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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

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

Catch the show every Saturday….

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Will You Be My Valentine? Weird and Wacky Mating Rituals of Household Bugs

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Click for our multi-part:  Home Insect Series!

Will You Be My Valentine? Weird and Wacky Mating Rituals of Bugs


 February 14, 2013

The Housing Hour takes a look at odd insect mating habits

Forget flowers and chocolates this Valentine’s Day. When it comes to wooing a mate many insect species have their own, unique ways of attracting the opposite sex. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) explores some of these strange mating habits.

Bed bugs

If you’ve ever had a bed bug infestation, you know how quickly a few bugs can turn into hundreds, but what you may not know is justhowall those bed bugs come to be. Bed bugs practice a mating behavior known as “traumatic insemination” where the male pierces the abdomen of the female.

Kissing bugs

The name “kissing bug” might lead you to believe we’re talking about a disease you can pick up from smooching your Valentine, but kissing bugs are actual insects. Named for their tendency to bite the faces and lips of humans while they sleep, kissing bugs can cause welts and allergic reactions. This blood meal is necessary for male kissing bugs to mate and for the female kissing bug to lay eggs.

Termites

Female termites release ‘mating pheromones,’ much like perfume, to entice male termites. Once males locates the alluring females, they break off their wings, symbolizing they are a couple.

Fire ants

In fire ant colonies, the queen ant is in charge of egg laying, and can even control how many male and female eggs she lays. Her goal is to produce another queen, which needs males to mate and produce a colony. Worker ants, however, have no use for males, which die after mating. When the queen needs males, she can overwhelm the colony with male eggs. The female workers kill many of the males, but they can’t kill them all.

Roaches

American cockroaches engage in courtship rituals before mating. Females begin courtship by raising their wings, exposing their integral membranes  and releasing a pheromone that attracts males. This stance is referred to as the calling position.

Attracted males approach females and flap their wings to denote interest.

After fertilization, a female American cockroach produces an egg case known as an ootheca. The female carries the ootheca on her abdomen for a short time, usually a day or two. After that, she deposits it in a warm humid location.

Nymphs emerge within 38 days and complete their development within six to 12 months. The life span of the American cockroach ranges from one to 1.5 years.

Black Widows

Black widow mating occurs in springtime. In rare cases, black widow females consume males after mating, feeding on them as sources of nutrients needed for egg fertilization. Female black widow spiders can produce several egg sacs in summer months. These sacs are tightly woven, silken cups and are protected fiercely by the female until they hatch.

Egg sacs are white, tan or gray in color and have a paper-like texture. They may be pear-shaped or globular. Each egg sac contains hundreds of eggs, from which hundreds of spiderlings emerge. However, only a handful of these young survive, as black widows are cannibalistic during the early stages of their lives.

Surviving spiderlings undergo molting stages known as instars. Compared to females, males generally require fewer molts to reach maturity. Many spiderlings overwinter as immatures, and then they mature fully the following spring. Although the expected lifespan of black widow spiders is one year, some specimens have been known to live up three years.

If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a pest professional to cut the courtship short. To learn more about pests, their mating habits and pest-proofing your home, visit PestWorld.org.

Check out our Love Bug Series!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Saturday: Crazy Home Inspection Finds!

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Join us here at 8am to listen and see the top most insane Home Inspection Photos’ captured by Jack Feldmann of:


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

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

Knoxville #2 Happiest Place to Work!

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No. 2 Knoxville, Tenn.

According to Forbes Magazine:

Knoxville is the # 2 Happiest Place to Work in the USA !

It’s no surprise that most of the unhappiest places have frigid winters or sweltering summers. Unwelcomed snowstorms and dreaded heat waves can affect your happiness, but so can income, workplace environment, and career opportunities (or lack thereof).

“Happiness is based on a multitude of factors,” says Matt Miller, chief technology officer and co-founder of CareerBliss. “It is clear that employees need not only a positive and rewarding work culture, but opportunities to grow within their company and their city.”

This list of the happiest and unhappiest cities to work in, compiled by CareerBliss, is based on analysis of more than 36,000 independent employee reviews between Nov. 2011 and Nov. 2012.

Employees all over the country were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work done does on a daily basis.

They evaluated each factor on a five-point scale and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness. The numbers were combined to find an overall rating of employee happiness for each respondent, and then they were sorted by geographic location to find the happiest and unhappiest cities for employees. (These aren’t necessarily the “best” and “worst” cities to live in; they’re simply the places where workers are most and least happy right now, according to CareerBliss data.)

Heading the list of the unhappiest U.S. cities to work in is Boulder, Colo., with an index score of 3.45. Boulder workers expressed the most pessimism in the Growth Opportunities and Compensation categories, which scored 2.81 and 3.29, respectively.

In the No. 2 spot is Reno, Nevada. It earned an index score of 3.61. Workers there are most dissatisfied with their growth opportunities and corporate culture, and most satisfied with their colleagues and daily work tasks.

The third unhappiest city to work in is Wichita, Kansas, which earned an index score of 3.65.

Rounding out the top five are Fresno, Calif., and Little Rock, Arkansas. These cities earned index scores of 3.69 and 3.70, respectively.

CareerBliss also compiled a less gloomy list: The Happiest Cities To Work In.

If you’re hoping to smile more at work, think about moving to Knoxville, Virginia Beach or St. Louis. Those are three of the happiest places to work.

But the most content workers of all are in Dayton, Ohio. With an index score of 4.02, employees in Dayton said they are more than satisfied with the people they work with and their daily tasks.

“The people you work with has a great impact on happiness,” Miller says. “In the cities that ranked highest, co-workers and one’s direct manager had a great influence on how that city fared compared to others.”

Knoxville holds the No. 2 spot, closely followed by Honolulu, Hawaii. These cities earned a 4.02 index score, and 4.00, respectively.

No. 2 Knoxville, Tenn.

Overall score: 4.02
The Company You Work For: 4.13
The Culture of Your Company: 3.92
The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.08
The People You Work With: 4.44
The Person You Work For: 4.13
The Place You Work: 4.06
The Rewards You Receive: 3.66
The Support You Get: 4.01
The Way You Work: 4.51
The Work You Do: 4.19

Memphis (3.99) and Pittsburgh (3.96) round out the top five.

“Bigger is not always better when it comes to finding happiness,” says Heidi Golledge, chief executive and co-founder of CareerBliss. “As you can see, cities such as Dayton, Honolulu and Memphis reveal that even mid-size cities can provide rewarding and positive work environments for people.”

She says everyone should be able to find a job that truly makes them happy. “Through our unique tools, three million jobs, company reviews and salary information, we want every person who is looking for a job in 2013 to be equipped with the resources they need to find true career bliss,” Golledge concludes.

Air Date 02-02-13: Today on The Housing Hour!

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Contact
Alec Blaine, Principal Broker
Cell: 865-548-5799
ablaine@schaadcompanies.com

Kevin and Mark go live at 8am:

moving on 98.7

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New Station: NewsTalk 98.7

New Time: 8am!

Every Saturday!

On The Hallerin Hilton Hill Morning Show!

The Housing Hour on the Move!

NewsTalk 98.7 Saturdays 8am to 9am starting February 2st!

Over the last year The Housing Hour has become an enormous success.  We have established ourselves as the leading experts on housing in our area and have had fantastic guests sharing their knowledge and expertise.  We are here to help keep our clients and listeners informed on the latest housing news and issues. The Housing Hour and Mortgage Investors would like to give a special thanks to WNOX and David ‘Shyne’ Thompson (our show producer) for their tireless work and dedication to our show.

With that being said THE HH is on the move!  We are very excited about this move and look forward to working with our new radio family and support staff at WOKI!

So please continue to join us for an information packed hour every Saturday at 8am to 9am on NewsTalk 98.7!

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