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Claire Donahue's former coach watches achievements from London

Claire Donahue's former coach watches achievements from London

"You say 'wow, she's really here; she has really made it,'" John Matson recalled Friday -- just 24 hours since returning from London to watch his former student in the pinnacle of her career.

Lenior City native Claire Donahue competed in the 100 meter butterfly in the 2012 Olympics last Sunday. Friday, she helped the U.S. women's team get to the finals of the 400 meter relay.

It has been a long road to get to the London Aquatics Centre for the 23-year-old, a road that began in Blount County. That's where Matson first met Donahue more than a decade ago.

World's Longest Yardsale celebrates 25 years of bargains

World's Longest Yardsale celebrates 25 years of bargains

25 years of buying, selling, and most importantly bargaining continues this weekend in East Tennessee.

The World's Longest Yardsale stretches an impressive 690 miles in length.

Vendors line the Highway 127 corridor from five miles north of Addison, Michigan, to Gadsden, Alabama, making its way across the Cumberland Plateau in Cumberland and Fentress Counties. 

The sale got its start in Fentress County in 1987 and has continued to grow.

Most of the vendors return year after year to sell their collectibles and see old friends.

Union Co. woman says she was shot during home invasion

Union Co. woman says she was shot during home invasion

A woman in Union County says she was shot when a man invaded her home.

The sheriff's office there says it happened on Brewer Hollow Road in Sharp's Chapel Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies say the woman heard someone inside her home so she grabbed a gun before she found a man trying to steal her TV.

She told deputies that the intruder somehow got control of her gun, and she was shot in the shoulder.

The woman was treated at a hospital and released.

Deputies say the intruder ran away.

Dollywood offering extended hours, discounted tickets after 5 p.m.

Dollywood offering extended hours, discounted tickets after 5 p.m.

Fans of Dollywood have something new to be excited about. Dollywood Nights keeps the park open until 10 o'clock at night.

If you can wait long enough to buy a ticket after 5 in the afternoon, it'll only be $29.

The park makes this experience a little different; you can ride attractions like Wild Eagle in the dark.

Folks we talked to are excited to take advantage of the deal.

"We can come when it's cooler and have more time for the kids and the rides and be here at night," said Karen Brown from Wellington, FL.

Union Co. doesn't cut funding after all

Union Co. doesn't cut funding after all

Union County commissioners passed a budget that keeps all departments and non-profit agencies funded at the same level as last year, including fire departments.

Last week, commissioners discussed the possibility of cutting each department in order to add to its debt services, and at least one fire chief was concerned they would have to shut down their departments altogether.

But the commission decided to maintain funding, and that comes as a huge relief to firefighters.

Thousands pour into Grainger County for tomato festival

Thousands pour into Grainger County for tomato festival

Thousands of people are visiting Grainger county to get their hands on the county's most famous form of produce. This weekend marks the 21st edition of the Grainger County Tomato Festival, which was first held in 1992.

Vendors and tents are full of local produce at the festival, from fried green tomatoes and roasted corn, to homemade ice cream.

East Tennessee Olympian Claire Donahue advances to 100 meter butterfly finals

East Tennessee Olympian Claire Donahue advances to 100 meter butterfly finals

Update: Donahue finished 5th in the semifinals with a time of 57.42. She has qualified for the finals that will take place Sunday.

LONDON - Being awakened by fireworks Friday night didn't disturb Claire Donahue this morning.

The 23-year-old from Lenoir City, Tenn., advanced to semifinals of the 100-meter butterfly at the Olympic Games. Donahue's time of 58.06 seconds ranks seventh out of the 16 swimmers who advanced.

Donahue, a Western Kentucky graduate, was sleeping in the Olympic Village until the sound of fireworks from the opening ceremony awakened her.