As the United States faces the worst public health crisis in a generation, we want you to know we are here for you — and with you.
Whatever happens, whenever it happens, your newspaper will be there for you. We’ll be there to let you know how our community is managing through this crisis — from business to government to the health care system and schools to the drastic impact on individuals and families.
And we’ll be there to let you know about the good and extraordinary things happening in the midst of this crisis — such as Becky Bishop, food coordinator for Concord United Methodist Church and the work she has been involved in, along with other volunteers bringing food to elderly people who cannot leave their homes and health workers putting themselves in harm’s way to care for the sick.
Amidst the sadness and anxiety, there are uplifting moments reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit, and we’ll be there to document those, too.
As both a mother of a Farragut schools child and as Knox County Board of Education chair, Susan Horn understands and shares the frustrations as schools are closed through at least April 24 — while Knox County School’s “KCS at Home” looks to fill the void.
“I understand why people are upset,” said Horn, who represents District 5 (includes Farragut), noting she had received feedback from a number of parents seeking guidance regarding what is now in-home education as local entities navigate the current COVID-19-related circumstances.
“But this is an unprecedented situation and the staff has never been in this situation before,” she added. “There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s hard for many community members to understand.”
However, the components of KCS at Home, as spelled out in a press release by superintendent Bob Thomas Monday, March 30, stated “educational resources for all grade levels will be posted online each week. Paper packets will be made available for elementary and middle school students, and complementary videos will be posted on the district’s KCS-TV Comcast Channel 10 and our YouTube channel.
Following discussion between Mayor Ron Williams, Town administrator David Smoak and Community Development director Mark Shipley, a Temporary Sign Order for Town of Farragut — to better help businesses tell potential customers they are open and how they may be operating in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic — was worded and made “effective immediately” Friday, March. 27.
“The Town wishes to take measures to help minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business community,” Smoak stated in a press release.
The following temporary sign “provisions” are the result:
• Each business may be permitted (without applying for a permit) one freestanding sign per vehicular access into the development, not to exceed 20 square feet in size and 6 feet in height.
With deep roots in Knox County as a Bearden High School graduate (Class of 1982) and former Knox County Mayor, U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-2nd District) has made national news in expressing his concern about last week’s Knox County Health Department report that revealed nine local residents had committee suicide within a 48-hour period.
Burchett, who tweeted a video with the following announcement Monday, March 30, has publicly given out his cellphone number offering to be a voice to help someone contemplating suicide or doing harm to someone.
“I know everybody is under a lot of pressure right now, with what’s going on with the Coronovirus … we have had nine in our community in the last little bit, taking their own life; that’s a horrible, horrible thing,” he said.
Looking to expand “neighborhood ordering,” labeled as an efficient way to serve a given subdivision, for example, while supporting an individual Farragut restaurant on a given day in light of Coronavirus, was mulled by Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance during its audio meeting Thursday morning, March 26.
Member David Purvis made reference to nextdoor.com, where “a lot of the neighborhoods are out talking about ‘neighborhood dine-out night,’ where they all coordinate and all order from one restaurant a couple of days in advance, that way they can make one delivery of the neighborhood.
“It gets the neighborhoods behind that individual restaurant,” he added about dine-out night.
However, member and Town Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said to Purvis, “Out in Fox Run (her home) we are not connected (to nextdoor.com) like your neighborhood. We’re not connected to Concord Hills, and we’re not connected to Hardin Valley.
The resulting sales tax revenue loss to Town of Farragut due to business closings and reduced hours during the COVID-19 pandemic was addressed by David Smoak, Town administrator, during Shop Farragut/Farragut Businesss Alliance audio meeting Thursday, March 26. He also addressed growth signs.
“Our revenues are tied directly to how well our stores do,” Smoak said. “I know the stimulus packages are coming out. … One of the things not in there is that there’s no help for any local governments with less than 500,000 people.”
As a result, “For us, we really are going to be ratcheting our belts, we’re going to be looking at our revenue projections very closely,” Smoak said, “And we’re going to have quite a few workshops with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to talk through what this means for our budget going forward.
• At 8:36 a.m., Monday, March 30, a complainant called Knox County Sheriff’s Office Teleserve Unit to report her KIA Sorento stolen from Clarion Inn & Suites, 11341 Campbell Lakes Drive. Complainant advised the suspect stole the listed vehicle around 8:30 a.m., adding the keys to the vehicle were stuck in the ignition. Complainant advised the suspect is her brother-in-law as well as the father to her granddaughter. Complainant also said the suspect did not have permission to use the vehicle and advised she watched the suspect steal the vehicle. Value of vehicle was listed at $6,800.