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VOL. 43 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 12, 2019

Justice Center honors UT’s pro bono work

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The Tennessee Justice Center has given the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic its Pro Bono Firm of the Year award.

It’s the first time the honor has been given to a university group rather than to a private law firm.

“For years, the UT Legal Clinic has provided pro bono representation to Tennessee children and families,” Director Michele Johnson says. “The result of their work has made a tremendous difference in the lives of numerous Tennessee children and families in need of vital health care services.”

So “this year we wanted to recognize and celebrate the valuable pro bono contributions of the faculty and students of the UT Legal Clinic,” Johnson adds.

Under the supervision of professors Lucy Jewel and Wade Davies, students in the Legal Clinic’s Appellate Litigation Clinic develop persuasive case theory through writing and oral advocacy.

Students handle all aspects of the TennCare appeals including the initial hearing, pre-hearing motions, discovery and post-hearing briefs. This year, the clinic helped a disabled man keep the treatment services he required to maintain a good standard of living; resolved a billing dispute and obtained reimbursement for medical services for a client with a high-risk pregnancy; and represented a child appealing a reduction in in-home health care services.

50-acre water park slated for Sevierville

Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks’ new 50-acre outdoor water attraction, Soaky Mountain Waterpark, will be built across the street and up the hill from the Sevierville Convention Center and Wilderness at the Smokies Resort.

An official ground breaking for VIPS and the media will be held Aug. 6. Park renderings will be unveiled at this event.

“We are excited to be bringing another quality attraction to the popular Smoky Mountain tourist region,” says Joe Eck, COO of Wilderness Resort and Waterparks. “Soaky Mountain Waterpark is going to be an amazing destination for families with children of all ages to enjoy. It will feature some of the most popular, thrilling and unique water attractions available, and it will all be outdoors in a beautiful mountain-modern park setting.”

Plans call for the park to feature a 35,000-square-foot wave pool capable of generating waves up to 6 feet, a winding wave river spanning an area of 24,000 square feet and a heavily themed and exciting children’s play-and-spray feature with multiple slides for both the tame and the daring.

KnoxvillePage launches new platform

KnoxvillePage LLC, has unveiled its website, a new local-for-local platform.

Anthony Ragland and Alan Sims, aka “Knoxville Urban Guy,” are the co-founders. Ragland is a 20-year marketing practitioner, UI/UX designer and computer scientist. Sims is the publisher of

“I was impressed by Alan’s character and knowledge of Knoxville when I first met him,” Ragland says. “I feel lucky to have him as my co-founder and friend. I learn new things from him every day. Both professionally and personally, he’s a man of integrity.’’

InsideOfKnoxville will cross-promote KnoxvillePage and join the company’s mission to centralize Knoxville and promote local-for-local.

In March 2019, KnoxvillePage was a finalist in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center “What’s the Big Idea” startup competition and, in May 2019, it was selected by KEC to be in its 2019-20 accelerator program.

State honors Norris Water Commission

The Norris Water Commission in Anderson County has earned a 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship awards.

The commission won for sustainable performance.

The winners will be formally recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources and communities in an awards ceremony in Franklin on Aug. 1.

The awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.

In its 33rd year, the awards program covers nine categories: building green; clean air; energy and renewable resources; environmental education and outreach; environmental education and outreach (school category); land use; materials management; natural heritage; and sustainable performance.

Marathon charity program seeks proposals

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is currently accepting proposals for its Community Contribution Program, which will award funds for healthy living initiatives in East Tennessee.

The deadline for the proposals is Aug. 1. Eligible applicants include nonprofits with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and regional government entities that are considered non-profit and serve Knox County and/or one of its eight contiguous counties: Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon is East Tennessee’s premier event for runners.

“This is another way the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon extends its impact on the health of our region,” says Jason Altman, race director for the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.

New rehab hospital gets state go-ahead

Kindred Healthcare LLC, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center have received a certificate of need approval for a 57-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Knoxville.

The approval was given by the Health Services and Development Agency of the state. The hospital, Knoxville Rehabilitation Hospital, is the result of a partnership among Kindred, Tennova and UTMC.

The project will relocate 57 licensed inpatient rehabilitation beds from other Tennova hospitals to the new Knoxville Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital will be a newly constructed facility and is expected to open in 2021, subject to necessary regulatory and other approvals.

Leapfrog gives Methodist an ‘A’

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge was one of 20 hospitals, out of 64 in the state, to receive an “A” grade in The Leapfrog Group’s spring 2019 Hospital Safety Grades.

The hospital is among the safest in the U.S. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are assigned to over 2,600 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually. This repeats Methodist’s “A” grade in previous rankings, which most recently included Leapfrog’s fall 2018 release.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.

Pilot Flying J expands to West Texas market

Knoxville-based Pilot Flying J continues to grow in the West Texas Permian Basin area, opening six new travels centers in 2019.

The centers will provide more than 250 truck parking spaces to meet the needs of industry traffic and offer full amenities to the local communities along these routes. Pilot Flying J’s network of stores in Texas will grow to 92 locations, with more than 20 in the Permian Basin.

Pilot Flying J celebrated the opening of a new Midland, Texas, location by donating $5,000 to benefit technology programs for the Midland Independent School District. The company also donated $5,000 to benefit the Monohans Independent School District after opening a location there. The Kermit Independent School District also received a $5,000 donation.

Five businesses honored by Anderson Chamber

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce recently held its eighth Annual Tribute to Business dinner in downtown Clinton.

The Chamber honored five businesses. This year’s recipients of the excellence awards are:

• Y-12 Federal Credit Union: The federally chartered, member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative is dedicated to transforming the lives of their members and communities.

• Fox Toyota: In 1944, Gene and Margaret Fox began Fox Motor Company. It is now owned and managed by the three remaining siblings, Stanley Fox, Sr., Ronnie Fox and Becky Fox Grubb.

• The Courier News: The publication is in its 131st year. First published as the Anderson County News in 1887, and then later as the Clinton Courier News after a merger with the Clinton Courier. • Merle Norman Cosmetics – Michele’s Salon:

Merle Norman was purchased in 1989, by a mother-daughter team, Sharon Fox and Michele Collins. What began as a cosmetics studio in 1989 has expanded to include nail, pedicure, hair and tanning salon.

• JD’s Auctions: The business began as a culminating project for Jason Deel’s MBA degree.

City, donors dedicated to Fort Kid rehabilitation

The city of Knoxville has designated $300,000 in the 2019-20 budget to help reconstruct Fort Kid as a safe and accessible playground.

Site preparation work will begin at the end of the year.

Community fundraising for the Fort Kid reconstruction project began with Thomas Boyd, owner of Rebel Kitchen, Old City Wine Bar, Barley’s and Merchants of Beer, pledging the initial $200,000, and an anonymous donor contributing another $100,000.

Boyd is helping to raise funds needed for a public-private collaboration to re-energize and upgrade the playground, which was constructed by volunteers 28 years ago and is in need of major repairs.

Knoxville Museum of Art Executive Director David Butler says he sees the huge untapped potential of engaging with families by extending public art and programming to the iconic Fort Kid play area across the street from the museum’s front door.

ETSU to help veterans attend medical school

East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine is one of only nine medical schools in the U.S. offering a new scholarship aimed at helping veterans realize their dream of a medical education.

The Veterans Affairs Mission Act of 2018 created several programs to help veterans pay for medical school, including the Veterans Healing Veterans Medical Access and Scholarship Program.

As one of the nine medical schools selected to offer the VHVMASP, Quillen will award the scholarship to the two highest ranking veterans applying to enter medical school in 2020 and beyond. These two students will receive financial support for tuition, books and equipment, fees, two away rotations at a VA facility during their senior year and a monthly stipend.

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