Opinion: Peppermint Trail of Treats offers fun holiday treats and encourages local shopping

The city of Knoxville is hosting an event called the Peppermint Trail of Treats, which began on Nov. 25 and will end on Jan. 8.

The purpose of the Peppermint Trail of Treats is to encourage people to shop at the unique shops in Market Square, while enjoying peppermint flavored treats.

In order to know where each business is located, there are giant peppermints placed in front of the local businesses.

Of course getting your dose of peppermint flavored hot chocolate and coffee or a peppermint and lavender facial is great; but, the trail of lights right across from the square are something to enjoy while visiting these local businesses.

The peppermint hot chocolate from Coffee and Chocolate tastes wonderful and their variety chocolate is good too.

Bluetique saw some business on Black Friday that they believe was encouraged by the Peppermint Trail of Treats.

“Black Friday especially, people would come in with their kids and would stay and shop to take advantage of the deals,” Quinlyn Zandi, an employee at Bluetique, said.

On the other hand, one business said that they have not seen much business just yet from the Peppermint Trail of Treats. “It hasn’t picked up yet, but as it gets closer to the holiday season and kids getting out of school we will see a pick up on the peppermint trail,” Lindsey West, an Earth To Old City employee, said.

The Peppermint Trail of Treats is a fun way to visit some local businesses and get those fun Christmas gifts. The trail of treats is also a fun way to get out and see a bit more of this interesting city.

Featured Image by Emily Haskew

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Panelists Offer Insight on Careers in Law Enforcement and Forensics

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Mary Beth Browder, a consultant for the Center for Career Development at the University of Tennessee, hosted a panel where students were given the opportunity to ask three expert individuals questions regarding careers in law enforcement and forensics.

All three panelists are well-versed in the field, citing years of experience, hoping to offer valuable insight to audience members.

Tammy DebBow, a lieutenant at the Knoxville Police Department and director of training at the KPD, has been a member of the law enforcement career for 17 years. During her time in law enforcement, DebBow worked nearly all positions and began with patrol, as everyone does.

“We get that question a lot,” DebBow said. “You always start at the bottom and work your way up.”

Dan Anselment, a non-native of Tennessee from Minnesota who has been a member of law enforcement for about 13 ½ years, worked patrol and the crime scene unit as a police officer and as a Medicolegal Death Investigator for the medical examiner’s office. Four years after an injury in 2010, Anselment made the decision to become a member of UTK’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center. He now oversees the university’s National Forensic Academy.

Kimberly Trotter, the third panelist, is an officer with the Knox County Sheriff’s office. She is a UT graduate and double majored in sociology and political science. Trotter has been in law enforcement for just under six years, but was fortunate enough to hire directly in to the forensics unit.

Browder lead the first half of the discussion with a series of broad questions before opening the panel for audience questions.

“When you think about kind of getting your foot in the door in law enforcement and forensics, what experiences do you feel prepares you?” Browder asked.

Drawing on his own experiences, Anselment encouraged involvement in activities such as the Explorer Post. The Explorer Post is a program designed to expose individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 to the training and work experience necessary to be a member of law enforcement.

“Your volunteer programs are really where you want to focus if your goal is law enforcement,” Anselment said. “Do something to set yourself apart from everybody else.”

He greatly encouraged investing time into agencies of interest to improve chances of being recognized by that department later on.

For positions in forensic sciences, Anselment recommended students start researching potential jobs and their requirements at www.theiai.org early to better anticipate how to get involved.

Browder soon steered the conversation into the direction of applying at agencies such as the KPD or the Knox County Sheriff’s office, inquiring as to how those processes worked.

“Once you take the written exam, there’s another series of tests you’ll have to go through,” said DebBow.

Among the tests necessary are an agility course, psychological exams, background investigations and a polygraph. However, the many tests may vary between agencies.

“It does not go quickly,” DebBow said. “If you expect to put your application in and hear something back in two weeks, you’ll be sadly disappointed.”

According to DebBow, numbers of applicants have depleted over the years, and not all those that apply are fully qualified to be accepted.

“They will check all your social media, and they’ll check your credit score,” said Trotter. “So be mindful of that.”

Browder later asked what misconceptions about the field they might want to clarify, either from situations portrayed on television shows such as Law & Order or even representations by the media.

“I’m clearly not in business casual,” said Trotter, indicating her uniform. “Nor do I drive a Hummer, nor do I make six figures.”

Trotter also emphasized that, unlike the television shows, not every crime scene was full of DNA evidence or fingerprints, and even if it is, it can take months or years for results.

“Fingerprints are squirrely,” Trotter said. “It’s not like TV at all.”

“I would say, for me, the current narrative of the media is not accurate,” Anselment said. “This profession is an incredibly rewarding profession, and there’s a lot of great individuals that work in it.”

DebBow also spoke out regarding some misconception in the media.

“I don’t put this uniform on and think ‘hey, I’m going to go out and shoot someone today’,” DebBow said. “When we put this uniform on, you’ve got to understand that our goal is to come home at the end of our shift.”

“I think I’m more so interested in doing anything in the forensic field,” Celeste Murphy, a senior at UT, said at the end of the Q&A. “This taught me the steps I need to take for once I graduate. It was definitely very helpful.”


Featured Image by Bethany Daniel

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

‘The French Market’ owner addresses construction concerns at Knoxville City Council meeting

The French Market and red light traffic cameras were among topics of discussion during the Knoxville City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Allen Tate, owner of The French Market, stated his concerns about a board wall in front of his business during the Public Forum segment. He said the wall has been there for 17 weeks and prevents his customers, especially those in a wheelchair, from entering and exiting his restaurant with ease. Tate said the wall has no roof to provide any protection from falling construction objects and has no reason to exist in front of his business.

 “We’ve been here for nine years,” Tate said. “I don’t think it’s fair for us to be treated this way and for [the city council] to look the other way.”

Tate asked for the City Council to limit the developers from adding walls or something similar in front of businesses like his. Tate also said that he was told 30 days would be the maximum amount of time the wall would be there and was put up in the second week of May.

“He hasn’t started any construction,” Tate said.

According to Rick Emmett, downtown coordinator for the City of Knoxville, the structure was added for safety reasons. However, Emmett agrees that with no roof on the wall, there is a problem. He said the tunnel was created so customers will go to The French Market instead of accidently wandering off into the construction zone.

Lauren Rider, a librarian at Pellissippi State who is running for City Council next year, said she thinks the two parties need to have a mediator to solve the construction zone issues surrounding The French Market.

“In some regards, it sounds a little outside the scope for City Council,” Rider said. “That was my initial reaction.”

Deputy Chief Kenny Miller spoke to the Council on the installation of traffic cameras at red lights in multiple locations. With these unmanned traffic cameras, photos will be taken of vehicles running red lights, which will then be sent to a police officer. Miller clarified that this would only be used for running red lights and not turning right on red.

“Once the camera takes the picture, the vendor begins to initially…if they see a violation, it is then sent to the police department,” Miller said. “A police officer reviews the footage. If the police officer agrees there’s a violation, then a citation is issued; but, [the citation] is not issued until an officer has reviewed it.”

Mayor Madeline Rogero began the meeting by celebrating Councilman Mark Campen’s birthday and Knoxville’s 225th anniversary of its founding. The actual date of the anniversary is Oct. 3. Rogero listed several events throughout the weekend in celebration including Dinner on the Bridge and events on Gay Street.

Former Councilman Larry Cox and Deborah Thomas also spoke about concerns of down zoning and single-family homes. Thomas said there is a service alley that runs parallel to Central Street and the single-family housing ends at that alley. She also said she and Cox have no objection, but said it was a study and knows the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) would finalize it.

The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.

Featured image by Kaitlin Flippo

Edited by Ben Webb

Opinion: Makers gonna make delicious donuts

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Donuts. A word that makes all smile and feel good inside. A word that makes us all say “yes please” with only a slight thought about those naughty calories. Let’s be honest though, if it is well made, you have to just embrace that caloric value and enjoy the donut!

One happy customer on a cold and early morning. // Photo by: Katy Hill

Knoxville, the time has finally come… we now have a gourmet donut shop! As I promised last week, I paid a visit to Makers Donuts on their opening day. Along with many other people, I stood in line at 7:15 on a chilly Friday morning so that I could try a free and delicious homemade donut. At this point in my life, I had only eaten the classic Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts. However, my donut world changed as soon as I received the beautiful masterpiece after a short fifteen minute wait.

On this special opening day, Makers only offered two of their gourmet flavors to choose from. I tried the maple bacon and my friend who wanted to tag along (for obvious reasons) tried the chocolate ganache with sea salt. Both of these flavors were so incredible. Mine had a perfect balance of sweet and salty with a satisfying natural flavor. My friend’s choice had an incredibly rich chocolate flavor that was saved by the sprinkle of salt on top.

When you receive one of these unique donuts, you may notice that the consistency is different than your average store-bought doughnut. The outside is crispy and has a beautiful snap when you break it open to reveal the soft and fluffy inside. That added crunch is what makes Makers cake donuts so addicting.

Maple bacon and chocolate ganache. // Photo by: Katy Hill

The shop is small, but cute and charming at the same time. A glass case displays everything you would want to see as you walk into a gourmet donut shop. Large letters on the wall spell out “Makers Gonna Make” above a small bar where seating is available. Although the size of the space would have a negative effect for most other businesses, Makers has carefully thought this through because you will be able to walk outside with your donut, take two steps, and take a seat in the spacious Remedy Coffee to enjoy your piece of heaven with a crafted espresso drink or coffee.

Are you just swinging by before work and don’t have time to order your coffee and donut in separate places? Yeah, they thought about that one too. Makers has given you the option to order a coffee and donut combo to save you some time. You are given the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best coffee with the only hand crafted gourmet donut in town. I actually cannot think of anything better than that.

Charming and simple interior. // Photo by: Katy Hill

I look forward to many more donuts in my future, especially during my much appreciated visits to Remedy. I would definitely suggest trying the maple bacon donut as well as some of their other intriguing flavors such as lemon drop, cider mill, and matcha green tea (I think that will be my all-time favorite).

I have just given you every reason to go try out this magical place. Have a chat with the employees and ask about the owners and their journey through opening up these two amazing businesses. They should be rewarded for all of the hard work they have put in these past few months. You may turn around and see me also waiting in line because I think I will be here at least once a week.

You can only get these donuts limited times during the week so check out their website or their Facebook page for more information and updates.

Life is short, eat the dang donut.

Photos by Katy Hill

Edited by Taylor Owens

Opinion: Old City Java is an artistic hideaway

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Knoxville’s Old City: where the city’s young and hip residents unite. There is a certain vibe to this place that almost anyone can enjoy. High-end restaurants, bars and clubs and most importantly, the beloved coffee shop Old City Java. This favorite spot is always busy with coffee-loving visitors and is ready to warm you up as the holiday season approaches.

When I say that atmosphere is almost as important as the coffee that is served, I absolutely mean it. I also immediately think of “Java” (as us natives refer to it) when I want to be inspired by the old and eclectic look.

The “Starry Night” ceiling is one of Old City Java’s most distinctive features. //Photo by Katy Hill

This tiny shop is defined by its exposed brick walls, worn hard wood floors and the iconic “Starry Night” ceiling. Indeed, it was the painted ceiling in the second room that truly made me fall in love with this spot. Just look up and you will see all the artistic inspiration you need for the day!

Take a look around at any spot in the shop and you will see intriguing local art and photography. I sometimes find it hard to focus on my homework because I am simply taken away by the talent that is displayed throughout.

This artistic talent directly translates into the coffee and pastries that are made daily and only adds to the overall experience. Expertly steamed milk makes these espresso drinks truly standout amongst others. My usual drink at Java is a cappuccino, no sugar no flavors. When milk is steamed correctly, the foam should be slightly sweet and very frothy, leaving a wonderful mouthfeel to enhance the espresso.

This is exactly why I order my cappuccino every time.

You can also never go wrong with a black coffee here. They will serve two different roasts and will explain in detail the flavor notes and the region in which it was grown and roasted.

I mentioned pastries earlier, and I honestly believe I could write a whole post talking about these things. I am not usually one to eat a pastry with my coffee or espresso because I believe my indulgence should be in the handcrafted drink that was made specifically for me.

However, Old City Java has proven to be my exception.

As soon as you walk in, you immediately see the whole set up of every delicious baked treat you could want alongside your favorite coffee. My first experience with this little piece of heaven was the blueberry muffin. Juicy whole blueberries filled this little confection and burst in my mouth with each bite. I am currently enjoying a pumpkin muffin (‘tis the season) and it has proved to be just as delicious with its powerful cinnamon and pumpkin spice flavor.

Old City Java also creates homemade pie, scones, cookies, croissants, and other wholesome treats that are just as delicious as those muffins.

If you wish to experience a classic Knoxville hub, a trip to Old City Java is a must. Just don’t be surprised if you get swept away by the artistic overload!

You can find Old City Java at 109 S Central Street.

Join me next week for my final and absolute favorite coffee spot in Knoxville!

Photos by Katy Hill

Edited by Taylor Owens