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Editorial Results (free)

1. 3 new coaches, 1 huge task -

Doug Mathews played football at Vanderbilt, coached at Tennessee and has lived the past three decades in Nashville, where he hosts weekend radio talk shows about college football and on Sundays follows the exploits of UT football.

2. Student-owned businesses win $30K in seed funding -

Four businesses owned by students at the University of Tennessee were awarded a total of $30,000 in seed funds in the spring 2021 Boyd Venture Challenge.

The Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the university’s Haslam College of Business hosts the annual grant competition.

3. Tell me, clickbait, which counties are tops in Tennessee? -

Clickbait internet teases are generally best avoided, being frequently of the “15 foods you should never eat naked” variety.

But they can be tempting. And I couldn’t resist one I came across recently: “Best counties to raise a family in Tennessee,” for various reasons.

4. UT law students earn judicial clerkships -

Seven University of Tennessee College of Law students have been selected to fulfill judicial clerk positions across the country throughout the coming year.

The students are:

• Kaleb Byars, who will clerk for Judge Thomas Varlan, United States District Court in Knoxville throughout the coming year and for Judge Ralph Erickson, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in Fargo, North Dakota, beginning summer of 2022

5. Common sense caves in fight with ‘God-given liberty’ -

They’re relatively rare, thank goodness, which makes them stand out even more: People in the grocery store, pharmacy or wherever who refuse to even pretend to wear masks.

I’m not talking about the folks with a mask below their nose, whether by ignorance or passive aggression. They occupy a separate, slightly lesser, category of human scourge.

6. Pinnacle Award winners announced -

The Knoxville Chamber’s Annual Pinnacle Awards for 2021 will celebrate its winners in a virtual event Feb. 19.

Winners, from among 300 nominations, have been announced.

“The Pinnacle Business Awards recognize organizations and individuals whose success is having a positive impact on our region’s economic vitality and sustainability,” says Mike Odom, Knoxville Chamber president and chief executive officer. “Their contributions and commitment enhance our quality of life and drive economic prosperity for everyone living in Knoxville and the surrounding counties.”

7. Bonner Prize for Nuclear Physics to UT’s Greene -

Geoffrey L. Greene, a professor at the University of Tennessee, has been awarded the 2021 Tom Bonner Prize for Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society.

Greene holds a joint appointment with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

8. Rebel nickname struggles against ‘Flood’ of change -

Prompted by a petition launched by a former student, a committee is studying whether Franklin High School should dump its Rebels team name.

I have some connection to this issue.

True, I am not a Franklin High graduate. But my college alma mater also uses Rebels for its teams. Alumni news arrives via the Rebel Insider (which I assuredly am not). And, oddly enough, both schools switched to Rebels more than 80 years ago after originally using other sports team names.

9. Permit will give restaurants more space -

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon has announced a temporary permit to allow local restaurants a chance to increase capacity and offer additional outdoor space to customers.

The Temporary Use of Outdoor Seating for Restaurant Dining permit will help support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

10. Restaurants need our support amid outbreak -

I went to a favorite local restaurant last weekend to get takeout.

Yes, I’m practicing social distancing in an abundance of caution right now. This restaurant is one my family’s favorites. We’ve been going there for decades.

11. Summer camps: Slow it down or rev it up -

As children fret about tests and homework, camp directors across East Tennessee are gearing up for another summer of fun.

Veteran camp counselor Allison Hodges is in her 20th year directing Camp Webb at the Webb School of Knoxville, which offers camps ranging from sports to engineering to art. Leading Camp Webb is a year-round gig, and Hodges starts planning for the next year before the summer has ended.

12. Health care, education & the usual hot buttons -

After a raucous, partisan 2019 session that delivered historic health and education measures, Tennessee lawmakers return to Nashville on Jan. 14 for the second half of the 111th General Assembly.

Health and education will continue to occupy lawmakers. Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s administration has applied to the federal government to receive TennCare funding through a block grant.

13. Rosenbaum, Bach promoted at UT Law -

Professors Briana Rosenbaum and Wendy Bach have been promoted at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Rosenbaum joined the law school in 2013 to teach courses in litigation, criminal law, evidence and procedural law, has earned tenure.

14. Knoxville engineers take on ‘Grand Canyon’ -

The banks of Fourth Creek in West Knoxville on Summit Medical Group’s Wellington Drive property are highly eroded and are “absolutely the No. 1 pollutant source in Knoxville right now,” says Jim Hagerman, director of engineering for the City.

15. Justice Center honors UT’s pro bono work -

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.

16. Catholic Charities promotes Healy -

Lisa Healy is the new executive director of Catholic Charities of East Tennessee.

Previously, she was the interim executive director and also served as the chief operating officer.

“During the past two years, Lisa has demonstrated the necessary skills, community awareness, and compassion that convinced me that she is the right person to lead Catholic Charities of East Tennessee,” Bishop Richard F. Stika says. “Lisa has helped us increase awareness and support of Catholic Charities and she brings a vision and perspective necessary to grow this vital ministry in our region.” he added.

17. Subpoena power at heart of community oversight board fight -

As Nashville gets its newly formed community oversight board up and running, some are accusing Republican state lawmakers of trying to gut the powers these police monitors need to be effective.

The mayors of both Nashville and Knoxville have expressed opposition to what state legislators are doing, and Republicans in the General Assembly and activists in Nashville appear to have dug in for a fight.

18. Hapuarachy earns project architect status -

Johnson Architecture has named Shehara Hapuarachy as a project architect.

“Shehara’s attention to detail and form combined with her skills in building information modeling allow her to produce cohesive designs that are practical and elegant,” says Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture. “We are glad to add her to our growing staff of licensed architects and interior designers.”

19. Lee dislikes lottery, likes education plans they make possible -

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee didn’t exactly shock anyone by saying he would fight legislative efforts to legalize sports gambling in Tennessee.

Lee, after all, is this campaign’s most likely to wear Jesus on his sleeve. And, it marked just one more opportunity for him to disagree with Democratic candidate Karl Dean, who, like most pragmatists, says he would sign sports betting into law if it’s done correctly.

20. Maryville Realtors form new company -

Four real estate professionals have come together to form Fowler & Hall Group with Realty Executives Associates in Maryville.

Laura Hall, Bill Eanes, Aaron Fowler and Megan Owensby are members of the new team.

21. Florida’s epiphany on guns means little in Tennessee -

Memphis resident Stevie Moore has been waging a war to take illegal guns off the streets since someone shot his son in the head with an AK-47 15 years ago.

“It’s my mission to fight these guns whatever way I can,” says Moore, who founded the organization Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives in an effort to steer youth away from violence.

22. Clayton rebrands affordable home line -

Maryville’s Clayton home building group is unveiling the rebranding of its TRU Homes line in response to the lack of affordable housing in U.S. communities.

Previously known as TRUmh, TRU Homes is focusing on educating and empowering potential home buyers on the value of homeownership.

23. Opioid crisis and juvenile justice -

With the state’s budget projected to be tight and lawmakers lining up to run for re-election in 2018, the coming legislative session isn’t expected to yield many surprises.

But the 110th General Assembly still has a long row to hoe as the session starts Jan. 9 with new legislative offices and committee rooms in the renovated Cordell Hull Building in downtown Nashville.

24. SMG adds Lewis as Chilhowee director -

SMG Knoxville has selected Misti Lewis as director of Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center.

“Misti’s love of community and management and leadership skills make her a great fit as director at one of Knoxville’s most-beloved places,” says Mary Bogert, general manager of SMG Knoxville.

25. How should ‘good people’ react to racist ideology? -

Southern nationalists planning to lead rallies in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville are banking on Republican ideas and protection to spread their views, a burr under the saddle for state lawmakers in the controlling party.

26. Ashe, De Friece returning to Museum Commission -

Two East Tennesseans – Victor H. Ashe II of Knoxville and Nancy Baker De Friece of Bristol – have been reappointed to the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.

27. Witness to birth of the Atomic Age -

Photographer Ed Westcott captured lightning, or more appropriately the birth of the Atomic Age, in a bottle.

Through the lens of his camera, what a compelling and fascinating story Westcott told.

28. Knoxville, Nashville lead population increase -

Tennessee’s overall population is on the rise, with Knoxville and Nashville metropolitan areas seeing the fastest growth rates in the state, according to the 2016 estimates released last week by the US Census Bureau.

29. Bank recognized as top spot for women execs -

First Horizon National Corp., parent company of First Tennessee Bank, has been honored as a Top 60 Company for Executive Women for 2017.

The accolade was presented by the National Association for Female Executives. The annual list is published in Working Mother magazine.

30. UT police chief receives regional award -

Troy Lane, chief of police at the University of Tennessee, has been named 2016 Director of the Year by International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators for the Southeast region.

Lane also serves as UT’s associate vice chancellor for public safety.

31. Lawmakers shrug off voice of the people -

Johnny and Julie Erwin don’t look like typical protesters, but the senior couple joined the “moral Mondays” ruckus recently at the State Capitol, Johnny wearing his Air Force cap and Julie holding a list of social legislation they oppose.

32. Tax hikes, cuts both eyed as Legislature reconvenes -

The 110th General Assembly is set to convene on Jan. 10 with unfinished business from previous sessions likely to dominate debate. Here’s a look at some of the hottest topics expected to arise.

33. Jones needs wins before next season -

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has plenty of winning to do next year.

For starters, UT (8-4, 4-4 SEC) needs to win the Dec. 30 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville against Nebraska (9-3, 6-3 Big Ten).

34. Battle at Bristol pregame events schedule -

Here’s a preview of what’s happening before the game:


Gates open

Fans can get started at 9 a.m. when parking lots open. Interactive Fan Zone and Fan Midway will include live entertainment, food and drink and interactive displays.

35. Knoxville Symphony adds director of operations -

Rose Sampley has been named as the new director of operations at the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

She will oversee scheduling and production of all orchestral events – rehearsals, performances, tours, community concerts. Her duties include logistics and finances.

36. Safe to scorching: SEC football coaches feel the burn -

There are two kinds of football coaches in the Southeastern Conference: those that have gotten fired and those that haven’t gotten fired – yet.

This is a conference in a constant state of flux for football. The average tenure at their current schools of the 14 SEC coaches is 3.57 years. That’s right: Just making it through a full four-year recruiting cycle is tough.

37. WGU takes on detractors, keeps growing -

Western Governors Tennessee, a state-endorsed, nonprofit, accredited university was launched in July 2013, has one goal – to expand working adults’ access to higher education through online learning.

38. Akbari proving to be worthy successor to iconic DeBerry -

Those who wondered how Raumesh Akbari would do in following legendary Memphis legislator Lois DeBerry now have a much clearer picture.

Akbari, a 32-year-old lawyer with degrees from Washington University and St. Louis University Law School, may come off as soft spoken. But she will take a stand on social issues, carry meaningful legislation and, despite being in the super-minority as a Democrat, has caught the eye of Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell, who selected her to serve on an ad hoc committee handling a sexual harassment investigation of Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham.

39. Legislative losers: All who disagree with legislators -

The 109th General Assembly is done – almost – for the year. Here’s a look at the winners and losers.

Winner: State budget

Buoyed by $400 million in surplus revenue from fiscal 2015 and $450 million in projected surpluses for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Bill Haslam spread the wealth in a $34.9 billion budget.

40. Outspoken McCormick one of the ‘stars’ of the Legislature -

Rep. Gerald McCormick holds plenty of authority in the General Assembly as majority leader of the Republican Caucus, and he’s not afraid to show it.

He wielded that power in the final week of the 2016 session by dropping jaws on the House floor with a verbal spanking of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce.

41. Robots are taking Tennessee’s jobs -

MTSU student Nathan Simpkins found the perfect major when the university started its mechatronics engineering program in 2013, a pursuit practically guaranteeing him a high-paying job in an increasingly automated manufacturing industry.

42. Statewide demand outstrips supply of qualified workers -

Tennessee is surging as a major manufacturing state, bouncing back from the Great Recession by attracting billions of dollars in new investment and creating thousands of new – and often very high-paying – advanced manufacturing jobs.

43. TIS Insurance named company’s top agency -

Knoxville-based TIS Insurance Services, Inc., has been named United Heartland’s Agency of the Year for 2015.

United Heartland is a leading national workers’ compensation insurance company.

44. Retired teacher doesn’t mind going against GOP positions -

State Rep. Jim Coley considers himself an independent thinker in the General Assembly. He definitely doesn’t vote down the Republican Party line.

“I think there’s a place in politics for moderation or moderates, because at one time it was a classical virtue and a Christian virtue,” Coley says.

45. Impatient Clemmons anxious for minority voice to be heard -

Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons is only halfway through his first two-year term representing District 55 in Nashville. But he’s not willing to wait years to speak out or push for change.

46. Jones builds for championship run with staff tweaks -

Tennessee football coach Butch Jones got serious about taking the next step with his football program not long after his team’s 45-6 victory over Northwestern in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl.

Jones fired defensive coordinator John Jancek on Jan. 6, and three days later hired his top candidate for the opening, Bob Shoop of Penn State.

47. Gamble pays off for Market Street merchants -

Paula McAnally is experienced in helping to bring forgotten neighborhoods back to life.

When she first opened her shop, Earth to Old City, a specialty and clothing store, 23 years ago in Knoxville’s Old City, that neighborhood was going through its own revitalization. The presence of her shop was a plus for the area.

48. Alcoa celebrates auto body sheet expansion -

ALCOA (AP) – Aluminum producer Alcoa is celebrating the $300 million expansion of its automotive body sheet facility in eastern Tennessee.

Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said the expansion at the plant in Alcoa stems from increased demand from manufacturers like Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors.

49. Colleges, pro franchises seek strategies to keep millennials interested -

UT and Vanderbilt are accustomed to tough competition from Tuscaloosa, Athens and Gainesville. Likewise, the Titans must deal with the Colts, Steelers and Ravens.

On games days, they and many others now have to go against Sony, Microsoft, Apple and EA Sports.

50. What’s next? Has college really prepared its graduates for jobs -

When Steven Baldwin started his freshman year at Austin Peay State University in 2012, he had a smart, carefully considered plan for his future.

He was going to earn a science-related degree tailored specifically to help APSU students get highly technical – and high-paying – jobs at Hemlock Semiconductor’s $1.2 million plant in Clarksville.

51. Will Tennessee Republicans ever be truly happy? -

Why aren’t Tennessee Republicans happier? With the GOP so dominant in the Tennessee General Assembly and losses so rare – on the Hill or in elections – the party’s lawmakers should be jubilant with this year’s session. But it’s never enough.

52. ORNL’s Tourassi elected AIMBE fellow -

Georgia Tourassi, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of a national organization.

According to the ORNL’s website, Tourassi was selected by the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

53. Kelsey’s new voucher plan looks a lot like Haslam’s -

Momentum is building this session for voucher legislation that would allow state dollars to follow students from struggling public schools to private and religious institutions.

But it is hardly etched in stone.

54. A country drowning in student loan debt -

Three and a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

55. Ripken Experience comes to Pigeon Forge -

Barge Waggoner representatives, Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear and Cal Ripken Jr. gathered recently to break ground for the new Ripken Experience, a $22.5 million youth baseball complex.

Barge Waggoner was involved in survey and design and will also be involved in construction, according to the PRNewswire.com.

56. Dobbs the latest in line of dual-threat UT quarterbacks -

If the University of Tennessee’s football team gains bowl eligibility with a victory Saturday at Vanderbilt, it can look back to a quarterback change Oct. 25 against Alabama as a pivotal point in the season.

57. SmartBank promotes Sweet to first VP -

Brad T. Sweet has been named first vice president, commercial Lender, at SmartBank, a subsidiary of SmartFinancial, Inc.

Sweet has been working at the bank’s Cedar Bluff office. He has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He is concentrating on the expansion of SmartBank’s commercial lending presence in the Knox County market.