Reviewing the 2010s in Farragut — yet looking ahead
Our just-completed decade featured a super-rare total eclipse, an introduction to red-light cameras, a special missing monument suddenly found years later, Town term-limits, a really big Costco sales tax boost, a $1.1 million Town debt coming out of seemingly nowhere, a no-quit football state champ and the heartbreak of high school suicides.
And so much more.
Here’s a rundown of January 2010 through December 2018 as reported in farragutpress.
(See 2019 highlighted in our Dec. 26 issue)
• Farragut citizens voted in favor of terms limits for its Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which limits elected officials to a maximum of 12 years service: two four-year terms, either as mayor or an alderman, and one four-year term, either as mayor or an alderman
• Red-light cameras were introduced at six Town intersections, with videoed violators given citations, as numerous citizens voiced their opposition to the cameras
• The James David Glasgow Farragut statue was unveiled in Farragut Memorial Plaza
• Town businessman David Purvis founded Farragut Business Alliance, now known as FBA-Shop Farragut
• Highly respected attorney David Rodgers, the legal foundation for Farragut Community Group (Town Founders) and Farragut’s first Town attorney, passed away
• Robert “Bob” Leonard, the Town’s first mayor and a highly regarded attorney, completed 55 years as general counsel for First Utility District before retiring
• Costco announced it was coming to Farragut
• Then Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate, visited Fox Den Country Club Sept. 29
• Farragut held its last spring elections in 2011, with the next Town election set for August 2014. Election winners were Alderman Ron Honken and Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche, both of whom were unopposed.
• Colonial Pinnacle Turkey Creek shopping area (more than 79 acres) sold for $131.7 million, marking it “the largest open-air retail asset to trade in the history of Tennessee and one of the largest to trade in the United States during 2011,” according to Chris Decoufle of CB Richard Ellis National Retail Investment Group, which represented the sellers
• Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut’s historical marker went missing from its location along Fort Loudoun Lake/Stony Point on the property of Lylan Fitzgerald. The marker was dedicated there in 1903. A soap-opera-like story would unfold in attempts to explain who took the monument, and its location
• Farragut’s population officially topped 20,000
• Then Mayor Ralph McGill accepted the award after the Town was named “Most Business-Friendly City in Tennessee”
• Mayor Robert “Bob” Leonard passed away
• Costco opened for business near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Lovell Road, in November
• Led by president/CEO Bettye Sisco, Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce celebrated its silver anniversary (25 years)
• The connection of North Campbell Station Road, north of Interstate 40/75, to Lovell Road was completed with the westward connection of Outlet Drive to Snyder Road.
• Residents of Historic Concord turned out to voice their opposition to the Town’s tentative plans to annex Concord.
• Making its first trip to East Tennessee in the popular game show’s then-37-year run, Wheel of Fortune’s “Wheelmobile” visited a packed Turkey Creek Public Market food court looking for contestants
• The Town’s first attempt to pass a Hotel/Motel Tax was tabled indefinitely by year’s end
• Farragut officials were advised the Town was delinquent in paying a portion of the Mixed Drink Tax to Knox County Schools, owing more than $1.1 million. In 2014, Town agreed to pay $1,106,829 in three installments covering three years.
• Northshore Elementary School (kindergarten through fifth grade) opened in August 2013, taking with it a few dozen former Farragut Intermediate School and Farragut Primary School students
• Town purchased the Historic Campbell Station Inn/Russell House for $1.25 million
• Publix opened in Town, along Parkside Drive in Turkey Creek
• Budweiser’s famous Clydesdales visited Farragut Kroger customers, then made their way on to Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, then into Village Green subdivision to the home of Carol Rosseel. She was the first Tennessee resident to have a case of Budweiser delivered to a home by the Clydesdales
• Wanda Lacy, Farragut High School Advanced Placement calculus teacher in her 30th year at FHS, was named 2013-14 Tennessee Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education
• After about 19 months of construction, Everett Road-Kingston Pike intersection improvements were completed
• Serious plans began to revamp Dixie Lee Junction intersection
• Improvements to the Interstate-40/75 Farragut/Campbell Station exchange began
• Michael Reynolds, principal at Farragut High School for 10 years, was reassigned to Knoxville Central High for the 2014-15 school year
• Leslie Howe, FHS computer science teacher, was named Knox County Schools Teacher of the Year among high school candidates
• While Mayor Ralph McGill and Alderman Bob Markli (North Ward) were reelected during the first Town election in three years, Ron Pinchok defeated Ron Williams in one South Ward alderman race.
• Farragut lost two Town leaders: Bob Watt, a U.S. Army veteran, former vice mayor and creator of annual Bob Watt Youth Fishing Rodeo; and Dan Olson, Town administrator from 1995 to 2009, who was praised by then Mayor Eddy Ford for helping the Town get out of debt
• Tom Hale, Town attorney, was one of four attorneys chosen statewide by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve as a “Special Supreme Court Justice”
• A proposed apartment complex near Smith Road and Kingston Pike was vigorously opposed by a collection of residents from area neighborhoods. Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided not to rezone the property, and the complex proposal died.
However, Villages of Farragut senior living community would successfully build in that location starting in 2017, opening its Phase I apartments in December 2019.
• Concord United Methodist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary.
• Stephanie Thompson was appointed in February as new principal of Farragut High School
• Tom Cruise, Academy Award winning actor, was a stone’s throw from Town limits in October when on hand at Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18 IMAX & RPX in Turkey Creek for the premier of his movie “Jack Reacher Never Go Back”
• A decade of Farragut High School state champions perhaps found its highlight on Dec. 3 when Eddie Courtney’s FHS football team won the program’s first state championship (Division I Class 5A), rallying from a 28-point second-quarter deficit to defeat Independence High School 45-35.
That was one of 10 team state championships earned by FHS teams during the decade, with Matt Buckner’s baseball Ads winning four in Division I Class AAA (2010, 2011, 2014 and 2019) adding up to 10 all-time. Boys golf won Class AAA state crowns in 2012, 2014 and 2018, totaling 11 all-time.
Farragut’s hockey team was back-to-back State Cup champs, starting in 2016-17 before going undefeated (15-0) and repeating as state champs the next season
• Farragut ranked as the sixth “Happiest City in Tennessee”
• Five candidates serving Farragut directly or as a representative of a district including Farragut were elected for the first time: Ron Williams (South Ward alderman); Vice Mayor Louise Povlin (North Ward alderman); state Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14); Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker (5th District) and Board of Education rep Susan Horn (5th District).
• Missing for roughly five years, Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut Monument was “found” and was donated to the Town of Farragut by Stony Point resident Lylan Fitzgerald.
• Ryan Siebe, a former teacher at Farragut High School from 2001 to 2007, was named FHS principal prior to the 2016-17 school year.
• The first total eclipse in Tennessee since the 18th century began to darken Farragut just after 2:30 p.m., Aug. 21
• Three Farragut High School students committed suicide during winter/spring semester (January through May), creating concern about how FHS and Knox County Schools handle distressed students
• Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut Monument dedication ceremony was June 8 in Farragut Memorial Plaza
• After almost 30 years of service in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. (R-2nd District), a longtime Farragut resident, announced his retirement
• The operator of a powered parachute was killed after crashing in Bridgewater subdivision April 2
• With several parents living in the northwest sector of Town sounding off about being zoned for Hardin Valley Academy, wishing to be switched to Farragut High School, they got their wish
• Three prominent Farragut citizens/contributors passed away in 2017: respected local historian Mac Abel and Farragut High School educators and highly successful Admirals varsity football coaches Buddy Fisher (FHS head coach from 1987 through 1995) and Lendon Welch (longtime assistant from 1959 through 1978)
• Volunteers from First Baptist Concord went to Houston to help Hurricane Harvey victims
• Avery Flatford, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Farragut Middle School, earned “Team Boomer Female Athlete of the Year” honors among a nationwide field of top athletes battling cystic fibrosis
• Town of Farragut was ranked No. 1 statewide among best places in the state for families in terms of affordability and socio-economics
• Dog Daze/Dock Dogs national dog-jumping competition held its inaugural Farragut event, which was a regional competition, Sept. 15-17 in Village Green shopping center parking lot
• Two highly respected leaders in Farragut passed away in 2018: Mayor Ralph McGill, one of the founders of the Town (Farragut Community Group) who served as mayor from 2009 until resigning just before his passing June 25.
The Rev. Dr. Doug Sager served as pastor of First Baptist Concord from 1992 to 2013.
• While Alderman Ron Pinchok served as interim mayor replacing Dr. McGill for a few months, the Town would elect Mayor Ron Williams, former alderman from South Ward, while also electing Aldermen Scott Meyer.
• Farragut voters also had their say on the national level, as former Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a Republican, was elected to replace U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., also a Republican, in the 2nd Congressional District.
Meanwhile, national wrestling sensation “Kane” ended his flamboyant career, moved to Knoxville and became known as Glenn Jacobs, who was elected as Knox County Mayor. Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler also was elected.
• Farragut High School’s dance team came away with a National Championship in Small Varsity Jazz during Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championships in Orlando Feb. 2-5
• Knox County and Town of Farragut finalized a deal to share cost and build a Community Center for the Town (top floor of former Faith Lutheran Church building along Jamestowne Boulevard) and a new County Senior Center (lower floor).
• An apparent murder-suicide took place in Village Green Nov. 3, with a son reportedly killing his mother before killing himself
• Revamped Dixie Lee Junction intersection was finished in the fall