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VOL. 45 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 9, 2021

Golden Ticket raffle offers a dream season

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The Visit Knoxville Sports Commission has launched an annual raffle that will give one lucky person two tickets to nearly every major sporting event in Knoxville.

The Golden Ticket provides:

• Two season tickets for University of Tennessee football (2021)

• Two season tickets for University of Tennessee men’s basketball (2021-22)

• Two season tickets for University of Tennessee women’s basketball (2021-22)

• Two season tickets for Knoxville Ice Bears hockey (2021-22)

• Two season tickets for Knoxville Smokies baseball (Spring 2022)

• Two VIP tickets for USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series (Spring 2022)

• Two VIP tickets for Visit Knoxville Open (May 2022)

• Two VIP tickets for Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (June 2022)

• Two VIP tickets for USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships (June 2022)

• Two season tickets for Dollywood (one regular season pass and one GOLD season pass)

“We are incredibly excited to offer this up to sports fan as we highlight the amazing sports scene here in Knoxville, especially following a year without live sports” says Chad Culver, senior director of the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission. “The opportunity we have in Knoxville/Knox County to recruit youth and professional championship-caliber sporting events to our community is huge. This raffle will help support that goal as we work with our partners for years to come.”

Raffle tickets are $100 each and are available for purchase online. Up to 499 tickets will be sold. The winner will be announced June 20 at the USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships.

Realty Trust Group expands agreement

Realty Trust Group, headquartered in Knoxville, is continuing its existing relationship with West Tennessee Healthcare and expanding its scope of services to the not-for-profit system.

The expansion will include property management and property accounting for its 1.2 million-square-foot real estate portfolio of nearly 100 non-hospital facilities, including medical office buildings, clinics and administrative buildings.

Based in Jackson, West Tennessee Healthcare’s geographic service area includes more than half a million people in 19 counties throughout western Tennessee and eastern Missouri. The health system is one of the largest employers in the region with more than 130 health care providers and over 7,000 employees across seven hospitals.

UT adds online applied studies degree

The University of Tennessee is expanding its online portfolio to include a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in applied studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.

The expansion is part of the university’s partnership with Noodle, the nation’s fastest-growing network of online learning.

The BIS is designed to serve adult learners with some college credits but no bachelor’s degree, and is an important milestone in partnership that will eventually have 10 online programs.

Designed to take adult learners from an associate degree to a bachelor’s and beyond, the online BIS will allow students to customize their learning journey and prepare or retool for a fast-changing labor market. It also complements the state’s Drive to 55 initiative to get 55% of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.

HEERF II funds available for students

The University of Tennessee has begun distributing $19.62 million in federal student emergency relief from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) to eligible students.

The U.S. Department of Education allotted $29.32 million in HEERF II funding to the university. UT chose to allocate $10 million of its institutional funds directly to student grants to more than double the $9.62 million designated by the federal government for student emergency relief.

Approximately 99% of the money allocated for student emergency relief is being disbursed directly to about 13,700 eligible students in the form of grant aid to help with financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.

Grant aid will be distributed to UT undergraduate and graduate students with the highest need based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The university will use the remaining $9.7 million of its institutional funds for classroom technology to support online instruction, personal protective equipment, and campus health efforts such as contact tracing and testing.

UT-Battelle supports Oak Ridge airport plan

The City of Oak Ridge has received a $500,000 contribution from the UT-Battelle Development Corporation to assist with the planned airport project at East Tennessee Technology Park.

The intent of the contribution is to provide funding to secure state and/or federal grants that require local matching dollars.

Dr. Thomas Zacharia, president and CEO of UT-Battelle and director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Jeff Smith, president of UTBDC, presented the contribution to Oak Ridge City Council at its March 8 meeting.

If the airport project doesn’t move forward, the funds will be returned to UTBDC.

Amazon delivery station set to open in 2022

Amazon Logistics plans to open a delivery station in Knoxville in 2022 and has signed a lease on a property 5 miles east of downtown.

The delivery station will power Amazon’s last-mile delivery capabilities to speed up deliveries for customers in the Tennessee Valley. The station will create hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs, paying a minimum of $15 per hour and offering a variety of benefits packages from day one.

Delivery stations power the last mile of Amazon’s order fulfillment process. Packages are transported to delivery stations from Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, and then loaded into vehicles for delivery to customers. There are currently four delivery stations in Tennessee, and Amazon currently has more than 250 delivery stations in the U.S.

Each new delivery station, including the new station in Knoxville, is now designed to meet the needs of electric delivery vehicles. Ranging from the physical layout to electrical design, Amazon is optimizing these spaces to offer flexibility and scale as the company moves closer toward putting 10,000 electric delivery vehicles on the road in 2022.

Waterfront Drive sidewalks approved

New sidewalks will be constructed on sections of Waterfront Drive, Langford Avenue, Dixie Street and Empire Street in Knoxville.

The $733,263 project also will add new streetlights and drainage, curb and utility upgrades in the area near Suttree Landing Park on the South Waterfront.

Knoxville City Council authorized Mayor Indya Kincannon’s administration to execute an agreement with Design and Construction Services Inc., the company submitting the lowest, most responsive bid to do the Waterfront Drive Roadway Improvements Project.

Work on Claude and Barber streets in the vicinity will be undertaken as funding becomes available.

Long-range plans for the South Waterfront call for an eventual three-mile continuous riverwalk and walkable neighborhoods that connect with nearby amenities and with downtown, as well as new retail and residential developments. One of those planned private investments is South Banks, an apartment community that the Dominion Group hopes to construct by next year off Waterfront Drive.

Connecting the Sevier Avenue commercial corridor with Suttree Landing Park by improving public infrastructure between the two points is a short-term City objective.

East Knox Greenway gets financing

Design work will soon begin on a new two-mile greenway in East Knoxville that will connect Harriet Tubman Park with the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

Detailed design work is scheduled to start later this spring, to be followed by public meetings to gather input from residents.

Once the path of the greenway is determined, right of way acquisition will be the next-to-last step, with construction currently anticipated to begin in spring 2024.

The greenway will skirt Austin Homes and Vine Magnet Middle School on the western end. It will cross through Dr. Walter Hardy Park and the heart of the Five Points community before crossing Williams Creek and connecting with the Botanical Garden trails to the east.

Mayor Indya Kincannon and City Council have committed $5 million to build the East Knox Greenway.

State grant to help build units at Austin Homes

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation has received a $500,000 grant from the state to help build 180 housing units in the redevelopment of Austin Homes.

The grant is made possible through THDA’s Tennessee Housing Trust Fund. In the competitive process, THDA received 22 grant applications from Tennessee agencies and housing authorities and awarded eight.

The Tennessee Housing Trust Fund grant must be used for affordable rental housing and address the needs of low-income households.

The grant will supplement tax credits and debt and will be focused specifically on developing a portion of units at the site designated for occupancy by extremely low-income residents.

The Austin Homes redevelopment master plan is based on months of dialogue with residents, stakeholders and community members in interviews and public meetings.

Knoxville-based Johnson Architecture and Nashville-based Southeast Venture are partnering on the design of the second phase of housing.

Trust Company plan makes NAPA list

The Trust Company of Tennessee has been recognized for its retirement plan services by the National Association of Plan Advisors.

This is the third year that NAPA has released the Top DC Advisor Multi-Office Firms list, and The Trust Company of Tennessee has been the only Tennessee firm on the list each time.

The list of firms includes 31 U.S. companies that have more than one office and exceeded $1 billion in defined contribution assets under advisement as of Dec. 31.

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