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VOL. 41 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 08, 2017

Knox County awarded $3.4 million grant

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The Knox County government has been awarded a $3.4 million pre-arrest diversion infrastructure grant.

The funding is from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

“The research indicates people with mental illnesses tend to stay in jail longer and when released, face a higher recidivism rate,” says Marie Williams, department commissioner.

“Through pre-arrest diversion strategies, local communities can help people stay out of jail by offering mental health and substance use disorder treatment. The investment made by the Governor’s Office and the General Assembly will ensure more Tennesseans have access to treatment, will help alleviate jail overcrowding and reduce costs for local communities. This is a very positive thing all around.”

The department was provided $15 million in non-recurring funds for state fiscal year 2017-2018 to administer the Pre-Arrest Diversion Infrastructure Project.

“We are very excited to partner with the Knox County Government in supporting their pre-arrest diversion efforts,” says Williams. “We know that individuals with mental illness, substance use disorders or both who commit low-level offenses can best be supported in treatment programs in the community rather than in jail. This project will go a long way in diverting those affected by behavioral health issues to where they are most likely to have long-term success.”

Knox County Government plans to collaborate with key community partners including: Helen Ross McNabb Center, Knox County Sheriff’s Department, City of Knoxville, Knoxville Police Department, Knox County District Attorney’s Office and local community agencies.

Lakeshore Park master plan progresses

A temporary road and parking lot closure at the northeastern section of Lakeshore Park is expected to last until the end of the year as part of Phase I of the Lakeshore Park Master Plan.

A two-mile greenway extension is being added to the park’s existing 2.25-mile greenway loop.

Ongoing improvements for Phase I of the master plan include the greenway extension, multi-purpose festival lawn and restrooms and a riverwalk.

Drivers entering Lakeshore Park from Lyons View Pike will be detoured away from the access road and parking lots located at the park’s hilltop. The closure ranges from the first intersection accessed in the park from Lyons View Pike, through the park’s northeast hilltop and ending just before the parking lots used for the Lakeshore Park Farmers’ Market, the Hank Rappé Playground and ballfields.

Signage will be posted to divert drivers to pass in front of the Lakeshore Administration Building in order to circle around and access other amenities in the park.

The detour will also reroute drivers visiting the Lakeshore Park Farmers’ Market, which will remain open on its regular seasonal schedule.

Construction gets underway at 303 Flats

A new section of the South Waterfront Public Riverwalk is now under construction west of the Henley Bridge with crews working at 303 Flats.

The 303 Flats building is a 136-unit apartment complex across the Tennessee River from Neyland Stadium. The project by University Housing Group, based in Roanoke, Virginia, is scheduled for completion by fall 2018.

The new 450-foot section of public riverwalk beside the 303 Flats project is under construction, as well.

The new riverwalk will connect with two other sections, forming a public walking trail more than a half-mile long.

The 303 Flats section will connect to the west with a 1,375-foot-long section that’s already in place at the Cityview riverwalk.

Cityview sits about 50 feet lower than the plane on which the 303 Flats riverwalk will be built, and plans are being finalized for stairs and/or an elevator.

To the east, the new riverwalk will connect with another section that’s also under construction – an 1,100-foot-long stretch between the Gay Street and Henley bridges, next to the Riverwalk at the Bridges apartments now being built and expected to begin opening early next year.

All three sections of riverwalk will be open to the public.

Win a bungalow in Fourth and Gill

Knoxville’s Fourth and Gill neighborhood is the home of HGTV’s Urban Oasis 2017, featuring a contest to win a renovated and fully furnished 1925 bungalow.

Fourth and Gill was chosen due to its unique vibe and proximity to the heart of downtown, which features restaurants, bars, outdoor concerts, shopping and other year-round activities.

“With our corporate headquarters right here in Knoxville, we know what an up-and-coming metropolis our city truly is – it has it all, including an urban feel infused with Southern hospitality,” says Ron Feinbaum, general manager of HGTV Home Promotions.

“Our team is accustomed to traveling the country to produce the top-notch homes we give away to our viewers each year.

“With this project, it’s particularly gratifying to be able to showcase all that our ‘Scruffy City’ has to offer – from an exploding culinary scene to endless outdoor adventure.”

HGTV Urban Oasis 2017 designer Brian Patrick Flynn gives a 90-second exterior tour of the Craftsman-style bungalow home in Knoxville’s historic Fourth and Gill neighborhood.

Information: www.multivu.com/players/English/8041053-hgtv-urban-oasis-2017-knoxville-tennessee/

The giveaway prize package includes the fully furnished home plus $50,000 courtesy from Quicken Loans.

During the sweepstakes entry period, which runs from October 2 through November 22, eligible viewers can enter twice per day online at www.HGTV.com/UrbanOasis for a chance to win the giveaway.

Cumberland Avenue kiosks to aid visitors

New kiosks, designed to help visitors and point out Knoxville city landmarks, have been added along Cumberland Avenue, 17th Street and North 19th Street.

Information is about Knoxville in general and landmarks and attractions specific to the Cumberland Avenue District.

The maps were designed by a local mapmaker, John Innes of User Friendly Maps.

Destinations such as hotels, the University Commons, Clarence Brown Theatre, Lindsey Nelson Stadium, the Zoo Nashville or how to return to the interstate will help direct tourists, newcomers and lost freshmen.

The kiosks include cork message boards, where residents and businesses can post information about upcoming events or needed services.

Maple Hall takes fundraiser’s top prize

Maple Hall was named Best in Show at Knoxville’s first Watermelon Crawl benefit.

During the Watermelon Crawl event, a collection of downtown Knoxville restaurants and bars presented original watermelon-based creations, from cocktails to dessert.

Shelton’s Reverie cocktail, produced by the team at Maple Hall and The Parlor at Maple Hall, was the winning beverage as voted on by Crawl guests.

Maple Hall made a donation to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“We’re thrilled with the camaraderie and teamwork that the Watermelon Crawl created among downtown businesses,” said Maggie Kornahrens, event organizer and director of marketing for The Tennessean hotel.

“And we all love the extra benefit of supporting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital as we celebrate the sweetest part of summer. We already have ideas for an even bigger Watermelon Crawl in 2018.”

Nominate stellar prep football coach

U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach program is returning to honor high school coaches, and East Tennessee football fans are encouraged to participate.

The winning coach will receive a $50,000 donation to the charitable organization of his choice or to his high school athletic department, a trip to Orlando and on-field recognition at the Under Armour High School All-America Game.

East Tennesseans have until Sept. 11, to visit www.TheMostValuableCoach.com to nominate their favorite current high school coach.

“At U.S. Cellular, we want to celebrate the positive impact that high school coaches have on students and players and the communities that come together to support their teams,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee.

U.S. Cellular is teaming up with Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner to help identify the top coach.

Pet study to target barriers to care

The Access to Veterinary Care Coalition has announced a $391,420 Maddie’s Fund grant to the University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work.

Maddie’s Fund is a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

The grant will fund a nationwide study identifying barriers to veterinary care experienced by pet owners and veterinary services providers. The report will also document existing strategies to deliver veterinary care to underserved pet owners.

This report is expected to be published in late 2018 and will be the largest and most comprehensive study of barriers, existing practices and public policy about access to veterinary care in the U.S. to date.

At least 23 million pets live with families at or below the poverty line, and millions more live in financially struggling middle-class households that cannot afford veterinary care.

“We’re really excited about this grant because there are so many pet parents out there who dearly love their pets, but don’t have access to a veterinarian due to their location, finances, or other factors,” says Shelia D’Arpino, veterinarian and director of research at Maddie’s Fund.

“This project is going to develop strategies for improving access to veterinary care, which will lead to improving the health and welfare of millions of dogs and cats all over the United States.”

Michael Blackwell, AVCC chairperson, veterinarian and former dean of UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said this report will be the first definitive examination of this critical issue – one that has stimulated much debate and discord.

“Thanks to Maddie, this seminal work will be published and widely disseminated to help guide public policy,” he says. “Our hope is that veterinarians, animal welfare organizations, social services professionals, legislators and community leaders will use this report as a tool to help improve access to veterinary care for pets currently without it.”