Knoxville Biz Ticker: R. J. Corman Railroad Company announces acquisition and establishment of Railroad

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R. J. Corman Railroad Company announces acquisition and establishment of the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – R. J. Corman Railroad Company is glad to announce the purchase of two railroad branches from Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and the creation of the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad, LLC (KXCG).

The newly established KXCG is comprised of two branches. First, a 59-mile branch running between Clinton, TN, and Clairfield, TN. Secondly, a branch of 72 miles operates between Beverly, TN, crossing the iconic Cumberland Gap and connecting to Middlesboro, KY. The branches, previously owned by Norfolk Southern, were historically part of the Southern Railway.

The Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad will have rights between the two branches and interchange cars in Norfolk Southern’s Sevier Yard.

This acquisition will add over 130 miles to the more than 1,200 operated by the R. J. Corman Railroad Company, LLC.

“We are extremely excited about the creation of the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad,” said Ed Quinn, President, and CEO of R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC. “We see a lot of potential for growth, expansion, and economic development in the region, and we look forward to providing our customers with our first-class quality service with safety-first operations. We are thankful for our Class I business partner, Norfolk Southern,” continued Quinn, “and our continuing and growing partnership through the years.”

The closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and R. J. Corman is expected to take over operations in February 2022.

Knoxville women-owned small businesses encouraged to apply for Comcast Rise marketing and technology service awards

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jan. 24, 2022 – Comcast Corporation has expanded its Comcast RISE program to all women-owned businesses nationwide, furthering its efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive.

Comcast RISE, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary last November, remains open to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners. Information and the applications to apply for marketing and technology services are available at

“Small businesses in Knoxville are vital to our local economy as we rebuild and recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said Jason Gumbs, Regional Senior Vice President at Comcast. “Comcast RISE's expansion to women-owned small businesses demonstrates our commitment to empowering and strengthening even more Knoxville businesses that are at the core of our communities.”

In its first year alone, Comcast RISE has provided more than $60 million in grants, marketing, and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color - including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. Of the 6,700 Comcast RISE recipients to date, nearly 70% have been businesses owned by women of color, spurring Comcast to take a deeper look into the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Across Knoxville, Comcast has supported dozens of small businesses through cash grants and marketing and technology services.

According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.

Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs, like Comcast RISE, and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information.

About Comcast Business

Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at

About Effectv

Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional, and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit

Green energy investment at AESSEAL Inc.

AESSEAL Inc., in the United States, is investing $1.8m in solar panels, storage batteries and other energy saving technology at its Rockford Tennessee head office as part of AES Engineering Ltd.’s drive to go beyond Net Zero for the global group.

The plant in Rockford, Tennessee has also contracted to purchase 90 percent green energy for 2022 at an estimated additional cost of $10,000 per year.

The initiatives form part of the group’s pledge to invest $40 million by 2029 in environmentally-friendly technologies in its operations worldwide.

The environmental impact of the investment is multiplied by combining photovoltaic panels with advanced battery storage, voltage regulation technology, and the gains made by storing excess energy onsite for later use or transferring it back to the grid.

The combined impact of this system, which is due to be installed by October this year, will reduce the carbon footprint of the Rockford site by an estimated 140 tonnes of CO2e annually.

While battery storage, which is more than 50 percent of the total cost, is sometimes overlooked, this is currently one of the best choices for cutting energy waste in a sustainable manner, while also providing back-up in case of power outages.

A large battery array storage system can charge from the electricity grid during the off-peak hours of the day or night when the generation mix provides a lower carbon intensity and discharges back to the site when it is required.

Onsite renewable generation from solar PV panels will provide 70 percent of the operation’s current electricity, with the large battery compensating for any peaks and troughs in the supply and the cost of energy. The batteries also act as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), preventing power outages and continuing to keep machines running and safe.

AES Engineering Ltd Group MD Chris Rea said, “Financial grounds alone would not justify the $1.8 million investment. By adding the financial benefit of the double duty as a UPS it makes sense both on a stand-alone basis as well as contributing to our £29 million ($40million) by 29 investment to help reduce global warming.”

AESSEAL Inc., MD, Peter Rouleau said, “Our business is based around environmental systems and technologies that help major industries cut pollution and save energy and water. This investment shows we are committed to leading by example and doing the right thing for our communities as well as for our customers.”

Scooter’s Coffee continues growing in Georgia and Tennessee

OMAHA, Neb. – (December 2021) – Scooter’s Coffee, LLC, the Midwest-based drive-thru coffee franchise that is experiencing record-breaking growth, is continuing its effort to grow its presence throughout the United States by bringing its world-class drive-thru coffee locations to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Sevierville, Tennessee, and Dalton, Georgia.

Scooter’s Coffee, based in Omaha, Nebraska, specializes in artisan espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, baked-from-scratch pastries and features its signature drink, the CarameliciousÒ. The company also recently added depth to its profile with a line of organic hot and iced teas, single-origin coffee and Cold Brew & Cream.

The expansion into east Tennessee and northwest Georgia is the result of a three-unit franchise agreement signed by residents Brittany Morrow and Joseph Haynes. They were looking for franchise opportunities as a way to build a nest egg for their eventual retirement. Haynes works for Scooter’s Coffee IT department and loves his job, so they knew all about the brand. “The company’s ethics and the way it really supports its employees and gets to know a community; that was something we could really stand behind. You can build a business, but if you can’t engage with the community it’s meaningless.”

“Our brand is a great addition to northwest Georgia and east Tennessee” said Kelly Crummer, Scooter’s Coffee Senior Director of Franchise Recruitment. “As Scooter’s Coffee continues to grow, excitement builds when we enter a new area of the country. We’re elated to have such enthusiastic franchisees like Joseph Haynes and Brittany Morrow contributing to our expansion.”

“Every time you visit a Scooter’s Coffee you are greeted with a smile and a ‘hi, how are you?’ It helps you get your day off to a good start,” said Brittany Morrow. “You come to associate that cup of Scooter’s coffee with that good feeling. That’s why I wanted to become a Scooter’s Coffee franchisee. To share that experience with our customers.”

According to the latest market trends compiled by the National Coffee Association, 60 percent of Americans drank coffee in the past day. That’s more than reported drinking tea, juice, soda, or even tap water! And the number of people who reported buying coffee at a coffee shop or restaurant has risen 20% since January of 2021. The drive-thru coffee model, already popular in our fast-paced society, has boomed during the pandemic, giving customers a way to get a delicious beverage while staying socially distant. Scooter’s Coffee kiosks, with the Brand Promise of “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast! ®” is helping Americans meet that demand.

About Scooter’s Coffee

Founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee roasts only the finest coffee beans in the world at its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. In more than two decades of business, Scooter’s Coffee’s success is simple: stay committed to the original business principles and company core values. The Scooter’s Coffee Brand Promise, often recited to franchisees, customers and employees is: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast! ®” It represents the company’s business origins from 1998 and reflects a steady commitment to providing an unforgettable experience to loyal and new customers.

With more than 400 stores operating across 23 states and commitments to open stores in 30 states, Scooter’s Coffee is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase in the Midwest and nationwide. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is on the way to its goal of becoming the #1 drive-thru coffee franchise in the nation. Visit to learn more about the benefits of owning a franchise with a well-established and fast-growing brand.

For more information, visit,,, or call 877-494-7004.

MEDIC to compete with the American Red Cross MEDIC to support 'We Back Pat'

January 26 – MEDIC will compete with the middle Tennessee region American Red Cross on February 7 – 10 in the first-ever Dunk for Donations event. The blood center collecting the most red blood cells will be declared the winner. Additionally, MEDIC will support The Pat Summitt Founation that week by donating $5 per donor to the organization.

“February is traditionally a slow month for collections, and we are looking forward to partnering with the American Red Cross to increase donations for both organizations,” said director of communications Kristy Altman. “The Dunk for Donations event will take place through the week, and we are excited for some friendly competition while also supporting The Pat Summitt Foundation.”

Donors will receive a special edition t-shirt, We Back Pat wristband, and coupons for several restaurants including Dunkin. Donors are also automatically entered to win tickets to the February 13 basketball game and other great prizes.

MEDIC is the primary blood product provider for major area hospitals including Blount Memorial Hospital, Covenant Healthcare System, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Tennova, and the University of Tennessee Medical Center along with other regional centers.

As a reminder, the blood on the shelves right now is the blood used in an emergency. It takes at least three days for collected red blood cells to be tested and processed and ready for distribution to hospitals.

Appointments are preferred, but walk-in donors are welcome. Donors can call 865-521-2682 or 865-524-3074 to schedule their appointment. Donors can also visit to search for a drive closest to them and schedule their appointment.

For more information on MEDIC Regional Blood Center, please visit our website at or contact Director of Communications Kristy Altman at or by phone at 865-805-2008.

About MEDIC Regional Blood Center

MEDIC was established in 1958 by Carl Nelson, MD, under the sponsorship of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine. MEDIC is a nonprofit organization and offers a Blood Coverage Program covering members’ blood supplier processing fees at any hospital in the country. MEDIC is an accredited member of AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) and America’s Blood Centers (ABC). MEDIC is a member of the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), Blood Centers of America (BCA), and the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC). The center adheres to all blood product safety regulations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is licensed by the FDA and the State of Tennessee. MEDIC is an independent blood center and not affiliated with the American Red Cross. Today, MEDIC Regional Blood Center is the provider of blood and blood-related products for the 24 area hospitals in 22 counties in East Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky.

Announcing the 44th annual Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show

January 25, 2022 [Knoxville, Tennessee]— The House & Garden Show, Dogwood Arts’ perennial preview of spring, invites guests to leave winter at the door, experience over 10,000 sq. ft. of Grand Gardens, and meet the top vendors in home improvement, interior design, appliances, and more—all under one roof. The 44th Annual event will take place at the Knoxville Convention Center Friday, February 11th through Sunday, February 13th. The show hours are Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 10AM-6PM, and Sunday 10AM-5PM.

In addition to the top home and garden vendors in the region, attendees can expect to find unique art, jewelry, and handmade products from local and regional artists in the expanded Maker Market. Over thirty nonprofit and community organizations are participating in the Community Organization Fair on the Mezzanine level at the show entrance.

On the How-to Stage presented by SouthEast Bank, local experts and tastemakers will provide DIY demonstrations, tips on real estate trends, cooking, home improvement, gardening and much more. Attendees can enjoy presentations by Emmy award-winning TV host and producer of The Heartland Series, Bill Landry, and celebrated Knoxville News Sentinel humor columnist Sam Venable. There will be live music during ‘DIY Happy Hour’ on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, attendees can participate in a meet and greet with UT men’s basketball senior John Fulkerson from 2-3:30PM (included in admission to the House & Garden Show).

Don’t forget the kids! The ORNL Federal Credit Union Creation Station has art activities, character meet & greets, and entertainment for kids of all ages. East Tennessee PBS is hosting character meet & greets with Elinor, from PBS Kids’ Elinor Wonders Why. The curious bunny rabbit that goes on wonderful adventures of discovery with her friends will be at the show daily. Attendees can enter to win Daily Giveaways from Jewelry Television, the Home Depot, and ORNL Federal Credit Union.

COVID-19 Precautions: The health and safety of our attendees, staff, volunteers, and exhibitors is our top priority. Please do not attend if you are feeling sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19. Masks are encouraged for all attendees, staff, volunteers, and exhibitors. Dogwood Arts has designed the show floor to encourage social distancing by providing additional space between exhibitors and reconfiguring high-traffic areas like the How-To Stage, Children’s Creation Station, and the Maker Market. Hand sanitizing stations will be readily available throughout the 120,000 sq. ft. exhibition space.

Dogwood Arts, presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to promote and celebrate our region’s art, culture, and natural beauty. The House & Garden Show is the largest fundraiser for Dogwood Arts and helps keep 99% of their events free to the public each year. Sponsors for the 2022 Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show include ORNL Federal Credit Union, SouthEast Bank, Knoxville Utilities Board, T-Mobile, Graphic Creations, and Ag-Pro Companies.

Tickets are: $10.00 for adults, $8.00 Seniors 65+ and Military, and FREE for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at in advance or at the door (cash/card accepted). Purchase your tickets at any ORNL Federal Credit Union location and receive a $1.00 discount. For more information, call 865.637.4561 or visit

TVA, KUB to award $400,000 to nonprofits through Community Care Fund

Knoxville, TN – Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) is partnering with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to double the amount of funding available to local nonprofit organizations through TVA’s Community Care Fund.

TVA’s Community Care Fund has $200,000 available for Knoxville-area organizations addressing hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and KUB will match that amount for a total of $400,000 available.

“Providing this funding to assist our community is a no-brainer,” KUB President & CEO Gabriel Bolas said. “We appreciate TVA’s commitment to serving our customers in this way, and are proud to partner with them to increase the impact. We have so many nonprofits working to help those facing difficulty from the COVID-19 pandemic, and I can’t wait to see this funding put to work.”

To apply for funding, organizations must 1.) Have been active and classified 501(c)(3) for a minimum of 12 months and 2.) Be focused on assisting with hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic in the following areas:

  • Community Enrichment

  • Diversity & Inclusion

  • Education

  • Health, Hunger, & Housing

  • Workforce Development

Organizations can submit an application online at now through Feb. 15, 2022.

More information can be found at, and questions can be directed to or 865-594-7560.

To learn more about KUB’s commitment to the Knoxville-area community, visit

KCDC provided look at Transforming Western plan neighborhood open house

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) hosted open house on Jan. 19 for neighborhood, stakeholder and community members to review the Transforming Western plan for the Western Heights housing site and Beaumont area.

The Transforming Western plan is the result of months of meetings with residents, stakeholders and the community. The process will culminate in KCDC applying in February for a $40 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to help fund the transformation of the neighborhood.

The plan addresses the renovation and replacement of residential structures and specific aspects mentioned during meetings, such as employment opportunities, transportation, safety, better access to health care and improved access to technology, specifically internet access.

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) hosted an open house on Jan. 19 for neighborhood, stakeholder and community members to review the Transforming Western plan for the Western Heights housing site and Beaumont area.
Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) hosted an open house on Jan. 19 for neighborhood, stakeholder and community members to review the Transforming Western plan for the Western Heights housing site and Beaumont area.

“In a months-long process, KCDC and our planning partners have engaged with residents and stakeholders to address community needs around the three key areas of people, housing and neighborhood,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “We are proud to share a plan that benefits not only the residents of Western Heights and Beaumont but also the city of Knoxville.”

Established in 1939, Western Heights is KCDC’s largest affordable housing development at 440 units. The site is located just off Keith and Western avenues in Northwest Knoxville.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program is designed to leverage significant public and private funds to support implementation of locally driven strategies to improve public housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Additional philanthropic investment required by the grant and provided by individuals, companies and foundations would be used for site amenities such as parks, greenspaces, community spaces and social services.

Megan O’Hara of Urban Design Associates discusses the Transforming Western plan with a neighborhood open house attendee on Jan. 19. The redevelopment plan from Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation is the result of months of meetings with Western Heights housing site residents, stakeholders and the community. The planning process will culminate in February with KCDC applying for a $40 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to help fund the transformation of the neighborhood.

The Transforming Western planning process began in February 2021 with insight from Western Heights residents followed by meetings with 17 stakeholder groups to gather input from the broader community on a variety of topics, such as economic development, education and supportive services.

KCDC’s Transforming Western planning partners include the City of Knoxville, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC), BarberMcMurry Architects and Urban Design Associates.

About Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit

Dollywood announces Care More Initiative to honor Dolly's legacy of giving

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, January 19, 2022) — To celebrate Dolly Parton’s birthday, Dollywood officials today announced the creation of the Care More Initiative in honor of her lifelong legacy of philanthropy and finding ways to put others first.

As part of the program, Dollywood Parks & Resorts employees—or hosts—are encouraged to serve at the nonprofit of their choice to thank and recognize Parton for the many ways she contributes to others each day. The day of service—which may take place at any nonprofit—will become an annual tradition for Dollywood hosts. Park officials hope people around the world are inspired by Parton’s many gestures of service and will themselves choose a nonprofit they can serve as well.

Hosts at Dollywood theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins who take part in the Care More Initiative will receive a day off with pay in order to fulfill their nonprofit service.

“Dolly is a dreamer and because of that she is an amazing person to work with,” said Eugene Naughton, Dollywood President. “It’s virtually impossible to describe her in one word, but I think if you asked people around the world, one of the most frequent answers you would hear is ‘giving.’ You would hear hundreds of different answers—talented, inspiring, loving, creative, caring—but I think giving is the one of which I think she would be most proud.”

“This initiative is our way to give back to her; it is our way to thank her for continuing to inspire people to think outside of themselves and to look for how they can be of service to others. We know our hosts are inspired by her every single day, but we hope others outside of our Dollywood family take the time to find how they can help in their own communities.”

Among Parton’s philanthropic efforts, The Dollywood Foundation and its Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, are certainly the most well-known. Since launching in 1995, the Imagination Library has provided more than 180 million books around the world to registered children from birth to age five. Each month the Imagination Library delivers 1.8 million age-appropriate books to children in communities throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland and Australia. Her vision for the program was to create a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream and reach great heights.

In 2016, The Dollywood Foundation led Parton’s efforts to assist families who lost their homes during the devastating wildfires which swept through her home county. The monies raised from Parton’s Smoky Mountains Rise telethon helped The Foundation’s My People Fund distribute more than $12 million in direct assistance to more than 900 families in Sevier County, Tennessee.

Other philanthropic efforts include the monies Parton helped raise to create LeConte Medical Center in Sevier County, a $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital in 2017, as well as a $1 million donation to help fund COVID-19 vaccine research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Parton read bedtime stories from the Imagination Library to children through a 10-week virtual series. Most recently, she, along with her Smoky Mountain businesses, raised $700,000 in support of the catastrophic flooding that took place in Humphreys County, Tennessee in late August.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit

CASA of East Tennessee hosts tenth annual Red Shoe Gala fundraiser

KNOXVILLE, TN | January 19, 2022 – CASA of East Tennessee invites Knoxville area community members to its 10th annual Red Shoe Gala on Saturday, February 5th from 7:00-11:00pm. The fundraiser, presented by Renfro Interiors, will be held in Downtown Knoxville at Jackson Terminal, located at 213 W Jackson Ave, 37902.

Tickets are available online at and are $100 per person or $1000 for a reserved table for 10.

The event, celebrating CASA of East Tennessee's 35th anniversary in Knox County, will feature entertainment by The Jaystorm Project, cocktails, full dinner, and delicious desserts. A large selection of local goods and exciting experiences will be available through the silent auction. Cocktail attire and red shoes are encouraged. The event will benefit CASA of East Tennessee.

Court Appointed Special Advocates -CASA- of East Tennessee, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Knoxville, TN. Founded in 1986, CASA’s mission is to improve the lives of abused and neglected children through trained volunteers who advocate for a safe, permanent, loving home. For more information about how you can become a CASA volunteer in Knox County, call 865-329-3399 or visit

Solvay to collaborate with Trillium on bio-based acrylonitrile for carbon fiber applications

Solvay and Trillium Renewable Chemicals have signed a letter of intent to develop the supply chain for bio-based acrylonitrile (bio-ACN). Trillium will supply Solvay with bio-ACN from Trillium’s planned commercial asset, and Solvay will evaluate bio-ACN for carbon fiber manufacturing as part of its long-term commitment to developing sustainable solutions from bio-based or recycled sources. The aim of this partnership is to produce carbon fiber for use in various applications such as aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer goods.

Acrylonitrile is a chemical intermediate typically made from petroleum-based feedstocks like propylene and is the primary raw material used in the production of carbon fiber. Trillium’s Bio-ACNTM process delivers acrylonitrile from plant-based feedstocks like glycerol with a lower carbon footprint.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Trillium which aligns well with our Solvay One Planet commitment to more than double our revenue based on renewable or recycled materials by 2030,” comments Stephen Heinz, head of composite research & innovation, Solvay. “Innovation partnerships such as this are driven by a desire to make a real-world sustainability impact. Bio-based feedstocks are a key part of Solvay’s sustainability strategy, and we look forward to being a consumer of bio-ACN from Trillium’s first bio-based acrylonitrile plant.”

“Trillium’s bio-ACN process technology enables bio-carbon fiber,” explains Corey Tyree, CEO of Trillium. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Solvay, who have supported the bio-ACN process technology development since 2014. Solvay is a leader in the most rapidly-growing acrylonitrile segment (carbon fiber) and is a market leader in bio-carbon fiber and sustainable development.”

Woman-owned business in East Tennessee caters to new demand for local food

Two Chicks and a Farm in New Market is finding great success by meeting the demands for local food and the farm-to-table movement brought on by the pandemic. It’s pretty exciting for someone like co-owner Jen Russomanno who is an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the University of Tennessee.

Now, thanks to a partnership with Market Wagon (, an online farmers market, Russomanno and her partner Kim Bryant don’t even have to work Saturdays! The Market Wagon platform is one of the main reasons they gave up going to traditional farmers markets, even after they reopened following the outset of the pandemic.

For Russomanno, whose research focuses on food access and affordability, Market Wagon is a perfect fit. The platform helps her meet the farm’s purpose of providing healthy food to her community.

2 Chicks and a Farm use all organic practices. They do not use any synthetic fertilizers or non-organic pesticides on their produce.

Although the operation has expanded to 18 acres, it all started when Russomanno and Bryant started a small garden of their own almost a decade ago when they couldn’t find enough healthy food options near their home in Jefferson County.

Now, one delivery drop-off on Thursday mornings is all it takes to fulfill all customer orders for the week for customers across eastern Tennessee who may live as far away as Kingston, Gatlinburg, Greeneville and LaFollette.

Two Chicks and a Farm is one of 50 farms, chefs and artisans from area who use the platform to offer 600+ local products, everything from sweet potatoes, milk, pasture-raised eggs and steaks to prepared meals like chicken pot pie and strawberry cheesecake fudge. Fresh food is delivered by a team of drivers the same day as small businesses like Two Chicks and a Farm drop it off.


Market Wagon transforms the farm-to-table concept into a farm-to-front-door reality. Its mission is to enable food producers to thrive in their local markets by operating as an online farmers market. Market Wagon partners with more than 2,500 local farmers and artisans to take their produce and products the very last mile to the doorstep of 45,000+ local customers. Farmer and tech entrepreneur Nick Carter teamed up with logistics expert Dan Brunner to start Market Wagon in 2016. It’s now available in more than 30 markets across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, visit, or you can follow the company’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

Regions Bank announces new steps to reduce overdraft charges, eliminate non-sufficient funds fees

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Jan. 19, 2022 – Regions Bank on Wednesday announced the latest steps in the company’s long-term commitment to making banking easier while equipping customers with a growing range of financial tools, insights, and services to help them manage their accounts.

What’s New

Changes going into effect will include:

  • Overdraft Protection Transfer Fees: These fees will be eliminated by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Such fees are incurred when money is transferred from linked accounts to cover overdrafts.

  • Eliminating Non-Sufficient Funds Fees: By the end of the second quarter of 2022, Non-Sufficient Funds Fees, also known as Returned Item Fees, will no longer be charged.

  • Lowering Caps on Overdraft Fees: Also by the end of the second quarter, Regions will further reduce the number of Paid Overdraft Item Fees that can be charged per day on consumer banking accounts – including personal1 checking, money market, and savings accounts – as well as non-analyzed business checking, money market, and savings accounts. The new limit on Paid Overdraft Item Fees will be three per day.

  • Early Direct Deposit: By the end of the third quarter of 2022, Regions plans to make consumers’ paychecks available up to two days before their regular payday if their employer uses direct deposit2. This early deposit of paychecks can help customers keep up with bills, avoid late fees, and further reduce overdraft fees.

  • Small-Dollar Line of Credit: Also by the end of the third quarter, qualifying customers will be able to access up to $500 to cover short-term needs through a new, low-cost borrowing solution. Additional details will be shared with customers as the service is launched later this year.

“The changes we are announcing today complement many additional services and enhancements we have delivered in recent years, including the launch of the Regions Now Checking account with no overdraft fees, as well as improved account alerts, our enhanced time-order posting process, our constantly updated library of free financial wellness content, and more,” said Scott Peters, head of the Consumer Banking group for Regions Bank. “We succeed when our customers and communities succeed. That is our focus, and our commitment, every day.”

Continued Customer Support

Changes taking effect in 2022 are a continuation of several initiatives designed to help people and businesses build financial success. Among examples:

  • Helpful Advice; Additional Solutions

  • More than 1 million customers completed Regions Greenprint financial plans in 2021 alone.

  • Since the launch of Greenprint, Regions has provided the highest number of financial health scores to customers leveraging the Financial Health Network’s FinHealth Score® Toolkit – more than any other financial institution in the United States, and second-most in the world.

  • Through one-on-one Greenprint conversations, Regions’ bankers listen to the needs, goals, and questions of individual consumers as well as small-business customers.

  • Regions then helps customers create a tailored roadmap toward increasing their financial health and reaching their goals through recommended next steps.

  • Regions Now CheckingSM was announced in September 2021 and gives consumers a checking account option that combines the convenience of modern banking with no overdraft fees.

  • The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund awarded the Now Checking account Bank On certification. Bank On certification represents a focus on bringing banking solutions to the underbanked while ensuring people have access to safe, affordable accounts.

  • Separately, the Regions Now Savings account option comes with no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement. Customers can also earn monthly and annual savings bonuses through Now Savings.

  • Regions’ LifeGreen Savings Bonus and Now Savings Bonus Programs enable customers to earn a 1% annual savings bonus of up to $100 by meeting program requirements. In 2021, over 400,000 accounts qualified with bonus payouts totaling $16.7 million.

  • Regions’ Spend & Save Program was launched in 2021, allowing customers to enroll their checking account and set an amount of money they want transferred to their savings or money market account with each Regions CheckCard purchase. When purchases post to their checking account, Regions automatically transfers total savings at the end of the day.

Easier Account Management

  • Regions enhanced its Online and Mobile Banking to provide more details on pending transactions and expiration dates to show when funds on hold from a deposited check will be available.

  • Customers can also see a projected available balance – an estimated available balance after the next nightly posting. Further, in December 2021, Regions launched an upgrade to the bank’s personal financial management tool – My GreenInsights – that now includes clearer transaction information, enhanced tools, and easier integration with customer accounts.

  • Posting order updates were announced in July 2021 to achieve more of a real-time posting process. Coupled with improved account capabilities, this gives customers greater clarity and visibility in managing their account balances.

No-Cost Financial Wellness

Regions Next Step® is the bank’s free financial education program that serves people of all ages and businesses of all sizes, regardless of whether they bank with Regions. Through a combination of in-person and virtual events, along with a frequently updated library of online content, Regions makes timely money-management resources and information available to the public. Key milestones for financial wellness in 2021 include:

  • Company-wide, Regions Next Step supported 124,000 financial wellness workshops covering a variety of topics.

  • Approximately 1.4 million people received financial education from Regions.

  • There were 2.4 million page views of Regions’ digital financial education resources.

Supporting financial wellness is also a vital component of Regions’ Community Engagement strategy with examples across the Regions footprint of how the bank and its community partners have helped people build their savings, improve their credit scores, achieve homeownership, strengthen their small businesses, and more.

Moving Forward

From ongoing digital enhancements, to delivering an optimal branch-banking experience, to providing practical financial wellness tools, Regions will continue to build on ways the company offers a positive and beneficial customer experience. Customers are encouraged to speak with Regions’ bankers one-on-one to share their financial goals and leverage the insights of the company’s experienced banking teams, who can help people and businesses craft a tailored plan toward making their goals a reality.

1Personal accounts include Private Wealth Management accounts, as well as all other non-business accounts.

2Early availability will be dependent on the employer sending its direct deposit data at least one to two days prior to the regular pay day.

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may include forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which reflect Regions’ current views with respect to future events and financial performance. The words “future,” “anticipates,” “assumes,” “intends,” “plans,” “seeks,” “believes,” “predicts,” “potential,” “objective,” “estimates,” “expects,” “targets,” “projects,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “would,” “will,” “may,” “might,” “could,” “should,” “can,” and similar expressions often signify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information, but rather are related to future operations, strategies, financial results, or other developments. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations as well as certain assumptions and estimates made by, and information available to, management at the time the statements are made, and are subject to various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the views, beliefs, and projections expressed in such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those described in forward-looking statements include those risks identified in Regions’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements that are made from time to time.

ReVIDA Recovery Centers-Morristown, Ballad Health to offer free mammograms

Morristown, Tenn. – ReVIDA Recovery Centers CEO Lee Dilworth announced the company will host Ballad Health’s mobile health clinic to provide free mammogram screenings at ReVIDA-Morristown this Thursday, January 20th, and Thursday, February 17th.These free preventive screenings, recommended for women 40 years of age and older, are open to the public and will be available for appointments from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. To schedule an exam, call: 423-586-3249 (Select Option 2)

Ballad Health's mobile coach will be at ReVIDA’s clinic in Morristown, Tenn., located at 230 Bowman St, Suite C, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, January 20th, and Thursday, February 17th. The routine, digital mammograms are a preventative service performed free of charge with proof of insurance.

ReVIDA Recovery Centers-Morristown and Ballad Health hosting Ballad Health’s mobile clinic to offer free mammograms to the public, TOMORROW, Thursday, January 20th and Thursday, February 17th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the parking lot of ReVIDA Recovery Centers – 230 Bowman Street Suite C. Morristown, TN 37813. For more information, contact, Annette McDermott, or 404-545-7558.

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa debuts winter music series

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Tuesday, January 18, 2022) —Join a number of unique and talented artists during a series of unforgettable weekends at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. New for 2022, the Winter Music Series offers guests the opportunity to enjoy musical performances in an intimate setting. The ticketed event is open to both resort guests and non-resort guests and provides an unparalleled experience with performances every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. under the climate-controlled tent on the resort’s event lawn now through Feb. 26.

The event kicked off Thursday, Jan. 13 with performances from singer/songwriter Wade Hayes. Hayes delighted guests as he performed songs from his album “Go Live Your Life.” The stage IV colon cancer survivor inspired guests with songs from the album, including the upbeat title track. Hayes has been a country music artist since the 1990s with hits including "Old Enough to Know Better," "I'm Still Dancing with You," "On a Good Night" and "What I Meant to Say."

Performing Jan. 20-22, The Black Opry Revue is a group of diverse artists that incorporates their love of and blending of genres. These talented Black artists weave their talents throughout a showcase of blues, folk, country and Americana in their many intersections of both sounds and stories.

Nashville artist Hannah Dasher takes the stage Jan. 27-29. Aside from Dasher’s work ethic, her strong, non-conforming lyrics set her apart from her peers. Accompanying her big hair and larger-than-life personality is a voice that’s even bigger. It all makes for a sound that’s familiar -- like your favorite 90s country -- yet uniquely fresh.

Texas chart-topper Frank Ray entertains guests Feb. 3-5. Ray is a former police officer and bilingual recording artist opening doors for a modern Latino Country movement. Ray’s music is a blend—drawing influences from ‘90s Texas Country, Latin, R&B and Pop. As an entertainer, Ray delivers engaging, high energy performances that have a little something for everyone.

Guests experience the music of ‘70s rock duo Seals & Crofts in a whole new way with Seals & Crofts 2 Feb. 10-12. Comprised of Brady Seals, the cousin of James “Jim” Seals, and Lua Crofts, the daughter of Darrell “Dash” Crofts, the duo artfully reimagines popular Seals & Crofts classic, as well as performing new songs of their own.

The Young Fables perform a blend of traditional and modern country Feb. 17-19. The Nashville-based duo has appeared with notable acts including Lauren Alaina, Rascal Flatts, Josh Turner, Sara Evans, Chris Janson, Randy Houser, Delta Rae, Liz Longley and Chris Lane.

The final weekend of the event features performances by well-known artist T. Graham Brown Feb. 24-26. Brown was part of one of the most vibrant and exciting time periods in country music history – the mid-1980s—when the soulful vocal stylings of Brown were all over the airwaves. His hits included “Drowning in Memories,” She Couldn’t Love Me Anymore” and his duet with Tanya Tucker, “Don’t Go Out.”

Guests can purchase the Winter Music Series room package that includes admission for two to each evening of music and one meet & greet with the featured artist. A limited number of individual tickets also may be purchased the day of each performance. Winter Music Series tickets are sold per person per evening at $20 for general admission and $15 for Dollywood Season Passholders. Artist meet & greet opportunities are available without the room package for an additional $20 after the cost of admission.

For more information about the event or to book your Winter Music Series room package, please visit

CNS Cares to host health & resource fair for Tennessee energy workers

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- CNS Cares, East Tennessee’s newest in-home healthcare provider for former energy workers, will host a Health & Resource Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The event will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy, located at 115 E. Main St., in Oak Ridge.

The event includes a complimentary lunch, free blood pressure and other health screenings, an opportunity to learn more about the DOL benefits available and receive a gift certificate for a free turkey. Energy workers should RSVP for the event by calling 423-251-1747.

The CNS Cares team will be joined by other organizations in the region, including: Beltone and Atomic Trades & Labor Council, who will be offering health screenings.


CNS Cares is a provider of highly specialized home health services and claims support for former nuclear and energy workers, contractors and subcontractors under the U.S. Department of Labor and the EEOICPA programs. Headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado, the company is accredited by the Department of Labor and licensed to manage claims and home-care services in 16 states around the United States. For more information, visit

Texas Roadhouse brings 230 new jobs to North Knoxville

Powell, TN. (January 10, 2022) – Texas Roadhouse is bringing its legendary hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs and made-from-scratch side dishes to Powell and currently hiring for all full and part-time positions. Construction began in 2021 and the 8,334 square foot restaurant, at 7559 Conner Road, is scheduled to open in March for dining and TO-GO.

Texas Roadhouse is a full-service, casual dining concept known for its hand-cut steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs and comfortable, down-home atmosphere. The menu also features an assortment of steaks, ribs, chicken, salads, hamburgers, and vegetables. Most selections include two made-from-scratch side items and unlimited fresh-baked bread and peanuts.

The new restaurant will employ a staff of 230. Those interested in employment can apply online at

Currently, interviews are taking place in the La Quinta lobby. Once the parking lot is completed, interviews will be conducted in a trailer in the restaurant parking lot. Walk-ins are also accepted.

The restaurant will be open for dinner only Monday through Thursday from 2:00 –10:00 p.m., and Friday, 2:00 – 11:00 p.m. and for lunch and dinner Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Texas Roadhouse

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Roadhouse opened its doors in 1993 and has more than 610 locations in 49 states and 10 foreign countries. The family-friendly restaurant is famous for hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, fresh-baked bread, and a lively atmosphere. In 2020, Texas Roadhouse was named one of America’s Best Employers for Veterans by Forbes. Texas Roadhouse also ranked sixth on FSR Magazine’s Top 50 list of Full-Service Restaurants within the US. For more information, visit

FirstBank commits $10 million investment to the housing fund's shared equity program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 12, 2022) – FirstBank has committed to a $10 million investment in The Housing Fund for the organization’s Shared Equity Program of affordable housing. The money will fund home loans made to low- to moderate-income individuals in majority minority census tracts for families in Tennessee.

“At FirstBank, one of our main priorities is community, and we know the importance of giving back to the communities we serve,” said Chris Holmes, President and CEO of FirstBank. “FirstBank fully supports the mission and vision of The Housing Fund, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with them through their Shared Equity Program, which will go a long way toward equipping Tennesseans with financial stability and security.”

“We are thankful for FirstBank’s partnership and for this generous investment,” said Marshall Crawford, President and CEO of The Housing Fund. “Our ultimate goal is to break the cycle of poverty for families across Tennessee, and we know that means creating access to wealth-building opportunities through homeownership. FirstBank’s investment will play a major role in helping us reach our goals through leveraging additional capital, preserving and maintaining existing affordable housing, and creating new affordable housing options in Nashville and across the state.”

The Shared Equity Program allows for sustainable, continuous affordable housing solutions through renewable single-family units. It is designed for homes to be purchased by and eventually resold to low- to moderate-income individuals and families, constantly renewing the available affordable housing stock.

“We are privileged to see firsthand the tremendous, positive impact that owning a home can have on an individual or family,” said Calvin Dunning, Vice President, Fair Lending and CRA for FirstBank. “The Housing Fund has been instrumental in creating affordable, sustainable housing solutions. FirstBank is committed to doing our part to help ensure our neighbors have access to these ownership opportunities.”

Homebuyers in the program are only required to provide 1 percent of the purchase price, with 25 percent contributed by The Housing Fund and the other 74 percent coming from a FirstBank loan. Once the homeowner is ready to move on, they can sell it only to another qualified low- to moderate-income buyer affiliated with The Housing Fund. At closing, The Housing Fund gets back its 25 percent contribution at 0 percent interest. Any appreciation in value is split between the seller and The Housing Fund, which then reinvests that money back into the home by helping the next buyer with a 25 percent contribution toward their purchase.

About The Housing Fund

Since its incorporation in 1996, The Housing Fund has assisted over 3,900 first-time homebuyers receive over $29 million in down payment assistance loans, as well as provided more than $60 million in financing to assist individuals and organizations purchase, rehabilitate, or construct homes for low- and moderate-income families. THF has lent over $89 million, which has leveraged over $500 million in private financing for more than 6,000 units.

About FirstBank

Nashville-based FirstBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of FB Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBK), is the third largest Tennessee-headquartered bank, with 82 full-service branches across Tennessee, South Central Kentucky, Alabama and North Georgia, and a national mortgage business with offices across the Southeast. The bank serves five of the major metropolitan markets in Tennessee and, with approximately $11.9 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products.

Cirrus Aircraft reveals the 2022 G6 SR Series

Duluth, MN & Knoxville, TN (11 January 2022) -- Cirrus Aircraft today revealed the 2022 G6 SR Series featuring a refined aircraft design with reduced drag for increased fuel efficiency, Cirrus IQ™ mobile app updates and the freedom to pair premium Xi aesthetic options. The 2022 G6 SR reaches all new levels of sophistication, performance and customer convenience.

“The model year 2022 G6 SR is refreshed to seamlessly sync with your life – taking you further, keeping you connected and distinguishing your style in the air and on the ramp. This latest update to the G6 embodies our passion for continued innovation and commitment to design,” said Ivy McIver, Director of the SR Series Product Line. “We are excited to continue introducing more people to personal aviation and empowering their Cirrus Life story.”

Now in its sixth generation with over 8,000 aircraft delivered, the SR Series leads the market as the best-selling, high-performance, single-engine piston aircraft for 20 years in a row and provides seamless luxury, exceptional performance, intelligent connectivity and unparalleled safety features.

“The new G6 SR Series is a testament to our devotion to constantly enhance both comfort and safety features across our product lines,” said Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. “In 2022, we are poised to continue as the market leader in personal aviation and streamline the flying experience with the G6 SR Series aircraft.”

Faster, More Fuel Efficient, Better Range

The 2022 model year G6 SR is the fastest to date featuring sleeker wing and tail surfaces and redesigned wheel pants, resulting in true airspeeds of up to 9 knots faster. The new model’s ice panel transition seams are smoothed and wheel pant tolerances tightened to reduce drag. These aerodynamic refinements contribute to both reduced fuel consumption and faster flight segments.

Added Pilot and Passenger Convenience

Luggage compartment access becomes easier with the new remote unlock capability and keyless entry. Lock and unlock the baggage door with the key fob, then the door can be easily opened with the push of a button. The door opens past 90 degrees, stays open during loading, and has been redesigned to feature a deeper pocket that can easily accommodate two quarts of oil.

With safety in mind, the G6 SR features Cirrus Aircraft Spectra™ illuminated steps offering better step and ground visibility for a more secure entry and exit during dark or low light conditions. The Cirrus ‘puddle light’ logo projected onto the ramp adds an extra touch of style.

Additionally, a new, multi-functional USB panel features both USB-A and USB-C ports keeping mobile devices such as phones or laptops charged throughout the trip.

Advanced Aircraft Insight with Cirrus IQ™

New for 2022, Cirrus IQ enhances aircraft connectivity providing increased insight. The Cirrus IQ status screen is redesigned to include aircraft model designation along with a new navigation bar featuring aircraft status, inspection intervals and warranty expiration.

  • Maintenance Minder tracks approaching inspections and sends notifications when they are due. When flying, the flight hour meter automatically updates the inspection cards by providing a progress bar and countdown to the upcoming inspection event.

  • My Trips module automatically logs every flight and curates key trip statistics and achievements earned while flying. My Trips will be released in February 2022.

  • The Warranty section references the date and flight hour limits of coverage for Spinner-to-Tail warranty, and CMX coverage, if applicable.

Reimagined Exterior and Interior Aesthetics

Cirrus Aircraft introduced eight new exterior paint colors to elevate its signature ramp appeal. The Cirrus Xi Design team, in partnership with Sherwin Williams Aerospace, developed a new paint formulation process unlocking incredible potential and enhancing color definition and flexibility.

“Since the Xi program’s inception in 2009, we have carefully curated an exclusive experience that leverages leading-edge technology, our world-class engineering team and a dedicated Xi Design Studio to build your one-of-a-kind dream Cirrus aircraft,” said Alex Alequin, Director of Design. “Today, we are excited to release the luxuriously bold collection of exterior colors and premium leather interior options in order to create an aircraft that truly echoes your style.”

Select from an all-leather premium interior or add black Alcantara® inserts from the latest interior design collection to put the final touches on the 2022 G6 SR.

To reserve your 2022 G6 SR, please visit or contact

About Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft is the recognized global leader in personal aviation and the maker of the best-selling SR Series piston aircraft and the Vision Jet®, the world’s first single-engine Personal Jet™, as well as the recipient of the Robert J. Collier Trophy. Founded in 1984, the company has redefined performance, comfort and safety in aviation with innovations like the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®) – the first FAA-certified whole-airframe parachute safety system included as standard equipment on an aircraft. To date, worldwide flight time on Cirrus aircraft has passed 13 million hours and 220 people have returned home safely to their families as a result of the inclusion of CAPS as a standard feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The company now has six locations in Duluth, Minnesota; Grand Forks, North Dakota; Knoxville, Tennessee; McKinney, Texas; Greater Phoenix, Arizona and Greater Orlando, Florida. Learn more at

Dollywood announces hiring events for 2022 season

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, January 12, 2022) — Dollywood Parks & Resorts is gearing up for an exciting 2022 season by hosting a number of hiring events over the coming weeks. Competitive wages, several exciting new perks—including free lunch for all employees—and more add to the reasons why The Dollywood Company is the perfect fit for anyone regardless of their career aspirations due to the varied positions available.

From part-time positions for students to full-time careers with ample chances for advancement and everything in between, working at Dollywood may very well become a lifetime home for those looking for something that provides a little bit more than the “regular” job. Positions are available at each of the company’s properties, with most event attendees being hired on the spot with a position for the 2022 season at either Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country or Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

Available positions are posted at, with more being posted as the season nears. The first major hiring event of 2022 takes place Saturday, Jan. 29 at Sevier County High School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional hiring events take place at Jefferson County High School (Saturday, Feb. 5), Seymour Heights Christian Church (Saturday, Feb. 19), and Sevier County High School (Saturday, Feb. 26). All hiring events take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Applicants are encouraged to attend the earliest hiring event possible for the largest selection of available opportunities.

Positions are available for the entire length of the 2022 operating season, as well as shorter peak season openings, which are perfect for applicants looking for a fun summer position or for those looking to earn a little extra money during the Christmas holidays. Applicants must be 14 years of age or older.

Positions are available on several teams including Dollywood’s award-winning culinary and merchandise teams, as well as park operations positions including ticketing, transportation, house and grounds, and more. Among the openings at Dollywood’s Splash Country are house and grounds, lifeguards and culinary services positions. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa also has a number of openings available including food and beverage, front desk, bell/valet, and housekeeping positions.

Interested applicants may view opportunities, as well as job descriptions and basic requirements for each position, at Applicants can signify their interest in a position by following the online instructions to complete the application process. Technical support will be available on-site at the hiring events to assist applicants.

Dollywood Parks & Resorts plans to host a number of hiring events throughout the season to give potential employees an opportunity to attend at the time that best suits their individual needs. Additionally, new job opportunities are posted throughout the year at

Dollywood Parks & Resorts employees receive a variety of unique benefits including access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, along with complimentary Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country admission for family and friends. Employees also take part in Dollywood’s Park Perks program which provides free or reduced admission to a large number of regional attractions, theaters and experiences. A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, is available for qualified full-time employees. Dollywood also pays a portion of childcare costs for hosts whose children are cared for at a WeeCare-affiliated provider. Numerous development opportunities also are available to help employees develop leadership skills, including an apprenticeship program in conjunction with Walters State Community College. New this season, employees can enjoy free lunch every working day.

In 2021, Forbes named The Dollywood Company as one of the best employers in the country, according to a ranking on their website. Dollywood was represented well among the 500 companies on Forbes’ list of the best midsize employers. The list includes companies across 25 industry sectors, with only 20 companies on the list in the “Travel & Leisure” category of which Dollywood was included. Among those companies, Dollywood ranked sixth and was the only theme park on the midsize list. To view the entire list, visit

For more information about positions, please visit

SmileMD expands anesthesia services to Tennessee

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 11, 2021 – SmileMD, a premier dental sedation organization, announced their expansion into Tennessee today. The launch will help healthcare providers bring outpatient procedures into their offices with anesthesia services, which will reduce barriers to care for patients.

"We’re expanding due to need of bringing care closer to communities to reduce access issues," SmileMD CEO Saket Agrawal said. "The pandemic has made it harder for people to access significant dental care, which can quickly spiral into larger issues if not treated in a timely manner.”

SmileMD has seen growth for their services over the past year as COVID-19 cases have overcrowded hospitals across the U.S. The services SmileMD provides are helping solve this issue by bringing the operating room to local dental offices to provide safe in-office anesthesia – filling a major gap in healthcare access.

“We look to initially bring care to dental offices in the coming months, as well as continue to expand our network of anesthesiologists, registered nurses, and paramedics to accommodate the rising number of patients in the Tennessee area,” Agrawal said. “It is exciting to offer an opportunity to these amazing healthcare clinicians to help impact their local communities in a significant way while appealing to the lifestyle they dream of having”.

Knoxville, Tennessee hosted the first in-office patient visit this past month. SmileMD will continue to expand services to additional offices throughout the state with services coming to Nashville and other areas soon.

SmileMD’s parent company, OFFOR Health, is working to provide additional on-site medical services across practice areas to alleviate the taxed system. The company is focused on ways to make healthcare more accessible and more affordable for all patients.

About SmileMD

SmileMD, a subsidiary of OFFOR Health, Inc. is a anesthesia services company that was founded by anesthesiologists. SmileMD provides anesthesia to pediatric and adult dental patients in office settings, increasing access to care for thousands of patients each year. SmileMD currently offers services in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and the organization is continuing to roll out its offerings across the country.

Survey of residents to supplement traffic data

Installing traffic-calming devices, such as speed humps, on small residential streets is popular with many City residents. Mayor Indya Kincannon’s current budget includes $1.25 million to expand neighborhood traffic slow-down measures.

But what can be done, and what should be prioritized, when it comes to speeding on the city’s heavier-volume main roads, such as Washington Pike, Lonas Drive or Central Street?

The solution starts with a short survey to be taken by the people of Knoxville who drive the streets as part of their daily commutes. Traffic engineers want to hear about people’s everyday experiences and frustrations in sharing the roadways that so many types of users rely on.

Click here to take the 5-minute survey:

The City’s citywide study aims to partner with the public in identifying major corridors with traffic speed concerns and developing tools to mitigate these issues.

Specifically, this project is intended to help traffic planners find ways to improve safety associated with excessive vehicle speeds on major roads. While traffic-calming devices work well on smaller residential streets, they generally aren’t an option for larger traffic arterial and collector streets.

(What’s considered a major street? Click on this plan, prepared by Knoxville-Knox County Planning:

Preliminary traffic data analysis has identified some priority roadways, and these are highlighted in the survey: Bob Gray Road, Cecil Avenue, Cedar Lane, Central Street, Cherokee Trail, Deane Hill Drive, Fifth Avenue, Gleason Drive, Inskip Road/Bruhin Road, Lonas Drive, Lyons View Pike, Main Street, Morrell Road, Pleasant Ridge Road, Sutherland Avenue, Texas Avenue, Washington Pike and Woodland Avenue.

However, feedback through the survey can be directed toward any roadway in the city, not just the highlighted corridors.

In addition to identifying places where speeding is rampant, respondents also are asked to identify streets where residents have concerns about safety, frequent congestion or bicycle/pedestrian conflicts with vehicles.

Responses to this survey will help City Engineering to further develop the list of roadways that merit additional detailed vehicle speed and volume studies. At the end of the process, strategies will be developed and recommended to help control excessive vehicle speeds.

This effort also supports the City’s “Vision Zero” goal to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Knoxville streets.

The survey is now open and remain available through Jan. 23.

CNS Cares to host Health & Resource Fair for Tennessee energy workers

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- CNS Cares, East Tennessee’s newest in-home healthcare provider for former energy workers, will host a Health & Resource Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, that includes information on customized care plans and other healthcare screenings.

The two-hour event will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy, located at 115 E. Main St., in Oak Ridge.

CNS is an enrolled provider for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) delivering care to those eligible under the federal Energy Employees Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. CNS Cares services are provided at no cost to beneficiaries.

“The event is another opportunity for our team to introduce itself to all the former energy workers in the East Tennessee region, and to prove to them that our no-cost claims support and customized care plans provide these workers with the most-knowledgeable case workers and best care possible from our local nursing team,” said Jamie Sharpe, R.N., CEO of CNS Cares.

For all attendees, the event includes a complimentary lunch, free blood pressure and other health screenings, an opportunity to learn more about the DOL benefits available and receive a gift certificate for a free turkey. Energy workers should RSVP for the event by calling 423-251-1747.

The CNS Cares team will provide blood-pressure screening and will be joined by other organizations in the region, including:

Beltone, providing hearing screenings, and

Atomic Trades & Labor Council providing healthcare screenings.

CNS’s Tennessee Care Team will help any former energy worker, contractor or subcontractor apply for the Labor Department’s Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DEEOIC) medical benefits card, more commonly known as the “white card,” which is necessary to qualify for medical benefits that include doctor’s office visits, inpatient and outpatient hospital charges, emergency room visits, medical equipment, brand-name and generic prescription drugs and home health services.


CNS Cares is a provider of highly specialized home health services and claims support for former nuclear and energy workers, contractors and subcontractors under the U.S. Department of Labor and the EEOICPA programs. Headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado, the company is accredited by the Department of Labor and licensed to manage claims and home-care services in 16 states around the United States. For more information, visit


The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) provides benefits to employees (or their survivors) of the Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors/subcontractors, who become ill because of exposure to radiation and/or other toxic substances authorized by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA or Act). It includes two separate benefit programs: Part B and Part E.

Part B of the EEOICPA provides eligible employees or survivors with lump-sum compensation up to $150,000 and pays medical expenses for accepted conditions. Part E provides eligible employees or survivors with compensation payments up to a maximum amount of $250,000, plus medical expenses for accepted conditions. The amount of benefits paid up to the $250,000 is based on the level of impairment and/or years of qualifying wage loss related to the covered illness.

Ultra Safe Nuclear licenses ORNL method to 3D print advanced reactor components

A novel method to 3D print components for nuclear reactors, developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been licensed by Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation, or USNC.

The technology uses a sophisticated additive manufacturing technique to print refractory materials, which are highly resistant to extreme heat and degradation, into components with complex shapes needed for advanced nuclear reactor designs.

USNC will incorporate this method to boost their mission to develop and deploy nuclear-based, energy-generating equipment that is safe, commercially competitive and simple to use.

The long-time Seattle-based collaborator also plans to expand its operations into East Tennessee to take advantage of proximity to ORNL’s expertise while scaling up production of specialty components for nuclear and industrial applications.

“This technology is ideal for manufacturing structure and core components for USNC’s advanced reactor designs,” Kurt Terrani, USNC executive vice president, said.

Terrani came to USNC from ORNL where he was technical director of the lab’s Transformational Challenge Reactor program, leveraging expertise at the lab’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility with leadership in nuclear technology to pilot the concept of 3D printing components for energy applications.

“It’s rewarding to see the transition from basic concept to a more mature technology that is actively being developed and deployed by our industry partners,” said Jeremy Busby, director of ORNL’s Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle division. “This is exactly the sort of impact that ORNL strives to make for our energy portfolio.”

USNC’s existing advanced nuclear systems, Terrani said, are designed to deliver the highest levels of safety and reliability. While the company is currently meeting that goal, “we don’t stop there.”

“We also utilize materials in our reactor cores that can withstand very harsh environments and high temperatures and don’t result in any degradation,” he said. “We engineer multiple redundant barriers against any potential release of radiation through fundamental application of nuclear engineering and materials science.”

USNC’s refractory material of choice for nuclear reactor core components is silicon carbide, a high-temperature-resistant ceramic that has been tested and proven to be radiation tolerant. Yet, traditional machining of silicon carbide into parts for a reactor are so time-intensive and expensive that it’s nearly impossible.

The ORNL-developed alternative combines binder jet printing as the additive manufacturing technique and a ceramic production process called chemical vapor infiltration, which will allow USNC to make components more efficiently with desired complex shapes, such as fluid channels in a heat exchanger.

“This is the holy grail of additive, that you can do things faster, that are in geometries that were previously very difficult or impossible with conventional manufacturing methods,” Terrani said.

USNC’s new Pilot Fuel Manufacturing, or PFM, facility will be located at the East Tennessee Technology Park in Oak Ridge, which is home of the former K-25 plant and mere minutes from ORNL’s main campus. The energy company plans to continue its collaboration with ORNL.

“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with ORNL,” said Francesco Venneri, chief executive officer of USNC. “Proximity to the lab and its world-class scientists and facilities allow us easy access to expertise in reactor core technologies and additive manufacturing, as well as the latest in radiation, fuels and materials research, all of which benefit USNC’s commitment to bring safe, reliable and secure nuclear energy to world markets.” USNC and ORNL also signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September on advanced nuclear fuel and reactor development activities.

Along with Terrani, other inventors of this technology include ORNL’s Brian Jolly and Michael Trammel. Enabled through ORNL’s entrepreneurial leave program, Jolly and Trammell joined USNC as group leaders for Chemical Vapor Processing and Additive Manufacturing, respectively, to participate in full commercialization of their intellectual property.

The Transformational Challenge Reactor program was supported by DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy and made possible by the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. The MDF is supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit For ORNL licensing information, visit

John Coker's Jan. 15 auction features European fine art with important provenance

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On Saturday, January 15, 2022, John W. Coker & Co., will auction antiques and fine art from several distinguished estates and families. The online-only event, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, is highlighted by a very special selection of European Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings formerly in the collection of Dr. Albert Kinkade Chapman (1890-1984), president and CEO of Eastman Kodak.

“Very few people even knew Dr. Chapman’s collection existed before we auctioned part of his collection in 2010,” said Coker Auctions’ founder/owner John W. Coker. “He started collecting in the 1940s and acquired most of his artworks prior to the 1960s, buying from Knoedler, M.R. Schweitzer, Sam Salz, Milch and other well-known New York dealers. He never exhibited his collection. Once he purchased a painting, he did not want it out of his possession.”

Artworks in the January 15 auction with Chapman provenance include Ker-Xavier Roussel’s oil-on-canvas titled Satyr Chasing a Woodland Nymphette, estimate $60,000-$80,000; and a Camille Pissarro graphite-on-paper work titled The Artist’s Mother, $50,000-$75,000. Other oil-on-canvas highlights include E. Othon Friez’s Bright Landscape with House, $60,000-$80,000; and Gustave Loiseau’s A View From The Artist’s Studio Window, $40,000-$60,000.

The auction opens with an enchanting portrait whose lineage is connected to Southern “royalty.” Painted by Atlanta artist E. Sherwood Jeter (1862-1930), the oil-on-canvas depicts Mary Abbott Candler, a niece of Asa Griggs Candler, who purchased the full rights to Coca-Cola from the soft drink’s inventor in 1891. The portrait has passed by descent through the sitter’s family since its creation in 1898. It is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

There are many other artworks deserving of consideration, including a highly detailed Gifford Beal (American, 1879-1956) graphite-on-paper drawing of a park scene, possibly in New York City. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000. A circa-1901 oil-on-canvas by F. Luis Mora, which will be included in the upcoming Mora catalogue raisonne by Lynne Pauls Baron, depicts an interior view of a studio, with Mora at his easel painting a portrait of a live model. In an obvious homage to the past, Diego Velazquez (1599-1660), the 17th century painter in the Court of King Philip IV of Spain and Portugal, is shown standing behind the artist. The work is in unrestored mint condition, and there is no record of its ever having been exhibited. Any painting by Mora is significant because he is regarded as America’s first Hispanic Master. The artwork offered by Coker is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Coveted Judaica comes from the family of Mr. and Mrs. Max Wolfe of Cincinnati, who moved to Tennessee in the 1930s and founded Quality Bakery, the first Jewish bakery in Knoxville. Eight 1920s sterling silver kiddush cups traditionally used to usher in the Jewish Shabbat are entered in the auction with a $600-$900 estimate.

Additionally, Coker will offer family items from a trunk that was inherited by Esther Maria Lewis Chapin (1871-1959), a great-granddaughter of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802). Some of the items originally discovered in the trunk were donated to Mount Vernon and, according to family lore, several pieces – including a few that feature in the January 15 auction – once resided in Arlington House, the home of General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) and his wife Mary Anna Randolph Custis (1807-1873).

The historical collection includes a pair of hand-painted vases, $2,000-$4,000; and a pair of glass girandoles, $500-$2,500; from Arlington House. According to family legend, both the vases and girandoles were removed just prior to the Northern forces’ occupation of the Lee residence. Included in the same consignment is an exquisite embroidery-on- silk depicting roses which reputedly was created jointly by Martha Washington and Nellie Custis Lewis. Both women were renowned embroiderers and rose fanciers. Estimate: $1,000-$3,000

Also noteworthy within the auction lineup is a collection of Pre-Columbian fragments that has resided in the United States since the 1950s. One example, a clay jaguar figure, likely Mexican and approximately 500-1500 years old, is estimated at $500-$5,000. All of the artifacts were gifted to an American family who visited Mexico in the 1950s, returned home with the pieces, and displayed them in their Detroit home from pre-1958 until their consignment to Coker.

An Anglo-Indian sterling silver presentation scroll holder (with scroll inside) is from the Raj Period and is ornately carved, chased and engraved. According to the scroll, the gift was presented in 1911 to “J. Moore, Esq., by the European Staff Clerks and Workpeople of The Bombay Woolen Mills.” It measures 15 inches long and is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

John Coker’s January 15, 2022 online-only auction will start at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any item in the auction, call John Coker at 865-475-5163 or email

KUB Kicks Off 2022 Project Help campaign for heating assistance

With the cold winter months ahead, many families will struggle with the cost of heating their homes. Through Project Help, community donations provide emergency heating

assistance to those in need due to job loss, illness, injury, or disability, as well as seniors

struggling with the rising cost of living.

“Project Help helped me when I was at my lowest point suffering from cancer,” Teresa, a recent Project Help assistance recipient. “Project Help helped me get my utilities so I wouldn’t have to be in a cold house, and I couldn’t have done it otherwise. … It saved my life probably.”

The 2021 Project Help campaign kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 5, and runs through

Feb. 1. KUB invites people to give a little to help those in need. Partnering with

Food City, WVLT-TV, WIVK, the Knoxville News Sentinel, and Home Federal Bank, there are multiple easy ways to donate to Project Help:

  • Purchase a donation coupon when shopping at Food City

  • Make a donation at any Knoxville area Home Federal Bank Drive-thru

  • Send a check to: Project Help, P.O. Box 59017, Knoxville, TN 37950

  • Visit a KUB Customer Service Center or donate at KUB kiosks

“Project Help depends solely on community and individual contributions,” said Tiffany

Martin, KUB Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “Thanks to generous donors,

last year Project Help was able to help over 400 families in need stay safe and warm

through the winter.”

Project Help is administered by the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action

Committee (CAC). KUB collects donations, and 100 percent of the funds go to CAC. The money goes directly toward the purchase of electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, wood, or coal for those in need.

Project Help of East Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax


PYA announces the 2nd annual Ballard Innovation Award competition

PYA, a leading certified public accounting and professional services firm, is pleased to announce that applications will open January 12, 2022, for the Ballard Innovation Award. The annual award, established last year, allows emerging companies to compete for a $50,000 investment of capital and in-kind services to support their emerging, innovative ideas. The award is the largest combination of cash and in-kind services available to East Tennessee start-ups.

“As we once again open the floor for entries for the Ballard Innovation Award, it is our goal to highlight and help East Tennessee entrepreneurs with supportive strategies that further their entrepreneurial efforts,” said Marty Brown, President and CEO of PYA. “This award allows us to connect with those innovators to help them grow and thrive as an established part of our community.”

One of PYA’s core values is embraced in the word HELP, something that the 38-year-old firm has demonstrated through its work with high-potential and innovative firms like those in the “Innovation Crossroads” program operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the “Spark Innovation Center” at the University of Tennessee Research Park.

Interested entrepreneurs should download, complete, and submit an application form found on the application page. Applicants are encouraged to submit links to videos, articles, multimedia presentations, or other supporting documentation.

The application deadline is February 9, 2022. Winners will be announced March 9, 2022.

In its inaugural year, the Ballard Innovation Award first prize was presented to 490 BioTech. The company has developed bioluminescent technologies that enable new drugs to move more quickly through the pharmaceutical testing process. Eonix, LLC, a battery company, and Ascend Manufacturing, which works in 3D printing technology, placed second and third, respectively.

The award is named in honor of PYA’s Chief Alliance Officer, Tom Ballard, who has spent decades working on creating relationships and supporting the East Tennessee region’s entrepreneurial community. He is also publisher of, which focuses on innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. The publication recently launched Teknovation Weekend, which focuses on more traditional business news.

About PYA

For more than 35 years, PYA, a national professional services firm providing management consulting and accounting, has helped its clients navigate and derive value amid complex challenges related to regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, governance, business valuations and fair market value assessments, multi-unit business and clinical integrations, best practices, tax and assurance, business analysis, and operations optimization.

PYA’s steadfast commitment to an unwavering client-centric culture has served the firm’s clients well. PYA was named one of America’s Best Tax and Accounting Firms of 2022 in the Forbes annual list. PYA consistently is ranked among the Top 20 healthcare consulting firms in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare. PYA is also ranked by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the Top 100 largest accounting firms in the U.S. Additionally, PYA has been consistently voted a “Top Workplace.” PYA’s affiliated companies offer clients world-class data analytics; professional real estate development and advisory resources for healthcare providers; and wealth management and retirement plan administration.

PYA is an independently owned consulting and accounting firm and is a member of HLB, the global advisory and accounting network.

PYA assists clients in all 50 states from offices in Atlanta, Helena, Kansas City, Knoxville, Nashville, and Tampa. For more information, please visit

KCDC to show Transforming Western plan at Jan. 19 open house

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) will host an open house for neighborhood, stakeholder and community members to review the Transforming Western plan for the Western Heights housing site and Beaumont area.

The open house will be held Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Western Heights Boys & Girls Club gym located at 1417 W. Oldham Ave. On-street parking is available, and masks are required for attendees.

The Transforming Western plan is the result of months of meetings with residents, stakeholders and the community. The process will culminate in KCDC applying in February for a $40 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to help fund the transformation of the neighborhood.

The plan addresses the renovation and replacement of residential structures and specific aspects mentioned during meetings, such as employment opportunities, transportation, safety, better access to health care and improved access to technology, specifically internet access.

“In a months-long process, KCDC and our planning partners have engaged with residents and stakeholders to address community needs around the three key areas of people, housing and neighborhood,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “We are proud to share a plan that benefits not only the residents of Western Heights and Beaumont but also the city of Knoxville.”

Established in 1939, Western Heights is KCDC’s largest affordable housing development at 440 units. The site is located just off Keith and Western avenues in Northwest Knoxville.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program is designed to leverage significant public and private funds to support implementation of locally driven strategies to improve public housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Additional philanthropic investment required by the grant and provided by individuals, companies and foundations would be used for site amenities such as parks, greenspaces, community spaces and social services.

The Transforming Western planning process began in February 2021 with insight from Western Heights residents followed by meetings with 17 stakeholder groups to gather input from the broader community on a variety of topics, such as economic development, education and supportive services.

KCDC’s Transforming Western planning partners include the City of Knoxville, Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC), BarberMcMurry Architects and Urban Design Associates.

About Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit

The Tranzonic Companies to donate cleaning essentials amid Kentucky tornado cleanup

The Tranzonic Companies will donate hundreds of thousands of sanitizing wipes and nitrile gloves to assist volunteers and residents cleaning up damage done by tornados in Kentucky this month. Tranzonic is partnering with Good360 to distribute the essential items where they are needed most in the aftermath.

The Tranzonic Companies, a national firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has been in business since 1921. Core products include wiping cloths, personal hygiene, textiles, washroom supplies and accessories, wiping and cleaning supplies, and safety products. The Knoxville location is the largest manufacturing and distribution facility for The Tranzonic Companies. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: R. J. Corman Railroad Company announces acquisition and establishment of the Knoxville and Cumberland Gap Railroad