The heroes within


This year Mortgage Investors Group is celebrating 30 years in the mortgage industry. A company that started with only a few has now grown to over 400 strong. This accomplishment would never have been possible without the sacrifices of our brave men and woman in uniform that fought for our freedom and continue to protect our freedoms to this day.

MIG is very proud to honor those within our company that has either served or has family members that have served. A few years back we took the time to interview a few of those individuals and share their stories. It was a defining moment for The Housing Hour and one that we will never forget. We have interviewed United States Senators, Congressman, professional athletes, authors and more, but nothing compared to this!

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax and enjoy a stroll down memory lane!

Tax Cat-Tax Time


Special Guest

Evonne M. Kautz, EA

‘The Tax Cat’

owner of 5-Star Holdings, Inc joins The Housing Hour this week to help our listeners understand the new changes that have taken place for the 2018 tax season.   Preparation is the key to filing return, and Evonne is the key to knowing how to prepare!


  •  Forms you need
  • Standard Deduction vs itemized
  • Itemized deduction changes
  • Business Client expenses Impacted

Educational Foundation

An additional part of 5-Star is its education program to teach taxpayers the basics of tax and the importance of tax planning.  Specifically for the military, Evonne travels to bases and units to teach these fundamentals with a focus on tax savings for service members. In the civilian community, she has shared tax tips for real estate agents and rental property owners, and even a class for college-bound students and parents about paying for/tax savings for the college years.

Evonne M. Kautz:

Evonne has been practicing in the tax field for 11 years in the Knoxville area, specializing in military and small business.  She holds the EA designation, an abbreviation for Enrolled Agent, earning the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards and authorizes unlimited practice rights in tax matters such as audit, appeals, and collections.

12568 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee
Call (865) 392-1755


Knoxville Irish Society



Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Chris King, (President/ Founder) and Amanda Bailey  (Secretary) of Knoxville Irish Society share their vast knowledge of Ireland, and it’s rich history as we celebrate of the worlds favorite holiday’s!

 You can find even more information about the Knoxville Irish Society by liking our Facebook page and joining their Facebook community group. You can also now follow them on Twitter and Instagram!

Tá muid réidh cuidiú a thabhairt duit!

(They are ready to help you!”)

Instructions for becoming a member and benefits of joining*
Should you, and perhaps your family, decide to become a member, you will get all of the rights and privileges that come with membership. These are bragging rights! You’ll also get member discounts to KIS events that are noted in the “Events” section of our website. You’ll also get member discounts to KIS events (e.g. the Second Saturday social gathering and the Irish Gaelic language classes) and other non-KIS affiliated events (e.g. St. Patrick’s Day Knoxville celebrations and Irish Fest on the Hill).  And, best of all, you’ll be supporting the good work of the Society. Our culturally-enriching events and efforts wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful support of our members: people like you! Not only will you get those warm and fuzzy feelings from joining, but you’ll also receive the profuse gratitude of the Irish community and its friends. This is the start of a beautiful relationship! Acceptance into the Society is competitive: only about 100% of applicants are admitted. For more information about what we do, click on our events tab above, like our Facebook page, or join our  Facebook community group .

Membership Application





Knoxville Children’s Theatre


Special Guests

Sien Moon, Managing Director of Knoxville Children’s Theatre along with New York City Based Director, Producer, and Tony Award winner, Ashlee Latimer joins The Housing Hour to discuss one of the premier children’s acting organizations in East Tennessee.   Sien has been a part of the theatre since the beginning and shares her vision for the future.  Ashlee Latimer is a native Knoxvillian who also grew up in the KCT family.  Ashlee also is the first KCT alumni to earn a Tony Award for her role as a co-producer in the hit Broadway play, ‘Once on This Island.’  Ashlee loves sharing her experience with the KCT and is even directing their upcoming musical 101 Dalmatians which opens September 21st.

Also, in studio, two actresses with unique perspectives.   Olivia Rhea, daughter of the host of The Housing Hour, Kevin Rhea,  made her KTC debut this past July in the production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr.  Olivia talks about the special bonds and friendships she formed with the other members of the cast.  Along with Olivia, Bethany Moon,  rounds out our full cast, daughter of Sien Moon, Bethany explains her experiences with the theatre for the last ten years, capping off an excellent interview experience you don’t want to miss – this week on The Housing Hour.

Mission: To be the Southeast’s pre-eminent theatre for children by children.

Knoxville Children’s Theatre, an education-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a local theatre company producing professional plays for children, by children. KCT is committed to providing children opportunities to acquire and hone skills that enhance creative thinking, public speaking, project management, personal responsibility, leadership, and team work. All of these opportunities occur in a creative outlet where imagination thrives, self-esteem develops, and students learn the many life lessons that creative dramatics can teach.

We Believe:

-We believe that theatrical arts are for everyone, so we have established a diverse organization where any child can participate in a production at no cost.

-We believe that our community benefits from quality theatre. So we are committed to superior productions and professional instruction.

-We believe that theatre teaches vital life skills. So we provide an environment where children improve public speaking, develop self confidence, practice teamwork, build a strong work ethic, become problem solvers and future leaders.

-We believe that children’s theatre is fun! So we nurture it’s energy and excitement into a lifelong love for the performing arts.


Tennessee Firewise


Special Guests

Leon Konz,

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist


Nathan Waters,

Assistant District Forester

join The Housing Hour this week to discuss The national Firewise Communities program.  The Firewise  program is a multi-agency effort designed to reach beyond the fire service by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in the effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from the risk of wildland fire- before a fire starts! The Firewise Communities approach emphasizes community responsibility for planning in the design of a safe community as well as effective emergency response, and individual responsibility for safer home construction and design, landscaping, and maintenance. While many people play an important role in making homes safer from wildfire, no one has more control over the safety of a home than homeowners!

Topics Include:

Gatlinburg becomes a Firewise Community

Ember Preparedness

Preparing     for rare catastrophic wildfire

Defensible Space


and much more!

Download (PDF, 7.74MB)

Download (PDF, 4.69MB)

Download (DOCX, 20KB)

Download (PDF, 4.12MB)


Gatlinburg celebrates Firewise achievement

Wildfire Preparedness

Tennessee Fire Wise

Tennessee has many types of forests and open areas, from the dense eastern mountain laurel thickets to the remote western cypress swamps. Between these are upland hardwood forests, pine stands, cedar glades, cove hardwoods, bottomland hardwoods and various types of open, brushy and forested land. Their unique characteristics and the variations in topography and weather, make wildland fire suppression in Tennessee quite challenging.

Fire threatens the sustainability of Tennessee’s forests. The Division of Forestry protects this resource with personnel and equipment. Employees are involved in fire readiness, wildfire suppression, training volunteer fire fighters, fire investigation and prosecution of arsonists.

Wildland fires in Tennessee are suppressed by mechanical and manual means. Forest fires in mountainous terrain are often fought by crews using hand tools. On rolling and flat terrain, bulldozers are used to attack wildfires by making fire lines. In either situation, a firebreak is cleared two to ten feet in width down to mineral soil. Sometimes fire is set along the firebreak to widen it and burn out fuels ahead of the wildfire. Wherever fires are accessible by roads or fields, water is sprayed on fires from small pumper units carried on pickup trucks.

Division employees work in tandem with the state’s Volunteer Fire Departments and Rescue Squads to protect forest resources as well as the homes and other structures in the path of wildfire. When houses are built in the woods, a situation called wildland/urban interface is created. There are steps homeowners can take to help make their houses safe from wildfire. The National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Protection Program web site provides information on protecting your home from wildfire.

Tennessee typically has a spring and fall fire season. The spring fire season, prompted by warming weather, begins about February 15 and ends near May 15th, when the forest has usually “greened up” enough to prevent the rapid spread of forest fires. Fall fire season begins around October 15, when the leaves begin to fall and usually ends December 15th due to shorter, cooler, wetter days. Because of the variations in weather, wildland fires can occur any time during the year. It is important to note that a burning permit is required for outdoor burning during the period between October 15th and May 15th.

firewiselogocolor_jpgFirewise Communities Program
Brush, grass and forest fires don’t have to be disasters. NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire. Firewise is a key component of Fire Adapted Communities – a collaborative approach that connects all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning and action with comprehensive resources to help reduce risk.

The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters.

To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA’s Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risk of wildfire.
NFPA logo About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at



wildfireThe southeastern United States consistently experiences more wildfires per year than any other region. More than 100 million acres of land have a moderate to extreme potential for wildfire. The issue is not if an area will burn but when, and at what intensity.
Learn about your region’s unique wildfire risks by exploring this section. It provides federal, state, and local information and resources for the southeast – all of which support your community in becoming fire adapted.

Click for FREE Publications!

Other Free WildFire Publications

Recommended Read:

Important Links:

Mother Of Thanksgiving- Sarah Josepha Hale


Special Guest

Mike Allegra

author of  Sarah  Give Thanks, a beautiful children’s books that describe’s the life of Sarah Josepha Hale and her 36-year  struggle to make Thanksgiving a national holiday!

Sarah was a magazine “editress” and an avid writer who penned the famous children’s poem ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’ Everyone man, women, and child need to know the story of Sarah Josepha Hale!

Superbly written  and brilliantly illustrated, make this book a part of your Thanksgiving tradition:

Letter from Sarah to President Lincoln :

Download (PDF, 334KB)

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.


Paranormal Technology Investigations


 Special Guest

Robb Phillips

owner and lead investigator with Paranormal Technology Investigations return The Housing Hour this week to discuss one of their most active investigation they ever witnessed!

Paranormal Technology Investigations located at 101 Fox Street Jonesborough Tn.

They offer an Escape Room Game, guided ghost tours plus real guided investigations. (if you got what it takes)

Robb and Kathy Shepard (co-owner) started Paranormal Technology Investigations over 15 years ago and had investigated hundreds of homes. In the last few years, Destination America show, “A Haunting” has dramatized a few of their scariest investigations.

“A Haunting” episodes:

  • 2014 (S7E5)     ‘Ashes to Evil’
  • 2015 (S7E15)   ‘Conjuring Evil’
  • 2017                   (S9E2)       ‘Bewitched’

Watch their latest show:

Actual footage from their investigation ‘Bewitched’:



Erik Ainge -Team 121


Special Guest

Erik Ainge

joins The Housing Hour this week to discuss the start of the 2017  college football season.   Erik shares his views and expert analysis on UT’s Team 121 as they enter their first game of the season with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Join Kevin and Mark as they pepper Erik with questions regarding the current roster and projected starters.

And don’t miss The Erik Ainge Show:

Former University of Tennessee and New York Jets quarterback Erik Ainge hosts The Erik Ainge Show with Brian Rice Monday – Friday from 9am to noon on Sports Radio WNML!

Ainge, an Oregon native, played for the University of Tennessee from 2004 – 2007, during which time he racked up numerous awards and honors from the SEC and across college football.

In the years since his professional football career, Erik established himself firmly in the Knoxville community and set roots that, along with his football connections, provide a listening experience that is exclusive and exciting for all college football fans.


The Erik Ainge Show can be heard on Sports Radio WNML  M-F 9 am to Noon.

Remembering The USS Forrestal


Special Guest

Gregory A. Freeman

the author of “Sailors To The End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It” joins The Housing Hour this week to discuss the 50th Anniversary of the deadly explosions and fire that occurred on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal on July 29, 1967.

Mortgage Investors Group’s very own Bob Thompson was on board that fateful day when 134 sailors lost their lives.

Gregory Freeman explains the series of catastrophic events that caused a Zuni rocket to mistakenly fire and cut through John McClain’s plane spilling hundreds of gallons of highly volatile jet fuel on the flight deck and dislodging one of his 1000 pound, WWII era, bombs. The result was nine horrific explosions and raging fires that killed 134 men and wounded hundreds of others.

We pay tribute to those who died:

The Virtual Wall


Order your  copy today:

Gregory A. Freeman

Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years experience in journalism and nonfiction. Known for writing narrative nonfiction that makes a true story read like a gripping, fast paced novel, Freeman’s latest work is The Gathering Wind: Hurricane Sandy, the Sailing Ship Bounty, and a Courageous Rescue at Sea, released October 29, 2013, by New American Library, an imprint of Penguin Books. This book tells the story of the tall sailing Bounty, which was lost off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Answering many of the questions prompted by that terrible loss, The Gathering Wind is a compelling drama about the crew, the Coast Guard rescuers, and the investigations that followed.

Freeman’s earlier book The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys tells the story of a World War II bomber crew that is shot down over Germany and then lynched by local townspeople, leading to the first war crimes trial after the conflict ended. Kirkus Reviews called it “A chilling tale” and “a riveting narrative.”

Freeman published Troubled Water: Race, Mutiny and Bravery on the USS Kitty Hawk in September 2009, also with Palgrave Macmillan. Troubled Water tells a little known story of a race riot on the carrier Kitty Hawk in 1972, focusing on the two senior officers who will determine whether this already tragic episode ends peacefully or spirals down into one of the darkest moments in Navy history. Just prior to that, Freeman co-authored a book with Col. Larry C. James, the U.S. Army psychologist who was sent to stop the abuse at the notorious military prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq. Fixing Hell: An Army Psychologist Confronts Evil at Abu Ghraib , released in August 2008, tells the harrowing tale of a man struggling to be both a military officer and a medical professional, while also revealing previously unknown details about the prison scandal and how the system was improved.

Prior to Fixing Hell, Freeman’s most recent book was The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II. Like his other books, The Forgotten 500 reads like a fast-paced novel but tells a fascinating true story — this time, the amazing rescue of airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Critics hailed Freeman’s recent book, Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought It, published by William Morrow, as an example of master storytelling. In Sailors to the End, Freeman tells the story of the young men aboard an aircraft carrier in 1967, following their life-and-death struggles through an accidental fire that threatens to destroy the world’s most powerful ship.

Freeman also wrote Lay This Body Down: The 1921 Murders of Eleven Plantation Slaves. In this true story, Freeman paints a vivid picture of a plantation run with slave labor 56 years after the Civil War. Prior to Fixing Hell, Freeman’s most recent book was The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of the Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II. Like his other books, The Forgotten 500 reads like a fast-paced novel but tells a fascinating true story — this time, the amazing rescue of airmen trapped behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Europe. Freeman has now released an E-chapter addition to book entitled Red Tails: The Tuskegee Airmen and Operation Halyard.

Freeman’s work also appears in Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone, World War II, American History, and many other publications.

Freeman’s books are scrupulously researched and entirely factual, yet they read more like novels because he weaves the personal stories of his subjects into a compelling narrative. For the book about the aircraft carrier, Freeman spent two years interviewing surviving crew members and poring through Navy records, including some the Navy did not want to release. Through his contacts in the Navy, he was able to visit an active duty aircraft carrier at sea for first-hand research.

Freeman has won more than a dozen awards for his writing, including the coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists — twice in five years. He received his degree from the University of Georgia in Athens, worked for The Associated Press in Atlanta, and spent several years as executive editor of a publishing company. He then became a freelance writer and continues to to write for a number of publications.

Freeman is represented by Mel Berger of the William Morris Agency in New York. He lives in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife Caroline.

The Broken HR: Greg Chambers


Special Guest

Greg Chambers

author of “UnChosen” joins The Housing Hour for Part II-The Broken HR. Greg describes the common flaws in the employment hiring process throughout our countries HR departments as he navigated through the employment process. Greg offers tips and suggestions on how to increase your visiablity to the HR managers and hiring specialists.

The Broken HR:

Components of a  job search

Job postings


The Interview

Listen to Park I-Surviving Job loss

Job loss is a traumatic experience that can tear you apart. It is an emotional and traumatic experience that impacts your social, economic and psychological status quo. The workplace is not designed to help you recover from being UnChosen. Managers, recruiters, and friends don’t understand it and are unable to help you unless they have also been through the experience. This book is a guide through this journey from two authors who have experienced it several times and moved on to recovery. UnChosen discusses the impact through personal experience, chronicles the journey, and offers a path to recovery. It is a guide to surviving the new workplace where company loyalty is disappearing and career-minded workers need to become more self-reliant to survive. This book will help you understand what you are experiencing and how to emotionally prepare for moving your life forward from job loss. Greg and Peter have written their experiences to help you conquer those obstacles and become free again.