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A great community newspaper serving Halls and Fountain City


  • VOL. 55 NO. 13 March 30, 2016www.ShopperNewsNow.com | www.facebook.com/ShopperNewsNow

    (865) 922-4136

    NEWS (865) 661-8777

    news@ShopperNewsNow.comSandra Clark | Ruth White

    ADVERTISING SALES(865) 342-6084

    ads@ShopperNewsNow.com Patty Fecco | Tony Cranmore

    Beverly Holland | Amy Lutheran

    CIRCULATION(865) 342-6200



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    By Betty BeanThe west side of the gap in the

    ridge above the intersection at Clinton Highway and Old Calla-han Road is home to the historic Powell Airplane service station. The east side is a massive exca-vation site where earth-moving equipment is eating away the hill-side and massive dump trucks are hauling off the dirt.

    The property owner, Lonnie Harris, says hes trying to fl atten out the property which is zoned agricultural and is a state-licensed borrow pit to make it better suited to farming. He said hes contributing to the economy by providing fi ll dirt for a new Kroger store on the old Powell Airport site on Emory Road. Thanks to a fi nger annexation several years ago, the former airport property, a low-lying, fl ood-prone wetland near Beaver Creek, is inside the city limits.

    Under state law I can do what-ever I need to do to make my land more farmable. All the dirt thats coming out of that is going into ar-eas that are going to build commer-cial buildings. Yes, theres a lot of dirt being moved, and its going to

    help increase the property tax base. Commercial property generates a lot more tax money. They need to fi ll 15 feet, and they had to get the dirt somewhere, Harris said.

    Although Harris has had the borrow pit permit for 20 years, he blames the Knoxville-Knox County Hillside and Slope Pro-tection Plan, adopted by the city in December 2011 and the county in 2012, for the excavation op-eration, which he concedes is un-sightly but says is really nobodys business but his own.

    When all these idiots like Tony Norman and Joe Hultquist (who jointly chaired the Hillside and Slope Protection Taskforce and presided over public meetings all over the county, at which Harris showed up to protest) tried to get this stupid hillside and ridge top plan through, what they succeed-ed in doing was making it so only the rich can afford to hold land.

    What they failed to realize is agriculture is usually conducted in the lower areas where its farm-able. Residences are on hillsides. Now theyve made it so hard to build anything there. This issue goes so deep, and the whole rea-

    A borrow pit operation is gouging out the side of a ridge at Clinton Highway and Old Callahan Drive.

    son for it was so somebody else could confi scate somebodys prop-erty so they can look at, because its pretty. Its confi scating the wealth and value of somebody elses property.

    Although the county has no au-thority over the borrow pit except to monitor erosion control and no jurisdiction over the new Kroger site, Norman, a former county commissioner who is now a storm To page A-3

    water project manager and works with engineers, developers and citizens on storm water issues, isnt enthusiastic about any aspect of Harriss operation.

    Chopping off a mountain and hauling it over to fi ll in a fl ood plain? Thats just awesome. Lon-nies a champion. A fl ood plains got a function to hold water and

    By Sandra ClarkCarl Tindell, president of the

    Halls Business and Professional Association, and Charles Busler, Knox County commissioner, met last week to discuss a visioning proc ess to form a plan for econom-ic revitalization in Halls.

    Tindell said it will be the topic of discussion at the Halls BPA board meeting set for noon Tues-day, April 5, at the Halls Senior Center. Anyone with suggestions should contact Tindell, Busler or any member of the BPA board.

    Lets start with our assets, said Tindell. Halls is known as a great place for families with good schools, parental support, recre-ational opportunities and a conve-

    nient shopping district. And look at the political leader-

    ship supporting Halls: at the state level, weve got Gov. Bill Haslam, Sens. Becky Massey, Richard Briggs and Randy McNally, who is set to become Lt. Gov. and Senate Speaker. In the House, state Rep. Bill Dunn is a veteran legislator who chairs the powerful Calendar and Rules Committee.

    At the county level, Mayor Tim Burchett has always received good support in Halls. Of 11 county commissioners, Halls has Busler from District 7 and the commis-sion chair, Dave Wright, whose District 8 includes the rural part of Halls.

    In addition, there are at-large

    commissioners Bob Thomas and Ed Brantley.

    Busler has brought Gary Hu-man, East Tennessee regional director of the Tennessee Depart-ment of Economic and Commu-nity Development, to Halls to dis-cuss prospects for redevelopment when Regal Entertainment relo-cates downtown.

    Weve got some ideas, but its premature, Busler said. We need to know when Regal will move and when (Hwy. 33) will get done.

    Busler sees the redevelopment area as a 10-mile radius of down-town Halls.

    Community resources include the Business and Professional As-sociation, the Halls Crossroads

    Womens League, Hallsdale-Powell Utility District, churches,schools and Beaver Creek.

    Beaver Creek?Yes. Beaver Creek ties together

    the communities of Gibbs to Hallsto Powell to Karns. Its the onlycreek that both starts and ends inKnox County, and theres alreadyBeaver Creek watershed oversight,coordinated by Roy Arthur in thecountys Engineering and PublicWorks Department.

    Hwy. 33 construction is painwith future gain, Tindell said.Once construction is fi nished, theHalls community will be poised toboom.

    And thats a future worth plan-ning for.

    Vols sought for Halls cleanup

    The Halls Crossroads Womens League will hold its semi-annual litter pickup on Saturday, April 2, and volun-teers are needed. Volunteers will meet at the clothes closet at the corner of Maynardville Pike and Cunningham Road at 9:30 a.m. with pickup begin-ning at 10 a.m.

    The league will supply trash bags, gloves, vests and drinking water. Students who volunteer will be pro-vided service-hour forms for individual credit. Volunteers should wear appropriate shoes and clothing.

    Focus areas will be around Maynardville Pike. To recom-mend other areas for cleanup, call Terry Carr, 922-2982.

    HHS Wall of Fame nominations

    Halls Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the Halls High School Wall of Fame. Winners will be announced at the Associa-tions annual banquet in April. Deadline for nominations is Thursday, March 31. Info/nom-ination forms: Judson Palmer, PO Box 70654, Knoxville TN 37938 or 712-3099.

    Halls leaders discuss revitalization

    By Ruth WhiteNews anchor Ted Hall brought

    a message of trust and letting go of control when he spoke Friday at the Halls Business and Professional As-sociations annual prayer breakfast.

    Hall was a reporter and news anchor at WBIR-TV for 18 years be-fore heading to Atlanta to work at WXIA. He shared with the group his road to becoming a news an-chor and how he learned to let go.

    While visiting family in Kan-sas, Halls wife, Lesa, noticed that their youngest son, Keaton, wasnt acting quite right and realized he was having a seizure. The couple rushed him to a hospital there and were advised to return to Atlanta promptly.

    Doctors in Atlanta performed surgery on Keatons brain and found a cancerous tumor. When the Halls didnt hear from the doctors, Ted remembers the world spinning for two weeks. He began to ask God why his son, why his little boy . And he be-gan to pray. I heard the words clearly from God one day while I was praying, and He told me that

    WVLT news anchor Ted Hall shares his story of faith with guests at the annual Halls Prayer Breakfast. Photo by R. White

    Ruth White

    Hall shares story of faithHe loved Keaton more than I evercould and to trust Him.

    Hall remembers God tellinghim to let it go, and he gave com-plete control over his sons healthto God.

    The tumor returned and a sec-ond surgery was required. Hall isthankful that no chemotherapyor radiation was ever needed forhealing. Many good things havecome from this, he said. Keatonwent to several camps and wasalso on television to talk aboutcancer. He is now 19 years old andplans to study abroad in Japanthis summer.

    Hall reminded the group thatGods plan is always better thanour own. Im not sure about thefuture, but I dont have to worryabout it. Following Keatons ill-ness, Halls priorities changed.

    After fulfi lling his contract atWXIA, he quit his job, trustedGod and returned to Knoxville.He is currently working at WVLTand is thrilled to be back home.

    This time, instead of prayingand telling God what I wanted todo, I waited on God.

    Powell alumni reunion

    The Powell High Alumni Reunion will be held Saturday, April 2, at the Jubilee Banquet Facility, 6700 Jubilee Center Way. Registration begins at 4:45 p.m., with a buffet meal at 6. Cost: $24 plus alumni fees of $10. Info: Lynette Brown, 947-7371 or LBrown8042@aol.com.

    Woodhill School reunion set

    Woodhill School reunion will be held 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Pleasant Gap Fellowship building. The event is a covered dish. Info: Betty Effl ery, 982-0174, or Phyllis Summers, 922-2884.

    Hauling a mountain to a fl ood plain: Awesome!City seekshistoric photos

    Chilhowee Park and Exposi-tion Center is celebrating the gathering spots unique history by collecting and exhibiting historical photos.

    Anyone who can donate his or her photo to be displayed permanently, or a copy can be made and the photo re-turned. Email Greg Mackay at gmackay@knoxvilletn.gov with inquir