Visiting the Barter Theater

By Mike Steely Small towns do not usually boast professional theaters but Abingdon, Virginia, just northeast of Bristol and a few blocks from Interstate 81, is the exception. Only about three hours from Knoxville, the Barter Theatre there is worth a destination or a side trip. The theater was founded during the depression when a […]

Sultana descendants to gather

Sultana descendants to gather

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com The riverboat was built for about 376 passengers but, because the captain was being paid for each passenger he could carry, the Sultana was packed with more than 2,000 people on its final voyage. Most of the passengers were Union soldiers returning from the Civil War or from Confederate prison camps. […]

Check cashing regulations, a historic building, Inskip apartments

Check cashing regulations, a historic building, Inskip apartments

By Mike Steely Over the past few years Knoxville neighborhoods and businesses have become more and more concerned about the rapid growth of alternative financial service locations. Back in February the city council asked the Metropolitan Planning Commission to look at the problem and set new regulations. Thursday afternoon the planners adopted staff recommendations that […]

The Knoxville Focus for April 4, 2016

The Knoxville Focus for April 4, 2016

Drop the beer distance ordinance? Council says ‘Not Yet.’ By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com It is apparent that the distance between a beer retail store and places like schools, hospitals, churches and mortuaries may someday be changed but a 5-4 vote Tuesday evening by the city council keeps the 300 foot requirement. The close decision not […]

Our National Landmarks: Railroad Depots

Our National Landmarks: Railroad Depots

By Mikes Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com Knoxville is celebrating 225 years this year and you probably don’t realize that the city and its county have some 111 places on the National Register of Historic Sites. That includes not only historic homes and buildings but also landmarks. You probably know our “main” sites on the national registry but […]

Sam Houston comes home

Sam Houston comes home

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com It has been said that if it wasn’t for Tennessee there would be no Texas. That saying refers to  the influx of people from our state to what was then the northern territory of Mexico and the number of those people who promoted and fought the Texas Revolution. East Texas even […]

Food truck rules may be opposed

Food truck rules may be opposed

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com The city’s two-year pilot project to allow and regulate food trucks is on the way to becoming an official ordinance and, overall, the trial program has been very successful. But the Community Forum has some hard questions about parts of the proposed rules. The ordinance discussion is on the city council […]

MIKE BROWN ‘I don’t regret a minute of it’

Photo By Dan Andrews Commissioner Mike Brown being interviewed by Mike Steely. The retiring commissioner and community leader says he has lots to keep him busy after he leaves the commission.

MIKE BROWN ‘I don’t regret a minute of it’

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com Mike Brown is known as being the “bulldog” of the Knox County Commission due to his eight years of speaking his mind as commissioner. His words are often colored with unique, descriptive and folksy phrasing that gets his point across. “I believe in telling it like it is,” Brown told The […]

The Knoxville Focus for March 14, 2016

The Knoxville Focus for March 14, 2016

E-911 Director Change Possible By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com The Knoxville-Knox County Director of the E-911 System may be on his way to early retirement. The system’s Personnel Committee met in a called session Wednesday to hear the results of an employee survey and then discussed the various options concerning Director Bob Coker’s employment. Vicki Hatfield, […]

Neighborhood gathering a success

Neighborhood gathering a success

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com More than 450 people turned out for the Neighborhood Awards and Networking Luncheon at the Knoxville Convention Center recently. The annual event featured exhibits from various city and county agencies, companies, and the presentation of the Diana Conn Good Neighbor of the Year Award. David Gillette of Mechanicsville received the Good […]

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