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VOL. 8 NO. 29 July 23, 2014www.ShopperNewsNow.com | www.facebook.com/ShopperNewsNow
10512 Lexington Dr., Ste. 500 37932 (865) 218-WEST (9378)
news@ShopperNewsNow.comSherri Gardner Howell | Nancy Anderson
Shannon CareyJim Brannon | Tony Cranmore
By Nancy AndersonIf good things really do come to
those who wait, the Karns Senior Center is going to be great.
The long-awaited and long-discussed center for the Karns area was originally slated to open in summer 2014. On Wednesday, July 16, the groundbreaking cer-emony was held.
Sporting his Old Guys Rule T-shirt, Karns resident and mem-ber of the Karns History Club Jim Stevens said hes now hoping for a grand opening in January. Hope-fully, the Karns History Club will have a new home come January. We think it will be a great place to meet and gather stories, Stevens said.
Offi cial groundbreakers at the ceremony were Knox County May-or Tim Burchett, Knox County Commissioner Brad Anders and Knox County Veterans and Senior Services Director Robert Buzz Buswell. The center will be at the Karns Sports Park off Oak Ridge Highway and has a projected cost of $1.2 million plus approximately
$100,000 annually for program-ming and staff, said Anders. It will be approximately 8,000 square feet.
Jeanette Roberts, Thera Carr and Edith Fouch were on hand for the shoveling of the dirt and were excited to see the center on its way to reality. This center will be very nice. Im looking forward to spending time there with my friends, said Roberts.
The new center, the sixth for Knox County but fi rst in the Karns area, will feature an exercise room, craft room, multiple meeting rooms, an auditorium, computer room and outdoor kitchen. The project also calls for a new fi eld house for the youth sports programs.
Anders said the senior center has been a long time coming for the area, with the idea starting almost a decade ago. The Karns seniors are already a close-knit group, said Stevens, so the benefi ts of a local center will be immediate.
The shirt says it all for Karns resident Jim Stevens as he attends the ground-breaking ceremony for the Karns Senior Center. Photos by Nancy Anderson
Senior powerKarns center looks to January opening date
More photos on page A-3
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Karns will once again put its best face forward as the winners in the Karns Fairest of the Fair contest begin their year representing the community. The pageant was packed with challenges for organiz-ers this year, but the exciting smiles of the winners at the end put a happy face on the event. Representing the Karns community this year will be, from left, Taylor Hart, Princess; Rachel Wolfenbarger, Senior Miss; Destiny Ramsey, Junior Miss; and Malerie Taylor, Little Miss. At front is Chiannah Ruckart, Wee Miss. Photo by Mallory Bertrand
Proud to represent
By Anne HartKnoxville Mayor Madeline
Rogero says she supports the con-solidation of Knoxville and Knox County governments with one very important stipulation: The end result must be a municipal form of government.
I wouldnt want to live in a consolidated government that had the current form of county gov-ernment, Rogero told members of the Rotary Club of West Knoxville in response to a question from the audience.
Rogero, who served on County Commission for eight years, said that soon after County Mayor Tim Burchett recently announced that he is going to actively push for consolidation of the two govern-ments she met with him and told him her position. We had a good conversation about it all, she said. We dont always agree on every-thing, but we do talk about things, and we get along well.
Rogero said the city of Knox-ville and the areas of Knox County surrounding it are becoming more and more an urban area, and having one government makes sense. But I like city government. The buck stops with me. I hire the law director, I hire the tax collec-
Rogero supports not-metro, with big but
tor, I hire the police chief, and they all report to me. Im responsible for what happens.
In addition, she said, she likes the fact that elective offi ces in the city are nonpartisan, as opposed to the countys highly partisan structure.
Elected to the offi ce in 2011, Rogero is the citys 68th mayor. She told Rotarians that she un-derstands that as business leaders and entrepreneurs your job is to create jobs, and mine is to create the climate that makes that pos-sible that ensures we have the
quality of life that people will want to live and work here.
To do that, she says, the city has used Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) and other strategic tools, including public infrastructure and faade grants, to help create a vibrant downtown.
Historically, there had been a lack of investment in downtown. We have used these tools to make things happen that otherwise would not have happened. We are now starting to see some of those TIFs roll off and tax dollars come to the city.
Rogero cited numerous initia-tives sponsored by or encouraged by the city, including the University Commons soon to open on a former brownfi eld on Cumberland Avenue. Six years ago, then-Mayor Haslam began working with stakeholders on that project. It represents $130 million in private investment.
The revamping of Cumberland Avenue itself has had some sched-uling changes, as important fac-tors like University of Tennessee football traffi c have to be taken into consideration, Rogero said. One important visual blight will be eliminated: Knoxville Utilities Board has agreed to move utility lines into the back alleys that par-allel the street instead of burying
them underground, thus saving millions in taxpayer dollars.
Rogero said another signifi cant infusion of private money some $165 million along with a TIF that will delay payment of taxes for a certain time, is making the Tennova project south of the river on the old Baptist Hospital property a reality.
A design model has been created for the fi rst four blocks of a plan to revitalize Magnolia Avenue as the city moves to make that portion of East Knoxville more livable and attractive to visitors and residents alike, as it has done in North Knox-ville near Central Avenue, she said.
The mayor also pointed to the citys massive Urban Wilderness project and bike trails as a success story that will bring ever-increas-ing numbers of tourists and their dollars to the area. She pointed out that outdoor recreation is a $6 billion industry in Tennessee.
And yes, she says she hears complaints about the lack of park-ing downtown and in the Cumber-land Avenue area, and that is why the city has granted TIFs for ga-rage construction in those areas. But heres the good news, she said with a smile. We need more parking because theres more de-velopment going on.
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IN THIS ISSUE
A royal saveThe 2014 Fairest of the Fair
was nearly the pageant that wasnt. Director Kelley Grabill and assistant director Chris-tina Collins arrived at Karns High School early Saturday morning to fi nd the stage had been vandalized.
All their hard work lay in tatters, glittery Mardi Gras decorations strewn about and sets destroyed.
Read the story on page A-3
More turmoil at school board
Knox County school board drama continues with last weeks revelation that vice chair Gloria Deathridge has health issues that might make it diffi cult for her to serve a four-year term. Shes a can-didate for reelection on Aug. 7, opposed by retired social worker Marshall Walker.
Read Sandra Clark on page A-4
ESPN disses Vol backfi eld!
Good old ESPN, more enthused than usual about SEC football, honors us with a backfi eld ranking.
Read Marvin West on page A-5
Burchett triviaThe Shopper-News interns
visited with two West Knox guys, Judge Thomas Varlan and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, last week. Burchett amazed the kids with his eclec-tic interests and sent them away with Bigfoot bumper stickers. Intern Donna Mitchell compiled a quick list of Five Things You Didnt Knox About Mayor Burchett.
Read Interns on pages A-8-9
Peach FestivalFor the past two years, rain
has soaked the St. Mark United Methodist Church Peach Festi-val. This year, for the fi rst time, umbrellas were available for purchase, which guaranteed a sunny event.
The idea for the festival came from members who used to live in South Carolina, where peach festivals are common, said Pastor Dave Graybeal.
The festival featured peach ice cream, cobbler, baked goods and