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VOL. 42 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 9, 2018

New Regal logo pays tribute to Big Orange

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Knoxville-based Regal has launched a new logo as part of a rebranding strategy.

Regal is a leading motion picture exhibitor operating one of the largest theatre circuits in the United States, and since March of this year part of Cineworld Group, the second biggest exhibitor in the world.

The new logo’s orange color pays homage to Knoxville, the home of the Tennessee Volunteers, where Regal’s headquarters reside. The icon next to the text has a dual significance, representing both the aperture of a camera, as well as a downward view of the signature Regal crown.

The company will commit $1 billion over 5 years to build new cinemas and renovate existing ones. During this initiative, customers can expect to see Regal’s updated logo appear in theatres nationwide, as Regal looks toward the future of cinematic innovation.

Report: State’s rate of uninsured is increasing

Tennessee’s overall uninsured rate is now at 6.7 percent, an increase from 6.1 percent in 2017 but still well below levels before the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014.

The information comes a new report released by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research in the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business.

The increase in Tennesseans without health insurance is consistent with nationwide trends.

The Impact of TennCare: A Survey of Recipients, 2018, authored by LeAnn Luna, an economics professor in the Boyd Center, and Emily Pratt, a Boyd Center research associate, summarizes findings from a telephone survey of approximately 5,000 households conducted between May and July.

The report examines the health coverage status of Tennessee residents, collects information about the use of medical facilities and gauges satisfaction with services received.

The survey also measures the success of the TennCare program, including the overall satisfaction of TennCare members. In 2018, some 95 percent of respondents reported satisfaction with TennCare and services rendered from TennCare providers. This marks the 10th year in a row that satisfaction levels exceeded 90 percent.

“I am pleased that TennCare continues to be recognized for providing access to high quality care for our members,” said TennCare director Wendy Long. “We collaborate with our health plans to promote the delivery of the right care in the right place at the right time, and those efforts are paying off.”

More respondents noted the inability to afford insurance as the major reason for not being insured, reversing a downward trend since 2014. An increasing number of households of all income levels reported “cannot afford” as a major reason.

Tennova begins hospital closure procedures

Tennova Healthcare in East Tennessee has begun the process to end operations at Physicians Regional Medical Center in Knoxville and Lakeway Regional Hospital by the end 2018.

All services at both facilities will be permanently terminated as of 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 28, subject to satisfaction of all necessary notices and regulatory requirements.

Winding down Physicians and Lakeway will focus Tennova’s resources on enhancement of North Knoxville Medical Center and Turkey Creek Medical Center and development of new centers for services.

“We will work with our medical staff, patients and local EMS/first responders to ensure a smooth transition of care,” says Tony Benton, chief executive officer for Tennova.

“Strengthening our network and pursuing new outpatient strategies is critical to meet the needs and preferences of today’s healthcare consumers and support the way our physician partners prefer to practice. Delivering care in facilities designed to support current medical practices will best serve our patients and the community.”

Physician practices in Morristown, Tennova General Surgery – Lakeway and Tennova Primary Care – Lakeway West, will remain open.

Baker Center for Public Policy celebrates 10 years

The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The center houses the Modern Political Archives, the papers of a number of Tennessee’s prominent 20th-century political leaders, including US Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr.

Baker, a University of Tennessee alum, was highly regarded for his civility and dedication to public service, and the center’s building, as well as the political archives, are a tribute to his life and legacy.

The center has also spent the last year digitizing transcripts of a selection of speeches Baker gave throughout his career. The speeches are accessible to the public in a fully-searchable collection. The new collection, “Photographs from the Life and Career of Howard Baker,” complements other digital collections gathered from the political archives.

“The Modern Political Archives receives many inquiries about Senator Baker’s papers, especially his speeches and remarks given before the Senate,” says Kris Bronstad, the MPA archivist.

Established alongside the Baker Center in 2008, the Modern Political Archives are housed in a state-of-the-art archival storage area inside the public policy center and cared for by the UT Libraries. Along with Baker, former Tennessee senators Estes Kefauver and Fred Thompson deposited hundreds of boxes of political records with the UT Libraries to ensure that the annals of public service would be available to posterity.

Crossville’s Interchange Business Park chosen

The Interchange Business Park in Crossville and Cumberland County has been selected as a new Select Tennessee Certified Site.

The 90-acre park is located north of Interstate 40 off Highway 127.

Launched in 2012, the Select Tennessee program helps communities prepare industrial sites for private investment and job creation. The program sets rigorous standards to give companies detailed and reliable information during the site selection process.

Fifty-seven sites across Tennessee have now been certified. To date, 16 companies have invested $1.5 billion in capital investment to construct facilities on certified sites, accounting for more than 6,600 new job commitments.

Qualifications for certification include having at least 20 acres of developable land for industrial operations, documented environmental conditions and geotechnical analysis, existing onsite utilities or a formal plan to extend utilities to the site, and truck-quality road access.

Firm endows diversity scholarship at UT Law

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has endowed a scholarship program at the University of Tennessee College of Law to bring additional diverse students to the school.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is a national law firm based in Nashville.

The endowment aims to increase the number of outstanding, diverse applicants to UT Law and enhance their professional experience as they begin a career in the legal profession.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has committed $500,000 to fund the Bass, Berry & Sims Diversity Leadership Endowment.

In addition to financial support, students will receive personalized guidance and professional insight through mentor-student relationships with Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys. Qualified students may also enter a clerkship program with the firm after completing one year of study, providing students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience handling sophisticated legal matters on behalf of clients from across the country.

University of Tennessee College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson says the firm’s generosity supports one of the college’s goals to create a more diverse student body.

UT takes on EcoCar Mobility Challenge

The University of Tennessee is one of 12 schools chosen to participate in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, an advanced vehicle technology competition managed by Argonne National Laboratory and sponsored by the US Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks.

Students from the Tickle College of Engineering, College of Communication and Information and Haslam College of Business have been chosen to field a team.

Since 1988, UT has participated in 10 AVTCs.

The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge prompts university students to reengineer a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer to incorporate advanced propulsion systems, electrification and connected and automated vehicle technology that will improve the energy efficiency, safety and consumer appeal of vehicles, specifically for the car-sharing market.

Led by research assistant professor David Irick of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, a team of undergraduate and graduate students within the three colleges will participate in the four-year multidisciplinary competition.

“AVTCs provide our students with career opportunities and prepare them for embarking on their engineering future,” Irick says. “UT has a strong background in propulsion systems development; however, the connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology component of this competition will be a new challenge.”

Career education supported by Arconic

The Arconic Foundation has donated a $25,000 grant to Pellissippi State Community College to teach middle and high school students about the careers available to them in manufacturing.

The grant will support Pellissippi State’s efforts to bring the “Dream It. Do It. Tennessee’’ initiative to Blount County.

“Dream It. Do It. Tennessee,’’ was co-founded by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services to respond to an ongoing need to fill the hundreds of job vacancies each year in advanced manufacturing. Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely will be available over the next decade, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Fleet Services receives green designation

Knoxville’s Fleet Services Department’s zero-turn mowing fleet recently received a two-star Tennessee Green Fleet designation from Tennessee Clean Fuels for converting half of the city’s mowers to propane use.

Each year, the state agency evaluates fleets across the state based on its petroleum use and emissions reductions. Knoxville was the only fleet this year in Tennessee to achieve a two-star status.

With the city’s fleet also using Electric Vehicle cars and a truck powered by locally produced compressed natural gas, Knoxville’s fleet is rolling forward on the frontier of sustainable transportation. The results are reduced emissions and expenses for city operations.