Nashville resident indicted for
possessing ricin, pipe bombs
Nashville resident William Michael Matthews has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Nashville for unlawful possession of the deadly biological toxin ricin, as well as for unlawful possession of pipe bombs and firearms silencers.
The investigation, conducted jointly by the FBI, ATF&E and the MNPD, began on May 31, 2006 when Matthews’ wife reported that these items were possibly being stored by her husband in an outbuilding on their property. Subsequent searches located a baby food jar containing a substance that laboratory testing confirmed to be ricin, a toxin so deadly that in pure form one gram can potentially kill hundreds of people. Several firearms silencers and the parts to construct more were also found in the outbuilding, along with two functional pipe bombs.
It is a federal crime to possess biological agents for use as a weapon. Violations are punishable by up to life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
New device helps diagnose vocal
A new digital videostroboscopy unit obtained by the Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic at East Tennessee State University will provide the most complete and detailed laryngeal exam available for patients with vocal difficulties.
The device is the only one in the Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia region and is housed with Ear Nose and Throat Associates PC in Johnson City. The initial evaluations are done by one of the physicians, and the patients are sent to Dr. Chris McCrea, a speech-language pathologist with ETSU, for therapy, if needed.
McCrea says voice disorders commonly affect men and women such as teachers, singers, actors, ministers and coaches, who use their voices frequently as part of their career.
“For some people, it can be related to allergies or a cold, but there are other problems that can be corrected with clinical techniques and therapies,” said McCrea, an assistant professor of communicative disorders. “These problems include frequent voice loss, hoarseness and difficulty in speaking for long periods of time or increasing loudness and pitch.
Schools to use technology to enhance achievement
More than 100 Tennessee schools will use technology to boost achievement and guide instruction this school year as participants in Tennessee’s Formative Assessment Pilot Project. The project uses online assessments throughout the year to help teachers know what students are learning and adjust instruction to help them master academic concepts on time. The number of participating schools has increased from 37 schools in 2005 to 112 schools this year.
“By analyzing student results throughout the year, teachers can better craft instruction to respond to students’ needs,” Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. “This technology is another tool for teachers to gauge student progress on a continual basis and make the most of instructional time.”