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2005: a retrospect
farragutpress takes a look back through its 2005 pages to revisit the events that made an impact on our lives

Breaking ground on a new West Knox County high school, getting a new ZIP Code, stirring up the business community with a new environmentally-conscious ordinance, a term-limit lawsuit threatening county offices, Hollywood coming to Farragut, and re-election of the mayor — those were just a few of the eye-catching headlines in the pages of farragutpress during 2005.

In reviewing the major happenings of 2005 in Farragut and West Knox County, categories are broken down month-by-month, with farragutpress issue dates beginning each news item.

January issues:

• Jan. 13: Serving the town of Farragut since its inception a quarter century earlier, Alderman Constance Rutenber announced her retirement at the Jan. 6 Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

• A settlement brokered between First Utility District and some owners of Calloway’s Landing by Knox County Mayor Michael Ragsdale quashed two of three lawsuits regarding FUD’s proposed wastewater treatment plant expansion Wednesday, Jan. 5.

• Jan. 27: A proposed site for West Knox County’s new high school, 44 acres located east of Pellissippi Parkway with boundaries of Bob Gray Road, Dutchtown Road and Sanctuary Lane, came under controversy when the possibility of having to condemn private property was discussed.

• James A. Mellon, convicted in mid-January of felony murder and especially aggravated robbery in the death of 20-year-old Robert Scott Loveday (a 1996 Farragut High School graduate), was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole by Knox County Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz.

• Comprehensive development plans for Farragut’s three parks — Campbell Station, Anchor and Mayor Bob Leonard — were unanimously accepted at the regularly scheduled Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting Thursday, Jan. 20.

February issues:

• Feb. 3: Two Farragut town leaders were stricken with health-related issues three days apart. Robert Hill, 76, chairman of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, suffered a heart attack Jan. 20. He was released from Baptist Hospital West Jan. 23. Town Alderman Connie Rutenber slipped on stairs at her home and broke her left ankle and leg Jan. 23.

• Feb 10: Dr. William Bass, University of Tennessee’s world-renowned forensic anthropologist, spoke at the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly breakfast speaker series Feb. 8, at Fox Den Country Club.

• Placing themselves in the line of fire during a March 12, 2004, domestic incident ending in one Loudon County officer’s death, five Knox County Sheriff’s Officers were honored by the Farragut Rotary Club. Sgt. Roger Sexton, officers Sam Hardy, Patrick Lawson, Gabe “Woody” Mullinax and Todd Sleet were the first recipients of the Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” award, presented at the club’s luncheon meeting Feb. 2. The incident, which happened just beyond the Knox County line in Loudon County, started when a juvenile barricaded himself inside his house and fired a weapon at various law enforcement responders.

• Feb. 17: A section of curves on Virtue Road near Kingston Pike, which many label “hazardous,” was a major safety topic following the early February death of Knoxville Catholic High School senior Megan Birkel, 17. A January accident along the area in question involved Farragut High School senior Julie Kensell, who survived, as did FHS student Austin Rhodes following a 2004 accident.

• Feb. 24: Concerning the town’s benefits from Tennessee’s State Streamlined Sales Tax, Farragut town administrator Dan Olson said, “The town stands to gain about half a million [dollars] in additional revenue based on the study.” The Streamlined Sales Tax issue was, at the time, in the legislative process.

• Justin Knox, Farragut High School senior wrestler in the 171-pound class, and Nick Reveiz, a FHS junior in the 215-class, won TSSAA Division I state championships Saturday, Feb. 19, in Chattanooga. Knox, a 2004 state runner-up, completed a perfect 41-0 season by beating Thomas Minwell of Clarksville 12-6 in the championship match. Reveiz, a standout FHS football linebacker, beat Uri Hansen of Ridgeway 11-7 and finished the season with a 47-3 record.

March issues:

• March 3: The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved a request to temporarily close Virtue Road for tree removal at the location of several accidents at its regularly-scheduled meeting Feb. 24. Fueled by recent accidents involving teenagers losing control of their vehicles and hitting the trees, which stood near curves, the board approved removal of about 27 trees.

• Junior Achievement of East Tennessee announced in late February its 2005 Business Hall of Fame honorees as Ross K. Bagwell Sr., James F. Bush, Douglas A. Horne and Raja J. Jubran.

• Led by Sarah McCall, who broke three state swimming records, the Bearden High School AquaDogs captured the 2005 Tennessee Swimming and Diving Championship title Feb. 26 in Nashville. Bearden won the combined girls and boys events (361), ahead of second-place Brentwood (301) and third-place Farragut (293). McCall, a senior captain who was honored as female athlete of the year, led Bearden by breaking a 27-year record held by Olympic champion Tracy Caulkins in winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:02.18, earning All-American honors. Her race in the 100-breaststroke also broke a meet record with a time of 1:02.56. McCall swam the breaststroke leg on the women’s 200-medley relay with Emily Jacobssen, Annie Broome and Brittany Oxley to a meet record of 1:46.65, earning all four All-American honors. Broome also earned a state championship by winning the 100-butterfly, earning All-American status. Bearden’s boys’ 200-freestyle relay featuring Sam Kirk, Ben Whiteside, A.J. Tipton and Carson Nicely won the state championship and All-American consideration. In addition, Bearden co-head coaches Jason Baxter and Evan Nylander were honored as state coaches of the year. Farragut was led by Brad Jones’ state titles in the 50- and 100-freestyle.

• March 10: The inaugural Farragut Municipal Forum, where all mayoral and alderman candidates appeared together in a public question-and-answer forum, took place Monday, March 7, in Town Hall. Farragut Kiwanis Club, Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and farragutpress sponsored it.

• March 24: Zola Turley, a longtime member of First Utility Board of Directors, becomes the first woman president of the board, FUD announced.

• March 31: The shopping center tower at Aspen Square was the scene of a Monday morning, March 28, fire. Town Fire Marshal Dan Johnson said the fire, which reportedly caused only minor damage, was limited to the tower. Rural/Metro Battalion Chief T.D. Williams said it took “less than two minutes to knock the fire down.”

April issues:

• April 7: With 59 percent of the vote, Farragut Mayor W. Edward Ford III was reelected, defeating challenger Bill Johns, a local businessman, by more than 400 votes. In the Alderman races, incumbent Michael Haynes was reelected in Ward II by defeating Ron Rochelle 792-453. Thomas Rosseel won Constance Rutenber’s Ward I seat by defeating Ron Honken 670-424.

• April 21: Though no action was taken, Knox County Board of Education debated the issue of requiring students to wear uniforms. Board member Chuck James, 6th district, questioned the necessity of drastically changing the board’s dress code. “The board right now has bigger issues,” he said. Board member Karen Carson, 5th district, said surveying the principals and assistant principals is an important step.

• April 28: A Karns High School student was charged with vehicular homicide following death of Holly Ann Clancy, 15, a Farragut High School sophomore killed when the car in which she was riding crashed late Friday night, April 22. Clancy sustained fatal injuries after being thrown from the gold 2000 Saturn SL2 driven by Karns High School junior Timothy Justin Manning, 17. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

May issues:

• May 5: Farragut’s new ZIP Code, 37934, became official following an announcement from acting Knoxville Postmaster Jeffery Taylor during the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting April 28. Changing from 37922, the new ZIP Code affects more than 9,000 residents.

• Farragut Alderman Joel Garber, Ward I, was unanimously selected as the newest member of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, replacing Constance Rutenber, who retired.

• May 12: Farragut’s proposed Aquatic Buffer Ordinance — where limited land use privileges would be levied on property located at a given length from either side of the highest point of embankment along an “impaired” waterway — became a hot topic at the May 5 Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting. “It’s like government just taking away our land,” land owner Steve Williams said regarding his property that has a stream crossing it.

• May 19: In what would be a first-time move, Farragut was promised representation on the Lenoir City Utilities Board, Knox County Mayor Michael Ragsdale said via Michael Arms, his chief of staff. “One my first two appointments will surely be a town of Farragut citizen,” Arms quoted Ragsdale as saying.

June issues:

• June 2: Hollywood comes to Farragut, as Vineyard Productions, an independent film production company from Salt Lake City, Utah, filmed the three-part series of novels, “The Work and Glory.” The film’s location was Historic Boyd Harvey House, located just outside of Farragut along Harvey Road.

• Bearden High School track and field athletes Eric Pickle, Bryan Webb and Judy Johnson each won Division I Class AAA state titles during the TSSAA state meet May 26-27 in Memphis. Pickle was discus champ with a throw of 164-feet. Defending his 2004 state title, Webb was 400-meter champion (:47.72). Johnson was 200 champ (:24.73).

• Knox County Board of Education approved the purchase of 26 acres for the new West Knox County high school, located along Hardin Valley Road adjacent to Hardin Valley Elementary School. This was almost half of the 55 total acres needed for the school, which was expected to be acquired later in June. Final approval was passed on to Knox County Commission. “We estimate the total cost of both of these tracts together to be less than three million,” said Dan Tiller, Knoxville Community Development Corporation’s chief development officer.

• June 23: Kim Felton, a 30-year-old from Perth, Australia, sank an eight-foot birdie putt on 18th-green to edge David Peoples and capture the 2005 Nationwide Tour’s Knoxville Open Sunday, June 19, at Fox Den Country Club.

July issues

• July 14: On the pages of West Side Faces are celebration photos from the 18th Annual Town of Farragut Independence Day Parade held Monday, July 4.

• July 21: After almost 12 years of service to the Farragut area, Regal 10 Cinemas at Farragut Towne Square closed its door permanently following its showings Thursday, July 14.

• Reportedly inspired by a Shelby County judge’s ruling, a lawsuit filed by a former Knox County commissioner concerning term limits threatened to halt the political careers of many Knox County elected officials. A two-term limit was approved by Knox County voters in 1994 as an amendment to the county charter, but was later overturned. Filed by former Knox County commissioner Bee DeSelm, who resigned in 1994 after two terms, the lawsuit specifically sought the removal of Sheriff Tim Hutchison, who is serving his fourth term.

• Recovering from injuries suffered in a London, England terrorist train bombing July 7 that killed at least 56, West Knoxville sisters Katie Benton, 21, and Emily Benton, 20, returned home from Duke University Medical Center via Horne Properties, Inc. jet July 22.

August issues:

• Aug. 4: Stars Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott came to Regal Cinemas’ Pinnacle Stadium 18, just outside of Farragut, for a benefit screening of the stars’ movie, “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Saturday, July 30.

• Aug. 11: A lightning strike knocked Farragut’s AM 670 off the air for what turned out to be a few weeks.

• Aug. 25: Looking back on his first year as president of the University of Tennessee, Dr. John Petersen spoke to about 150 members of the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce during its Speaker Series breakfast Monday, Aug. 22.

• Bill Bates, former Farragut High School All-state football standout who went on to success at the University of Tennessee and with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys as a defensive back, was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Thursday, Aug. 18.

September issues:

• Sept. 1: Proposing an entrance directly across from Sugarwood Subdivision in a revised plan for its proposed new store at the corner of Smith Road and Kingston Pike, Weigel’s Farm Stores President Ken McMullen received skeptical feedback from many Sugarwood residents during a community meeting in St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church Monday, Aug. 29. Darryl Smith, town engineer and Sugarwood resident, spoke in favor of the revised plan. Though McMullen said the revised plan would result in a store creating much safer traffic than the current Smith Road store, and would alleviate congestion going east on Kingston Pike at Smith Road, Sugarwood resident Douglas Goode said traffic congestion would only be shifted west.

• Sept. 1: A Farragut woman died in a two-vehicle accident that tied up traffic on Northshore Drive for about five hours Tuesday, Aug. 23. Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies reported that Margaret R. Sloan, 63, Warrior Trail, was killed when the 2003 Acura she was driving collided with a 1984 Chevrolet van driven by Charles Edwards Jr., 39, Cross Creek, about eight-tenths of a mile from the Concord Road intersection.

• Sept. 8: Bill Clabo, former Farragut High School varsity head football coach, was on hand when the FHS football stadium/field was named in his honor — “Bill Clabo Field” — during a pregame ceremony before the FHS-Heritage football game Friday, Sept. 2. Clabo, 73, died Monday, Nov. 14, at Parkwest Medical Center following what one close family friend said was heart-related complications (In Nov. 17 issue).

• Farragut Mayor W. Edward Ford III announced the town of Farragut is suing Pilot Corporation for non-compliance of its Campbell Station Road store sign. The announcement was made during the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting Thursday, Sept. 1.

• Sept. 15: Rallying from a 17-7 halftime deficit, the Farragut Admirals football team defeated archrival Bearden 27-17 for the fourth consecutive season during their annual U.S. Cellular How the West Was Won battle in Bearden Stadium, Friday, Sept. 9. Chris Stokes, area sales manager for U.S. Cellular, presented FHS head coach Eddie Courtney and the team with the program’s fourth straight HWWW trophy following the game. Battling Hodgkin’s disease since being diagnosed in April, Courtney went on to lead Farragut to a Region 2-5A co-championship and a 103 record, the program’s best season since 1995.

• Sept. 15: Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church was among local places of worship and other sanctuaries preparing to house refugees from Hurricane Katrina in early September. Kathy Vail Smith, director of compassion ministries at Cedar Springs, said, “The Red Cross came and not only trained our congregation, but anybody that’s going to be volunteering at different shelters in Knoxville ….”

• Sept. 22: More than 400 people from places as far away as Alabama and Virginia gathered at First Baptist Concord to learn first-hand how to handle mass feeding in a disaster area, part of the Southern Disaster Relief program held Saturday, Sept. 17.

• Sept. 29: The Bearden High School Bulldog Marching Band was named grand champion at the Halls High School Marching Band Competition Saturday, Sept. 24. Competing against Oak Ridge, Maryville and Greeneville high schools, BHS placed first in percussion and received a superior rating.

October issues

• Oct 13: The Farragut High School Marching Admirals band was named Class A Champions with superior ratings performing “Elements of Intrigue” in the 2005 Volunteer Classic Band Competition and Festival Saturday, Oct. 8. The band competed against Oak Ridge and Powell high schools, which also received superior ratings.

• Oct. 20: Concerning traffic congestion alleviation at the intersection of Northshore Drive and Concord Road, “It’s a roundabout or nothing,” said Craig Leuthold, Knox County commissioner (District 5), adding that based on his information from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the intersection doesn’t qualify for a traffic signal.

• Oct. 27: The FBI and local law enforcement agencies were looking for the individual who robbed the Home Federal Bank in Lovell Heights Friday, Oct. 21. The FBI reported that witnesses said at about 10 a.m., a black male, brandishing a silver-and-black semi-automatic handgun estimated to be about 6-foot-3, entered the bank, pointed his handgun and ordered employees and customers into the safety deposit box area of the bank. The robber took an undetermined amount of money and left the bank heading south. A substantial portion of the money was later recovered in a nearby trash dumpster.

• Paving work began on the Campbell Station Road extension the week of Oct. 17, with an opening date of July 2006 recently estimated by Farragut town engineer Darryl Smith.

November issues:

• Nov. 3: A new high school in West Knox County would be on time and within budget, Knox County Mayor Michael Ragsdale told farragutpress at a “Meet Local Government Night” hosted by the PTA and staff at A.L. Lotts Elementary School Thursday, Oct. 27. The mayor said he was optimistic a new school would meet the completion date of fall 2008.

• To fill a broadcasting void with more Farragut-based news and community events, Horne Radio’s WEST 105.3 officially changed both its coverage emphasis and its call letters, becoming WFIV or “We’re Farragut’s Independent Voice.”

• Nov. 10: Off the air due to a lighting strike, WMTY-AM or “Mighty 670” became the newest broadcast offering from Horne Radio, emphasizing “the oldies.” Attempting to grab a niche in the marker, “There’s not another oldies station playing music from the fifties and sixties,” said Brian Tatum, general manager of Horne Radio.

• Knoxville Police released the identity of a 19-year-old Knox County man who was found dead in early November in the back seat of a Ford Explorer in the alley behind Regal Cinemas Pinnacle theater in the Turkey Creek shopping development. Tyler W. Vowell died of a drug overdose, said KPD spokesman Darryl DeBusk. Vowell was reported missing to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Oct. 22.

• Nov 17: With various town officials saying they echo public concern and are willing to pay for and install traffic signals at various Kingston Pike intersections, Everett Road appears to be the next Farragut state route intersection to qualify. But town engineer Darryl Smith warned that it might take a few years to accomplish. A 1,600-foot center-turn lane project at the Everett Road-Kingston Pike intersection — possibly costing the town up to $500,000 according to an FBMA memo — could be under contract for construction, “I’d like to think … by the middle of next year … by late summer,” Smith said.

• Mike Hamilton, University of Tennessee men’s athletic director, addressed UT football program’s struggles, fund-raising success as facilities updates among the myriad of topics he addressed as guest speaker at the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly Speaker Series breakfast Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Fox Den Country Club.

• Nov. 24: About one year after a town “ad hoc” committee began its research, an aquatic buffer ordinance passed on second reading by the town of Farragut. By a 4-1 vote, the Farragut Board of Mayor and Alderman passed the 25-foot aquatic buffer ordinance — limiting any construction, digging or clearing of property within a 25-foot zone from the highest point of embankment of an “impaired” waterway — during its meeting Thursday, Nov. 10. On record as favoring a more expansive buffer zone, alderman Thomas Rosseel voted no.

December issues

• A unanimous vote by the Knox County Commission has paved the way for the YMCA of East Tennessee to build a new facility at Concord Park in Farragut, the YMCA announced.

• Dec. 8: As new ground was broken for a long-needed high school in West Knox County Friday, Dec. 2, questions arose as to what kind and how large a school will be built. A source close to the project told farragutpress that controversy over whether to build a comprehensive or academy-type high school was looming in the future.

• Dec. 22: No lockers or football field was one of four scenarios Knox County Board of Education members entertained as a solution to eliminate the projected $10 million cost overrun the new Northwest Sector high school has generated at a called meeting of the Board Monday, Dec. 19. Jeff Galyon, senior project manager for the Public Building Authority project, told the Board the current projected estimate for the school was $50 million.


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