Feb 26 2021
05:01 pm

Three Austin-East students were fatally shot within a month.

There have been 12 homicides in the first 47 days of 2021.

Not all have been in East Knoxville. However, three teenagers in East Knoxville died from shootings.

Austin-East Magnet High School is putting new security measures into place beginning this year, including increased police presence, random searches, upgrades to security cameras, and a new clear backpack policy.

These are good changes. However, the students were not shot on school grounds.

I think more needs to be done to create a permanent community police presence (a precinct) in East Knoxville near the schools. Our youth must be protected. Combined with a community center and community involvement safety can be achieved for these young people and the entire community.

Feb 12 2021
06:07 am

The story keeps moving. Result? KCHD elects to no longer receive Pfizer vaccines?!?!?

WATE reports, Knox County Health Department reports 975 missing Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

They think someone accidentally threw them away. Apparently they don't look in all the boxes and just assumed the boxes contained the dry ice cooling product, not vaccines.

Then a KCHD spokesperson "said there is no evidence that the vaccine shipment arrived at the Knox County Health Department."

Pfizer responds, "Pfizer ships whatever order quantity a certain location asked for, and monitors the temperature and routes of the vaccines throughout the shipment process. Once the vaccines are received and accepted by the point of use facility, the facility is responsible for monitoring the temperature or location."

A KCHD "spokesperson said there are steps in place moving forward that would prevent vaccine to go missing."

Moving forward?

WATE further reports, "The statement from TDH [Tennessee Dept of Health] also revealed that KCHD had voluntarily elected to receive the other vaccine product and will not receive Pfizer vaccines in the future; with the exception of the second doses that will need to be administered over the next three weeks."

I'm not sure that's a good response, but whatever.

Feb 2 2021
10:41 am

The City of Alcoa originated in 1918 as the first planned community in the State of Tennessee. A planned community is any community that was carefully planned from its inception. In the original plans, Alcoa, Inc., included one acre of park space for every 100 city inhabitants. Between 1918 and 1924 approximately 300 shade trees were planted along city streets and parks. In addition, the City of Alcoa has a great school system that is being left behind with promises of more funding from new growth/development.

For the past 12 or so years the city managers, along with Blount County, Knox County, Maryville, and the State of Tennessee, have been spending a lot of money and effort to remake the City of Alcoa with uncontrolled growth and immense costs.

The first plan, in approx. 2008, was to build the Pellissippi Place Riverwalk at the Blount County end of Pellissippi Parkway.
"Blount and Knox Counties and the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, Tennessee, invested $5 million each to buy and develop the site."
Twenty million dollars! What have they got so far? One business at the back of the site and a very large empty "R&D" park.

The second plan, in 2010, is to build a "bypass" around the 3 miles of Alcoa Hwy from Singleton Station Road to Hunt Road. This new road will be 6-8 lanes, taking 250+ acres of land, encroaching on the Springbrook community as well as negatively affecting the Northwood, Glenmore Estates, and Cedar Hill neighborhoods. In 2011 the estimate for this project was from $64 million to $100 million. In late 2020, the cost is estimated at $182 million. In other communities around the country and the world, highways are being transformed into gardens.

The third plan was/is to build a new Alcoa Town Center. In May, 2008, it was announced that the old Alcoa Aluminum Co. West Plant would be developed as a new downtown for the City of Alcoa. It's now 2021. For nearly thirteen years the City of Alcoa has been promoting a new urbanism town center. It is now 13 years later and what have they got so far? An almost complete hotel, discussion of a grocery store, and a discussion of the Texas Roadhouse moving from across the street. This is after the great plan for a Sam's Club that fell through. How does a Sam's Club fit into a downtown development? There is no reporting on how much this project has cost the City of Alcoa and it's citizens.

Now, they are selling a portion of what was until recently the Pine Lakes Golf course to build a "a 100-foot-tall, 634,812-square-foot building on approximately 89.49 acres east of Alcoa Highway" for a distribution facility where about 200 trucks will utilize the facility. The facility would be near the dangerous intersection of Alcoa Hwy. and Singleton Station Road. This project will cost millions because there is no infrastructure to enable the distribution center. The "total cost for all road updates will be over $15 million." The City of "Alcoa may have to commit more than $3.25 million in right-of-way and utility expenses. TDOT would end up paying nearly $13 million just for roadwork to support the warehouse."

The City of "Alcoa is dedicating a nearly $10 million bond to two large projects..." Part of the bond is for a $3.3 million payment for the wastewater treatment plant, operated by the city of Maryville, which would improve the plant, where Alcoa is a financial partner since it serves both cities’ residents. $6 million is an expenditure based on for the new distribution center. Blount County is also spending $6 million on the project.

This is on top of all the new housing projects and apartments being developed in Alcoa. Just recently, Alcoa annexed some land along Topside Road for 200 apartments.

Amidst all of this uncontrolled growth and enormous cost, the Alcoa City Schools are being left behind. "The school’s expansion and renovation plan went to bid in April 2019, coming in at $22.5 million, but has been on hold since [Alcoa City Manager Mark] Johnson said the city could not issue a bond for the project because funding was not available." More recently, Alcoa City Schools Director Becky Stone said City Manager Johnson suggested the bring in portable classrooms. She suggested to him that "we definitely don’t want that." There are promises that new development will fund the needed school expansion and renovations.

Is there a plan? What is the cost? How much more can we take? I understand growth. I lived in the Orlando, FL, area during a time of huge growth. However, there has to be a plan. There also has to be a limit on how much a town of 8,000 residents can spend.

Jan 31 2021
08:48 am

Post Holdings confirms to CBS MoneyWatch it is currently unable to keep up with the country's increased appetite for its Grape-Nuts cereal.
"People may continue to see shortages and temporary out-of-stocks on Grape-Nuts as we continue to work through supply constraints and higher cereal demand amid the pandemic,"
"Grape-Nuts is made using a proprietary technology and a production process that isn't easily replicated, which has made it more difficult to shift production to meet demand during this time,..."

Who'd a thunk?

Jan 26 2021
04:55 pm

Don't make the people go to mass vaccination sites!

I don't understand the Mayor of Sevierville offering up Dollywood as a mass vaccination site.

Even Tennessee's Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said in a press conference on Friday that sites like Dollywood, Opryland and Nissan Stadium could hold mass vaccination clinics...

Maybe in Nashville because they have a large population. However, I really don't think it is necessary and not the best method to vaccinate the people.

Sevierville has a population of approximately 15,000 people, of which 18% are 65 or older. It would seem they can handle that population in smaller clinics.

And, how many people from nearby counties would want to travel to Sevierville twice for their vaccines.

Not me!

Jan 25 2021
04:31 pm

as well as his Press Secretary's press conferences...

OMG, what a pleasure to hear intelligence!

Jan 24 2021
06:22 am

When the pandemic started and deaths were beginning to be counted,
on May 30, 2020, there were 5 deaths reported.

In 7 months an additional 288 deaths have been reported.

In one month, from December 26, 2020, to January 23, 2021,
there have been an additional 144 deaths reported.

Highest percentage jump in deaths in the 45-64 age group, from 39 deaths to 67, a 72% increase.
Highest increase in number of deaths in the 75+ age group, from 173 deaths to 260. 87 deaths in 29 days.

I cannot imagine what more can be said to convince those not practicing safety during a pandemic. Obviously they do not care about their fellow man.

As of May 30, 2020, there were 5 deaths from COVID-19.

As of December 26, 2020, there have been 293 deaths in Knox County from COVID-19.

9 in the 18-44 age group (3%)
39 in the 45-64 age group (13%)
72 in the 65-74 age group (25%)
173 in the 75+ age group (59%)

As of January 23, 2021, there have been 437 deaths in Knox County from COVID-19.

10 in the 18-44 age group (2%)
67 in the 45-64 age group (15%)
100 in the 65-74 age group (23%)
260 in the 75+ age group (60%)

Highest percentage jump in deaths in the 45-64 age group, from 39 deaths to 67, a 72% increase.

Jan 23 2021
07:10 am

As reported on January 22, 2021, "Knox County Health Department workers will have administered 6,000 COVID-19 vaccines by" the end of day on January 24, 2021.

At this rate, it is estimated Knox County has averaged approx. 171 vaccines a day. This would mean that it would take 7.5 years to vaccinate all 470,000 residents of Knox County. Plus, they still have to give out the 2nd dose of the vaccine for 470,000 people.

We can only hope they are ramping up to administer a heck of a lot more vaccines in the future.

Although, according to the State of Tennessee, the state as a whole is doing better. It is reported that nearly 500,000 vaccines have been administered across the state. That would equate to approximately 14,285 vaccines a day. This would mean that it would take 1.5 years to vaccinate all 6.8 million residents of Tennessee. Then, of course, there is the second dose that has to be administered with 25 or so days of the first dose.

Wonder where the vaccines are going in the state?

Then there is this from the same WATE article, "Monroe Co. man shares vaccine experience, highlights struggles rural communities face."

It starts with figuring out how to get a vaccine.
You call phone numbers, can't get through. You try to make an appointment online, which not everyone is able to do. Then, if you do make an appointment there is not method to keep you up-to-date as to where you are in that line.

Jan 20 2021
01:20 pm
By: bizgrrl

Vice President Harris

There is a great sigh of relief across this great nation.

Jan 19 2021
05:43 pm
By: bizgrrl

Jan 11 2021
04:41 pm

According to the city, people who live in the 700, 800 and 900 blocks of Phillips Avenue – between Barber and Empire streets – are having a tough time finding street parking because it's taken up by patrons of nearby businesses, especially at night. In some cases, vehicles are sometimes blocking alleys and driveways.

There’s been a lot of recent investment in the South Waterfront commercial district, and unfortunately, that’s caused some growing pains,” said Rick Emmett, the City’s Downtown Coordinator, who also serves as a liaison between South Waterfront stakeholders.

The residents asked for help, and city officials worked with residents to come up with a first-of-its-kind pilot program in Knoxville.

Local residents can now sign up for tags to hang from their rearview mirrors. The city has now allocated street spaces on Phillips Avenue for those vehicles with the tags. Signs were posted in the area this week.

Glad SoKno is moving on up. Just wish there was more future planning instead of reacting. Just think if lots more condos, townhouses, and businesses are added to the area. Where will the throngs park?

Jan 1 2021
12:04 am
By: bizgrrl

The happiest new year will be January 20th. Just 20 days!

I'm so excited!

Dec 27 2020
06:49 am

Coronavirus cases rising steadily, up 10.3% in the past week.

Coronavirus deaths rising, 35 deaths in the past week.

Five deaths a day.

Of the 5 Benchmarks sorta, kinda used to determine how Knox County will handle managing the coronavirus, all 5 are in the Red.

*** As of December 26, the 7-day average positivity rate was 20.5% (down from 24.4% two weeks ago, up from 15.3% the week of December 5).

Positivity rate preferred to be below 3%.
As of December 12, 2020, Knox County is in the Red Zone and has been since November 8, 2020.

The Knox County Health Department reports 29,119 coronavirus cases and 2,778 probable cases.

That's 2,731 new cases in the past week,
That's a 10.3% increase over one week ago.

There are 138 Knox County COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized.
Two more than a week ago.

There have been 293 deaths in Knox County from COVID-19.

Thirty-five deaths due to COVID-19 in the past week.

That's a 13.6% increase in deaths in the past week (258 as of 12/19, 211 as of 12/12, 186 as of December 5).

Highest jump in deaths in the 45-64 age group, from 31 deaths to 39.

9 in the 18-44 age group (3%)
39 in the 45-64 age group (13%)
72 in the 65-74 age group (25%)
173 in the 75+ age group (59%)

The date displayed for ICU availability is the same as last week, December 15, even though the numbers have changed
As of December 15, 2020 (again), ICU Bed availability is at 7.7% (284 ICU beds total with 22 beds available) .
ICU bed availability is down as compared to a week ago.
(Note, The week of 12/1/2020, ICU bed capacity rose to 284, the week of 9/1/2020, ICU bed capacity was 278, then the week of 9/8/2020, ICU bed capacity was raised to 374, then the week of Sept. 22 ICU bed capacity has been reduced back down to 278.)
(Note, prior to the 8/4/2020 report, ICU bed capacity was 272. It would appear that Knox County hospitals have increased ICU bed capacity by 6 beds.)

The County Health Department has a map with the number of coronavirus cases per zip code.
On December 25, 2020, these zip codes were reported with the most cases:

37918 has the most cases with 2,573 cases (population 44,476) (15.0% increase)
37920 with 2,363 cases (population 39,000) (14.9% increase)
37922 with 2,144 cases (population 41,539) (16.5% increase)
37923 with 1,714 cases (population 30,000) (14.8% increase)
37919 with 1,705 cases (population 28,000) (13.7% increase)
37921 with 1,673 cases (population 28,000) (12.1% increase)
37917 with 1,239 cases (population 27,000) (13.5% increase)
37916 with 1,096 cases (population 12,507) (2.3% increase)

Be careful out there.

Dec 27 2020
06:48 am

** For December 23, 2020, the daily positivity rate was 17.5%.
The positivity rate for the last 7 days was 19.6% (down 2.2% from 12/18, up 8.8% from 11/6 (10.8%)) ***
Positivity rate preferred to be below 3%.

There has been a steady increase in coronavirus (covid-19) cases in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee’s Unified Command Group announced the launch of a new website to provide COVID-19 data, additional health information and relevant updates to Tennesseans. Select the DATA option towards the top right for Tennessee and county numbers.

According to the TN Dept. of Health,

560,892 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in TN and
6,443 have died from it.

That is an additional 57,241 cases in one week and
an additional 483 reported deaths.

5,484,597 tests have been given to Tennessee residents.
That is an additional 272,151 tests in the past week.

Hospitalizations are down. From December 18 to December 26 (8 days) the number of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus has decreased by 2.6% (by 76 from 2,889 to 2,813).

In the State of Tennessee, hospital bed availability was at 20% (up 5%) on December 26 and ICU bed availability was at 12% (up 3%).

10.2% of TN residents tested for the coronavirus have tested positive for the coronavirus.

79.6% of the 6.89 million people estimated to live in TN have been tested for the coronavirus.
However, that may not be true. it is not known how tests are counted when a single person gets tested multiple times. Certain people in certain fields of work (medical, education, sports) or physical ability (nursing home residents, hospital patients) may get tested multiple times.

Be careful out there.

Dec 24 2020
07:34 pm
By: bizgrrl

Good snow. Two plus inches.

Apparently many road problems in the area.


Dec 24 2020
06:43 am

Someone appears to be saving a house in South Knoxville.

We encountered a large team moving this house on Phillips Avenue near Suttree Landing Park.


Dec 23 2020
06:29 am
By: bizgrrl

The winter solstice 2020 was Monday, December 21, 2020, at 5:02AM EST.

I missed it even though I was so looking forward to the days starting to get longer. On the other hand, it is the official start of winter with colder weather for a couple of months.


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