September 4, 2015
Police have confirmed that a Labor Day fireworks festival that failed to secure sponsorship for future events is dead.
The Knoxville Police Department has identified the victim as 28-year-old Boomsday of Knoxville.
Boomsday was born in 1988 to a FM radio station and a mid-sized city desperate for explosion-based amusement. Over the years the event became popular with its peers, many of whom remembered Boomsday for her bright, flashy personality.
"This was a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided if TDOT would have let us block off Neyland Drive so we could charge admission," said Andy Mead, an advocate for the victim. "We hope to replace Boomsday with a more lucrative event that we can promote to tourists."
Many East Tennesseans will spend the upcoming holiday weekend grieving the victim.
"Boomsday filled our skies with explosions choreographed to music, our lungs with metallic smoke and our pets with post-traumatic stress disorder," sobbed mourner Katalin Ritchie. "Now where am I supposed to see a man-made waterfall composed of fire? I'm just going to miss her so much."
Police said they attempted to resuscitate the victim after finding her unconscious, but were unable to do so. She was pronounced dead at UT Medical Center.
Heartbroken residents said the loss of Boomsday is more entertainment death than they can handle.
"We've had a tragic few years here in Knoxville," said Alyssa Corbett of Bearden. "First our minor league baseball team was kidnapped and forced to live in Kodak. Then we lost Sundown in the City to the likes of the publicly intoxicated and those meddlesome tweens. And now Boomsday is gone."
Others suspect Boomsday's death is part of an elaborate conspiracy to rid the city of festivals.
"Boomsday was murdered," said Tennessee Valley Fair. "How long before Bark in the Park After Dark or Boo! at the Zoo end up dead in a dumpster? None of us are safe anymore."
September 3, 2015
Tuesday is the start of the fall latte shopping season, but dozens of East Tennesseans are already camping outside Knoxville coffee shops. Some are out early to avoid the Tuesday crowds. Others don't want to miss out on clogging up their friends' Facebook feeds with selfies taken with seasonally-themed coffee drinks, even if it means missing out on some family time over the holiday weekend. "This isn't what Labor Day is supposed to be about," said Katlyn McKelvie. "I should be at home with my newborn son. But instead here I am with yoga pants and uggs on for some reason." The Pumpkin Spice Latte is a spicy blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, espresso, perfectly steamed milk and real pumpkin. It will be served in a cup.
September 1, 2015
Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are asking a bunch of grown adults not to vandalize the park. Rangers for some reason had to say out loud this week that graffiti is not something that should be used on a mountain range filled with old growth forest. "Look, if you're going to spray paint something in the park, write 'Go Vols' on a car from Alabama or something," sighed the park's director of thank God only five years until retirement Bill Weaver. This is not the first time park rangers have had to explain things very slowly so that maybe everyone can understand them. Early 25 seconds ago, officials had to remind someone trying to hand-feed a bear that that probably isn't the best idea.
August 30, 2015
A spokesperson for people who are offended about everything announced today that gender neutral pronouns are a new thing that should make you upset. The affrontedness came after the University of Tennessee's Office for Diversity and Inclusion suggested that students consider using more inclusive pronouns such as "ze." "This completely voluntary non-policy is a slippery slope," said a spokesperson who wants you to know he is male for the Perpetual Offendedness Council. "First people can't say 'he' or 'she,' and the next thing you know there will be unisex bathrooms. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go use the designated men's bathroom at my house. It has a urinal so everyone knows exactly who can use it." "We wouldn't want anyone to get their feelings hurt by a pronoun," agreed a person whose feelings have been hurt by entirely optional, slightly different pronouns. "I haven't been this angry since some politically correct jackass wished me happy holidays."
August 28, 2015
A jury has found an Old North Knoxville man guilty of vinyl siding in a case of "seriously, does he not know this area is zoned under an H-1 historic overlay?"
The verdict against Carl Henson, 26, was presented shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. Henson was found guilty on 16 charges, including satellite dish visible from the public right of way, painting over historic masonry, and more modern street lighting with high intensity fixtures on metal standards. Henson was also found guilty of having a chain link fence along the front walk that is greater than three feet high.
The verdict was reached in just over five minutes, ending an emotional four hour trial on a Facebook neighborhood group.
The trial drew community attention as neighbors around Old North Knoxville work to prevent the spread of architectural violence.
In a statement to the media, a next-door neighbor thanked prosecutors and members of the jury.
"I am so grateful to each of you," said Dawn Arribas through tears. "This case gives all of us in the community an opportunity to talk to each other and our children about the way we treat the most vulnerable among us, these late 19th century houses in an H-1 overlay.
Other neighbors made similar statements.
"I'm just thankful that this man's heinous crimes will be punished," said Jenna Trask, who lives two houses down from the crime scene. "This was an innocent house. And he hasn't shown an ounce of remorse. That man is a monster. He'll get what's coming to him."
Henson will be sentenced on September 28. He could face up to 25 years of tsk tsking.
"We will continue our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of not using synthetic siding on Queen Anne Cottage-style homes," the neighborhood said in a statement.
This is not the first time Old North Knoxville has seen violent criminal activity. In 2014, someone in the neighborhood suggested that gentrification is bad.
August 27, 2015
A new Knoxville program could help hundreds of families consume more than their fair share of natural resources and dramatically increase their energy bills. The Holding the Door Open Initiative hopes to provide simple energy-inefficient upgrades to homes all across Knoxville. "By simply leaving the front door wide open, families can make their homes hotter in the summer and colder in the winter," said Knoxville director of waste creation management Dani Sachjen. "It's a great way to pay even more for your utility bill. Plus your mom will shout, 'Close the door! Were you raised in a barn?' and then you can roll your eyes at her. Everyone wins." Other aspects of the program include leaving all the faucets running, transitioning to gasoline-powered appliances, and driving bags of trash from the house to your family's garbage can.
August 25, 2015
Professional compliment angler Jim Hansen of Lancing, Tenn. reeled in a 12-pound those pants don't make your hips look fat Sunday to claim the title of Your Butt Doesn't Look Big Champion. The award is one of professional compliment fishing's most prestigious. Hansen won with a three approval margin over Doug Mason of Kentucky. "I'm not even that great at fishing," Hansen told reporters, in an attempt to gain even more compliments. "Actually I'm not that good at anything. And my house is such a mess." Hansen had a four-day total of 42 compliments. "I'm emotionally drained," Hansen added. "But at the end of the day I feel pretty validated. That last 'Oh my gosh, you're crazy, you are so not ugly Jim' that I caught really put me over the top."
August 23, 2015
The University of Tennessee is trying out an innovative pricing structure that will let college administrators set their own price for education. "As a way of thanking students and alumni for supporting us for the past 221 years, we are offering students the chance to pay us what we want from now through the end of the 2016 spring semester," said UT director of tuition management Richard Zermatt. "When it's time to pay their tuition bill, students will be asked, 'How much would we like you to pay?' And then the university will give them a number with several zeroes behind it." "We want to be in the driver's seat," continued Zermatt. "We want us to decide what this education is worth to you. And it's probably worth a lot. Our mission is to educate, inspire and build a few new buildings while we're at it."
August 21, 2015
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week declared the Columbia House extinct and removed it from the list of endangered species list.
The Columbia House was a subspecies of animal known as the Mail Order Music Club. It once roamed the entirety of the United States, where it charged one penny for eight CDs, plus a chance to get even more music -- free!
Government wildlife managers believe the Columbia House's population began to decrease in the late 90s after a predator known as the Napster was introduced into its habitat. The Columbia House follows the BMG Music Service, which scientists declared extinct in 2009, and the Blockbuster Video, which remarkably held on until 2014.
"While heartbroken to see it go, I was a bit stunned to learn the Columbia House was still among us at all," said physical music product conservationist Bryan Brackeen. "Frankly I thought the CD was extinct, too. I guess life always finds a way."
Many environmentalists took the news hard.
"There are so many species our children will never know," said Dale Jackson of Knoxville. "Gone forever are the majestic MySpace and the highly intelligent Encyclopedia Britannica. Gone are once ubiquitous species like the Floppy Disk and Payphone and Fax Machine. Even with its defense mechanism of frustrating the hell out of everyone, we still lost the Dial-Up Internet. And now the Passing Notes In Class and the Landline Telephone are on their last legs. Only a few remain in zoos around the world."
Hundreds of people gathered around the country to mourn the passing of the Columbia House, many of whom had sentimental ties to the animal.
"This is a sad day," said hair metal zoologist Kris Levinsohn. "How will kids score Poison and Def Leppard's entire catalogue for free by signing up several friends and family members who all just happen to live at the same address? I haven't cried this hard since the Mixtape went extinct."
August 20, 2015
The Haslam administration is considering a controversial plan that would outsource the interpretation of law in the state of Tennessee to a spherical toy used for fortune-telling. Gov. Bill Haslam says the move could save taxpayers millions of dollars. "Our job in state government is to provide the very best services we can at the lowest cost to taxpayers," Haslam said. "Sure, we could keep paying so-called judges to interpret laws and to mediate disputes. Or we could shake up this oversized black and white ball, ask it a yes or no question, and get an immediate answer. And if it gives us a 'reply hazy try again,' then we'll just rephrase the question." Critics called the plan "insane." "It's just a plastic ball filled with liquid and a die," said Knoxville attorney Ada Gardner. "Obviously a fortune cookie would make more sense. That way, every verdict would end with 'in bed' and you could giggle about it."