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New East TN law enforcement partnership beefs up traffic safety

Officials said they hope a new East Tennessee law enforcement partnership will increase traffic safety in several counties with high fatality numbers.

Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office announced Friday it will work with Anderson, Blount, Campbell and Sevier counties in an effort to lower traffic fatalities and crashes in those areas. Those four counties investigated more than 170 fatalities from 2010 - 2012.

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Teen cancer patient begins bucket list with prom

People in Campbell County continue to rally in support of a teenage girl during what has now been a two-year fight with bone cancer.

WBIR shared the story of Katelyn Norman last June and how this beautiful girl keeps living life to the fullest while she battles a deadly disease.  People in her home county have held multiple blood drives to help with Katelyn's life-saving transfusions.

East TN counties score low in state health report

A report ranking counties on health factors and outcomes showed a sharp contrast in East Tennessee, with Knox, Blount, and Loudon counties scoring well, but Campbell, Fentress, and Scott counties getting the worst ranks in the state.

The University of Wisconsin released its 2013 'County Health Rankings and Roadmaps' study, which is based on two categories, health outcomes and health factors.

Health outcomes were based 50% on mortality, or length of life, and 50% on morbidity, or quality of life.

County health rankings: Blount, Knox near top; Campbell at bottom

Update: In East Tennessee, Blount County was ranked as the 4th healthiest county.  Knox County was #14.

At the bottom of the list, Campbell County came in at #94.  Grundy County was the state's unhealthiest county, ranked #95.

You can see how your county ranked here.

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The Birdsongs share music and faith

A family in Campbell County doesn't spend a lot of time at home because they are on the road sharing the Gospel through music.

He lives in Jacksboro now but back in the 1970s, Wendell Birdsong was in a rock band in California.

"I got into drugs and alcohol and all this kind of nonsense. Got into it with the police and was arrested a number of times," Wendell Birdsong said.

Then a friend invited him to move to Seattle, he went to church, where he found the Lord and his wife Linda.

Sheriff: Knox man trying to avoid court called in bomb threat

A Knoxville man trying to avoid an appearance in child support court called in a bomb threat to the Campbell County Courthouse, according to Sheriff Robbie Goins.

Steven Conner, 47, was charged with a class C felony for reporting a false bomb threat.  Investigators say the phone threat was made on Thursday.  Conner was scheduled to appear in Child Support Court, and was worried he would be sent to jail for failing to pay.

The phone threat was made to the court clerk's office, and investigators used phone records to track Conner down.

UT proposes fracking on its own land in Scott & Morgan Counties

By KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The University of Tennessee wants to allow hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas on a state-owned tract of rolling woodland, raising the hackles of environmentalists who question its stated goal of raising funds to research the environmental impact of such drilling.

"Fracking" is an increasingly popular and lucrative method for energy companies to remove gas or oil from underground rock using liquids introduced under pressure.