Recreational diving’s impact on conservation will be topic of ‘Classroom Under Sea’ today

Undersea Preview

“Classroom Under the Sea” host Bruce Cantrell surveys a reef, one of many ways recreational divers can contribute to conservation. The November 20 episode of “Classroom Under the Sea” will address how recreational divers can help preserve ocean ecosystems.


Highly trained marine scientists are not the only people who can help conserve the oceans.

Recreational divers play an important role in protecting underwater resources. Learn how to become a certified diver and contribute to ocean conservation during the next episode of “Classroom Under the Sea,” an online lecture series hosted by two educators living underwater for 73 days.

The live program starts at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, November 20. Viewers can watch at and on

Biology professor Bruce Cantrell and adjunct professor Jessica Fain from Roane State Community College in East Tennessee are living and working in an underwater habitat—Jules’ Undersea Lodge on Key Largo in the Florida Keys—for 73 days. While in the habitat, Fain and Cantrell are hosting “Classroom Under the Sea,” presented by Roane State and the Marine Resources Development Foundation on Key Largo. [Read more…]

UT study: Percentage of uninsured in Tennessee at its lowest in a decade

KNOXVILLE—The percentage of uninsured Tennesseans is at its lowest rate in a decade, according to a report released Monday by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

The report shows that 7.2 percent of Tennessee’s 6.5 million residents are uninsured, a 25 percent decrease from last year. The report also shows that 2.4 percent of children in the state are without insurance, a 35 percent decrease from last year.

The findings are included in “The Impact of TennCare: A Survey of Recipients 2014,” prepared by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research, or CBER. The report’s authors are Angela Thacker, CBER research associate, and LeAnn Luna, CBER associate professor.

The declines coincide with the establishment of the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was put into place in early 2014 through the Affordable Care Act. The act also has had an impact on the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare, which has experienced the third highest new enrollment in its 20-year history. [Read more…]

Thursday episode of ‘Classroom Under Sea’ to address exploration, climate change

Underwater Exploration

Remotely Operated Vehicles, or ROVS, are one of the tools used by ocean explorers. In this 2005 image, the (ROV) Hercules searches for deep sea fauna. (Photograph courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce)


Ocean exploration and climate change will be the topics of the next episode of “Classroom Under the Sea,” an online lecture series hosted by two educators living underwater for 73 days.

The live program starts at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, November 13. Viewers can watch at and on

Biology professor Bruce Cantrell and adjunct professor Jessica Fain from Roane State Community College in East Tennessee are living and working in an underwater habitat—Jules’ Undersea Lodge on Key Largo in the Florida Keys—for 73 days. While in the habitat, Fain and Cantrell are hosting “Classroom Under the Sea,” presented by Roane State and the Marine Resources Development Foundation on Key Largo.

Guests visiting the habitat for the November 13 episode are best-selling author Richard Hyman and filmmaker Andy Pruna Sr. Hyman’s book “Frogmen” describes his journeys with Jacques Cousteau and the crew of the Calypso, a minesweeper that Cousteau converted into a research vessel. [Read more…]

Second Technology Town Hall at ORHS on Nov. 25

Oak Ridge Schools Logo

Oak Ridge Schools will have its second Technology Town Hall presentation and question-and-answer forum on Tuesday, November 25.

The presentation and forum are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. November 25 in the Oak Ridge High School Auditorium. Residents, parents, and students are all invited.

Superintendent Bruce Borchers will have a brief presentation talking about the benefits of Oak Ridge Schools launching an innovative learning platform that integrates technology, a press release said. Borchers’ presentation will be followed by a live classroom-based technology demonstration by teacher Chris Layton and his students at Jefferson Middle School. [Read more…]

Thanks + Giving: UT researcher says gratitude may be a key to happiness

KNOXVILLE—’Tis the season to be grateful. And, being grateful for what you have may be the key to happiness, according to research by a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Jeff Larsen, associate professor of psychology, and Amie McKibban of the University of Southern Indiana investigated whether the maxim “it’s more important to want what you have than to have what you want” is true.

He asked college students if they possessed 52 different material items, such as a car, a stereo, or a bed. They were then asked to rate how much they wanted the items they had and how much they wanted the items they didn’t have. Larsen calculated the extent to which the students wanted what they have and have what they want.

The result? People who want more of what they have tend to be happier. [Read more…]

UT Arboretum Society has annual dinner tonight

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society’s Annual Dinner and Silent Auction will be held at 6 p.m. today (Tuesday, November 11) at the Elks Club in Oak Ridge.

The speaker will be Richard Evans, retired director of the Arboretum’s Forest Resources and AgResearch Education Center for 39 years. He will recap the Arboretum’s history, programs, research, and advancements during the first 50 years.

The evening will begin with at 6 p.m. with a social hour (cash bar) and silent auction followed by a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. A brief a brief business meeting will take place, followed by Evans’ presentation.

Silent actions items include fine crafts, gifts certificates, signed books, art, wine and accessories, hard tools, and much, much more, a press release said. “Arrive early for the best bidding and to chat with other Arboretum supporters!” [Read more…]

ORHS Math Bowl team finishes second in large school competition

Oak Ridge Schools Logo

Thirty students from Oak Ridge High School competed in the annual Pro2Serv Fermat Competition and Math Bowl on Thursday, and the school’s Math Bowl A team finished second in the large school competition, a press release said.

“Our Math Bowl teams were very competitive, with our A team narrowly losing by one point,” the release said. The A team was comprised of Albert Xue, Tina Wang, and Katherine Zhang, along with alternate Sheichen Zhang.

The B team of Vincent Jodoin, Gabe Vacaliuc, and Joe Andress, with alternate Adi Sujithkumar, also had an amazing run, but came up a match short of placing, the release said. [Read more…]

Sign up for Dec. 6 ACT Prep Workshop at Roane State

Roane State Community College Harriman Campus

The main Roane State Community College campus in Harriman. The college also has a branch campus in Oak Ridge.

Students will learn the hidden rules of the ACT in an ACT Prep Workshop presented by Roane State and SailAway Learning at the college’s Roane County campus in December.

Seating is limited. The deadline to register is November 29.

At the workshop, students will learn valuable test-taking tips and receive helpful review materials and resources. According to data from SailAway Learning, 66 percent of past workshop attendees raised two or more subtest scores, and 60 percent improved their composite score. [Read more…]

School Board winners: Eby, McLean, Marshall

Four Oak Ridge Board of Education Candidates

The three winning Oak Ridge Board of Education candidates are pictured above. Bob Eby, second from right, the only incumbent, was the top vote-getter. He was followed by candidate Laura McLean, right, and Paige Marshall, left. Also pictured is Andy Howe.


Note: This story was last updated at 1:35 a.m. Nov. 5.

Imagine this: A politician runs for re-election and tells voters he wants to raise taxes—and they re-elect him anyway. Seems unlikely, right?

Well, that’s what happened Tuesday night in Oak Ridge.

Bob Eby, the only incumbent in the eight-person race for the Oak Ridge Board of Education, hasn’t been afraid to tell voters that he thinks Oak Ridge Schools need more money—and he intends to ask for a tax increase next year to help the school system.

His honesty hasn’t hurt him with voters; Eby was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s municipal election. He finished with 4,635 votes in Anderson and Roane counties, according to unofficial results. That was almost 900 votes ahead of the second-place finisher, newcomer Laura McLean. She ended the night with 3,774 votes.

Another newcomer, Paige Marshall, was about 400 votes behind McLean, picking up the third of the three available seats with 3,345 votes. [Read more…]

Eby, Marshall, McLean lead in early, absentee ballots

Bob Eby

Bob Eby

Oak Ridge Board of Education candidates Bob Eby, Laura McLean, and Paige Marshall lead in early and absentee ballots, according to early Anderson County and Roane County election results posted at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Anderson County Election Commission and Roane County Election Commission have not yet posted precinct results from Election Day voting, so the leaders could change.

Eby, the only incumbent, has 2,239 votes, or almost 500 ahead of his closest competitor, McLean, who has 1,771.

Marshall has 1,577. [Read more…]

Lunch with League: Immigration, humanitarian crisis in East Tennessee

Karla McKanders

Karla McKanders

An associate professor in the University of Tennessee College of Law will discuss the migration surge of vulnerable immigrants to East Tennessee during a lunchtime meeting Tuesday, a press release said.

Karla McKanders will be the guest speaker at Lunch with the League on Tuesday, November 4. The program will be held at noon in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church’s new location at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

The press release said vulnerable immigrants are those who have migrated to the United States and are not afforded full protections under national and state laws. [Read more…]

2014 Election: Constitutional amendments, wine in groceries, a candidate’s record

League Women Voters Constitutional Amendment Forum

Corinne Rovetti, co-director and family nurse practitioner for the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, second from right, discusses Amendment 1, which is on Tuesday’s ballot, during a forum in October. Also pictured are moderator JoAnn Garrett, right; Judy Cornett, second from left, distinguished professor in the College of Law at the University of Tennessee, who discussed Amendment 2; and Sherry Davis Kasper, professor of economics at Maryville College, who discussed Amendment 3.


Many voters remain confused about the four proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot in Tennessee on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4.

Three of the amendments were discussed during a League of Women Voters forum in Oak Ridge in October, and you can find a guide to the four amendments here.

The first amendment, Amendment 1, is related to abortion, and it appears to be the most divisive.

Here’s the full text of the proposed amendment to the Tennessee Constitution:

“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

[Read more…]