YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Social Buzz of 2021

J.J. and Millard Oakley

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Looking backsocial media from FaceBook to Twitter was abuzz with Cookeville and Upper Cumberland stories throughout 2021. The top topics ranged from restaurants to retirements, university changes and COVID to a new resort development. 2021 was definitely a year with a lot of buzz about a wide variety of business-related news across the Upper Cumberland. 

10. Big changes happening at Tennessee Tech

Big changes were approved at Tennessee Tech University’s Board of Trustees meeting. New degree programs, a new stadium and new parking garage are among the items approved. 

9. North Quinland Lake Road to be repaired

Residents of the Bear Creek Road area were thrilled to learn that repairs to the road were soon to begin. The project was expected to be complete by Dec. 1, but were only substantially finished in recent days.

8. Commission approves sale of Shoney’s Hill property

The sale of the 29.19 acre Shoney’s Hill property peaked curiosity among many as to what was planned for the site. We now know that a major residential subdivision is planned for the adjoining property. 

7. Putnam student leads efforts to honor 9-11 victims

When Jacob Cookson, of Prescott South Middle School (PSMS), encouraged his peers and school leaders to honor victims with a “Pay it Forward….Change the World” campaign that collects acts of kindness and spare change to serve local needs, he had no idea of the ripple effect that would result.

6. Willow Avenue Starbucks announced opening dates 

The planned opening of the Willow Avenue Starbucks in late May/early June was a hot topic of discussion. Many worried about increased traffic issues at the already congested Willow/Jackson interchange. Fortunately, those worries proved unnecessary and motor vehicle collisions have not increased in the vicinity according to Cookeville Police.

5. Premier destination resort coming to Cumberland County

Developers gave Cumberland County Commissioners a sneak peek at what could become Tennessee’s next major tourist mecca. Flatrock USA will feature a six-mile paved road-racing track, two hotels, a lodge, restaurants, clubhouses, cabins, an amphitheater, winery and more on a 773-acre site off the Westel Road exit.

4. Social Security gets biggest increase in 39 years

The news that Social Security recipients were getting a 5.9% benefit increase was met with great enthusiasm, and word traveled through across social networks like a wildfire.  

3. Oakleys give Cumberland University largest gift in school’s 180-year history

Millard Vaughn Oakley, 91, from Livingston, who claims “I wasn’t a very good student” when he attended Cumberland University, along with his wife J.J., have made a gift to the Lebanon school that is recognized as the single largest financial contribution ever in the 180-year history of the University.

2. CRMC opened up visitation for COVID patients

For the first time since visitation was originally curtailed due to rising COVID numbers, Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) announced that it was allowing visitors to visit all patients, including the sickest COVID patients in ICU.

1. Crawdaddy’s announced reopening plans

Need we say any more? After being closed for just over a year, Crawdaddy’s announced it was reopening to excitement of many. Co-owner Drew Blalock sat down with the UCBJ to discuss the many adventures of reopening the business, from supply chain issues and inflated costs to staffing issues. 

Other topics that were hot across social media included:

We look forward to providing even more useful and interesting content in 2022! Have something you’d like us to cover? Let us know by sending an email here or tweet our team at @ucbizjournal.

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