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VOL. 43 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 4, 2019

Tennessee Theatre unveils oral history podcast

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The Tennessee Theatre, now in its 90th year, is launching a podcast. “Behind the Tennessee: A Palace of Stories,” sets out to preserve, celebrate and share stories of the theatre through oral history.

“Nearly every person we meet has a story to share about the Tennessee Theatre,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock says. “It feels natural to use the art of storytelling to celebrate the theatre’s history of bringing music, cinema and performance arts to Knoxville. While doing so, the Tennessee Theatre served also as a backdrop for many life events, big and small, and experiences that reflect history and how our community changed over 90 years. The podcast episodes share the stories of these memories, from heartwarming and fun to intriguing and sometimes unexpected.”

Theatre staff talked with community members about their memories of the theatre and gathered firsthand accounts of these experiences from the public, key individuals, current and former staff and others.

Those stories now have been organized and edited into a podcast for the community to enjoy.

The podcast first was aired on Dec. 28.

Knoxville wins $3.6M grant from HUD

Knoxville has been awarded a $3.6 million grant to make homes safer and healthier for low incomes families.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The city’s Community Development department competed for the funding and received $3 million in Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction grant program funding and $600,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding.

Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee will manage the application and enrollment process, which is open to both owner-occupied and rental properties.

Knoxville is one of 48 municipal recipients of the funding and the only one in Tennessee. The city received a similar grant for $2.5 million in 2013.

Knoxville and its partners will address lead hazards in 160 housing units, leading to healthier living environments for low- and very low-income families with children. Low- income households are those with incomes up to 80 percent of the area median income.

Knoxville’s AMI for a four-member household in 2018 is $66,600, meaning local low-income households earn $53,300 or less.

“Lead hazard remediation is very expensive, making it prohibitive for households of modest means to fix and make their homes safer for babies and young children,” says Becky Wade, community development director. “These services will be particularly helpful to residents of Knoxville neighborhoods established before 1940, when lead-based products were quite common, as well as those built prior to 1978, the year the federal government banned the use of lead-based paints in homes.’’

The city will partner with Knoxville Leadership Foundation’s job-training program to train 175 local individuals to remediate lead hazards in homes. Once their training is complete, they will receive state certification.


Renovation won’t shut down main library

Lawson McGhee Library’s major renovation is underway.

While normal library operations will continue at the main branch, 500 W. Church Ave., the work by Shelton General Contractors will be ongoing and is expected to be completed in several months.

The main goal of the $200,000 project is to create a more inviting space that meets the needs of 21st-century library patrons. All work will be done by Shelton General Contractors and is expected to last several months.

“We are looking forward to this renovation. The newly rearranged service areas will be a vast improvement for our patrons and staff. With many collections shifting to online resources, we are able to take advantage of some space that will better serve the public,” says Myretta Black, Knox County Public Library.

Renovations include relocating the periodicals section from the third floor to the first floor and converting that space to classroom/meeting area. The second floor computer lab will be relocated to the first floor and be replaced with a “memory lab” to include photo and document scanning stations and an exhibit area. The main floor will be rearranged to include a new reference desk.

New amenities will include private consulting rooms for individual and small group use, a consolidated public computer section and additional space for business reference services and the Books for the Homebound program. The renovation will also include a new circulation desk for checking out materials.

Section 8 vouchers to aid foster care programs

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation has been awarded Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers to serve two populations within the foster care program.

The 18 vouchers, given through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Unification Program, will assist families who can’t be reunited with children in foster care until the parents’ living conditions have improved. The vouchers will also help young adults who age out of the foster care program.

Voucher recipients will be referred by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

The FUP vouchers can be used to subsidize housing costs for an appropriate leased unit, enabling families to reunite.

The vouchers can also subsidize appropriate housing for up to three years for young adults ages 18-24 who are homeless or at risk to be homeless.

In addition to housing assistance, young adults can receive other support services during the transition, such as money management skills, job preparation, educational counseling, proper nutrition and meal preparation.

“These Family Unification Program vouchers allow us to serve two vulnerable populations within the foster care program,” says Ben Bentley, KCDC executive director and CEO. “These vouchers will help keep families together and provide a platform for youth to achieve self-sufficiency.”

KCDC’s Section 8 Housing office, led by director Debbie Taylor-Allen, secured the FUP vouchers through a competitive process. In total, 68 housing vouchers have been added this year to the KCDC portfolio, bringing the total to 4,026.

Oak Ridge offers virtual meetings on Blueprint

Oak Ridge’s Community Development Department is asking for feedback on the first draft results of the City Blueprint Plan, a guide to the city’s future.

The department will have a series of ‘virtual meetings’ to gauge community acceptance. The plan will be presented in small pieces over many weeks on the Oak Ridge website and Facebook page as well as in the lobby of the public library. Citizens can provide feedback at

The formation of the plan is led by the Municipal Planning Commission with input and involvement from the entire community, including residents, businesses and property owners.

Since the process began in January 2017, the planning team has completed the following:

• 13 subarea meetings to collect input directly from citizens

• Technical analysis of infrastructure, land use, facilities and community needs

• Interviews with city departments to determine needs and vision for their areas of responsibility

• Review of city documents and plans to synchronize elements that need to be carried forward

In early 2019, the entire draft plan will be open to the community for review, then presented to city leaders for adoption.

$50,000 grant given to Maryville College

Maryville College has recently received a $500,000 Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education Program Development grant.

The funding will be used for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, and is titled “Broad Vistas, Deep Commitments: Nurturing Vocation at Maryville College.’’

NetVUE is a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.

There are three project leaders are Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, campus minister and principal project coordinator for the grant, Kristin Gourley, assistant dean of students, and Dr. Andrew Irvine, associate professor of religion and philosophy.

There are three goals in the project:

• To provide sophomores with experiences that “offer a renewed sense of commitment and hope to their educational and vocational process.”

• A review of the College’s Ethics 490 course, a core course that is required of all seniors.

• To offer “continued conversations around vocation, bringing together faculty and staff to consider both individual callings and the call of the College in today’s world.”

LMU vets training with 3D printing help

Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine is using 3D printing technology to create models that students will use to practice surgical skills.

The technology will be used in an innovations elective course that will be offered in January 2019 to students.

In the summer of 2018, LMU-CVM acquired two 3D printers, both a resin-based 3D printer and a fused deposition modeling printer. The printers allow for multiple types of materials to be used in the development process.

Dr. Jamie Perkins, clinical skills veterinarian for the Center for Innovation in Veterinary Education and Technology at LMU-CVM is working on incorporating the use of these 3D printers within the LMU-CVM curriculum.

“The potential to replicate injuries or deformities in animals with 3D printing capabilities is unparalleled,” Perkins says.

Mortgage company unveils home buyer video

Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company based in Maryville, has released a video to guide home buyers through the process of applying for a prefabricated home loan.

The video is designed to help prepare first-time and experienced home buyers as they navigate the online application process.

“Providing educational resources for home buyers is a big part of our overall mission to provide an extraordinary experience for our customers,” says Eric Hamilton, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. president.

“Home buyers deserve to be informed and we believe this new resource will provide some guidance with an overview of the application process.”

The video provides customers a framework of expectations before applying for a mortgage. Information

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