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Sevier County tourism towers over Myrtle Beach, Branson numbers

Sevier County tourism towers over Myrtle Beach, Branson numbers

When it comes to the number of hotel rooms sold, Sevier County is blasting Myrtle Beach and Branson away in 2012.

University of Tennessee professor Dr. Steve Morse teaches tourism management.  He sifted through statistics provided by Smith Travel Research.

Morse counted the number of hotel rooms sold from January to July 2012 and compared the totals with the same time period in 2011.

Sevier County has noticed a 10.5% increase.

Myrtle Beach, SC witnessed a 4.5% increase.

Branson, MO saw a 1.1% decrease in hotel rooms sold.

Angels of Hope helps cancer patients

Angels of Hope helps cancer patients

Hundreds of East Tennessee cancer patients benefit from a volunteer effort to help them around the holidays.

"This says love is all you need," reads a hand made pillow case.

Love motivated UT Medical Oncologist Dr. Susan Huntsinger to start a program to help the cancer patients she treats.

"To be able to do this for them and give them just that little bit of spark that little bit of hope is just a wonderful thing," she said.

She realized the holidays can be especially difficult for her patients.

VA clinic opens in Sevierville

VA clinic opens in Sevierville

Thousands of East Tennessee veterans can now receive care much closer to home if they live in the Sevier County area. 

Veterans and local officials celebrated Tuesday the opening of a new VA clinic in the former Fort Sanders Hospital near Middle Creek Road in Sevierville.

Prior to its opening, vets had to travel more than an hour and a half to Mountain Home, or about 45 minutes to Knoxville to see a VA doctor.

Officials say the facility will serve about 2,300 veterans with primary care and mental health services.

Wonders of Flight balloon inflates after helium shortage delay

Wonders of Flight balloon inflates after helium shortage delay

A new Sevier County tourist attraction literally gets off the ground Thursday after months of delays.

A world-wide helium shortage postponed July's grand opening of the Wonders of Flight attraction in Pigeon Forge.

But, they now have the tanks of helium on-site and are inflating the balloon.

The tethered balloon will float people 400 feet in the air for an elevated view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

After this summer's unexpected delay, the manager of Wonderworks says he is ready for lift off. The attraction will open to the public on September 21.

Wonders of Flight overcomes helium shortage, opening date set

Wonders of Flight overcomes helium shortage, opening date set

A new Sevier County attraction will open this month after a worldwide helium shortage postponed its grand opening.

The Wonders of Flight attraction in Pigeon Forge was set to open in July, but because of the shortage, the owners said they didn't have enough helium to make the balloon operational.

Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival is days away

Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival is days away

 

This year's flu shots becoming available

This year's flu shots becoming available

Flu season is just around the corner, and already drug stores and doctor's offices have supplies of this year's vaccine.

The shots will be available to patients by the end of the month.

But if you get your shot now, will you be protected all season? The Centers for Disease Control says "yes."

The CDC recommends that people get their shots as soon as possible. It suggests everyone from six months old and older get a yearly vaccine.

One local flu shot clinic opens Tuesday.