Many Articles, Photos
Turn A Spotlight On
'Business and Industry'
Today's issue of The Greeneville Sun includes the first two sections of the Sun's 2013 Benchmarks edition: "Business and Industry" and "Government."
The two sections are the first of six sections that will comprise the complete Benchmarks edition of approximately 90 pages.
The next two sections -- "Agriculture" and "Health and Education" -- are scheduled to be published on Friday, March 22, and the final two sections -- "Community" and "Perspectives" -- are scheduled to be published on Friday, March 29.
All six sections, the result of some three months of work involving practically every member of the newspaper staff, will be distributed without charge to every subscriber as well as being placed in every copy of the Sun sold on a single-copy basis on the three Fridays of publication.
When all six have been published and distributed to subscribers and single-copy purchasers, the sections will be combined into one package and sets will lbe provided to the Greene County Partnership for distribution at no charge to individuals, families or business representatives that ask for information about the community.
Other sets will be provided without charge to all Greeneville and Greene County municipal government offices, to local Realtors' offices, and to other locations where information about the community might be requested.
A limited number of sets of the full six-volume edition will also be available for sale at the Circulation Department of the newspaper for $2 per set.
The six-section annual edition takes its name from the fact that the numerous articles and photographs by Sun staff members are designed to reflect what the Sun believes to be the "benchmark" events of the preceding 12 months, whether "positive" or "negative."
The sixth section, Perspectives, provides in-depth interviews with a number of the top governmental leaders of the town and county about the events of the preceding year and their plans and hopes for the year ahead.
This year's Business and Industry section proves that, despite the generally weak national economy and the locally high unemployment, the last 12 months have brought much significant business and industrial activity, including the announcement of dramatic expansions by Huf-Tennessee, DTR Tennessee, Inc., and Bossard.
* work is proceeding rapidly on the US Nitrogen plant at Midway, which is scheduled to open in 2014;
* a handsome new headquarters building for Consumer Credit Union is nearing completion;
* and a gleaming new Food City store opened recently in a major local business building that had lain empty for several years: the huge former Walmart store off East Andrew Johnson Highway.
Another story in Section A spotlights the employment history of the county and the area for the last few years including the current figures on employment in Greene County -- figures that show gradual improvement in the local job situation during the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, in the Government section, articles make clear that the last year has been a time of both innovation and controversy in Greeneville/Greene County.
A City Administrator, the first in the more than 100-year history of the Town of Greeneville, has settled into his position and has worked with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to create "Vision 20/20": a long-term strategic plan designed to help the Town maximize its resources and realize its potential by 2020.
The new asphalt plant bought and installed by Greene County seems to be working well, but the county continues to struggle with the longtime problem of overcrowding at the Greene County Detention Center.
There was also heated controversy over the adoption of a 20-cent property tax increase triggered by an anticipated budget shortfall of $1.1 million in the Greene County Schools budget for 2012-2013.
For some local officials, 2012 was also an election year.
Five-term state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, won a hard-fought battle for re-election with Democrat Eddie Yokley, a former 11th District state Representative.
But Rep. Hawk still faces Criminal Court charges relating to an incident involving Hawk and his wife, Crystal Hawk Goan, in March 2012.
In another controversial situation centering on a public official, County Commissioner Tim White was cleared by the full Commission of allegations of an ethics violation concerning work done by his company for the Greene County School System.
Readers will find articles dealing with these situations and many other significant highlights of the last year in today's Benchmarks sections.