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A great community newspaper serving Halls and Fountain City

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  • By Sandra ClarkTDOT has tweaked its plans

    for improvements at Broadway and I-640 to accommodate bike and pedestrian access in response to comments at previous public meetings.

    Representatives from TDOT and its engineering consultant, CDM Smith, were at Fountain City Business and Professional Asso-ciation Sept. 9 to present revised plans and take questions/com-ments.

    Michael W. Russell is project manager with the Tennessee De-partment of Transportation.

    This project doesnt address all traffi c needs on Broadway and Tazewell Pike, but it will address safety and congestion concerns at the interchange, he said. Its been a balancing act to minimize the impact on the environment, businesses and property owners

    VOL. 54 NO. 37 September 16, 2015www.ShopperNewsNow.com | www.facebook.com/ShopperNewsNow

    7049 Maynardville Pike 37918(865) 922-4136

    NEWS

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    Russell

    Broadway project awaits funding

    Loveday

    while looking at safety and traffi c fl ow.

    We have met with the city and identifi ed opportunities for en-hancing pedestrian movements within public right-of-way, he said. Surplus land can be added to the citys greenway system.

    The other greenway, Green-way Drive, still lacks a left turn onto Broadway under the design. Motorists must turn right and circle back toward town. Weve

    about worn out the parking lot at CiCis Pizza, said one.

    A new wrinkle is a video by Fountain City resident Hollis Loveday that simulates traffi c fl ow in 2034.

    Such projections are both an art and a science, said Loveday, who works for CDM Smith and also was a victim of an accident at this interchange.

    Russell expects TDOT to com-plete right-of-way acquisition this year. TDOT anticipates letting this project in December 2015. But its wait-and-see for construction funding. Although the project is in TDOTs 3-year plan for 2015, the state must wait on federal fund-ing.

    Major changes include: Two ramps and a barrier wall

    to eliminate the weave of south-bound traffi c from Broadway and Tazewell Pike to access I-640

    westbound. Each lane will have its own on-ramp and both will be ex-tended to allow more distance to merge into I-640.

    A new loop ramp will putnorthbound Broadway traffi c onto I-640 west; currently traffi c makes a left turn off Broadway at a traffi c signal.

    Tazewell Pike traffi c willtravel southbound on Old Broad-way to Broadway.

    The fi rst phase of the inter-change improvement was com-pleted in 2002 at a cost of $22.5 million, Russell said.

    The fi rst phase focused primar-ily on the south side of the inter-change while phase 2 will focus primarily on the north side of the interchange.

    Additional details are available at tn.gov/tdot or by calling the TDOT community relations offi ce at 865-594-0161.

    Kidney transplant Gretchen Hollifi eld reported

    Monday that her husband, Junior Hollifi eld, was recover-ing after a kidney transplant. We reported last week about Allison King, Gretchens fi tness coach, donating a kidney to Hollifi eld.

    Both patients are doing well, but are in pain, Gretchen Hollifi eld wrote. Both have been discharged from the hospital.

    City, county, state to discuss mall area

    Alice Bell Spring Hill Neigh-borhood Association will host representatives from the Ten-nessee Department of Trans-portation, the city of Knoxville and Knox County at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at Alice Bell Baptist Church.

    This meeting is open to anyone concerned about the future of the Knoxville Center mall area.

    Info: Ronnie Collins, abshna@aol.com

    Voting Rightsis topic for PSCC

    Voting Rights Act of 1965: Whats Our Responsibility? is the title of a panel discussion at Pellissippi State Community Colleges Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave, at 12:55 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22.

    Panelists Virgil Davis, Pellissippi State faculty mem-ber; Daniel Brown, Knoxville city council member; the Rev. Gordon Gibson, Civil Rights activist; and Phyllis Nichols, president of Knoxville Area Urban League, will discuss the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the responsibility of citizens to vote and the consequences of not voting.

    Panel moderator is Geor-giana Vines. Event is free and open to the community.

    Midway Road revs up; residents fear done dealBy Betty Bean

    Last fall, the Development Cor-poration of Knox County put a bunch of county commissioners on a bus and took them to four of the countys eight industrial/business parks WestBridge, Hardin, Eastbridge and the Pellis-sippi Corporate Center but one place they didnt visit, or even talk about, was Midway Road, the site of an almost 20-year battle be-tween Knox County government and East Knox residents bent on preserving the rural character of their community.

    So far, the citizens have staved off the business park, but District 8 County Commissioner Dave Wright, who represents the Mid-way Road area, made a prediction:

    Nothing (is happening now) but its going to be something someday, and weve got kids grad-uating every year from Carter and the Career Magnet Academy wholl be looking for a job. Id rath-

    er see them on the Midway Road exit as opposed to Hardin Valley.

    Mayor Tim Burchett, who says the county needs to make good on its $10 million investment (now written down to $6.4 million af-ter TVA took a chunk for a trans-fer station) or divest itself of the property, is making a new push to get community acceptance in the form of a bus tour and a cookout.

    Two more public meetings orga-nized by the Development Corpo-ration indicate that someday has arrived. The meetings are Thurs-days, Sept. 17 and Oct. 8, both from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Carter Elementary School cafeteria.

    Asked on Tennessee This Week whats changed, Burchett said residents of East Knox Coun-ty trust him after hes kept his promises on schools and taxes.

    Elaine Davis, president of the French Broad Preservation Asso-ciation, said she and other com-munity leaders had been assured

    that they would be included on the ground fl oor of any new plan-ning process, but she was con-cerned when she learned that plans for Midway got underway four months ago. She said she fi rst learned about it from a media re-port late last month.

    Evidently we are part of some new process, but East Knox Coun-ty constituents have not been there in the beginning, she said. We want to be a part of the pro-cess. We are asking for transpar-ency, a seat at the table and to have input on whats being put into our community.

    Wright said he warned his fel-low board members to get the neighborhood involved. (He sits on the governing board of the De-velopment Corporation because he was vice chair and now chair of Knox County Commission.)

    I was asked at a board meeting why I opposed Midway, and I said, Because I represent those people.

    I told them, If youre going to do something out there, and do what you did in the past, youll come out with the same result.

    Burchett said a KUB proposal to handle wastewater will have safeguards against other develop-ments tying in, and opens up the way to lay a sewer line to Loves Creek or Eastbridge. He said he will work to get community buy-in.

    We need to grow the tax base. Thats the way you grow an econo-my not by taxing people more.

    Bill Emmert, whose home is bordered by the proposed busi-ness park, worries that it will cut off access to Thorn Grove Cem-etery, run cooperatively by three neighborhood churches.

    The countys been doing a lot of quiet work on this thing, but were still against it. And we won-der if theyve told Tim (Burchett) the whole truth, because hes been with us in the past.

    By Sandra ClarkSheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones de-

    ferred to his chief administrative offi cer, Lee Tramel, when Sher-iffs Offi ce personnel visited the Powell Business and Professional Association last week. We cant do our job without the help of the community, said Tramel, and Taser body cameras are just the latest initiative.

    Weve had in-car cameras since 1994, and now we have body cams. This is a game-changer for the way we process informa-tion.

    Taser is the manufacturer, and the devices can be worn on an of-fi cers lapel, glasses or hat. And although he concedes there may be privacy issues, Tramel wants to make the tapes available to the public.

    He and Jones favor technology, and many of their innovations have been adopted by adjoining jurisdictions. An example is the crime map, available online. The site provides data on crime calls and offi cer responses by area, street or household.

    And theres even a phone app

    Law enforcement goes high techbudget, $39 million is spent in corrections, where, Tramel says, We dont get any bang for our

    buck. We dont get any bang for our buck.

    Lee Tramel at PBPA

    for crime reports. Just go to knox-sheriff.org and click on the app store. Knox County now stores evidence in the cloud at evidence.com, Tramel said.

    Our detectives use analytics to scope out (crime) patterns. We can get more