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VOL. 45 | NO. 48 | Friday, November 26, 2021

General Fusion to open Oak Ridge headquarters

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General Fusion Corporation will establish its first U.S. operations in Tennessee, locating its U.S. headquarters in Oak Ridge.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the company, which is the U.S.-based subsidiary of General Fusion, Inc., will initially invest $539,000 and create 20 new jobs in Anderson County over the next five years.

Founded in 2002, General Fusion is working to transform the world’s energy supply with practical fusion energy. The company’s new U.S. headquarters will enhance its Technology Commercialization Program, managing collaborations with national laboratories such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, universities and the U.S. government.

In the last five years, TNECD has supported nearly 80 economic development projects in East Tennessee resulting in approximately 10,500 job commitments and roughly $3 billion in capital investment.

“Oak Ridge, Tennessee is the ideal location for our new U.S. headquarters,’’ says Christofer Mowry, CEO, General Fusion. “It will provide us with access to the state’s rich innovation ecosystem and the highly skilled workforce in the Oak Ridge region.’’

UT plans memorial for fallen military on campus

The University of Tennessee’s Army ROTC Alumni Council is working to establish the UT Armed Forces Memorial on the university’s campus in Knoxville.

The committee has partnered with the UT Foundation on a $130,000 campaign to fund the memorial. The council plans to dedicate it in spring 2022.

The memorial will honor the sacrifice of students, faculty, and staff from all UT System campuses who died in the line of duty while in military service to the United States from World War I to the present, whether their deaths occurred in direct combat military operations, training, or as a result of domestic or international acts of terror.

The design of the memorial is highlighted by a 13-ton monolithic sculpture carved of native Tennessee marble. A wall embedded with bronze medallions featuring the seal of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces will serve as a backdrop to the sculpture. Visitors will see the names of each of UT’s fallen heroes on the sloped surface of the sculpture. The Armed Forces Memorial will be located on the Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway in front of Brown Hall.

Athens gets $2M for water infrastructure

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has announced a $2 million loan for the City of Athens to improve water infrastructure.

The loan is one of four approved by the Tennessee Local Development Authority.

The city of Athens loan comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program. The loan will address improvements to the wastewater collection system and has a 20-year term at 0.57% interest.

Through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities can obtain loans with lower interest rates than through private financing. These low interest rate loans can vary from 0.0% to below market rate, based on each community’s economic health.

This fiscal year, TDEC has awarded $1.4 million in drinking water loans and $57.7 million in clean water loans to meet the state’s infrastructure needs. During fiscal year 2021, TDEC awarded $7,171,000 in drinking water loans and $77,568,000 in clean water loans for a total of $84,739,000.

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $2 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987.

UT School of Nursing wins AACN award

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has selected the University of Tennessee, College of Nursing’s Transforming RN Roles in Community-based Integrated Primary Care grant to receive its 2021 AACN Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership Award.

This award is given to academic-practice partnerships that demonstrate positive, measurable outcomes and an innovative, sustained relationship.

The TRIP program, a four-year $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration was formed in 2018 between the College of Nursing and Cherokee Health Systems to train bachelor of science in nursing students to work in primary care with rural and underserved populations and to advance leadership skills for registered nurses.

In its final year, the TRIP program has trained over 50 BSN students and 22 Cherokee Health Systems registered nurses and nursing faculty and staff. An additional 22 registered nurses and faculty will be trained in spring 2022.

BOA honors Volunteer Ministry Center

Volunteer Ministry Center has been named as the 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work in ending homelessness and addressing the affordable housing crisis in Knoxville.

Its latest project, Caswell Manor, will nearly double the number of permanent supportive housing units in the city, giving residents the opportunity to climb the economic ladder, many for the first time in their lives.

VMC will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability and storytelling.

The grant will enable VMC to continue the design, planning, and development of 48 one-bedroom apartments at Caswell Manor currently under construction at the intersection of East Fifth Avenue and Winona Street.

TVA reports $10.5B in operating revenues

The Tennessee Valley Authority has reported $10.5 billion in total operating revenues on 157 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Total operating revenues increased 2.5% over the prior year primarily due to an increase in fuel cost recovery that was driven by higher fuel rates and higher sales during 2021.

Revenues were partially offset by a decrease in base revenue driven by lower effective base rates mainly due to the Pandemic Relief Credit in 2021, which totaled $221 million. Sales of electricity were 4% higher compared with 2020.

Fuel and purchased power expense were $257 million higher, driven primarily by higher fuel prices and higher power sales volume. Operating and maintenance expense increased by $170 million over the prior year, mainly driven by an increase in contract labor driven by operational needs, and work to support the company’s strategic priorities.

Community Brands purchases ProSoft

Knoxville’s Community Brands, a provider of cloud-based software and payment solutions for associations, nonprofits and schools, has acquired ProSoft Solutions.

A software and service provider exclusively for nonprofit and government entities across North America, ProSoft serves organizations through the implementation and training of clients on the MIP Fund Accounting solution and its suite of complementary products.

This acquisition enables ProSoft Solutions to work more closely with the MIP team as the specialized accounting technology needs for nonprofits and government entities continue to evolve. ProSoft will provide advanced services, training, and implementation support that enable client organizations to meet or exceed their mission goals.

Owners, fosters needed for adult shelter dogs

The Young-Williams Animal Center has reached critical capacity for adult dogs and needs immediate adopters or fosters because the shelter is running out of space for the intake of additional lost, surrendered and stray animals.

“We are at capacity for adult dogs, and we really need our community’s assistance right now to get dogs out of the shelter and into homes,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Adult dogs make wonderful pets, and if you can’t adopt we would be grateful to have your temporary help as a foster.”

Adult dogs can make ideal companions because in many cases they already are housebroken and used to living with people. For various reasons, adult dogs can become homeless because of being left behind in a family move or being allowed to roam.

Adoptable dogs are available for as low as $40. Every dog receives a veterinary exam, spay/neuter surgery, some standard vaccinations, a microchip with registration and more. All adopters also will be screened by shelter staff.

Fosters are needed to care for animals in their home – all food and supplies are provided – to open up space for new arrivals. Volunteers also are needed to help care for the increased number of animals at the shelter.

Maryville College adds track for men, women

Maryville College is adding a new sports program and constructing a new sports facility on its campus.

President Bryan F. Coker has announced plans to construct the Austin Coleman Piper Memorial Track and begin recruiting for men’s and women’s track and field teams.

With these additions, the school now has 16 varsity sports teams available to student-athletes.

The new facility will include a turf infield for use by the college’s current teams. It is expected to cost between $2 million and $3 million.

With plans for a March groundbreaking, the track is expected to be ready for meets in Spring 2023. Coker says a national search for a director of men’s and women’s track and field has been launched.

Maryville College Athletics Director Sara Quatrocky says reintroduction of track and field has been discussed for several years.

UT researchers join computer project

A research group at the University of Tennessee is helping to democratize access to data.

Its collaboration is part of a national team of researchers that has been awarded $5.6M from the National Science Foundation to build the critical technology needed to sew-up the national computational infrastructure and to draw talent from a diversity of Americans to the data-driven sciences.

Through a pilot project called the National Science Data Fabric, led by the University of Utah’s Valerio Pascucci, the team will deploy the first infrastructure capable of bridging the gap between massive scientific data sources, the Internet2 network connectivity and an extensive range of high-performance computing facilities and commercial cloud resources around the nation.

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