National odds for U.S. president and Nate Silver’s numbers

This is the fun part of watching elections, seeing people like Nate Silver quantify it:

In short, it looks like Trump will carry Tennessee, but Clinton will win overall.

Here are the figures behind that assertion.

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Brexit, Tennessee and so on

Today our friend over at Humphrey on the Hill posted that Gov. Bill Haslam says the Brexit could impact Tennesseans negatively. In short (picked up via The Tennessean):

“I’m concerned — I think we have a fairly tenuous international economy, and I think this is one of those things that will be a negative,” Haslam told reporters Monday after making an appearance at the National Charter Schools Conference in Nashville. “Ultimately in Tennessee we’re connected to that same economy, and we hope there’s no eventual repercussions here.”

Humphrey makes the point that Haslam seems to contradict Sen. Bob Corker, who appears to be backing Brexit (which aligns with Donald Trump’s stance).

A couple related items:

Back in February, the Economist posted tons of graphic information on the Brexit that’s worth looking at for context purposes.

Just a few weeks back I had a story on Corker’s rise in politics here from East Tennessee to the national and international stage.


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Disc golf course to open in Knox

Go see if Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett can toss a disc this coming Friday with the opening of a disc golf course in Powell.

Your county reporter once played disc golf, and lost about $20 worth of plastic in the woods. It was a short career. For those who like to play the game, here’s a link to disc golf courses around the community.

From a release:

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will join members of the Powell Business and Professional Association and representatives from the Knox County Health Department, Smoke-Free Knoxville and Knox County Parks and Recreation for the grand opening of a new disc golf course at Powell Station Park on Friday, July 1 at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public, and other elected officials may be in attendance.

 The 9-hole course provides a smoke-free, family-friendly outdoor space for Knox County residents to enjoy. In addition to being a fun place to get some physical activity, Smoke-Free Knoxville and the Knox County Health Department partnered with Knox County Parks and Recreation and the Powell Business and Professional Association to make the disc golf course a unique educational experience about the hazards of tobacco use.

 Several disc golfers will be there to demonstrate disc throwing, and Mayor Burchett and other guests will give it a try, too.

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Voting results – some breakdowns

Found this in the inbox this past week, from the state GOP folks. Pretty interesting numbers breakdown, but more interesting to see the big bump in Republican voters. From a release on delegate assignments across the state, here’s something about historic voters:

Quick facts about Tennessee’s Presidential Primary

– 2008 GOP Turnout: 553,005

– 2012 GOP Turnout: 554,573

– 2016 GOP Early Vote Turnout: 257,209 (+62% higher than 2012 EV)

– 2016 GOP Total Turnout: 854,792* (+300,219 more voters than 2012 GOP Turnout)

– Previous Delegate Allocations:

Huckabee   25
McCain       19
Romney      8

Santorum   29
Romney     17
Gingrich      9

Speaking of voting results, found this showing the precincts that went for what candidate in Knox County. What it shows is that the more urban, inside-the-city-limits people of Knoxville voted more for Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. Hillary Clinton carried precincts outside of the city limits, primarily.

Among the Republicans, people in West Knox County and West Knoxville backed Marco Rubio. Pretty much the rest of the county went for Trump. Those areas in West Knox and West Knoxville tend to be among the more educated and wealthy neighborhoods in the county.

h/t KnoxViews for pointing to that map


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Rural Metro to donate AED to county

The county’s ambulance service is donating a defibrillator to Knox County.

From a release:

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, Rural/Metro will donate a new Automated External Defibrillator to the Knox County Veteran Services office, located at 1000 North Central Street.

Commissioner Anders helped recognize the need and worked with Rural/Metro to secure the device that could be used to save a life in the event of a medical emergency at the Knox Central building, which houses the Veteran Services office, as well Knox County Purchasing and other departments’ and agencies’ offices.

Rural/Metro staff will be on hand to demonstrate the use of the AED and to answer any questions. All County Commissioners have been invited.

Knox County Veteran Services staff serve thousands of veterans each year, many of whom are elderly or suffering from various medical conditions. More information about Knox County’s Veteran Services office is online at or available by phone at 865-215-5645.

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Knox Co. Festival of Lights kickoff today

From a release:

Knox County’s 17th annual Holiday Festival of Lights at The Cove at Concord Park will kick off tonight, Thursday, Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m. with Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett flipping the switch to turn on the lights and start the festival.

The festival will last through Thursday, Dec. 31, excluding Christmas Day. Each night from 6 to 9 p.m., visitors can walk the three-quarter mile greenway trail to view illuminated displays and a series of lights coordinated to music. Wood Oven Eats Catering will be onsite with kettle corn, funnel cakes, cider, hot chocolate and more for sale. The event is free, but Knox County will collect non-perishable food items for The Love Kitchen.


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Election filing deadline tomorrow at noon – an early preview

If you want to run in Knox County, you have scant time to turn in a petition for office. Like until noon tomorrow.

That said, it’s a pretty crowded field out there, so it’s basically up to the people who have already gotten their petitions to file by noon – a dozen or so people.

And, though this will likely change, nobody has returned a petition for the 2nd District of the Knox County school board yet. That’s the seat that Tracie Sanger won in 2014.

There are a few Knox County Commission races that are set to go into three-way races after the primary March 1, as follows, in three vacated seats:

The 1st District: Democratic candidate between Evelyn Gill and Rick Staples – who has run for office recently for Knoxville City Council – will be decided in the primary. That winner will face Republican Michael Covington and independent candidate Tyrone LaMar Fine in the general election.

The 2nd District: Republican and Democratic candidates have a primary in this seat being vacated by incumbent Amy Broyles. Near-perennial candidate Michele Carringer is going up for the seat against John N. Fugate II, who recently say on the Knox County school board. On the Democratic side, Laura K. Kildare and Cheri Siler are on the ballot, with a possible addition of Ann Curry – if she gets her petition turned in tomorrow.

The 4th District: Republicans are expected to duke it out over a seat that incumbent Jeff Ownby wants to keep for a second term. Challengers from the GOP include Hugh Nystrom and Janet Testerman, both well-known in the part locally. The winner of that primary will face Democratic candidate Marleen Kay Davis, who at this point has a clear shot to election day, unless Steven Friedlander turns in his petition tomorrow.

The 5th District: This is a straight-ahead race that will be hashed out on election day – incumbent Republican John Schoonmaker faces Democratic challenger Sheri Ridgeway.

The 6th District: Incumbent Republican Brad Anders wants reelection out west and will face a challenge from John Ashley in the primary. The winner there will see Democratic candidate Donna G. Lucas in the general election.

The 9th District: Incumbent Mike Brown isn’t seeking reelection. And at this point, only Carson Dailey has returned a valid petition for the Republican ticket. That could change tomorrow, though, if Republican Josh Ward turns in his petition and makes it a contested primary. Independent candidate Tom Pierce is planning to run against Dailey in the general election. Or it can turn into a three-way race if Democratic hopeful James “Brandon” Hamilton turns in his petition tomorrow.

The other county offices: Property assessor is a three way Republican race that will be hashed out in the primary – a chair that Phil Ballard is leaving. And Knox County Law Director Richard “Bud” Armstrong, a Republican, will see Nathan Rowell in the primary.

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Apropos of nothing … here’s some Monty Python

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UT prof goes to D.C. to talk small business investment vs. consumer protection

Sometimes as a reporter you realize that there are topics on which others are far more well-versed than you. This is one of those times.

Joe Carcello, a University of Tennessee Department Head and EY and


Joe Carcello

Business Alumni Professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Management, is the former Audit Committee chairman for Knox County – and one sharp guy.

He made a trip up to D.C. this week to talk about protections for investors vs. making it easier for small business to get investors.

The making-it-easier part would deal in part with publicly-traded companies and the regulations they have to face from the SEC – and all this is put really simply, mind you. Carcello, for his part, leans toward that of the investor advocate: if the protections are removed for these smallish businesses (and we’re not talking about the local hardware store or ice cream shop here), then investors can potentially be open for more risk.

Anyway, for those who want to know more about what the House financial services committee did or heard on Wednesday, here’s the link to their hearing landing page, with bios and some briefings. What grabs me – as is the case with nearly all legislation in Congress – is the tidy names each of the proposed bills have. So often they are not an accurate indication of what lies within the bill itself. Not saying that’s the case here, but the titles of legislation has humored me for years.

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“No permits, no problem” or “You don’t know what you don’t know”

Real quickly:

  • A local political blogger posted about a business on land that the county mayor owns.
  • It gets some attention, we do a story that went online.
  • Within the same day day the business owner calls and says, in short: oops.
  • Papers should be filed soon.

Floyd’s Garage

Angela Taylor is running her vintage shop in North Knox County, over off Amherst Road. With it being the physical location for her online shop, and presumably her first venture of the sort, she didn’t know what kind of paperwork should be filed. She’s been running the business since May.

Taylor said the circumstances weren’t ideal, but the end result of the story could be a little more interest in what she’s got going on at Floyd’s Garage. (IMHO, it looks like a nifty/groovy thing she’s got happening there.)

She takes consignment business, and sells vintage-y stuff that’s popular with the Pinterest crowd. The music events, with food trucks and classic car or motorcycle clubs is an effort to get people out of the house, she said.

“That was just an idea of mine to cross-promote,” she said. “There are a lot of people in the area who don’t have the opportunity to come out and experience the things that happen in downtown Knoxville.”

Oh, I tore a page out of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show for today’s blog post. And while this won’t make it into the print story, but the new word learned today is chattel. The thesaurus is not extinct, folks.

In completely unrelated items, I just realized that Pink Floyd popped up on my little trip out to Floyd’s (Pigs, specifically). With an interview from Tim Floyd Burchett today, that’s enough for a Floyd hat trick. Hope that shows up in my reporter stat line.

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