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Bank robberies, state championships, new business openings highlight year

The year started with manhunts of both a criminal and political nature rarely seen in the Farragut area.

Two bank robbers were loose within town limits in January just when Farragut-area voters were attempting to make sense of a countywide office musical chairs scenario.

While the alleged robbers were caught under an Orchid Grove home’s deck, Farragut voters helped elect Jimmy “J.J.” Jones as Sheriff while adding Col. Richard Briggs as its third District 5C Knox County Commissioner among other town, county, state and national election choices.

Later in 2008, however, after a November vote narrowly approving a charter amendment referendum, two of those Commission 5C seats would be eliminated by 2010 — reducing Commission from 19 to 11 seats.

An abduction-murder at a Lovell Road motel in September resulted in a manhunt that nabbed one suspect.

Controversy boiled between First Baptist Church Concord and adjacent subdivision residents concerning FBC’s $37.5 million expansion plans. Many of those same subdivision residents said they were denied access to Town records, calling into question the Town’s Open Records practices.

By the end of 2008, two of the southern region’s largest grocery stores were thriving within Town limits — Ingles and Kroger — along with retail giant Best Buy.

Meanwhile, Ott’s Barbecue reemerged in April, five years after closing its doors in 2003 near the location it made popular for decades.

Along with the multiple success stories were numerous businesses falling victim to the pinch of economic struggles not experienced since the Great Depression.

Speaking of new in the Farragut area, Hardin Valley Academy became Knox County’s first new high school since the 1980s, opening its award winning facility doors to freshmen, sophomores and juniors — experiencing a unique academy-style learning process — in August.

The proposed construction of a school along McFee Road became a hot topic.

On the championship level, two Farragut High School sports rekindled old glory by again winning state championships in baseball and boys golf.

And then there was Knoxville Catholic High School’s breakthrough success — the school’s first-ever state championships in any sport, spanning 76 years: tennis and boys soccer in spring (Class A/AA) and a perfect 15-0 record to claim the Class 3A football title in December.

Meanwhile, Christian Acad-emy of Knoxville’s girl’s soccer team won its second Class A/AA state crown in three years last fall.

For more, see our special “Year in Review” section beginning on page 6.


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