All posts by Sandra Clark

Getting closure: Old Marine returns to Vietnam

Sandra Clark
Editor

Gary Koontz, along with wife Vicki, is a one-stop real estate shop. He buys, builds and sells; he partnered in development of Fountainhead on Tazewell Pike, Kinley’s Kanyon in Corryton and Urban Park in West Knox.

And he shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he rarely leaves town, so you can imagine the stretch of his return visit to Vietnam after fighting there as a Marine some 50 years ago.

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Sickness or sin?

Sandra Clark
Editor

Neighbors battle over mental health facility

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones want to divert nonviolent, misdemeanor offenders with mental health issues to a 24-bed urgent care center for psychiatric treatment rather than take them to jail.

Burchett has patched together a funding package through partnerships with Helen Ross McNabb Center, the state and the city of Knoxville. Officials, starting with then-Atty. Gen. Randy Nichols, have worked eight years on this, and now it’s at risk of blowing apart.

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Boyd says work hard, dream big

Sandra Clark
Editor

The annual banquet of the Union County Chamber of Commerce is a celebration of accomplishments and a look toward the future. It’s also a fundraiser for the group that promotes tourism as it recruits and supports local businesses.

Randy Boyd brought star power as the guest speaker. He recently resigned as commissioner of the state’s Economic and Community Development Department.

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Elect a planner, get a plan

Sandra Clark
Editor

Madeline Rogero’s degree in urban and regional planning is very handy as she starts her sixth year as Knoxville’s mayor. When she spoke at North Knox Rotary the other day, she listed several plans.

Parks and greenways? Plan. Public safety? Plan. South Knoxville? Plan. She’s the perfect extender of former Mayor Bill Haslam’s plans; but, of course, as director of community development for Haslam, she helped write them.

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Building Gibbs Middle leaves big hole for Holston

Sandra Clark
Editor

A parent said she was “happy when Gibbs got their middle school,” and then she realized that rezoning could draw her Shannondale Elementary School student out of Gresham and into Gibbs. She and some 100 others came last Tuesday to Holston Middle for the fifth of six community meetings on middle school rezoning.

Most parents wanted their kids to move through school with their friends. They wanted siblings to attend school together. Members of the NAACP asked that East Knox neighborhoods be kept intact, and they spoke against busing black kids across town for racial balance.

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