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Horse trainer speaks against 'soring'

The investigation continues into the horse soring case in Blount County.

Thursday, authorities arrested Larry Wheelon and charged him with one count of felony animal abuse. Wheelon is well-known in the arena of competitive horse shows and has served in leadership posts overseeing the treatment of those animals. A mix of law enforcement and animal welfare experts helped seize 19 horses from Wheelon's Maryville barn.

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All lanes of Alcoa Hwy reopened after dump truck accident

Blount County dispatchers say all lanes of Alcoa Highway reopened around 1:40 pm.

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The northbound lanes of Alcoa Highway are shut down Friday afternoon, after an accident involving a dump truck.

The accident was reported around 11:40 am near Wheeler Road in Blount County, close to the Kia dealership.

The dump truck, which was carrying a load of dirt, overturned, blocking the roadway.

Smoking computer causes evacuation at Heritage High School

Update 10:55 a.m.

Heritage High School students were evacuated as a precautionary measure Friday morning while firefighters removed a computer that was smoking from a classroom.

Sprinklers were not activated and there was no other damage other than the defunct computer.  

Students returned to their classrooms safely.

It is not known why the computer malfunctioned.

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Blount horse trainer accused of 'soring' Tennessee walking horses

A Blount County horse trainer is charged with felony animal cruelty, a week after agents served a search warrant at his property.  Nineteen horses were seized.

Larry Wheelon is accused of "soring," which animal welfare officials say is the application of caustic chemicals and painful devices to the hooves
and legs of Tennessee Walking horses to produce the artificial high-stepping "Big-Lick"

"Put things underneath their shoes. It's like walking on a pebble and then having to stand," explained Gino Bachman with the Blount County SPCA.

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7 East TN high schools rank among best in state

Several East Tennessee schools are ranked among the best in the state.

U.S. News and World Report evaluated more than 21,000 public high schools
across the country in the areas of student-teacher ratio, college readiness, algebra proficiency, and English proficiency. The magazine put out a list of
the best schools in the country, as well as the best schools in each state.
More than half a dozen East Tennessee high schools have been ranked in the top
20 in the state.

Pharmacists sell new meth-proof cold medicine

Local pharmacists are selling a new form of pseudoephedrine to help fight against meth production in East Tennessee.

Eight stores started selling Nexafed, a drug its manufacturer claims cannot be broken down to be used to make methamphetamine.

"It was intriguing to know there was going to be a new formulation made," said Jeremy Long, a pharmacist at City Drug Co. in Maryville. "I am a lab-rat, I'm a nut. I'm one of the crazy people that enjoys the science behind stuff"

Fish count starts with a shock

Every spring, the Tennessee Valley Authority takes time to measure and check our fish to monitor their health.

They use a quick shock called "electro-fishing" and shortly after the shock, large bass are in boats. TVA scoops up a fish a minute, all for research.

John Justice is a TVA fisheries biologist. He explained, "The amount of fish we have in the valley have really high condition factors and relative weight numbers is pretty amazing for these latitudes. Just the growth rate is really interesting."