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Ear to the Ground

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Who, What, When, Where, Why?

Newspapers aren't known for reporting on their own business, and the Knoxville News-Sentinel is no different. Heck, even most Sentinel employees are left scratching their heads as to what their bosses are up to.

The rumor mill has it that Knoxville's paper of record is eyeing up the brownfield redevelopment area in Mechanicsville for its future home. The Sentinel has been talking with the city's Department of Development about various options, but both parties are mum as to the details.

"We've talked about every area that has potential for development in Knoxville," says Doug Berry, director of development. "There's no corridor we haven't discussed with them."

Sentinel publisher Bruce Hartmann is even more vague: "We're constantly evaluating options. We're exploring all possibilities. Right now we're downtown, and we'll probably be here for a while."

It'd be interesting to sit in on the discussions, of course. The Sentinel is no small player, as the city's only daily. It's also part of the E.W. Scripps media empire, which the city wants very much to make a major investment in downtown, in the form of HGTV studios and a possible adult "destination attraction."

Perhaps one day we'll read all about it.

From the Lighthouse

Meanwhile, local Scripps employees have come up with their own riff on the company's "Give light and the people will find their own way" motto: "Keep people in the dark, feed them s—-, and they'll grow big and strong."

Take It to the Bridge

Opponents to a four-lane bridge across UT's agricultural campus may be picking up steam. On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Planning Organization—made up of elected officials from Knox and Blount counties—voted to remove all reference to "four lanes" from the description of the bridge in its long-range plan. And an amendment to the resolution encouraged TDOT to listen carefully to citizen input, which has been almost unanimously against the freeway-ramp-style span. "It is in effect informing TDOT that they do not explicitly support the four-lane concept, which they [did] before," says UT philosophy prof John Nolt, one of the project's most vocal critics. A public TDOT hearing is set for Thursday, March 16 at 4 p.m. in the University Center. In the meantime, state Sen. Tim Burchett is reportedly getting ready to introduce legislation asking TDOT to reconsider its plans.

Random Notes from K2K

The K2K Internet forum has turned out a couple of zingers in recent days. One post noted with irony the company motto of Johnson & Galyon, the well-respected contracting firm that was working near the Tomato Head's foundation when its wall collapsed: "Taking dead aim." Another post rearranged Sheriff Tim Hutchison's name into the anagram of the year: "Into Much S—-."

Hanging In

City Councilman Danny Mayfield, who was diagnosed with cancer last week, has received a preliminary prognosis involving both best and worst-case scenarios. Worst-case: six months. Best case:

"I will respond to treatment, and be cured. And that's what we're shooting for."

He is still undergoing tests, and will begin chemotherapy next week. A fund has been set up to help his family with medical and living expenses, and contributions may be sent to the Mayfield Family Fund:

Knoxville Christian Community Foundation
601 West Summit Hill Drive
Suite 400
Knoxville, TN 37902

February 24, 2000 * Vol. 10, No. 8
© 2000 Metro Pulse