Open Chord hosts Andy Wood clinic

KNOXVILLE. TN – The Open Chord is hosting an Andy Wood Guitar Clinic and Suhr Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, from noon to 2pm. This is a free event and all ages are welcome. This clinic is an opportunity to meet Knoxville’s multi-instrumentalist Andy Wood plus enjoy a demo of his signature series Suhr guitar.

– First 15 people receive a FREE Andy Wood shirt
– Register to win a free Suhr pedal
– Register for a FREE Skype lesson with Andy Wood
– Register to win 2 tickets to SIMO at The Open Chord that evening


Andy Wood is recognized as part of the forefront of this generation’s top influential guitarists. He has toured professionally with a wide range of acts, including most recently Gary Allan, LOCASH, Rascal Flatts, Scott Stapp, and Sebastian Bach. Wood also performs with his own band promoting “Caught Between the Truth and A Life,” the double album which showcases his vast musical influences and abilities.

Recently, Suhr Customs released the Andy Wood Signature Series guitars which were crafted and designed by Wood along with guitar specialists at Suhr. The Open Chord proudly carries the Signature Series as the only Suhr dealer in Knoxville. Photo of Andy Wood courtesy The Open Chord.

The first fifteen attendees to arrive at the Andy Wood Guitar Clinic and Suhr Showcase will receive an Andy Wood t-shirt. Giveaways include a Suhr pedal, a thirty minute Skype lesson with Andy, two tickets to the SIMO concert (8/5/17), and autographed Andy Wood CDs.

The Open Chord café, bar, and shop will be open.

For more information call The Open Chord at 865-281-5874.

Forensic science topic of lecture

(Knoxville, TN) In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Arthur Bohanan will discuss his new book, Prints of a Man, detailing his career of 55 years in the criminal justice field. A curious mind and a high school interest in fingerprints took him from Sevier County, Tennessee to the top of his profession as a forensics specialist, inventor, and crime solver with awards and honors too numerous to list.

Bohanan is perhaps best known for his invention of a method to take fingerprints from a dead body and for his work to identify bodies from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His pioneering work included the discovery of the chemical composition of children’s fingerprints and their change at puberty from a water base to an oil base, a key factor when working with the AMBER Alert system and missing children. Bohanan will also discuss his latest fascinating research to discover the rate of decay, cemeteries washed out by floods and hurricanes, and to locate and gender the long dead, in which he reports a 99 percent accuracy on blind testing.

The program is sponsored by the Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

JIAM is certified LEED

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM) at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus as LEED Silver. The certification has been verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, using less water and energy than other structures. JIAM was designed by BarberMcMurry architects.

Through JIAM, Cherokee Farm tenants have access to materials science research capabilities available at only a handful of facilities worldwide. Additionally, JIAM is a multidisciplinary facility, marrying its capabilities with those of other research facilities at both the adjacent University of Tennessee main campus and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

JIAM has earned two awards so far in 2017: the Orchid Award for environmental stewardship from Keep Knoxville Beautiful and the Honor Award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus is an ideal fit for firms that will benefit from close partnerships with UT and ORNL and access to the unparalleled capabilities of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials. The campus is leasing space and will build to suit.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus in Knoxville, Tennessee, is the Southeast’s only research and development park where the resources of a major research university and a leading national laboratory are combined with globally recognized researchers expressly for the benefit of tenants.

The campus is a collaborative effort of the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Located on 188 acres on the banks of the Tennessee River, the campus has 77 developable acres and includes 16 building sites that support approximately 1.6 million square feet of development. Parcels are available for immediate development, and research suite leasing is underway.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus’ $56 million, 140,000-square- foot Joint Institute for Advanced Materials has achieved LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council. Photo courtesy Cherokee Farm. For more information, visit

Knoxville Symphony hosts Show House

East Tennessee residents and visitors are invited to collect home decorating tips and inspiration at the 30th annual Knoxville Symphony League ShowHouse, which will be open until May 10, 2017.

The 4,510-square- foot home is located in a new subdivision on Artisan Row off Westland Drive and features the handiwork of 13 of the area’s most prestigious local designers and artisans. The Symphony ShowHouse will be open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Single tickets to tour the house are $15, while a season pass is $25.

The Foxhollow Goodson smart home In the newly developed neighborhood is wired for all smart home capabilities, including intuitive thermostat and panel to control all functions of the home. The home also features a master suite with spacious custom closets, formal dining room, great room with two-story ceilings, large patio with exquisitely manicured courtyard and chef-grade kitchen. This home highlights the juxtaposition of sleek industrial features and reclaimed wood.

“The Knoxville Symphony League has been organizing and sharing show houses with the community for the past 30 years,” said Rhonda Webster, chair of the Knoxville Symphony League ShowHouse, which benefits the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. “We hope everyone will visit the Symphony Show House and enjoy how unique and inspiring this particular home is while also being able to support the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.”

The on-site symphony gift shop also will offer decorating ideas and an assortment of items for sale. A portion of the items sold in the gift shop will benefit the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

Guests will experience live music at various times while visiting the Symphony ShowHouse. Complimentary parking and shuttle services are available at First Church of God, located at 6708 Westland Drive.

The following local designers and artisans are involved with the 2017 Symphony ShowHouse:

Jeffrey Hansen and Linda Cox of Bill Fox Furniture

Scott Bishop of Westwood Antique & Design Market

Jeff Heiskell of Ethan Allen Design Center

Mitzi Mayer of Perpendicular Design

Gail Reed of Trend and Traditions

Susan Gates of The Velvet Pug

Joyce Simms of The Painted Pig

Kim Jackson and Meg Troutman of O.P. Jenkins

Janet Greer of Friedman’s Appliances

Regina Turner, artist

Tom Cover, artist


The Knoxville Symphony League (KSL) is a guild of volunteers who organize fundraising events to benefit the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, specifically the education and community partnerships programs, including scholarships for students involved in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras. The Knoxville Symphony League hosts three pillar fundraisers each season, including the annual Symphony Ball, the Elegant Dining Series and the Symphony ShowHouse. These events fund KSO programs that provide cultural and educational outreach in the community.


KMA presents Virtual Views exhibit

The Knoxville Museum of Art announces an exciting new exhibition, Virtual Views: Digital Art from the Thoma Foundation, running February 3 through April 16, 2017. This electronic media exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 2017 Big Ears music festival.

Drawn from the extensive Chicago-based collection of Carl and Marilynn Thoma, Virtual Views explores the growing importance of electronic new media in contemporary art as seen in the work of artists who are pioneers in the use of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), LCD (liquid crystal display), and computer-driven imagery. The exhibition features nine electronic works comprised of synthetic materials and powered by digital technology, yet the rhythms and patterns of its imagery are derived from nature. The featured artists include Jim Campbell, Craig Dorety, John Gerrard, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Alan Rath, Daniel Rozin, Björn Schülke, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Leo Villareal.

Craig Dorety (Oakland 1973; lives and works in San Francisco) Offset Circles—Yellow Flowering Tree Against Blue Sky, 2014, custom electronics, alupanel, animated LEDs, 24 x 24 x 3 inches.

The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit

New tax codes launch for 2017

WASHINGTON – Federal taxpayers that receive Form W-2 in early 2017 may notice a new entry – a 16-digit verification code, part of an effort conducted by the Internal Revenue Service to protect taxpayers and strengthen anti-fraud efforts. The expanded use of the W-2 Verification Code is a way to validate the wage and tax withholding information. For taxpayers, taking a moment to add this code when filling out taxes helps the IRS authenticate the information. This in turn helps protect against identity theft and unnecessary refund delays.

For 2017, the IRS and its partners in the payroll service provider industry will place the code on 50 million Forms W-2. This is up from two million forms in 2016.


The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry – partners in combating identity theft – ask for help in their efforts. If your W-2 contains the code, please enter it when prompted if using software to prepare your return. Or, make sure your tax preparer enters it.

If the code is not included, your tax return will still be accepted. However, initial results indicate the verification code shows promise in reducing tax fraud. It helps IRS processing systems authenticate the real taxpayer. Identity thieves sometimes file false Forms W-2 to support their fraudulent tax returns.

This initiative will affect only those Forms W-2 prepared by payroll service providers. The verification code’s location on the form will vary. Enter the code on electronically filed returns only. Most software providers will prompt you to enter the code.


Bellmore joins Summit Medical

Dr. Katherine Bellmore has joined Summit Medical Group as a family physician with Fountain City Family Physicians. Summit Medical Group is East Tennessee’s largest primary care organization with 240 physicians and more than 160 advanced practitioners providing care at 55 practice locations in 13 counties. 

Bellmore earned a bachelor’s degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, in 2004 and her medical degree from Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in 2013. She is a board-certified family physician.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Bellmore is the daughter of James B. Hall and Mary Ford Chilton Hall. She resides in West Knoxville with her husband, Greg, and their 1-year-old son. When she’s not working, Hall enjoys home improvement projects, traveling and reading.


Dr. Katherine Bellmore
Summit Medical Group Fountain City Family Physicians

South College merger in Asheville

South College recently announced the completion of a merger endeavor that results in the South College-Asheville campus, which had been structured as a separate institution, becoming a Learning Site of South College.

“Transitioning the Asheville, North Carolina location to a Learning Site of South College creates efficiencies within our organization and provides increased resources to Asheville students,” South College President Steve South said. “Students at the South College Asheville campus will continue to receive the same high-quality education from our outstanding faculty and staff. This merger will benefit these students by providing additional resources such as library and research materials and course offerings.”


Approval for South College adding an Asheville campus as a learning site has been approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern States. South College’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2015. Photo submitted.

“The inclusion of the Asheville Learning Site as part of our regionally accredited institution will position this campus for growth in many ways,” South said. “The accrediting process itself demonstrates to our student and peers that our academic standards reflect a commitment to excellence. Collaboration between quality staff and faculty across the institution promotes best practices for our students. I appreciate the work of our South College team to ensure that our mission is reflected in every aspect of our institution.”

The leadership team, staff, daily operations and degree and certificate offerings for the Asheville campus are not affected by the merger.

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels. To learn more about South College, visit

Lecture highlights radio history

(Knoxville, TN) For decades, Julian Burke has collected unique pieces of broadcasting equipment, including the original announcer microphones from WNOX, the legendary Knoxville radio station known as the “Cradle of Country Music.” In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, at noon, Burke will share early history and artifacts from WNOX’s studio.

The lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition, Come to Make Records: Knoxville’s Contributions to American Popular Music, on display at the Museum of East Tennessee History through October 30. The exhibit examines the 1929 and 1930 Brunswick Records’ Vocalion label’s recordings that took place at the St. James Hotel in downtown Knoxville and invited locals to come make records. These old-time, jazz, blues, and gospel recordings added Knoxville’s voice to American popular music and inspired the next generation of country music stars. The exhibition features an array of artifacts, videos, sound recordings, and photographs showcasing East Tennessee’s diverse musical heritage and the importance of WNOX Radio.

Julian Burke is recognized locally as one of the foremost experts on old televisions and radios. He has been a lifelong lover of electronics and started collecting old radios by going door to door at age 7, and he hasn’t stopped since. By 13, he was repairing radios and televisions around Knoxville.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, and is and free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Knoxville Zoo hosts Pokemon GO week

Zoo Knoxville has declared August 1-7, 2016, as Pokémon GO Week. Players who show the Pokémon GO app on their mobile devices at the ticket window will receive $10 zoo admission for each member of their party.

Pokemon Rhino

Zoo Knoxville has 15 Pokéstops and three gyms in the park, and to help attendees catch plenty of characters, lures will be dropped throughout each day of the week, with updates on their locations shared on the Zoo Knoxville Twitter feed @zooknoxville.

Zoo Knoxville has plenty of real creatures to admire as well, and visitors are encouraged to take a break from augmented reality to enjoy the zoo’s animals, keeper chats, shows and play areas while they incubate PokéEggs.

Safety is always Zoo Knoxville’s top priority, and visitors are asked to keep their Pokémon hunt on the zoo’s public pathways.

Discounted admission for Pokémon GO players and their accompanying guests are good August 1-7, 2016, and valid at time of purchase for same-day admission only. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes.

For more information visit

CEC breaks ground in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, TN – Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus has announced that Civil Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) will be the first private tenant at the research park, a move that brings the firm closer to its clients throughout the region and provides the needed custom design of office, laboratory and other space designated for maintenance and storage of technical equipment.

Consistently ranked among the Top 500 Design Firms and Top 200 Environmental Firms by Engineering News-Record, CEC is recognized for providing innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in the primary practice areas of civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, survey, waste management, and water resources.

“We hope to provide a technical presentation series with the (University of Tennessee) College of Engineering for students and professionals,” CEC Vice President James Tomiczek said. “We’re particularly happy to be the first tenant of what will be a premier national research and development campus. We’ll be moving 25 local team members to this location, and we hope to see that number grow to 75 in the next five years.”

CEC already has an exceptional relationship with the UT College of Engineering and employs a number of its graduates, along with offering cooperative learning opportunities and internships to students. The increased access to Oak Ridge National Lab also will be beneficial, as CEC considers ways to integrate use of the lab’s supercomputer into some of the firm’s larger, more complex data-intensive projects.

“Increasing the number of Tennesseans with postsecondary degrees or credentials and making Tennessee the number one location in the Southeast for high quality jobs are our two top priorities,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus gives us a tremendous boost in both arenas, and I applaud CEC for having the vision to recognize and embrace the opportunities this campus provides.”

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus - Aerial Photo

Cherokee Farm is the only research and development park in the Southeast affiliated with both a major research university and a national research laboratory. It includes more than 77 acres along the Tennessee River and is a collaboration of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo submitted.

Book explores nature of the universe

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – It’s National Star Wars Day, and Celebrate Knoxville spent a little time on the phone today with UCLA researcher and astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Zweerink to discuss his recent book, “Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?” Written in easy-to-read style, with illustrations from popular culture including Star Wars movies, the book explores ideas about space, time, matter, and energy.


CK: Thanks for talking with us on National Star Wars Day, Dr. Zweerink!

JZ: Glad to do it. I didn’t realize that was today.

CK: Is most of your work analyzing data or do you actually get to do experiments with gamma rays?

JZ: About 40 percent of my time is spent on experiments. We’re currently building a balloon that (once we get the funding) we will send out to collect data.

CK: When you talk about The Big Bang in ‘Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?’, why do you use the word ‘inflation’ and not ‘explosion’ to describe what happened?

JZ: It’s a scientific term to describe the expansion of the fabric of space.

CK: As a layperson, it makes me think that the universe took a breath, like lungs filling up. Doesn’t using the word ‘inflation’ imply that something was sucked in from somewhere else, and what would that substance be?

JZ: I can see what you mean by that. Scientists use this word to describe one possible (scenario) that is like a balloon with dots on it. When the fabric expands, the dots move apart.

CK: On page 14 of your book, you said ‘the only real controversial aspect of the level one model (of the universe) is its spacial extent, or size.’ Are there really scientists out there in California that think the universe has a finite size, like a box, or like the earth is sitting on the back of a tortoise (to use Native American mythology)?

JZ: You can think of the universe as flat, in three dimensions like a piece of paper, but there are other ways to think about it. In a closed model, like the one on page 11 of the book, the universe would be ball-shaped with closed geometry.

CK: In your introduction, you inform the reader that you are a scientist with a Christian world view. Do you think that God placed the planets in such a way that it models sub atomic particles and helps us understand the nature of the unseen?

JZ: I think that there are signs both in the way the universe has been presented and in what we know about quantum physics that reveals the designer, creator, God. Whether they are exact mirrors of each other, I can’t say.

CK: I love how you use illustrations from popular movies like Star Wars, The Matrix, and Back to the Future, to help people understand some of these interesting but complex scientific ideas. Have you ever seen the television series, Lost?

JZ: I have.

CK: Do you think (as an astrophysicist who is also a Christian) that the story is a good example of a shared consciousness, and that we, as believers, are co-creating Heaven, a shared consciousness, with God?

JZ: There are some serious (mainstream Christianity) theological issues with that point of view, especially about the soverignty of God. He doesn’t need our help.

CK: But we do co-create with Him when we pray, right? We make things happen that otherwise might not have happened unless we were involved?

JZ: Yes, we do. That’s an interesting point. Not certain that applies to Heaven, though. Would make some interesting further discussion. When I first became a scientist, I thought that science and faith were enemies. Now I have come to understand that revelations from both science and faith (Scriptural revelation) will inform the other and both will agree.

CK: In your book you said that “Scientists are aware that their equipment selects what data they measure.” How does that relate to changes made by the Observer in quantum physics?

JZ: That’s one of the philosophical questions discussed in the book–in having the point of view as the universe being designed by a Creator to support life, we ourselves are Observer and are working within the realm we’re working to describe. We can’t argue for a universe that does not support life, since we are here and we are alive.

CK: That’s the topic of a new book?

JZ: Yes, my new book is about Exoplanets, planets outside our solar system, exploring questions about the possibility of life out there.

CK: And if there is life out there, Jesus died for them too, and would not have to be born on their planet to (provide spiritual revelation) enlightenment?

JZ: If they are human. Jesus being born as human, the incarnation, is crucial.

CK: But what is human? Scripture says God created man from dirt. And any other planet out there would have dirt of some kind, right? Or are you saying in the case of life not being carbon-based…

JZ: Well now we’re talking about the same kinds of issues with the multiverse, where we have infinite possibilities in infinite time…

CK: And I love how in your book, you say that Marty McFly’s time line where he does not go back into the future still exists!

JZ: If the multiverse exists.

CK: And would you say that if the multiverse does exists, the life, death, resurrection of Christ is the only event that does happen without change, and is central to all other events, which could and would be free to happen any number of ways and still be meaningful?

JK: If the multiverse exists, that would have to be true. You know there is a group that meets in Knoxville that discusses these kinds of questions, and is open to all people interested in science, regardless of world view.

CK: I saw that. We actually have several science-related Meet Up groups in Knoxville. And of course Knoxville is a college town with the University of Tennessee, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with scientific studies there too. So fun! For my last question, how can people get a copy of “Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?” or find out more about your work?

JZ: Send them to the web site,

Stargazing event offered May 9

Marble Springs State Historic Site will host a stargazing workshop conducted by Gary Noland, adjunct instructor of Astronomy at the University of Tennessee on Monday, May 9, 2016, from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. This workshop will feature the relatively rare astronomical event of Mercury’s transit across the sun. During the transit, Mercury will appear in silhouette as a small, dark dot moving in front of the sun. The last transit of Mercury occurred in 2006 and will not be seen again until 2019.

Guests are welcome to view this rare event through a special telescope provided by Mr. Noland. Proper eye protection is absolutely essential for watching the transit of Mercury, else you risk blindness or eye damage. For all guests planning to stay the duration of the workshop, packing a lunch is recommended.

Programming assistance for this event is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

All activities take place at Marble Springs State Historic Site: 1220 W. Governor John Sevier Highway, in Knoxville.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is the last remaining home of John Sevier. Born in Virginia in 1745, John Sevier made a name for himself as a Revolutionary War Hero during the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780), a key player and Governor of the short-lived State of Franklin (1784-1788), and ultimately was elected to serve as the first Governor of the State of Tennessee (1796).

This event is free, but donations are appreciated. Details are subject to change. For more information please call (865)573-5508, email, or visit the Marble Springs website at

Free business tax workshop offered

The Tennessee Department of Revenue will be holding a free tax workshop for new businesses in Knoxville on May 11, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET at the Department’s Knoxville regional office, at 7175 Strawberry Plains Pike. The workshop will be held on the third floor.

These free workshops are designed to assist those encountering business-related taxes for the first time. Tax specialists from various local and state agencies will provide the basic information needed to comply with registration and tax requirements. During the session, attendees will have the opportunity to listen to these tax specialists, ask questions and receive materials explaining tax responsibilities.

Areas of discussion will include business tax, sales and use tax and tax enforcement procedures. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, please call (800) 342-1003 (toll-free inside Tennessee) or (615) 253-0600 (local Nashville-area and outside Tennessee).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue.

During the 2015 fiscal year, it collected $12.6 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.4 billion in taxes and fees for local governments.

To learn more about the Department, visit

NAHB hosts forecast webinar

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will host its Semi-Annual Construction Forecast Webinar on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET, featuring industry experts, including Leonard Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac, for a lively discussion on what’s ahead for housing. Topics will include:

Current market conditions as well housing’s potential and most likely path for the rest of 2016 and beyond.
Recovery hurdles like lot and labor shortages, and tight credit.
Tailwinds pushing housing such as demographics and pent-up demand.
Federal Reserve actions and their impacts.
Regional and state analysis and factors, such as employment, that affect housing

The schedule of speakers includes:
Robert Dietz, PhD, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, NAHB
Leonard Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac
Robert Denk, Senior Economist, NAHB

Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions during the webinar.

Registration for NAHB members is $29.95 and $49.95 for non-members. To register for the webinar or for additional information, please visit Before the event, participants will receive an email with specific log-in instructions to gain access to the live meeting. After the event, the webinar will be available in the NAHB archives to all registrants for on-demand viewing.


TSB launches money ed center

Tennessee State Bank has announced a new initiative to bring financial education to adults. The TSB Financial Wellness Center uses cutting-edge technology that incorporates video, animations, gaming and social networking to effectively teach complex financial concepts for adults. Developed by EverFi, an independent and industry-leading education technology company, the TSB Financial Wellness Center will be made available to customers and employees and no cost.

This innovative online financial education tool helps individuals develop the skill-set to successfully manage their finances and make sound financial decisions.

“Tennessee State Bank is committed to empowering families with the skills they need to thrive financially and plan for their future,” said Todd Proffitt. “It is more important than ever for people to have the skills to navigate an increasingly complex financial system and Tennessee State Bank is proud to offer this innovative educational experience to benefit our customers and employees.”

EverFi pic

The TSB Financial Wellness Center learning experience is specifically designed for today’s busy adult. The mobile and tablet friendly platform is available in English and Spanish and features a series of 10-minute learning modules that cover topics such as mortgages, overdrafts and learning how to improve your credit score. The program is self-paced and contains knowledge checks that allow users to measure their knowledge gains.

Tennessee State Bank is a locally-owned and operated community bank headquartered at 2210 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The bank consists of 15 branch locations throughout Knox, Sevier, Jefferson and Cocke counties. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

TVA sponsors Knoxville robotics

KNOXVILLE, TN     The Tennessee Valley Authority has expanded its community investment in S.T.E.M. education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by announcing a $10,000 presenting sponsorship  for the 2016 Annual Robotics Revolution to be held in Chilhowee Park this summer.


This STEM awareness event is both entertaining and academic and is geared to inspire young minds toward a college and career interest in a variety of STEM fields. The event will showcase connections that exist between K-12 STEM educational opportunities, university and training institutions, applied research and product development and the companies that benefit from these educational investments.

“Robotics Revolution has hosted almost 3,000 attendees in the previous two years.  State-of-the-art corporations always benefit from a well-educated workforce and TVA’s investment in Robotics Revolution demonstrates how events like this are meeting this need in our community,” says Ellie Kittrell, Executive Director for The Muse Knoxville, who is hosting the robotics event.

The Muse Knoxville is a non-profit children’s science museum located in Historical Chilhowee Park.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.



Tech trends expected for 2016

Next year Tennessee residents may see the benefits of the significant advancements in technology that have occurred over the past few years.

“As we continue to rely on wireless technology more and more for business, entertainment, health monitoring and communications, the devices and how we use them will continue to evolve,” says Jay Ellison, executive vice president of operations for U.S. Cellular. “With strong networks and creative ways to use them, there is technology on the horizon that can connect us in ways never before possible, and I have never been more excited about where these innovations can take us.”

Top trends in the wireless industry include growth in The Internet of Things (IoT), a term for technology connecting smartphones to other things, such as having a sensor on business inventory that sends an alert to a smartphone when it needs to be replaced.

Sales of wearable technology worldwide increased nearly 200 percent in the last three months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). There is a wide range of choices in wearable technology functionality, ranging from the basic fitness tracking to a smartphone-like experience. In 2016, more businesses are expected to use the technology, Ellison said.

In 2016, expect to see more people checking out at retail stores using only their smartphones, along with more retailers adapting to the technology.

2016 Big Ears music fest scheduled

Knoxville presents the internationally acclaimed Big Ears Festival – declared “the most ambitious avant-garde festival to emerge in America in more than decade” by Rolling Stone – bringing together musical leaders and innovators from the worlds of classical, jazz, electronic, folk, hip-hop and beyond for the weekend of March 31 – April 2, 2016.

Heralded American composer John Luther Adams – winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music as well as the 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Classical Composition” – will serve as Composer-in-Residence at this year’s festival. Hailed as “one of the most original music thinkers of the new century” by The New Yorker, Adams’ work combines rich musical experience with his love for the natural world, especially the wild Arctic landscapes of Alaska, where he lived for nearly 40 years. Several of his key works will be performed during the Big Ears weekend, including his powerful, sweeping orchestral masterpiece, Become Ocean, in a concert by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Steven Schick.

Editor’s Note: Musician and Music Writer Adam Whipple will celebrate five years of covering Big Ears for Celebrate Knoxville and will bring his unique perspective online for our readers in 2016.

Big Ears will also present at least two very special rare performances during the weekend. New music icons and Big Ears alumni Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass will present the American debut of their unique collaboration, thus far heard only once this past summer in Italy. In addition, the legendary 1972 minimalist/industrial rock creation by violinist/filmmaker Tony Conrad with German “Krautrock” legends Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, will be heard live in its only concert performance in 2016.

The remainder of the weekend will see dozens of concerts by a virtual who’s who of the world’s most iconoclastic and visionary music artists.

Knoxville hosts Science Week events

An event celebrating the growing interest in nuclear science will be centered in Knoxville next week for the Nuclear Science Week at the Knoxville Convention Center on Oct. 22-24, 2015.

“Because of our area’s strength in scientific businesses and organizations, Knoxville is perfectly positioned to host scientific meetings and conferences,” said Mary Bogert, general manager for the Knoxville Convention Center. “We are excited to host this event, which covers all aspects of nuclear science, and promotes East Tennessee as an area of innovation through such organizations as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, Provision Center for Proton Therapy and the University of Tennessee.”

The three-day event showcases some of East Tennessee’s leaders in nuclear science. The primary focus of Nuclear Science Week 2015 is uniting the community and world through nuclear science.

Panel discussions and presentations will take place Friday, Oct. 23, at the Knoxville Convention Center. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will welcome conference-goers at 8:20 a.m. and introduce the day of panels. A public screening of a new film about nuclear energy, titled “Pandora’s Promise,” will be shown concurrently at 6:30 p.m. at the Convention Center and Oak Ridge Associated Universities Pollard Technology Conference Center.

The week also will include sessions for students and teachers to learn about concepts and current issues of nuclear science in the region and internationally. On Thursday, Oct. 22, local kindergarten through sixth-grade students will participate in interactive nuclear science and engineering activities, including nuclear detection demonstrations, cloud chambers, electromagnets and atom assembly at two sessions from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

All Nuclear Science Week activities and panels are free and open to the public. Prior registration is encouraged at A schedule also is available on the website.

US Cellular hosts mobile tech workshops

Knoxville area U.S. Cellular business experts are hosting free workshops in October 2015 demonstrating how businesses can take advantage of cutting-edge mobile technology.

“Running a business is a challenging endeavor by any measure; however, today’s businesses can take advantage of a number of mobile technology tools to help them succeed,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee.

Local U.S. Cellular business experts will be on hand to demonstrate the latest businesses learn about the latest mobile technologies and connected devices. You can explore the store and learn more about mobile security, the mobile workplace, mobile registers and overall business productivity. U.S. Cellular associates also can discuss technology to help businesses with fleet tracking, remote monitoring and e-forms, as well as the latest devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Apple iPhone 6S and Apple iPad Air 2.

Dates and times for the free workshops are:

Oct. 20, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 11001 Parkside Drive

Oct. 21, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 2736 Schaad Road

Oct. 27, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 8401 Kingston Pike

Oct. 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 4873 N. Broadway

U.S. Cellular invests in TN

U.S. Cellular continued to invest in the wireless experience for its customers in 2014 with upgrades to its network and store environment throughout Tennessee, according to a recent press release from the company.

U.S. Cellular invested $66.7 million in network enhancements across the state. This was a combination of 4G LTE enhancements and upgrades to the company’s existing high-speed network. Of the $66.7 million total investment, $47.3 million was spent in Knoxville.

U.S. Cellular also invested $822,936 in its stores across Tennessee to highlight the latest devices, accessories and technology. In 2014 the company built or renovated six of these store locations in Tennessee, including those in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Clinton, Pigeon Forge, Seymour and Maynardville. Knoxville locations include the stores at 8401 Kingston Pike and 11001 Parkside Drive.

In addition to infrastructure enhancements, U.S. Cellular donated $1 million to schools across the country through its Calling All Teachers program. This program provides funding for impactful classroom projects submitted by public school teachers on

In Tennessee, 87 teachers received a total of $49,262 in funding from U.S. Cellular for their classroom projects, and this local donation benefits more than 12,300 students.

EDITOR’S NOTE: U.S. Cellular 4G LTE not available in all areas. 4G LTE service is provided in partnership with King Street Wireless. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

Online TN tax app gets updated

The Tennessee Department of Revenue has revamped its business registration application to make the online service even easier with a streamlined navigation, language that is easier to understand, and demonstration pages.

Tennessee taxpayers use Revenue’s business registration application when they register a new business. They can also register their business for the following taxes online:

• business tax
• franchise and excise tax
• sales and use tax
• television and telecommunications tax
• automobile rental surcharge tax
• tire fee
• used motor oil.

Taxpayers should also use the business registration application when they need notify the Department of Revenue of a mailing address change or the addition of a new business location.


A1LabArts promotes book sharing

KNOXVILLE – A1LabArts is hosting a Little Free Library Workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Center for Creative Minds, 23 Emory Place, in Knoxville.

For $50 per box, participants can create a Little Free Library to place in their neighborhood. What is a Little Free Library? It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.

Participants will be provided with all of the supplies necessary to assemble a box and instructions on how to install the box in their neighborhood. Groups are encouraged to participate. Email Donna at to register.

A1LabArts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists. It is dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media.

TracFone to return $40 million

The Federal Trade Commission released information January 28, 2015, regarding the recent settlement with TracFone Wireless, who will return $40 million to consumers.

Since 2009, TracFone has advertised unlimited service using a variety of brand names, including Straight Talk Wireless, Net10 Wireless, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America.

The centerpiece of TracFone’s ad campaigns was “unlimited talk, text, and data” – sometimes described as “unlimited everything” – for about $45 per month.

TracFone broke the “unlimited data” promise it made to millions of consumers, says the FTC, by substantially reducing the speed of their service if customers went over certain fixed limits in a 30-day period. Throttled customers often experienced slow-downs of at least 60 percent and sometimes even 90 percent. Furthermore, the policy had nothing to do with network management and everything to do with an internal TracFone business decision “to control excessive data usage and reduce the high costs related to it.”

The complaint charges that TracFone violated the FTC Act by advertising unlimited mobile data service while failing to disclose – or failing to adequately disclose – that it imposed material restrictions on the quantity and speed of data for customers who used more than a fixed amount in a given service period.

The settlement requires TracFone to clearly and conspicuously disclose any limits on the speed or quantity of its data service. In addition, the settlement establishes a $40 million fund for customers whose service was affected.


Knoxville hosts public trans expo

More than 800 government workers from counties and municipalities across Tennessee will gather at the Knoxville Convention Center this week for the Tennessee Public Transportation Association (TPTA) Conference and Expo and the Tennessee Stormwater Association (TNSA) East Tennessee Development Symposium.

The Tennessee Public Transporation Association Conference and Expo will be held Nov. 4-7, 2014. The event is hosted by Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) and the City of Knoxville. The sessions and workshops will focus on issues facing public transportation. An exposition also will be held in the exhibit hall with vendors showing the latest transportation services, equipment, technology and products.



The Tennessee Public Transportation Association Conference and Expo and the Tennessee Stormwater Association East Tennessee Development Symposium will meet at the Knoxville Convention Center this week, Nov. 4-7, 2014 to focus on issues facing public transportation. Photo by 

“All of us at the Knoxville Convention Center love our city and our state,” Knoxville Convention Center General Manager Mary Bogert said. “We are proud to be able to host these conferences that teach best practices and trends for improving services across Tennessee.”

The Knoxville Convention Center, managed by SMG, is located in downtown Knoxville adjacent to the Sunsphere. It boasts a 120,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 27,000 square-foot divisible ballroom and up to 25 meeting rooms. For more information, visit

Celebrate Knoxville salutes horror writers

This week Celebrate Knoxville salutes The Horror Writers Association, the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror literature.

Locally, residents will enjoy visiting any branch of the Knox County Public Library for great books as well as fun activities for all ages. As the oldest continuously operating public library in the state of Tennessee, the KCPL offers more than one million books, periodicals, compact discs, films, audiobooks and downloadables through 19 locations across Knox County.



Since launching on October 1, the HWA Horror Selfies social media campaign has become a viral sensation garnering over nine million impressions on Facebook and Twitter during its first two weeks. The effort has attracted the attention of literary legends and The New York Times bestselling authors Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Ramsey Campbell, as well as some of cinema’s biggest names of past and present, including directors Mick Garris (THE STAND) and Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS).

The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today, with over 1250 members around the globe, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.




Digital devices bookmobile visits Knoxville

The Digital Bookmobile National Tour is coming to downtown Knoxville on Sunday, October 19, 1-5 p.m. at Lawson McGhee Library to help showcase the library’s free ebook and audiobook service.

At this free event, readers of all ages will learn how to access ebooks and audiobooks from the library through interactive demonstrations and high-definition instructional videos. Food trucks and street musicians will be on hand as well.

A gadget gallery-featuring Kindle® Fire, iPad® Mini, Android™ Galaxy Tablet, NOOK™ HD+, Creative® Zen, Kindle® Paperwhite, Windows® Phone 8, and more-will help visitors discover portable devices that are compatible with the library’s digital service.

Library card holders can also check out digital titles anytime, anywhere. The Lawson McGhee Library is located at 500 W. Church Avenue in Knoxville.

For more information, visit

US Cellular hosts Knoxville job fair

Interested in a career in technology? U.S. Cellular will host a retail store hiring event Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 in an effort to fill 11 job openings in Knoxville.

The hiring event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at U.S. Cellular retail stores at 8401 Kingston Pike. Full- and part-time retail wireless consultant and store leadership positions are available, and applicants are encouraged, but not required, to apply online in advance.

“We are proud to be a part of our local communities, and we look forward to hiring new associates who want to work in an enjoyable environment and share our same commitment to serving customers in Knoxville,” said Jack Brundige, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. “We need qualified, motivated and passionate associates to help us deliver the world’s best customer experience to everyone who walks through our doors.”

U.S. Cellular looks for dynamic and enthusiastic professionals with relevant experience, active listening skills, ability to connect with customers, excellent communication skills and team-oriented skills. These positions offer a competitive starting wage and benefits, along with incentives or commission.

For information on participating retail locations, please visit

Downtown Knoxville gets upgrades

Knoxville Market Street motorists now have the option of either paying for parking by plugging in coins or swiping a credit card at new solar-powered meters. If the Market Street machines perform well over a three-month test period, then the City will proceed with plans, in three phases, to replace 1,390 parking meters throughout downtown.

The 12 new Market Street meters will continue to offer short-term parking for up to one hour.

KUB is also making significant upgrades in the downtown area over the next 15 months. Lane and sidewalk closures will be necessary during this time and motorists may need to utilize alternative means of access to businesses, offices and parking. Some on-street parking may be restricted throughout downtown. South Central Street is currently closed for these upgrades, and will remain closed for a period of two months. Detours will be required.