News

‘Top of the Golf’ to ’yah

Topgolf, the long-awaited centerpiece for Farragut’s specially-created Entertainment District along Outlet Drive, is officially open for business.

The global entertainment venue had a “soft” opening beginning Monday, Aug. 8, culminating in a grand opening and ribbon cutting Friday morning, Aug. 12, in Farragut Crossing.

“We had a chance to work out a few kinks,” Topgolf Knoxville’s director of operations Mark Grenier said of the days leading up to Friday’s event, which brought together Town, county and state elected officials along with representatives from both the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and the Knoxville Chamber hosting simultaneous ribbon cuttings.

“We are so excited to see Topgolf opening, offering a place to play golf rain or shine,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock said.

“Lets try to set a record,” Grenier said as the group exited the lobby, making way to the exterior of the $20 million building.

An attempt definitely was made as dozens crowded together for the ribbon cuttings — including many Topgolf staff members, which altogether number more than 400.

Friday’s ribbon cutting and celebration was the culmination of “many people working together to make it happen,” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said.

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Public forum to be held at Town election certification

Knox County Election Commission will certify results from the Farragut Election Thursday Aug. 18, which begins at 8 a.m. with a Public Forum — all voters are welcome to attend — before the election is certified.

The certification will be held in West Knox Election Commission office, 109 Lovell Heights Road.

If no problems are found, newly elected Town officials — the re-election of Mayor Ron Williams and Ward I (North) Alderman Scott Meyer, and new Alderman-elect David White — will take the oath-of-office to begin the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting around 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25.

With Town Center finish ‘targeted’ October 2024, ‘PCD’ townhomes get unanimous BOMA approval

While Farragut Town Center at Biddle Farms has a “targeted overall completion date (of) roughly October 2024” according to Mark Shipley, Community Development director, the green light was given to build townhomes as part of the development.

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen were unanimous in amending the master plan of the Planned Commercial Development District zoning to include townhomes during its meeting Thursday, July 28.

The updated plan shows 47 two- and three-story Federal-style townhomes in the southeast corner of the development.

“Each lot would have 25 feet of (street) frontage,” project developer Budd Cullom said. “We managed to figure that out.”

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Fall Fest ahead?

Having lost what had become an annual event in mid-July — as the two-day MusicFest in West End Center was cancelled due to stormy weather — Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance is heading into autumn with plans for a fall festival in October.

Successful with fall festivals in recent years, which have drawn “over 6,000 people” according to Alliance executive director Stephen Krempasky, “We have not done a fundraiser since pre-COVID, so we’re looking at trying to get some revenue — and how to do that,” he added. “What’s different and what makes sense for us to be involved in” should be the focus.

As for specifics, “The idea is to do some sort of food or beverage highlight. But how that’s done, we don’t know yet,” Krempasky said. “Candace (Viox, Alliance chair) mentioned something where we develop a fall festival that would feature, maybe, brewery or distillery samples, and people would get a wrist band that allows them, for one flat fee … to sample everything they like.

“And you would have food trucks and other entities that want to showcase, where they can sell or do a $5 admission and we do a kickback to them,” he added.

Additionally, he said other businesses could showcase their products and services with a small booth fee.

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KCSO reports

This week’s KCSO Reports includes a roughly $120,000 scam

• At 10:05 a.m., Friday, Aug. 12, a Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded to a Windward Drive address on report of fraud involving six figures in cash. Victim/complainant said she was scammed out of about $120,000.

Victim said she received a notification from PayPal stating her account had been frozen due to fraudulent activity. Victim said she “called PayPal and spoke to someone who identified himself as the security officer of PayPal,” the report stated.

“This unknown suspect told the victim that she needed to send him approximately $90,000 via Bitcoin and Venmo for him to be able to reverse the fraudulent charges on her PayPal account. The suspect then connected the victim to an individual who identified himself as the security officer for First Horizon Bank.

The suspect told the victim that she needed to wire transfer $69,999 to a bank in Cambodia before he could reverse the transactions on her bank account.”

The victim initiated both transactions.

(Editor’s Note):

In a related matter to the above KCSO Report, Knox County Government is warning the public of a new phone scam.

 A number of people received phone calls on (Aug. 10) from scammers who claim to work for the county’s Benefit’s Department and would like to meet in person with them or have someone come to their home to talk more about the matter,” a report from Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ Office stated.

 “So far, the scammers have targeted the elderly and people who do not work for county government. The county’s Benefit’s Department would not ask someone to meet at their home,” the report further stated.

 “If residents receive such a call, the county requests that the person hang up and call either the Knoxville Police Department at 865-215-4010 or the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 865-215-2443.”

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corrections

• Beth Ann Carter with Michael Brady Inc., former Farragut West Knox Chamber Board of Directors chair (2018-2020), was incorrectly identified in a 35th Anniversary FWKCC group photo on page 5A of our Wednesday, Aug. 10, Business section.

• In the front page story “Rotarians, friends rescue Ukrainian refugee” in our Aug. 10 issue, 2007-08 Rotary Youth Exchange student Yuliia “Julie” Tryukhan’s friend Oleksandr “Alex” Surkov did not escort Tryukhan’s mother to her home in Crimea, as was stated in the story. We regret the errors.