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Pam Sohn

Stories by Pam

The Clerk of the Circuit Court maintains clerical functions for Circuit and Sessions civil courts, and is responsible for management of all complaints, petitions, summons, orders and other documents.

Gov. Bill Haslam is reinventing the Tennessee college scholarship playing field.

Erlanger is putting its retirees under the knife with its latest cost-cutting efforts.

Enough already. How many stories must we read about senseless gun deaths?

Preacher woman Angela Cummings -- claiming to be sharing Christ but actually spewing hate: "You adulterers and adulteresses... Lesbo alert, lesbians are on this campus..." -- has freedom of speech. So she has been screaming out her message on the sidewalks of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus.

There's certainly lots of hubris in Washington right now -- even more than usual.

With all the states' rights hoopla over Common Core, and a Fox News blow-up a couple of days ago with the old chant about politics and federal government having no place in schools, Times Free Press reporter Kevin Hardy's look into Hamilton County teacher Linda Sparks' English class gave readers an inside peek at a program now in its second year here.

Nearly 30 years ago, the first Tennessee Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

The Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., will reap the benefits of eight other states signing an agreement to keep a $2,500 electric car incentive going. Meanwhile, Tennessee has put the brakes on the program that would have helped Tennesseans put more zero-emissions cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road.

TVA is sniffing the wind and making some baby steps we hope will grow to have giant footprints.

Chattanooga has been telling its newest environmental stories. And journalists around the country have been listening — and writing.

More than 500 out-of-towners gave Chattanooga journalists -- including me -- a fresh look at Chattanooga during the past week.

Think the shutdown doesn't really affect very much in Chattanooga?

The Delta Queen, docked in Chattanooga, prompted the U.S. House of Representatives to do something that little other than the folly of a bogus repeal-Obamacare effort could accomplish.

It's official. Sandhill cranes that we once worried over as a species in decline — that we built a festival around when corn-baited fields lured them here to the Hiwassee Refuge where they could get a second chance — now are fair game.

In reporting for more than three decades, I could probably count on my fingers the times I've read the editorial pages of the three newspapers where I've worked.

Make sure your waders and umbrella are handy. Maybe the rowboat, too.

A new report tracking five years of whistle-blower allegations at the nation's 104 commercial nuclear reactors found Watts Bar and Sequoyah in the top five for claims in 2012.

It was 2003 when local officials had the Civic Forum torn down at 10th and Market streets and found — lying in the basement — two long brass plaques bearing this message in all capital letters: "PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNED BY STATE OF GEORGIA TEMPORARILY USED."

Although the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant required additional federal oversight in the first three months of 2012 because of excessive unplanned shutdowns and apparent violations pertaining to possible floods, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the plant a passing grade for safety performance.

The weekend rains dumped nearly 5 and 6 inches of rain on Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia, and more is expected late this week.

  • April 30th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Tennessee and Georgia were squabbling over land in the Chattanooga region long before the Peach State realized it might want to make a run at the Tennessee River.

  • April 29th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Mystery still surrounds a TVA security officer's report of a gunfight with an intruder in the middle of the night near Watts Bar Nuclear Plant.

  • April 25th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

The sheriff of Franklin County, Tenn., says he and his investigators have learned a lot about hate groups since they began investigating a March killing thought to be the work of white supremacists.

  • April 24th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

ATLANTA — TVA officials were squirming a bit Monday and a few cheeks glowed pink at times as directors and inspectors with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plied them with questions about protecting Watts Bar and Sequoyah nuclear plants from a future monster flood.

  • April 23rd, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

TVA made its case to nuclear regulators today in hopes of resolving six apparent violations from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  • April 22nd, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

The FBI has joined the TVA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigating a trespasser who exchanged gunfire with a security officer on the property of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant early Sunday morning.

  • April 22nd, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

A TVA security officer patrolling on utility property near the Tennessee River at Watts Bar Nuclear plant exchanged gunfire with an unknown person early Sunday morning, according to regulators with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  • April 21st, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

If the mother of all Tennessee Valley floods had occurred last year, results at Watts Bar or Sequoyah nuclear plants could have been catastrophic, nuclear regulators and TVA officials say.

  • April 20th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

TVA's top leaders said Thursday that the federal utility will cooperate with the Obama administration's call for a review of the federal utility and its debt that is carried in the federal deficit.

  • April 19th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

TVA’s new president and CEO Bill Johnson and the TVA board chairman Bill Sansom said today that TVA will cooperate with the Obama administration’s call for a review of the federal utility and its debt that is carried in the federal deficit.

  • April 18th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Cline Jones, executive director of the Tennessee River Valley Association, told TVA board members this morning that his group opposes any transfer of Tennessee River water to Georgia.

  • April 18th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

At the same time that citizens are cooling on nuclear power in Fukushima's wake and both nuclear regulators and operators are pushing emergency preparedness for worst-case scenarios, the EPA has moved to update radiation exposure rules.

  • April 18th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

ATHENS, Tenn. — The leader of an environmental group Tuesday asked nuclear regulators how they could ensure that the Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor's concrete foundation — poured 40 years ago — is still sufficient to support the nation's newest reactor expected to go online in 2015.

  • April 17th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Although work on the second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is 80 percent complete, one of the big challenges in working on it has been meeting new requirements prompted by three meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan, two years ago, according to Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for nuclear construction.

  • April 12th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Despite many starts and stops, TVA’s work on a second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, Tenn., is now 80 percent complete and progressing to the point that much engineering work is in the details of transferring completed systems from construction workers to operators.

  • April 11th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of North Alabama grabbed his glasses to scan page 51 of President Barack Obama's budget request Wednesday and turned red as he absorbed a seven-sentence proposal that could put TVA in private hands, alter rates for 9 million customers and jeopardize 12,000 employees.

The bat epidemic known as white-nose syndrome has reached North Alabama and the home of the world's largest wintering colony of endangered gray bats, as well as a million endangered Indiana bats.

Environmental advocates in the region worry that the State Building Commission's approval of the University of Tennessee's request to seek natural gas drilling bids on UT property sets a bad precedent for publicly owned land.

About two dozen people listened and commented Wednesday in two meetings as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission explained the process it will use to decide whether to extend Sequoyah Nuclear Plant's operating license until 2041.

TVA officials have asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to renew the operating license of Sequoyah Nuclear Plant and extend the plant's two reactor licenses for an additional 20 years — until 2040 and 2041.

This rose of a town and county, set in a valley along a river lined by mountains, is not without a thorn or two.

  • March 31st, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

We — in Hamilton County — are 340,855 strong — just over 5 percent of Tennessee’s total population.

  • March 31st, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Federal regulators have cited TVA with three more apparent violations at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant — this time over thousands of parts the utility purchased that are not documented as nuclear-grade quality.

  • March 29th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

NASHVILLE — Bring it on, Georgia.

Q: Whatever happened with TVA's still-vacant board seat?

  • March 24th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

New TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson is beginning to talk about the days that will follow his self-described "100-day plan" of listening and learning.

  • March 23rd, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

As the sun edged over Missionary Ridge on Thursday morning, it cast long shadows onto the Ridgedale and Highland Park neighborhoods where Chattanooga police had just cleared away the crime scene from the city's eighth homicide of

  • March 22nd, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

Chattanooga police have identified the victim of Wednesday night’s shooting and homicide as 22-year-old Charleston P. Beard.

  • March 21st, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

TVA has failed to adequately protect Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants from the potential for failure of earthen dams upstream and flooding that would ensue in the event of what utility and nuclear regulators call a probable maximum flood — an event that would surpass any known local weather occurrence.

  • March 19th, 2013  |
  • By Pam Sohn  |

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