Today’s message is all about “Connectivity & Community,” and this local news, features and information website that you’re reading right now is my topic. Yesterday, our host for this website – its CEO and editor, Sandra Clark – spoke to the Rotary Club of Farragut about this “baby” of hers – KnoxTNToday.com.
She rolled it out in May 2017, and as it heads down the tracks it’s picking up speed and traction.
“What we are trying to do with this website is to connect people to one another and to their community,” she said. “It’s a unique model. But think about how you all connect with one another – in your churches, your work, your interests. Being here together week after week in Rotary shows that you have a shared interest to make your community better and to enjoy working together in the club.”
KnoxTNToday.com is expanding its community coverage by adding 10 new emphasis areas. Some are up already; others will come online soon.
Monday – Our Town Heroes, featuring stories about the professionals in the emergency services field (fire, police, ambulance, deputies, etc.). Also look for the “Tag, You’re It” photo feature, along with columnist Marvin West.
Tuesday – Our Town Stories, a history emphasis rotating among different parts of town. Also look for a new real estate page and your favorite political columnist.
Wednesday – Our Kids, with an emphasis on education and the teachers who are doing great things in the classroom. Columnist Frank Cagle is already holding forth, and some surprises are coming in January.
Thursday – Our Town Leaders, featuring business, civic and religious leaders and the work they do. Also find columnist Sherri Gardner Howell and community news features.
Friday – Two features will set up the weekend: Get Out & Play by Carol Evans of Legacy Parks Foundation and Get Up & Go, a salute to community volunteers. Also find political columnist Betty Bean.
Clark is a Powell resident and cares about the community’s progress and making the community and its residents successful. She pointed to the town of Farragut and to former Mayor Eddy Ford as a model for what’s happening in Powell. “Farragut has always been about offering a lot of benefits for its residents and thus bringing in tax revenues to fund things, and I will tell you that Farragut does it right,” she said. “There’s always a lot going on out here in Farragut.”
Clark works with an organization known simply as “Enhance Powell.” That group’s first major project was the expansion of Powell Station Park. Now it’s working to convert Beaver Creek into a recreational venue for boating and floating on its waterway, a place for families to enjoy together, benefiting the residents, and bringing people into Powell along with tax revenue.
They recently had their first Beaver Creek Flotilla event from behind Powell High School to the new Weigel’s store. The hope is to make Beaver Creek a fun float from Clayton Park in Halls all the way to Powell – and maybe beyond, one day.
This unique new media model has major business partners – First Tennessee Bank, Covenant Health, Food City, Ray Varner Ford, the YMCA, Aubrey’s and Bailey & Co. Real Estate.
Here are a few other relevant facts about KnoxTNToday:
- Access to the site is free. No subscription charges of any kind – period.
- It is available on all computer devices and mobile phones. “In fact, 46 percent of our readership is done on phones,” Clark said.
- Obituaries from Knox and 12 other counties are updated daily and they are free, as opposed to the high rate newspapers charge for obituaries.
- There is not a community in Knox County that is not covered: Farragut, Fountain City, Halls, Inside 640, Karns, Northeast Knox County, Powell, South Knox and West Knox.
“We’re having fun, and I hope we’re beginning to make a difference in our communities,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
If your organization wants to learn more about KnoxTNToday.com and invite Sandra to speak, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in exploring membership in Farragut Rotary, drop me an email at email@example.com. We meet each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Fox Den Country Club.