Stan Voit: A little bit of this, that for June day

Jun. 16, 2013 @ 06:11 PM

A little bit of this and that for a warm summer’s day ...

Looking forward to attending my first Smokies baseball game of the season this week as a guest of former reporter Derek Hodges, who is celebrating his birthday at the ballpark. Derek now works for Ka-Tom, located in the Smith-Thomas Industrial Park.

By the way, Derek’s alma mater is doing what Carson-Newman just did: move from college status to university status. Mars Hill University makes its debut in August. Carson-Newman changed its name officially earlier this year. Johnson Bible College is now Johnson University. Reminds me of the sweatshirt John Belushi’s character Bluto wore in “Animal House”: It just said ‘College” ...

I will revisit the unfortunate closing of Mountain National Bank one more time to relay an interesting behind-the-scenes incident about that fateful Friday. The newspaper got a tip that federal officials were in town to close the bank. Then around 5 p.m. a caller let me know that the action was under way. I sent reporter Jeff Farrell and photographer Curt Habraken to the main office of Mountain National on Dolly Parton Parkway. When they arrived about 5:15 they saw nothing going on, but I asked them wait since closing time was 6. They parked in the bank parking lot.

Soon a police officer arrived to ask them what they were doing. He said he had been sent by someone in management in the bank. Our folks told the officer why they were there, and he left.

A little while later a police detective showed up and told our reporter and photographer that the bank wanted them off the property. They had every right to make that request, since for a few more minutes it was still Mountain National’s property. I just find it odd that in the final moments of the bank’s existence as that entity, when upper management surely knew what was about to happen, someone found it necessary to spend time calling the police to chase us off the grounds. Our folks did leave, moving across the street, and five or 10 minutes later the takeover was under way and our guys moved back onto the parking lot to cover the story. ...

I hope we have seen the last fed takeover of a local bank, but the fact remains that one or two of them still are facing challenges, if you believe certain bank rating websites. And even if it happens, some entity will be ready to open the banks under new ownership. No deposits will be lost. By the way, feds always close banks on a Friday since it is at the end of the work week for most employees. ...

Lincoln Memorial University has cancelled plans to open a campus in Sevierville. LMU was going to take over the unfinished top floor of King Family Library while a classroom building was constructed in part of the library’s parking lot. The university has decided not to do that, and it appears the library is taking steps on its own to finish out the third floor. By the way, did you know Sevier County Public Library System had opened a satellite office in Pittman Center Town Hall? Neither did I until it was mentioned in passing in a news release last week. ...

Construction is well under way on the soccer complex being built next to Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. This is the complex that officials hope will attract tournaments to town. Pigeon Forge remains hopeful the Cal Ripken baseball complex will become a reality off Teaster Lane. Hope it does. The city is building a road to serve that planned facility. ... Don’t forget the Fourth of July entertainment our area has to offer. Gatlinburg has its midnight parade the night of July 3, and Pigeon Forge hosts the Patriot Festival in Patriot Park on the fourth. Two free events to get your freedom-loving juices flowing ...

— Stan Voit is editor of The Mountain Press. His column appears each Sunday. He can be reached at 428-0748, ext. 217, or e-mail to svoit@themountainpress.com. Twitter: @stanvoit.