just a terrible substance.” [Read more…]


‘Fishing University’ coming to Norris Feb. 27

Information from WYSH Radio

The host of the Outdoor Channel’s “Fishing University” television show will be on Norris Lake next week filming a show for their 2014 season.

You will have the opportunity to meet the hosts of the show, Charlie Ingram and Ray Brazier and their guests, Chief Executive Dean Smith and Brand Manager Kody Bradbury of Legend Boats, on Thursday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Museum of Appalachia. This is a free event for the entire family and will give you the opportunity to ask the pros everything you always wanted to know about bass fishing. [Read more…]

Janelle Arthur eliminated from American Idol

Janelle Arthur

Janelle Arthur

Oliver Springs singer Janelle Arthur was eliminated from “American Idol” on Thursday.

Arthur, 23, had been part of the first-ever all-female Top 5 on the popular televised singing competition.

She became the first Top 10 female finalist to be eliminated this season after she performed Vince Gill’s “When I Call Your Name” and Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde.”

Arthur had auditioned for the show three times.

Janelle Arthur competes on ‘American Idol’ tonight, Roane State scholarship established

Janelle Arthur

Janelle Arthur

Oliver Springs native Janelle Arthur will perform again tonight on “American Idol” as she competes in the Top 5.

Following tonight’s show, America’s votes will decide who goes home and who gets to return to the stage next week. The popular televised singing competition on Fox is broadcast on WTNZ, Channel 43, and it starts at 8 p.m. tonight and Thursday.

Separately, a scholarship has been established in Arthur’s name to be awarded annually to a Roane State Community College student pursuing a music degree. The scholarship will be administered by the Roane State Community College Scholarship Foundation. [Read more…]

Janelle Arthur survives another round of ‘American Idol’

Information from WYSH Radio

Singer Janelle Arthur of Oliver Springs survived another round of fan voting on “American Idol” Thursday night, and she will be part of the television show’s final seven competitors.

Arthur will perform again next week and await the results of another round of viewer voting on Thursday night.

A video of her performance this week is available on Hulu.

Janelle Arthur still on ‘American Idol’

Information from WYSH Radio

Oliver Springs native Janelle Arthur has made it to the final eight contestants on “American Idol.”

Arthur, who sang the Beatles’ “I Will” on Wednesday night, survived another round of viewer voting and will be back on the show next week.

A video of her performance on the popular television show is available on Hulu.

Janelle Arthur of Oliver Springs moves into Top 9 on ‘American Idol’

Information from WYSH Radio

Oliver Springs native Janelle Arthur survived another round of voting Thursday night and will be part of the Top 9 on “American Idol” next week.

This is the third time that Arthur has competed on “American Idol,” and this is the farthest she has advanced in the competition.

Janelle Arthur sings again on ‘American Idol’

Information from WYSH Radio

Oliver Springs native Janelle Arthur performed again on “American Idol” Wednesday night, singing Montgomery Gentry’s song “Gone.”

Her family was in the audience, but the community was also watching as Oliver Springs held a viewing party at City Hall. An “Idol” film crew was there documenting the support Janelle is getting.

The next round of voting is under way, and Janelle should learn tonight if she will be moving on to the next round.

‘American Idol’ contestant from Oliver Springs makes Top 10

Information from WYSH Radio

Janelle Arthur of Oliver Springs is among the 10 finalists on the Fox-TV show “American Idol.”

Host Ryan Seacrest called her name last night during the girls’ elimination round. This is the farthest Arthur has made it in the competition in this, her third appearance.

After she was sent through to the Top 10, she sang a Dierks Bentley song and expressed her gratitude to her friends, family, and fans in East Tennessee.

Oliver Springs contestant impresses ‘American Idol’ judges again

Information from WYSH Radio

Janelle Arthur of Oliver Springs had another strong performance on Tuesday night’s edition of “American Idol.”

Arthur, one of the last 10 women remaining in the competition, impressed the judges with what they call her “traditional country voice” and prompted Mariah Carey to label her “America’s Sweetheart.”

[Read more…]