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Friday, June 16, 2017

Cocke County Partnership
The Cocke County Partnership and Economic Development Board met Thursday. President Lucas Graham reported that Terri Woodruff of Douglas Cherokee is working closely with industry to promote the Smoky Mountain Reconnect Program. The program provides free tuition to a community college or technical school for adults who want to go back to school. Graham also clarified that the principal still owed on the spec building in the industrial park totals nearly $511,000. The Cocke County Corrections Partnership plans to visit the site as a part of it's search for the location of a needed jail. The board agreed to continue to market the site, to prospective industry. Board Chair Glenn Ray also reported that the large concrete slab at the former Ace Products plant on Industrial Road, is not in the flood plain. Graham said he had been working with Walters State and Conagra for several months prior to the announcement this week that the school will use a Conagra building as an educational facility for local industrial training. He stressed that the training will be available to all students, not only Conagra employees. Ms. Jamie Phillips of Rural Medical Services has been chosen to represent the private sector on the Partnership board. The Partnership Board was told three grants have been received for a total of $95,000 to be used to enhance tourism in the community. The current Partnership budget earmarks $50,000 for tourism marketing, but that line item has been reduced to $25,000 in next year's budget. That slashes funding used to promote the community. Tourism Director Linda Lewanski talked about the grants which she said are exciting news for the community. "The first is a $20,000 Asset Base grant, to be used to hire a consultant to review our tourism assets in case we are missing something. They will give us ideas for future tourism projects." Lewanski said the second grant for $50,000, will provide $20,000 for assisting in the promotion of Hartford and it's whitewater rafting venue. Some also will go toward a lighting project in Newport. The third grant of $25,000 will be used to develop a master plan for a county-wide hiking and biking trail system. Lewanski said she also expects the county to apply for inclusion as an Adventure Tourism community, under a bill recently passed by the Tennessee Legislature. "If the legislative body approves certain districts of the county as tourism districts, and the move is approved by the Departments of Revenue and Tourist Development, new projects in the district are eligible for tax abatement," Lewinski explained. The deadline for applying for state approval is June 30.


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

  • Former jailers arrested
  • Commodity distribution next week
  • Black bear caution
  • East Tennessee has retirement affordability
  • Park officials continue their search for teen
  • Tree cutting to slow traffic in Gatlinburg

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

  • Cocke Grand Jury
  • Fletcher Ervin obit
  • Agribusiness grants
  • Dolly to record children's CD
  • Cocke County energy grant

    Tuesday, August 15, 2017

  • Tax freeze for seniors
  • KOA Lane fire
  • Lee touts vouchers
  • Seniors and opiods
  • Comments on Sunday officer involved shooting

    Monday, August 14, 2017

  • Shooting Update
  • Cocke County officer involved shooting fatality
  • McMahan charges are pending
  • Clevenger injured in Saturday incident
  • Morris arrested on drug charges
  • Help to protect the Golden-Winged Warbler
  • Gas prices expected top drop

    Sunday, August 13, 2017

  • Smokies offers new education initiative
  • Roe recuperating following surgery
  • New truancy guidelines
  • Munsey sentenced
  •    

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