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VOL. 43 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 24, 2019

UT student startups win $5K cash prizes

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Andy’s Beekeeping LLC and Rolling Storage LLC, student startup businesses, were top winners in the Graves Business Plan Competition, winning $5,000 each.

The 12th annual entrepreneurial pitch contest from the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business features University of Tennessee students.

SLOT LLC and BackDoor won second place and $3,000 each, and JC Sweets and Ready4Rescue each won third place and $2,000.

“We saw an impressive group of business ideas this year and look forward to seeing these plans move forward,” says Tom Graves, operations director for the Anderson Center. “The Graves Business Plan Competition offers not only prize money to help start these businesses, but students also receive feedback from the judges, which is often valuable during this early stage.”

Andy’s Beekeeping produces all-natural honey and beeswax products. The honey ranges in variety from sourwood to jalapeno clover, while the beeswax products include lip balms and salves in an assortment of scents. The company sells the products locally at festivals in addition to wholesale and online sales.

Andrew Swafford, a senior majoring in plant sciences with a concentration in biotechnology in UT’s Herbert College of Agriculture, founded the business in his hometown of Pikeville.

Swafford began beekeeping in 2012 as part of a project with the National FFA Organization.

“When I started making more honey than my family could consume, I began selling products,” Swafford says. “After seeing profit from those initial sales, I decided to create an organized business.”

The company experienced an unexpected loss earlier this year during flooding that impacted much of East Tennessee. “The award money will help me replace the bee colonies I lost during the flooding,” Swafford says.

Rolling Storage LLC, founded by sophomore Kaleb Winders, won first place in the high-growth business category. The company provides convenient and secure storage solutions for events.

Winders’ business will provide mobile storage units for event attendees to rent during events.

ORNL to add new research facility

Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently broke ground on a multipurpose research facility that will provide state-of-the-art laboratory space for expanding scientific activities at ORNL.

The new Translational Research Capability, or TRC, will be purpose-built for world-leading research in computing and materials science and will serve to advance the science and engineering of quantum information.

“Through today’s groundbreaking, we’re writing a new chapter in research at the Translational Research Capability Facility,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This building will be the home for advances in Quantum Information Science, battery and energy storage, materials science and many more. It will also be a place for our scientists, researchers, engineers, and innovators to take on big challenges and deliver transformative solutions.”

With an estimated total project cost of $95 million, the TRC, located in the central ORNL campus, will accommodate sensitive equipment, multipurpose labs, heavy equipment and inert environment labs. Approximately 75% of the facility will contain large, modularly planned and open laboratory areas with the rest as office and support spaces.

Gatlinburg construction impacts traffic in 2 areas

Two construction projects are underway in Gatlinburg.

A bridge replacement has begun at the intersection of Stephen Drive and Baskins Creek Road.

A new bridge over Baskins Creek, road widening and other specified improvements to this section of Stephen Drive are part of the project.

During construction Stephen Drive will be closed to through traffic at the project location but will be open to local traffic. Baskins Creek Road may be reduced to one lane at times at the project location with traffic control being provided. The projected completion date is Aug. 28.

In addition, Gatlinburg is providing waterline improvements on Luzerne Drive in the Ski Mountain area. The work began at the intersection with Tamins Court and proceeds through the 2000 block of Luzerne Drive. During daytime construction, Luzerne Drive will be closed to through traffic in the work zone. Work crews will work daytime hours Monday-Friday, except holidays. During this time, motorists may detour through Zurich Drive to access Tamins Court, Tamins Drive and portions of Luzerne Drive that will be affected by the utility construction.

The anticipated completion date is June 28.

Jacobs proposes raise for Knox Co. teachers, staff

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’s proposed budget for schools includes an amount equivalent to a 3.5% raise for teachers and classified staff and provides funding to build three new elementary schools.

Jacobs has outlined a spending plan that would add $22.1 million to the General Purpose School Fund, including money to support kindergarten interventions and a new literacy initiative.

The spending proposal will now be considered by the Knox County Commission.

In addition, a five-year capital plan calls for replacing existing school buildings at Lonsdale Elementary and Adrian Burnett Elementary, and construction of a new elementary school in Northwest Knox County.

The five-year capital plan would also fund additions to Brickey-McCloud Elementary and Sterchi Elementary.

The budget proposal echoes priorities approved by the Knox County Board of Education, and school officials praised Jacobs for his commitment to funding education.

‘Click It or Ticket’ gets support from KPD

The Knoxville Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to remind drivers to “Click It or Ticket.”

Through June 2, participating agencies across the state will increase seat belt enforcement as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s nationwide mobilization.

“Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” says KPD Chief Eve Thomas. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement officers see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life.

“Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.”

According to Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, 299 people killed in Tennessee traffic crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt. This represents approximately 29% of the state’s total traffic fatalities in 2018.

Portion of Market Street closed for construction

An extensive downtown street and sidewalks construction project in the 600 block of Market Street is underway.

Work is expected to continue for 150 days for the project, with the completion scheduled for mid-October.

The $493,515 improvements project calls for rebuilding approximately 300 linear feet of concrete street with new sidewalks, curbs, street lights and tree wells in the 600 block.

The road is closed, and traffic will be detoured east on to West Church Avenue, north on South Gay Street, then west on Clinch Avenue. Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of the street at all times.

The contractor for the project is McKinnon Construction Co.

Tennova offers 3D mammography

Tennova Healthcare now offers three-dimensional mammography for breast cancer screening at Turkey Creek Medical Center.

Also known as breast tomosynthesis, the 3D screening helps detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. The health system also offers 3D mammography at North Knoxville Medical Center.

Breast tomosynthesis produces a three-dimensional view of the breast tissue that helps radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 3D mammography can increase detection of invasive breast cancers by up to 40% (over traditional 2D mammography).

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. The stage at which breast cancer is detected influences a woman’s chance of survival. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 98%.

Neal Center rehab apartment reopens

Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center has reopened its patient apartment, newly renovated through the generosity of Clayton and the Fort Sanders Foundation.

While at the apartment, patients who are recovering from the effects of a serious stroke or injury learn how to cook, clean and live with their “new normal.” Patients stay in the apartment for an average 1-2 nights.

The only one of its kind in the area, the apartment provides a unique opportunity for patients to practice the skills they will need to care for themselves at home after they are discharged from inpatient rehabilitation.

The apartment is located at PNRC within Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and has been in use since the rehabilitation center opened in 1978.

The apartment’s kitchen, bedroom and living areas were fully accessible, but the last renovation was more than 20 years ago.

The new renovation features a more contemporary look and design with adaptable features such as easy-turn faucets, drop-down kitchen cabinetry and grab bars.

PNRC medical director Mary Dillon, M.D., calls the renovation “an incredible gift.”

2019 UT law school class raises $110,000

The University of Tennessee College of Law’s Class of 2019 has raised more than $110,000 for student scholarships and programs through the third-year student class gift campaign.

Each spring semester at the College of Law, graduating students organize the fundraising effort, encouraging their classmates to develop a practice of giving back to their alma mater.

College of Law Senior Director of Development and Alumni Affairs Steve Evans says this is the largest philanthropic investment and the highest level of student participation made by a graduating class in the law school’s nearly 130-year history.

“The hard work and generosity of this class will support future generations of UT lawyers who will follow in their footsteps,” Evans says.

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