Tag Archives: Knoxville

ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 I WAS ON A PLANE

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On September 11, 2001 my mom and I were on our way home from a long European vacation.


I remember sitting in the terminal at Gatwick Airport re-living the prior two weeks in my head.  My mom and I had visited Ireland, Russia, France and England. I had the time of my life and was just disappointed that it was all coming to an end. I was headed back to Atlanta for another week of selling vitamins and gold cards at my GNC store that I managed in Buckhead. I recall wanting to be closer to home.  Spending time with her made me realize just how much I missed Tennessee.

We loaded up on our Boeing 777 Delta flight 11 traveling from Gatwick to Atlanta.

As we made our way into the air my mind drifted. I just felt something tugging at my heart.  I put my head phones on and fell asleep.

I don’t recall exactly how many hours had passed, but I do know that we were over the ocean coming into United States airspace.   The music in my headphones was temporarily interrupted. It was the voice of a noticeably shaken pilot.

What happened next will be etched in my mind for the rest of eternity.

“Ladies and Gentlemen….I need……you… to listen to me very carefully. There has been an attack on the United States. Two commercial planes have flown into the World Trade Center. The United States airspace has been closed and we are being diverted to another location.”

The terror I felt over every inch of my body was intense. I thought I was going to die. I knew we were close to New York because we had the GPS system playing on our screen. He mentioned two planes. Could our plane have hijackers on it? Was this a full scale attack on America and here I was sitting right in the middle of it?  If I died what would happen? Could I survive a plane crash?  These are not questions that I ask myself every day.  A few moments later the pilot came back on and gave us additional information. We were flying to St. Johns Newfoundland until further direction from the United States was given. I was scared.

St. Johns NewfoundlandWe landed in Canada. This Canadian airport was an international airport. It serviced one international flight per week. 27 international Jumbo jets were now sitting on her tarmac.  How long would we have to be on this plane? The pilot only told us to try and relax. I had my video camera and videotaped fighter jets in the air and soldiers with machine guns guarding each plane. I am sorry but relaxing is not what I was doing.  Mom and I were on the phone with my sister Andrea and she was really shook up.  We didn’t know what to tell her because we really didn’t know anything.

I was asking myself a lot of questions.  I had a long time to answer these questions, because the pilot came on the PA system and told us that they were going to unload one plane at a time. They had to search each plane and each passenger. This would take around an hour per plane from smallest to biggest and we were one of the biggest planes that had been diverted there. Well, 19 hours passed before we greeted Canadian soil.  We were carefully brought off the plane. Security was at high alert.  We were greeted by armed guards, some with machine guns.  After making it through customs they loaded us all on buses where they transported us to the local hockey arena which they were using as the central transportation center for all diverted passengers.

When we walked into the arena it was the first time any of us had seen it. There it was on the jumbotron. You could see the planes slamming into each building. The planes looked eerily similar to our plane.  Most Americans watched this horrific tragedy in the comfort of their own home. Mom and I were on uncomfortable seats, had been awake for two days, and had just spent over 20+ hours on a plane.  We still had NO idea what was going on. My heart sank for those who were killed.  I could not even imagine how horrific it was for the families.  My heart aches for them to this day.

Each plane was assigned a section of seats in the arena. We had time to get to know some of our fellow passengers. There was the Director of Communications for Coca Cola UK. There was a VP for a Video Tech company in America. There was a couple that was on their honeymoon. There were so many others but these to just name a few.

Finally we were told that they would transport us to our Hotel. Actually, it was Holy Heart High School. Not really a bed and breakfast. The people were amazing there. The care and love that they showed us made it abundantly clear that God was in control.

We were assigned to the Science room on the second floor. We had about 15 or so people in our room. We were so exhausted so we decided to try and sleep for a few hours. I couldn’t sleep because A) The floor was hard B) The snoring and C) I felt like I had been skinned alive and thrown into the ocean.

The community came together and put their collective arms around us.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the way we were treated. They brought us food, sang for us and invited us into their homes. They took us on a tour of their beautiful city which we learned was the eastern most city in North America. They even took us on a boat to show us around.  I found out that the remains of the Titanic were only a short boat trip away. There was actually a group docked in St. Johns that was shooting a documentary about it.   It was the director for the movie Titanic and some other folks.

I had several days in Canada to reflect on my life. What had I accomplished? I was the Region 2 #1 Gold card seller at GNC. I was ranked nationally for my sales per hour and profit margins. But what had I really accomplished.  I could feel God tugging at my heart. He had something in store for me which wasn’t completely clear yet.

So after 4 days we were finally given word that we would be going home. I had mixed emotions. I really didn’t want to get back on a plane, but I really wanted to go home to my apartment in Atlanta.  A week in the bed and several bags of cheetoes is just what I needed.  There was thunderous applause as we lifted off the ground.  The trip home was very solemn. I felt relief and terror all at the same time. The last four days felt like four years. We were the first diverted plane to arrive back in to Atlanta. When we touched down we all cheered and whistled as if we had just scored the winning touchdown to beat Florida in overtime.   As we taxied back to the terminal the Delta employees clearly wanted us to know just how much they cared. There were hundreds of Airport employees lining our route as we taxied in with flags and banners that said, “WELCOME HOME” and “WE LOVE THE USA.” I could not help but to cry, as did most the passengers on the plane. Seeing those American flags and people cheering made me feel safe. Unfortunately, the victims and their families will never feel safe again.  I pray every day for the families.

This was a major moment in American history. It was also a major moment in Kevin’s history. I needed something to change.  I had made changes in my life, but there was something more that I needed to do and God was showing me.  I believe that God was calling me to come back home to Tennessee.  I had lived in Atlanta for over 3 years and I had my Aunt and many friend here.  I needed time to collect my thoughts and let God show me the way.

Then something amazing happened.

I received a job opportunity in Knoxville. With the counsel of my Mom, Dad and those around me, I decided to jump on it.

I came home in April 2002. God works in such amazing ways. I started my new job on May 1, 2002 and my future wife, Pam, started two weeks later.  We started dating in August and I proposed to her one year to the day after our first date, August 11, 2003. We got married on December 20, 2003 and then found out we were having our first child on October 21, 2004. Olivia was born on June 6, 2005. We found out that we were having a little boy on June 18, 2007. Patrick Callaghan Rhea was born on February 22, 2008.

I owe all of this to God. He had a plan for me. Part of His plan is for me to share with Olivia and Patrick the love and Grace of our Lord. His Grace is so incredible in my life. I have problems like the rest of humanity. I have anxiety, loneliness, fear and times of hopelessness. The difference today is that I have a purpose. That purpose is becoming clearer, but part of it is to share His love with others.  I need to get out of my shell and spread the Good News…God has a plan for you too!

September 11 is a day of remembrance for us all. I also use it as a time to reflect on my life.  Where have I been and where am I going.  I regularly get off track and I constantly need to be reminded that God loves me no matter what. It’s easy to let life take over and I start to forget what is most important in my life.

My prayers are with all of the family members who are still suffering with the events of that day. I pray that they may find peace and understanding from a world that knows not these things. I pray for the salvation of a nation that does not know the Truth. Not the truth about worldly things, but the Truth that God loves them.

To all of my fellow passengers in life: I hope and pray that along this journey I might be able to give something back to you. Maybe a kind word or encouraging smile is what you will need. Whatever that is, I hope that God, not me, is in the middle and you have the window seat.

God Bless

The Holli McCray Group

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Special Guest

Holli McCray

CEO with The Holli McCray Group at Keller Williams joins The  Housing Hour this week to share her expertise in the real estate market.   Holli discusses how her group has become the number real estate team in Knoxville and one of the top 100 teams in the country.   The last segment  Holli discusses her passion for community and her continued role in the Wesley House.

2017 Top 100 Real Estate Team in America (REAL Trends/Wall Street Journal)

#3 Real Estate Team in Tennessee (REAL Trends/Wall Street Journal)

 #1 Real Estate Team in Tennessee for 2016 (KWRI – Southeast Region)


Being the Greater Knoxville area’s top selling real estate team, The Holli McCray Group can fulfill all of your real estate needs at a high level.   They have an expert staff that allows them to provide each of  their clients with excellent customer service and guidance.  Their focus is on professional consultations, personalized strategies, powerful negotiations and proven results.  HMG is able to quickly adapt to changes in the market and grasp new technologies that allow  them to sell homes faster and for more money.  As a result, they consistently sells over 350 homes per year.

 So Why Hire The Holli McCray Group?

  • They have a full support staff to quickly respond to inquires, return phone calls and follow up with potential buyers for our listings.
  • They have a highly experienced marketing department to ensure your house is advertised properly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
  • They have a full-time customer service manager who is available to  their clients to help resolve any concerns or issues that may arise.
  • They have an expert buyer team that has been hired to sell  their listings.  When a buyer calls to get more information about  their listings, they are available to take those calls and show the property!
  • Their team of expert listing agents provide honest feedback and advice about how best to sell your home. HMG firmly believes in advising  their clients using strategies that will work best for their situations.  HMG does not believe in making false promises to  their clients in order get their business.
  • They  have a highly effective marketing plan that literally generates hundreds of buyers every month.   Their monthly marketing budget is well above the gross income of the average real estate agent in  their area.
  • They  have a full array of preferred partners who they do business with to make sure your homes sell faster and your real estate transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
  • Simply put…..They put more money in  their clients’ pockets at closing than the competition!

 

 

 

MIG Farragut Branch Office

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 Special Guests

Samanda Knight  and Aretha Mims

joins The Housing Hour this week to discuss the local real estate market. Samanda is a Branch Manager with Mortgage Investors Group at their Farragut Office and Aretha is a Realtor with Realty Executives Associates, Nikitia Thompson Realty in Knoxville.   Samanda and Aretha bring their business perspective and experience to the show to help our listeners understand all that’s going on in the industry today.

Samanda Knight

NMLS Unique Identifier # 657450

Samanda’s   desire was to leave her  “footprint” in the world led her to a career in the mortgage lending industry. That was nearly 20 years ago, and in that time, she’s been able to draw on her love of interacting with people to help clients achieve the American dream of homeownership.

Samanda entered the industry in 1995 as a mortgage processor. Three years later, she began originating loans and worked her way up to becoming a producing Branch Manager before making the seamless transition to MIG in June as a Senior Loan Officer in its main Knoxville branch.

Samanda is well versed in all types of lending, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA), FHA 203K, Veterans Affairs (VA), Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), Rural Development (RD), New Construction, and Homepath. Today she works with Loan Officer Assistant Holly Clark and Processor Lisa Calvert, as she guides clients through the process of making one of the largest investments of their lives. Samanda strives to offer exceptional customer service by thoroughly listening to her clients so she can gain a full understanding of their financial goals. Then, she advises them about their options so they can achieve those goals.

Samanda is an affiliate member of the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors and a member of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce and Farragut Chamber of Commerce.


 

Aretha Mims

Aretha A. Mims, Realty Executives, Nikitia Thompson Realty has been a real estate professional for over fifteen years in the state of Tennessee.

Aretha’s real estate career began in office administration in Nashville Tennessee.  She is very passionate about her profession and takes very seriously the task of meeting her clients and customers needs.

Aretha has surrounded herself with very reputable Lender’s, Title Attorneys, termite companies, foundation specialist, home inspectors etc. Whatever the needs maybe to insure the most professional experience as humanly possible.

Aretha A. Mims

Realty Executives Associates,

Nikitia Thompson Realty

865- 244-8528

Contact Aretha today!

Realty Executives Associates

3232 Tazewell Pike

Knoxville, TN 37918

Mobile:(865) 244-8528

 

 

Housing Trends: Dr. Ralph DeFranco

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Special Guest

Dr. Ralph DeFranco

Global Chief Economist,

Arch Capital Services,

joins The Housing Hour this week to discuss the latest housing trends. Dr. DeFranco specifically discusses the trends across Tennessee from Memphis to Johnson City.   Topics also include a look at the global economy including the mortgage interest rates and the potential impact of legislative policies.

You don’t want to miss this show!

Also, Dr. Defranco has written a quarterly economic report packed full of the latest economic information, trends, and predictions.

Arch Mortgage Insurance (Arch MI)

Arch MI is dedicated to providing risk management and risk financing products to the mortgage insurance sector worldwide, through their three distinct platforms in the United States, Europe, and Bermuda.  Their group of dedicated mortgage insurance and reinsurance professionals understands the unique requirements and challenges of mortgage insurance markets around the globe.  Their market-specific knowledge and expertise enable their teams to provide creative and commercially viable solutions for their clients. Superior analytics and risk assessment combined with outstanding client service are at the forefront of all their activities.


Global Locations

  • Bermuda

  • United States

    • Walnut Creek, California
  • Europe

    • Dublin
    • London

Commercial Real Estate Update

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Special Guest

cazanaJustin Cazana

Principal with Avison Young, responsible for Sales & Leasing, Tenant, and Landlord Representation joins The Housing Hour this week to give our listeners an update on the commercial real estate market in Knoxville and surrounding areas. The commercial real estate market is an important indicator of the financial health of an economy reflects the expansion of businesses in key areas. Justin discusses the business activities in from downtown Knoxville to the Pellissippi Corridor, Northshore area, Farragut and Oak Ridge.

Be sure to catch this important:

Commercial Real Estate Update

AY_CMYK_Tagline

cazana2

Justin Cazana is a Principal in the Avison Young Knoxville office, specializing in office and retail transactions with experience representing both landlords and tenants.  His current portfolio encompasses more than 1.1 million square feet of commercial space.

A Knoxville native, Justin began his career with Commercial & Investment Properties handling the leasing and marketing of the companies’ buildings.  This includes Knoxville landmarks such as Century Park at Pellissippi (an 80-acre office development), The Atrium, and Two Centre Square. A founding principal of Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone’s Knoxville office in 2011,  Justin worked with the firms other partners to develop the only full-service commercial real estate firm in the region.

Recent transaction highlights include the completion of a regional headquarters lease for Great West Casualty Company (25,000sft) at Century Park and the sale of Center Court at Lonas (40,000sft) to Pilot Travel Centers.

Justin has achieved both his CCIM and his SIOR designations and was selected as the Knoxville Business Journal / CCIM Broker of the Year in 2013.

Justin’s Credentials:

  • Licensed Real Estate Broker- Tennessee & Georgia
  • Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)
  • Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
  • CCIM President – Knoxville Chapter 2010 & 2014
  • 2014 Leadership Knoxville
  • Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership- Board of Directors
  • Dogwood Arts Festival Board of Directors
  • 2010 Knoxville’s “40 Under 40”
  • University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Associates
  • Rocky Hill Elementary School Foundation – President 2013
  • Auburn University

 

Murder Will Out

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DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK BELOW

Copyright 2015

In 1921, it was considered the most horrifying, gruesome murder in East Tennessee history.

Starting in Knoxville, with a sickening murder in Robertsville, Tennessee (pre-Oak Ridge), to an attempted bank robbery in Oakdale-this story has it all- ending with four men executed in Tennessee’s electric chair on the same day (a dark state record).

Murder Will Out

by

Co-Host Mark W. Griffith

Download (PDF, 7.61MB)

 

FREE E-Book

(Click on ‘DOWNLOAD’ under thumbnail of book-cover)

 

(Cover Design by Josh Ballard)

FREE E-Book


Made possible by

Mortgage Investors Group

and

The Housing Hour

Host Kevin Rhea, Managing Editor and Publisher

 

From Mark:

It seems like every 100 years, or so a sensational trial occurs in communities across the country. Most of them maintain only a local level of interest but occasionally some reach the attention of the national media. The story of George Lewis and Andrew Crumley reached a national audience; its horrific tale of a brutally cruel murder and attempted murder caught the ire and sympathy of the nation. After the sensational trial, verdict and death sentence, the country seemed to wait in anticipation for the execution. On March 1, 1922, Tennessee executed four men; national news headlines exploded with the news.
In the trials closing augments, prosecuting attorney W. H. Buttram predicted the trial would be, ‘….remembered a hundred years hence.’ But in reality, with justice being served quickly and inexorably, memories of the horror soon faded.
Murder Will Out rekindles some of the emotions undoubtedly felt at the time and attempts to honor the memories of two innocent lives that fell victim to such a despicable plot.housinghour_bookcover_700x900-01

Murder Will Out

by

Mark W. Griffith
Co-host: The Housing Hour

 

 

Air Date 11/17/12- Fire Prevention and Awareness!

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Presented by:

Mortgage Investors Group Logo

This is one of the most important shows The Housing Hour has done:

….it could save you and your family’s lives!

Fire Prevention and Awareness:  Will your Smoke detector work?

Did you know that Thanksgiving Day is the number one day for cooking fires?

Knoxville City Fire Department Captain DJ Corcoran joins our show and discusses everything from the top things that can cause fires during the holiday season to smoke alarm detectors.

The Housing Hour has learned that under certain conditions the smoke detector in your home could fail to go off.

Common home Smoke Detectors Failing:

Also, we have discovered another study regarding Children under 10 and smoke alarms…we discuss this study and will be posting a video on the study. Every parent with small children must see this video!

Also, on a lighter note….we will be posting video a comical video regarding fires caused by Turkey Fryers.

Please join us for this very important show!

Fire Prevention Website

Kevin Rhea shares 9/11 story with Hallerin Hilton Hill

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Kevin Rhea, Host of The Housing Hour, was asked by his friend Hallerin Hilton Hill to come on his show and share his and his mother’s story from 9/11. Kevin and his mother were aboard a plane as the first plane then second plane struck the twin towers on that fateful day. Kevin describes the feelings and emotions as the spent over 20 hours sitting on the tarmac in Canada

Air Date 02-09-13: Crazy Home Inspection Finds!

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Special Guest

feldmanJack Feldmann

Crazy Home Inspection Part 1!

Clayton Inspection Service, Inc.

Clayton Inspection Service Inc., a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors®, was established in 1989. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee we have completed thousands of inspections and we typically inspect over 1,000,000 square feet per year. With over twenty years of construction experience you can be certain that you will receive the highest level of professional service available in today’s market. Call or write us today for your free brochure.

Contact:

Clayton Inspection Service Inc.
Jack C. Feldmann

Phone: (865) 693-7109
Fax: (865) 690-4321

Crazy Home Inspection Finds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Secure on Line!

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 How exposed are we?

What can we do?

Safer Internet Day: How we help you stay secure online

February 5, 2013

Technology can sometimes be complicated, but you shouldn’t have to be a computer scientist or security expert to stay safe online. Protecting our users is one of our top priorities at Google. Whether it’s creating easy-to-use tools to help you manage your information online or fighting the bad guys behind the scenes, we’re constantly investing to make Google the best service you can rely on, with security and privacy features that are on 24-7 and working for you.Last year, we launched Good to Know, our biggest-ever consumer education campaign focused on making the web a safer, more comfortable place. Today, on Safer Internet Day, we’re updating Good to Know to include more tips and advice to help you protect yourself and your family from identity theft, scams and online fraud. You can also learn how to make your computer or mobile device more secure, and get more out of the web—from searching more effectively to making calls from your computer. And you can find out more about how Google works to make you, your device and the whole web safer.

For example, we encrypt the Gmail and Google Search traffic between your computer and Google—this protects your Google activity from being snooped on by others. We also make this protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, the default when you’re signed into Google Drive. Because outdated software makes your computer more vulnerable to security problems, we built the Chrome browser to auto-update to the latest version every time you start it. It gives you up-to-date security protection without making you do any extra work.

Even if you don’t use Google, we work hard to make the web safer for you. Every day we identify more than 10,000 unsafe websites—and we inform users and other web companies what we’ve found. We show warnings on up to 14 million Google Search results and 300,000 downloads, telling our users that there might be something suspicious going on behind a particular website or link. We share that data with other online companies so they can warn their users.

We know staying safe online is important to you—and it is important to us too. Please take some time today to make your passwords stronger and turn on 2-step verification to protect your Google Account. Talk with friends and family about Internet safety. And visit our new Good to Know site to find more tips and resources to help you stay safe online.

Posted by Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering Google