Residents seek specific answers at aldermen forum

Four items — Town of Farragut’s budget, establishing a hotel-motel tax, updating the status of Farragut Business Alliance and zoning — topped discussions when two Farragut aldermen held their first Community Conversation meeting.

Aldermen Louise Povlin and Ron Williams sat down with the five residents who attended the gathering held in Knox County Sheriff’s Office Turkey Creek precinct Tuesday, Feb. 7.

“I think it was a good opportunity to talk to a couple aldermen in an informal setting,” Ray McAdams, Farragut resident said. “You can go to the Board meetings but it’s not the same. I thought it was nice of [Povlin and Williams] to hold this. “It’s like sitting around the dining room table,” he said.
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It’s element(ary): it takes a ‘Village’

ORNL scientists from Village Green help discover new element, tennessine

Whenever middle school and high school students look at a Periodic Table and view the element tennessine nationwide, they may not know that two Village Green residents played a vital role in that recent discovery.  

“From my personal point of view, I have an 8-year-old daughter, so for me to be able to say I was part of the discovery of a new element is off the charts,” said Julie Ezold, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory isotope program manager and one of “13 or 14” ORNL scientists who were directly involved in the process. “That is just something that is amazing when she studies science, that I can point to that and say, ‘I was part of that.’

“Not only part of tennessine, but I was also part of californium, the only two states on the Periodic Table, that I have a role in. For me personally, it’s amazing,” she added.
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Town celebrates Black History with ‘Freedom Songs’ music

Bright Star Touring Theatre cast members Sherman Sutton and Alexandria Bates relate the history of African-American music and its influence by performing influential songs during Farragut Museum’s Black History Month Program in Farragut Town Hall Sunday, Feb. 12. Farragut Museum observed Black History Month with a program and exhibit that celebrated African-American music and other contributions throughout history.

The sixth annual event, which drew 102 attendees Sunday, Feb. 12, began with a reception in the Rotunda of Farragut Town Hall, where attendees could walk through an exhibit. Attendees then filled seats of the boardroom to watch Bright Star Touring Theatre’s performance of “Freedom Songs: The Music of Black History.”

“[The attendance] seems to grow every year,” Vivian Varner, Farragut Black History Month Committee member, said.

Misty Sheidler, a Daughters of the American Revolution member, said she attended the event because she thought it would be interesting.
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Annual BOMA retreat: how to pay for Town’s future

Farragut Alderman Ron Pinchok, right, debates the Impact Fee and park expansion during a Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen annual retreat in Turkey Creek Medical Center Saturday, Feb. 11, while Aldermen Ron Williams listens. Town of Farragut moves into 2017 with a clean slate regarding debts, but it faces new challenges.

Road improvements, stormwater infrastructure, information technology systems, park expansions and Campbell Station Inn restoration were among the list of concerns, leaving Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen with a challenge of how it will pay for the projects.

The Board discussed those challenges during its annual retreat in Turkey Creek Medical Center Saturday, Feb. 11.

David Smoak, Farragut Town administrator, said the Town currently has zero debt, since it paid off its mixed drink allocation to Knox County Schools and its debt on Campbell Station Inn, formerly Avery Russell House, both in the fall.
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Developers stress ‘affordable’ to staff

Knoxville developers Bob Mohney, left, president of Saddlebrook Properties, and Russ Rackley, owner of Rackley Engineering, talk about their needs in creating affordable housing in Farragut during a town of Farragut staff-developer meeting Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Town Hall. Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and Knoxville developers plan to revisit changing language in the Town’s Residen-tial District requirements to allow more affordable housing options.

Bob Mohney, president of Saddlebrook Properties, and Russ Rackley, owner of Rackley Engineering, discussed their request for the Town to loosen its restrictions so they could build homes less than $300,000. This came during a Farragut staff developer meeting Tuesday,

Jan. 31.

“Our focus is to create something more affordable,” Mohney said. “There’s a demand for this kind of housing.”

“I’m open to this process,” Alderman Louise Povlin said. “This is something we called for in our Land Use Plan.”

Mohney and Rackley are looking to create a subdivision with a higher density of homes.
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Board vote unanimous: Blaylock new FWKCC CEO/president

Tim Williams, Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors chair, announces the board’s unanimous vote to promote Julie Blaylock, left, by removing her “interim” tag to become the Chamber’s new CEO/president. This announcement took place during a FWKCC networking at Milestones Event Center, 11909 Kingston Pike, Thursday evening, Feb. 9. A familiar face officially took the reins last week as new CEO/president of Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce.

Julie N. Blaylock, a native of Long Island, N.Y. who first resided in Knox County while attending college, started with FWKCC more than five years ago as its executive assistant. She was elevated to the chamber’s top post following a unanimous vote by its Board of Directors, which came during a specially-called board meeting Tuesday evening, Feb. 7. It became official Wednesday, Feb. 8.

“I wasn’t expecting our chairman [Tim Williams] to announce it at the networking,” Blaylock said about the announcement during a FWKCC networking at Milestones Event Center, 11909 Kingston Pike, Thursday evening, Feb. 9. “It caught me very much off guard in a good way.
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Perry warns GOP about moral decay

Larry Perry, right, greets Ed Whiting, a Concord-Farragut Republican Club member, following Perry’s address to the club during its monthly meeting Thursday, Feb. 2. Larry Perry’s list of accomplishments, occupations and overall life experiences — even without much detail given to each — could perhaps fill up a book itself.

This conservative author of 28 books, attorney, engineer, former professor, award-winning photographer and ex-CBS News technician was guest speaker during Concord-Farragut Re-publican Club’s monthly meeting Thursday night, Feb. 2, in Knox County Sheriff’s Office Turkey Creek precinct.

Saying he “put together” his latest book, “Why God Left America,” about a year-and-a-half ago, Perry said his incentive to write the book came from observing and researching the moral decline of the United States plus a misunderstanding about this nation being a democracy.

“You talk to kids in school, and they don’t realize that this is not a democracy,” Perry said.
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Latest O’Brien-BOMA saga: tavern size increase allows kitchen

Dr. Patrick O’Brien, franchise co-owner of The Casual Pint Farragut, now will have room to build a kitchen in the tavern.

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously in favor of changing the maximum size of a tavern from 3,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet.

In January, O’Brien asked that the Town change the text of its ordinance regulating the maximum size of a tavern. He said he had an opportunity to expand his facility and planned to install a food prep area. However, he still would like the Town to reconsider allowing food trucks in Town.

The ordinance previously stated that taverns such as O’Brien’s, 143 Brooklawn St. in Kroger Marketplace, could not be more than 3,000 square feet.
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police reports

• Around 12:19 p.m., Feb. 7, a Knox County Sheriff’s Officer responded to Kohls, Kingston Pike address, for a theft by shoplifting complaint. Com-plainant/witness reported she observed the suspect take merchandise, which included jeans and shirts, and then exited the store without making any attempt to pay for the merchandise. Suspect admitted to taking the merchandise and was arrested. Merchandise was recovered from the suspect’s bag and cart. The merchandise total was $368, which is a class A misdemeanor. There is Kohls security video of the incident. read more