Tennessee areas get AT&T internet expansion

Friday, February 2, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 5

AT&T has expanded internet access in communities throughout Tennessee.

As part of the FCC Connect America Fund commitment, AT&T has deployed internet service to rural and underserved locations in parts of 51 counties serving more than 37,000 Tennessee locations.

For much of the rural deployment, AT&T is using its Fixed Wireless Internet service. Launched in Tennessee in June of 2017, this innovative service delivers an internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps to homes and small businesses.

Parts of the following 51 counties in Tennessee are now eligible for this internet service from AT&T: Bedford, Fayette, Hickman, McMinn, Sevier, Benton, Franklin, Humphreys, McNairy, Smith, Blount, Gibson, Jefferson, Meigs, Stewart, Campbell, Giles, Lauderdale, Monroe, Trousdale, Carroll, Hamblen, Lewis, Montgomery, Union, Cheatham, Hardeman, Lincoln, Moore, Williamson, Chester, Hardin, Loudon, Morgan, Wilson, Cocke, Hawkins, Madison, Obion, Cumberland, Haywood, Marion, Rhea, Dickson, Henderson, Marshall, Roane, Dyer, Henry, Maury, and Robertson.

AT&T has also expanded the 100 percent fiber network powered by FiberSM to more than 330,000 locations in Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and parts of Southeast Tennessee.

TDOT takes next step toward revamping 440

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is seeking request for proposals for the design-build project to reconstruct 440 in Nashville.

TDOT is planning to:

Replace deteriorated concrete with asphalt.

Add capacity by installing a third lane in each direction where currently there are only two, which will not require additional right-of-way.

Eliminate the elevated grassy median throughout the corridor and replacing it with a concrete median barrier wall.

Widen the I-440 bridges over I-65 to three lanes in each direction.

Since the preliminary engineering for the project was funded by the IMPROVE Act last summer, TDOT engineers have been conducting geotechnical and subsurface utility investigations in order to complete an outline of the reconstruction project plans.

Now the qualifying design-build teams will spend the next five months completing the design plans, including a construction schedule for the project. TDOT will then review the plans and award the design-build contract, taking into account both the total cost and the construction time of each proposal. Construction is expected to begin later this summer.

TDOT is currently estimating construction may take three years, but the exact time frame will depend on the submitted proposals.

James Robertson Hotel reborn as Holston House

Holston House, the newest addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, has opened at 118 7th Ave N.

Holston House has Art Deco décor and is located in a former hotel of the 1920s in the Lower Broadway area, a few blocks from the Cumberland River. It features 191 rooms with three restaurants, a rooftop pool and bar.

Holston House occupies the historic 1920s-era James Robertson Hotel building, originally designed by Nashville-based architects Marr & Holman in 1929. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

TSU professors awarded more than $2M in grants

NASHVILLE (AP) – Seven Tennessee State University professors in the College of Agriculture will receive more than $2 million in U.S. Agriculture Dept. grants.

The university said in a news release that the funds will be used to develop research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agriculture sciences.

Dean Chandra Reddy says the total is about the maximum an institution can be awarded in one year from the grants program. Reddy says the projects will advance scientific knowledge as well as train undergraduate and graduate students and prepare them for the job market.

AMG/Parade, Made in Network partner

AMG/Parade, based in Nashville and New York, has formed a new investment and strategic sales partnership with Made in Network, a Nashville-based video-first media company, to develop brand channels on YouTube.

AMB/Parade creates custom content for newspapers, major brand clients and retailers.

The YouTube channel will include concept creation, channel management, video production and influencer marketing.

AMG/Parade will now sell custom brand channels in addition to offering impactful content across various platforms.

Union Station vies for top hotel honors

Union Station Hotel has been nominated for three awards by the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust.

The sixth annual Pebby Award nominations recognize hotels for excellent in 2017.

Union Station Nashville, Autograph Collection, has been nominated in its “Best Picture,’’ category for best overall performance by a hotel in 2017, based on operating execution and profitability, taking into consideration the strength of the market in which the hotel is located.

In the “Best Production,’’ category, Union Station is vying for the award recognizing the best overall hotel profitability flow-through in 2017 with a management team generating the greatest operating profitability improvement over the prior year based on revenue growth.

Union Station has also been nominated for the “Honorary Achievement Award,’’ for the most improved TripAdvisor ranking in 2017 by an individual hotel. Winners will be announced on Feb. 23.

Report: TN has 538 public records exemptions in TN

NASHVILLE (AP) – A report shows there are 538 exemptions to Tennessee’s public records law, about six times as many as there were three decades ago.

According to the state comptroller’s office, the Tennessee Public Records Act only had two statutory exceptions when it was enacted in 1957. By 1988, a legislative committee reported there were 89 exceptions.

The report Tuesday by the comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel described 538 exceptions in Tennessee Code. That doesn’t include exceptions that may be in Tennessee court rules, federal law, common law or agency rules.

Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell requested the list to evaluate which exemptions may need to be removed or placed in sunset. They made the request after reporters asked them about exemptions last year.

Ole Smoky moonshine partners with Predators

Ole Smoky Distillery LLC has become a preferred partner of the Nashville Predators. Ole Smoky will now be available at Bridgestone Arena during each home game, and during all other events the arena hosts.

“To say the people of Nashville have incredible loyalty and passion for their Nashville Predators is an understatement,” says Chris Burton, director of premium sales for the Predators. “Ole Smoky’s authenticity and commitment to its Tennessee roots reminded us so deeply of our fans, that it only made sense to bring the moonshine brand to Smashville.”

Ole Smoky branding will be throughout the arena, and signature moonshine cocktails served at multiple bars. Ole Smoky will also be a title sponsor of the 103 Lexus Lounge Bar. Co-branded with Yee Haw Brewing, the lounge will feature free samplings.

The moonshine company has signed a two-year contract with Bridgestone Arena, which means not only will Ole Smoky be available during hockey games, but guests will also be able to enjoy TN’s first legal moonshine during all other events held at the venue.