Feb 8 2019

Bloomberg: The company will separate into one company focused on parts making and another on the production of aluminum sheets, Arconic said Friday in a statement as it reported fourth-quarter earnings. One of the units will be spun off, and Arconic will consider a sale of any operations that don’t fit into either of the businesses.

The company also cut their dividend by two-thirds. The rolled sheet business presumably includes the plant in Alcoa. And they only recently finished changing their iconic tower sign after splitting off from Alcoa.

Jan 31 2019

The [Blount County] Election Commission is in the process of replacing the county’s voting machines in time for the 2020 elections.

Blount County Democratic Party officers made a push at the Blount County Election Commission meeting Wednesday for the county to switch to a voting system with a paper trail.

Election Commission Chairman Larry Garner said after the meeting Wednesday that the cost would be a “big” factor in deciding what voting systems to evaluate.

The commission has put roughly $1.2 million toward the purchase of new machines.

Tennessee is among the 13 states that are either completely or partially paperless.

Sevier County switched to paper ballots shortly before the November 2016 election. “It’s slightly more expensive,” [Sevier County Elections Administrator Ed Kuncitis] said, but adding that because the blank ballot stock is generic, and unused ones can be carried over to the next election, the cost is not as much as he anticipated.

We can only hope the Blount County Election Commission makes the right choice and selects machines with a paper ballot.

Dec 1 2018

Once known as Wallace Hills Golf Course, before any residential development, Royal Oaks was developed in 1993 with a new 27 hole golf course and housing. After years of struggle, the Royal Oaks Golf Course is closing.

Knoxville-based Alley Realty and Auction has been hired "to sell the golf course and its assets, which include the events center." This sale opens up 120 acres for some sort of development. "There are approximately 500 homes in the Royal Oaks subdivision now. Alley estimated that anywhere from 400-600 homes could be added." It is being reported that someone is "interested in converting the land to a nine-hole golf course while maintaining the prime real estate for residential homes."

The Royal Oaks Golf Course is/was an 18 hole par 72 public course. There are several public golf courses in Blount County. The two that seem to have the most problems, Royal Oaks and Laurel Valley, included residential housing amidst the golf course.

We lived in the Royal Oaks community for three years in the early 2000's. I cannot imagine how I would feel if we had purchased a house there on the golf course to eventually no longer have a golf course in the back yard. It happens. I hope they carefully consider the existing residents when making such massive changes.

Nov 24 2018

It’s time for the downtown Maryville Holiday Craft Market!

For the 3rd year, Downtown Maryville will be celebrating Small Business Saturday by hosting a Holiday Marketplace filled with local business and local/regional makers.

Over 60 Vendors signed up so far and Main Street (Broadway) in downtown will be closed.

Barley's will be open for breakfast from 9 AM to 11 AM, then lunch/dinner as usual.

10 AM to 3 PM, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.

Nov 7 2018

Julie Rochelle, incumbent, retains her seat on the Alcoa City School Board. Brandy Bledsoe is a newcomer and won the second seat on the Alcoa City School Board. Congrats to both.

Still waiting on final results for Alcoa City Commission. Current commissioner and mayor, Don Mull, has a one vote lead over newcomer Tanya Martin. Absentee ballots are still being counted. Vaughn Belcher and Clint Abbott Jr., both incumbents are ahead with 1,927 and 2,009 votes.

Update: Tanya Martin wins by 5 votes. Congrats Ms. Martin.

Oct 22 2018

Saw a gentleman riding up on a horse to go to the liquor store in the Rockford area of Blount County. A beautiful, sweet horse he is.

Oct 17 2018

Early voting starts today for the Nov. 6th mid-term elections.

Here are the Blount Co. times and locations.

Here is the Blount Co. sample ballot.

Remember to bring an approved, government issued photo ID. Here are the acceptable forms of photo ID.

Oct. 30th is the last day to request an absentee ballot. Note that anyone age 60 or over can vote absentee, no other reason needed. Here's the Blount Co. absentee ballot request form.

Here are the Democrats running for office:

Jay Clark is running for State House District 8. (Facebook, website, donate)
Susan Sneed is running for State House District 20. (Facebook, website, donate)
Renee Hoyos is running for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. (Facebook, website, donate)
Karl Dean is running for governor. (Facebook, website, donate)
Phil Bredesen is running for U.S. Senate. (Facebook, website, donate)

A little history on the development of the old Alcoa West Plant site, in descending date order.

October 3, 2018
'Agrihood' Springbrook Farm will offer food-centric lifestyle in Alcoa

September 29, 2017
'Impressive': citizens react to long-awaited plan for former West Plant site

April 11, 2017
'A long time coming:' Alcoa finally breaks ground on former West Plant site
“Let’s build a downtown!”

September 16, 2014
Alcoa gets Sam’s Club: Big-box retailer plans store at Alcoa Highway-Hunt Road
Didn't happen.

August 31, 2013
City of Alcoa's plan to "build a Turkey Creek-type retail complex as Phase I in the ALCOA West Plant site."

April 27, 2012
Alcoa West Plant project open house - Day two
City of Alcoa presents information on the proposed Alcoa West Plant redevelopment.

March 15, 2012
Clearing a decades old pine tree barrier alongside the Alcoa Hwy to make way for Alcoa city center.
According to various fuzzy news reports, they apparently suggested that removing the tree barrier would make the property more visible and thus more marketable.

May 20, 2008
Developer announces "Downtown Alcoa"
"In the next six to nine months we should be in a position to begin development," said Jon Kinsey, former Chattanooga mayor and president of Kinsey, Probasco, Hays. "It is right at the entrance to the Knoxville airport and it is surrounded by two significant highways, so we feel it is an opportunity to really do something world class for that area and provide a new downtown for the city of Alcoa, which does not have one presently."

Bad timing I suppose in that there was a major Recession starting in 2008.

How much longer will it take for this development to happen? Will it happen?

Take a look at Northshore Town Center, which appears to be something they are looking to replicate in Alcoa. It took a very long time to get that project going.

Then there's the Pellissippi Place R&D business park. Prior to 2008, this was an enormous project with large investments by Knox County, Blount County, and the City of Alcoa. There were plans for a riverwalk, fountain, residential, and commercial development. Ten years later, after government spending on roads and infrastructure, there is a single business in the back of the development. Pretty good looking entrance though.

Oct 14 2018

As reported in The Daily Times, Maryville, TN, Weigel's has requested a site plan approval for the development of a convenience store at the corner of Hunters Crossing Drive and Middlesettlements Road.

This would be nice. We've been hoping for a Weigel's near Alcoa for some time. There had been one planned several years ago on Alcoa Highway near the motor mile. Still nothing there. Maybe it will happen this time.

TDOT and local municipalities have been pushing for Pellissippi Parkway to extend from Maryville Pike/Knoxville Hwy (SR 33) to Lamar Alexander Highway/US 321(SR 73). The "proposed extension would be approximately 4.4 miles."

As reported in The Daily Times of Maryville,

  • In September, 2015, the TDOT Environmental Impact Statement estimated the cost would be $165.7 million.
  • In April, 2017, the Knoxville Transportation Planning Organization Mobility Plan estimated the cost would be $194.2 million.
  • In August, 2017, TDOT reported to FHWA the estimated cost would be $63.5 million.
  • In September, 2017, TDOT reported a new estimated cost of $61.1 million.

Read the full report in The Daily Times. TDOT does try to explain how a road plan estimated cost can drop from $165.7 million to $61.1 million in two years. It appears TDOT has changed methods on how they estimate road project costs.

“It became apparent to TDOT planners and engineers that the [per-mile estimation] method did not provide many customization options for the proposed roadway features that could significantly affect the cost of a project such as roadway and shoulder widths, earthwork, bridges and retaining walls,” [TDOT Community Relations Officer Mark] Nagi said. “TDOT engineers suggested that the results did not provide the level of accuracy needed to compare different project alternatives, and proposed that the department investigate alternative estimation methods at the planning level.”


From the Maryville Daily Times,

Investigators from the Tennessee Department of Health inspecting the site last month produced a 106-page report detailing instances in which the facility repeatedly had failed to implement basic safety measures against falling.

Asbury Place, a Maryville nursing home, has been fined $45,000 after regulators surveying the facility found it had violated standards for administration and basic services.

Asbury Place at Maryville, a 181-bed nursing home at 2648 Sevierville Road, has been prohibited from taking new residents effective Sept. 12.

From WBIR,
"The Commissioner of Health may suspend admissions to a nursing home when conditions are determined to be, or are likely to be, detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the residents," the release said. "The order to suspend admissions remains effective until conditions have been and continue to remain corrected. A copy of the order must be posted at the public entrance where it can be plainly seen."

Asbury Place has been serving the elderly since 1956. They have been affiliated with Asbury Communities out of Frederick, MD, since 2016.

Join candidates Renee Hoyos and Jay Clark today for a community town hall.

Discussion will include the importance of fully funding public schools, affordable healthcare (Medicaid Expansion) and how it affects Seniors, Veterans, Women and Children, living wages and affordable housing, jobs and vocational training, environmental protections, and many other topics from the audience.

Tuesday, September 4
7:00 pm
At Chilhowee View Community Center
3229 Wilkinson Pike
Maryville, TN 37803
(About 5 miles southeast from downtown Maryville. Go Court Street to Wilkinson Pike to 3229 Wilkinson Pike.)

Aug 30 2018

Blount County has a new Recycle Center.

It is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:00am - 4:30pm.

It is Located at 331 Levi Street, one street down from the Blount County Operations Center off of McArthur Rd.

They also announced that they are now accepting:
4ft and 8ft intact "Fluorescent Bulbs" and "Oil Based Paints" for recycling. (No latex paints. Latex paints still have to be dried to be disposed into the landfill.)

They will host a "Household Hazardous Waste Day" September 22, 2018 from 8:00am-1:00pm. (Not sure if it will be at this location. Contact them first.)

Aug 3 2018

Congratulations to Jackie Hill. We know she will be great on Blount County Commission. She is a great representative of the community.

I wish Tanya Martin had won as well. It was very close. She received 48.37% of the vote. I was also sorry to find out that Jeff Barbra, April White, Ginny West Case, and Kathleen Puckett didn't win. I'm really surprised the majority of voters in the Townsend area did not want Kathleen Puckett. She works hard to protect the community.

A free summer concert series held during the months of August and September in Springbrook Park. The series will focus on Americana, folk and blues genres featuring performances by regional and local musicians. Vendors will be on site.

Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 6-9 PM
Conservation Theory, Trisha Gene Brady

Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 6-9 PM
Daniel Kimbro, Drop Dead Dangerous, Jonah Riddle & the Carolina Express

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6-9 PM
RB Morris, Skinny Beaver & the Honeysuckle Playboyz

Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 6-9 PM
Tall Paul & Kristie Bobal, Robinella

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