Knoxville Focus for January 5, 2015

Sign Task Force to meet again By Mike Steely After almost three years of revisions and debate in public meetings, Knoxville’s voluminous Sign Ordinance proposal seems to be no closer to being passed than it was in February 2012, when a task force was appointed to revise the various ordinances. The task force’s initial idea […]

Publisher’s Position: Council Should Expand Ban On Panhandling

By Steve Hunley The Knoxville City Council will consider expanding the current ban on panhandling. Currently the law prohibits panhandling that is considered overly aggressive. While that is somewhat vague, the law also restricts panhandling after dark, or near banks, bus stations, as well as restaurant patios. The expansion of the ban would extend to […]

Tennessee’s First Election For the U. S. Senate: The Democratic Primary 1915

By Ray Hill 2015 marks the one-hundredth year since the people of Tennessee cast their ballots to select a candidate for the United States Senate. There had previously been non-binding preferential primaries, as senators were still elected by the state legislature. The 1915 primary was unusual in two respects; first it was no ordinary election […]

UT’s Cherokee Farm on MPC agenda

By Mike Steely The Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission will consider a long agenda of various requests when they meet in a workshop and their regular meeting this week. One of those items is a use-on-review of plans for the University of Tennessee’s Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus. The MPC agenda workshop is Tuesday at 11:45 […]

Short-handed Bulldogs stay perfect with tournament championship

By Ken Lay Despite missing two key players, the Bearden High School boys basketball team posted a dominant victory, kept its perfect record intact and claimed a holiday tournament championship on Monday, Dec. 29. The Bulldogs, who were without the services of senior center Sam Phillips (who was nursing a back injury) and junior guard/forward […]

Seven Islands State Park

By Mike Steely You can’t get there from here. Yep. Tennessee’s newest state park, Seven Islands State Birding Park, is located in Knox County but you’ve got to go through Sevier County to get to the main part of the park. Yet, if you like hiking, kayaking, or bird watching, it’s worth a drive. Back […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Our minister said what many of us are feeling: “We need Christmas,” because what a year it has been.  I can’t fully understand the Depression, WW II or similar events from history because they are not experiential for me.  However, I’ve now lived six decades and I have paid close attention […]

Columbine massacre set ablaze a burning desire to care

By Steve Williams For every cry, there’s a laugh. For every why, there’s a wow. For every end, there’s a start. The Columbine High School massacre was the worst shooting to ever occur on a high school campus in the United States. But from it arose a burning desire to care more about students in […]

2015: A look ahead

By Alex Norman 2014 is in its dying stages but good news loyal readers… a brand new year is about to kick off. Instead of waiting to see what happens in the sports world over those 365 days, I’ve dusted off the handy dandy crystal ball and found out exactly what is going to occur. […]

New Year, New Outlook

By Joe Rector It’s time to reflect upon the 2014. I do that instead of making resolutions, which, in my case, are nothing more than a list of good intentions that rarely are fulfilled. Instead, I reflect upon the past year and try to figure out what I’ve learned. For the last 365 days, the […]