Sherry Witt is a well-liked, respected county officeholder who will find herself out of work in late 2018. So the register of deeds for 10 years is seeking to become Knox County clerk. “There’s an opening in the clerk’s office and I’m applying,” she says.
Term limits will kick in next year for Mayor Tim Burchett, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, Witt and Clerk Foster Arnett. In addition, Cathy Quist Shanks has said she will not run for re-election as clerk of Circuit and Sessions courts.
Knox County is poised to undo much of the rezoning for racial desegregation that has affected families and even home construction for almost 30 years.
The school board must accommodate the fall 2018 opening of two new schools – Gibbs Middle (600 students) and Hardin Valley Middle (1,200). Those 1,800 kids are currently zoned for middle school somewhere else. With several middle schools currently under capacity, the challenge is to fill the new schools while keeping the others open.
If you’re thinking about building or expanding a business, look north to Union County. State funding is available to help stimulate growth in 23 so-called distressed counties. Union County is the closest to Knoxville.
It made the list with unemployment of 11.4 percent, per capita income of $18,000 and a poverty rate of 22 percent, according to the state’s most recent reports. Many residents drive to Knox County to shop and work.
Elections matter. And I’m not talking about the one that (hopefully) ended yesterday.
The Knox County Board of Education was fundamentally altered by the results of the last two election cycles, starting when Amber Rountree beat Pam Trainor in South Knoxville, Terry Hill survived a 4-way race in Hardin Valley and Patti Bounds won unopposed in North Knox County.
The District 13 race for state representative between Eddie Smith and Gloria Johnson has brought out an array of luminaries. We heard that the governor’s dad, Big Jim Haslam, talked at length about the importance of the race at an exclusive fundraiser for somebody else.
Gov. Bill Haslam is all over cable TV saying, “Come on, Knoxville. I need your help (for Smith).”
Somebody at Union County High School just got really smart or really lucky.
Science teacher Danny Satterfield has organized a cadre of 60 juniors and seniors to work with younger kids to help them feel at home at the high school. “We want to create a culture here that’s inclusive and fun,” he said.
PyroShows brought a phenomenal fireworks performance to Union County Sept. 3 for a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored extravaganza called Thunder in the Park.
Gary England, who chairs the Union County Commission, organized a Cruise-In which brought 220 cars, trucks and assorted vehicles to the county. Visitors were from a multi-state area including Kentucky and Virginia. We spotted folks from Halls, Powell and Farragut.