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VOL. 43 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 27, 2019

City, KAT plans for all-electric buses in 2021

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Knoxville’s outgoing mayor Madeline Rogero celebrated the purchase of the city’s first all-electric bus, as one of her last duties in office.

She joined officials from Knoxville Area Transit for a ride along. KAT plans for the new buses to begin operating on Route 17 – Sutherland at the beginning of 2021.

Over the past several years, Knoxville Area Transit has been expanding into alternative fuel options, and now 33% of the current fleet are hybrid electric vehicles.

The next stage – all-electric vehicles – is a part of Knoxville’s overall sustainability strategy. Programs such as the LED streetlight upgrades, energy upgrades to housing in the Community Development Department, and encouraging biking, walking and transit are all helping Knoxville to reach sustainability goals.

The new all-electric vehicles will operate on one of Knoxville’s most diverse bus routes. The Route 17 – Sutherland goes from downtown through UT, Mechanicsville and Marble City to Bearden and the Forest Heights neighborhood.

Along the way, the route serves graduate students, seniors, high school students, and a large contingent of Knoxville’s diverse refugee community, providing access to groceries, schools, and a variety of services.

Ripley PR gains BDR as new client

Maryville-based Ripley PR has been selected by Business Development Resources as its public relations provider and agency of record.

BDR is the SeaTac-based provider of business management coaching and training for home service contractors and distributors in the U.S. and Canada.

“We chose Ripley PR for one simple reason: They work in our industry every day,” says Bruce Wiseman, owner and president of BDR. “Not only do they partner with a variety of B2B companies in the home service space, they have also worked with dozens of home service contractors across the nation.

“Ripley PR has the advantage of understanding the unique challenges of our industry and they have a track record of creating messaging that resonates with business owners. We’re looking forward to taking our brand to the next level of awareness and growth.”

Heins Company ready for milestone year

The A.G. Heins Company is planning a year-long celebration for its 100th anniversary.

The Heins Company has sold building supplies in Knoxville as a continuously family-owned business.

The company specializes in masonry, roofing, concrete, plaster, chemicals and accessories. Its inventory includes more than 3,000 products from nationally recognized vendors such as BASF, Cemex, Dupont, Quikrete, Sika, SpecChem, and W. R. Meadows.

Some of the local projects Heins has partnered on include: UT’s Haslam Music Building, UT’s Ayres Hall, Neyland Stadium renovations, Knoxville Montessori School, Embassy Suites and The Island in Pigeon Forge.

The local business was founded by Albert Gordon Heins Sr. on Dec. 14, 1920. The original office was located in the historic McClung Warehouses on Jackson Avenue and had five employees. In 1925, a larger office and warehouse was constructed at 116 Heins Street in the heart of downtown Knoxville where it continues to operate today.

After serving in the Army during World War II, A. G Heins, Jr. entered the family business in 1949 and became president in 1971. His son, A. Gordon Heins III, joined the company in 1981 and was promoted to president in 1991. The three children of Heins III serve on the management team which continues the legacy of the fourth-generation, family-owned business.

Mast launches Downtown brand

Mast General Store is unveiling an ongoing collection of Downtown Knoxville-branded merchandise.

The merchandise includes T-shirts, tote bags, magnets, stickers, postcards, mugs, glassware and more that feature the newly introduced Downtown Knoxville brand.

“We are delighted to introduce Downtown Knoxville-branded merchandise that reflects the vibrancy of our city,” says Robin Thomas, marketing director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “The Alliance is thankful to Mast General Store for partnering with us to provide residents and visitors with local items that reflect our thriving community.”

The refreshed Downtown Knoxville brand and logo were introduced in June, the result of extensive research with downtown stakeholders and the Downtown Knoxville Alliance’s staff, board and committee members.

The brand and logo reflect a dynamic district of restaurants, hotels, shopping, theaters, parks, public art and more in a 0.67-square-mile, walkable area.

T-shirt design raises $952,101 for anti-bullying

Sales of a Vols T-shirt designed by a fourth-grade boy in Florida have raised $952,101 for STOMP Out Bullying.

The young fan created the homemade shirt to show his love for the Volunteers. UT’s VolShop offered to print the boy’s design.

The VolShop sold 112,715 shirts for $14.99 per shirt in the three months they were made available. The official version of the shirt is no longer being produced.

The boy and his family requested that proceeds from the shirt be donated to an organization dedicated to the prevention of bullying. All proceeds from the university’s sale of the shirt – approximately $8.45 per shirt – will go to benefit STOMP Out Bullying.

“There are no words to express how grateful we are to the University of Tennessee for choosing STOMP Out Bullying as the nonprofit organization they wanted to partner with on the Volunteers T-shirt,” says Ross Ellis, CEO of STOMP Out Bullying.

Staff with the VolShop and apparel vendor Threds worked tirelessly for weeks to meet the incredible demand for the shirts.

Oak Ridge schools wins Excellence award

The Oak Ridge School District has won the 2019 Award for Excellence in Education Program for its “The Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness.”

The Tennessee School Boards Association offers the award annually to a board of education that has an innovative and successful program operating within its district.

The Oak Ridge district developed seven keys to college and career readiness for their students.

The district has a collective commitment to the Seven Keys. The first 3 Keys focus on math and reading proficiency. Key 4 centers on meeting ACT benchmarks on the 8th grade Aspire test. Keys 5-7 focus on college and career readiness, emphasizing financial literacy, ACT scores, and our ultimate Key 7, which ensures that every student graduates with some form of early postsecondary credential such as dual enrollment credit, Advanced Placement (AP) coursework, industry certification, military preparedness, and or work-based learning.

In addition to these academic skills, Oak Ridge Schools are committed to STEM-based learning, including the essential elements of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. These are commonly called “The 4 Cs” and are widely recognized as workplace skills that increase productivity and accountability.

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