Tennessee Recruiting: Vols offer five star linebacker out of California

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Pruitt is looking to get in on this top 2019 prospect.

As we focus on what this new staff is going to do with the remaining spots left in the 2018 recruiting class, Jeremy Pruitt and company are looking even further ahead. It’s important to remember that Pruitt isn’t just working from behind with the 2018 class, but the 2019 class as well.

They’re working on playing catch up on both classes. Yesterday, five star linebacker Henry To’oto’o tweeted that he had received an offer from the Tennessee Volunteers.

To’oto’o is 247’s 25th rated prospect of the 2019 class currently. The 6-2, 210 pound linebacker is a California native, playing his high school ball in Concord. Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame, Washington and a host of others are in on To’oto’o.

I’m fascinated to see how Pruitt and his staff perform on the trail with a full year to really get things going. They’re laying the groundwork now. We’ll see how much progress they can make with next year’s class over the summer months.

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Deadly Flu Arrives In Middle Tennessee

NASHVILLE, TN — A deadly strain of the flu already widespread in several nearby states is making headway in Middle Tennessee.

The H3N2 virus that spread out of East and Southeast Asia into Australia and New Zealand has followed the typical seasonal flu pathway and is now into North America. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said the virus is already widespread in the Tennessee border states of Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas, along with Louisiana and Oklahoma. The latest CDC update puts three other Tennessee border states – Kentucky, Missouri and Alabama – in the "regional outbreak" classification. For now, the Volunteer State is one level lower – "local cases" – but doctors say the virus is closing in.

"We anticipate a rather heavy flu season that will probably disproportionately affect older persons. That’s what this strain does," Vanderbilt University Medical Center infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner told WKRN.

Schaffner said he anticipates a stronger-than-usual flu season with the strain disproportionately affecting people 65 and older.

Schaffner said, of course, the obvious step everyone can take is getting the flu vaccine, which is he told the station is "good" this year, but is likely to be more effective in young people, though even if it is not 100 percent preventative will make the infection milder.

Image via Shutterstock

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New housing development taking shape in North Johnson City

Once the site of a thriving family owned and operated dairy farm, the 250-plus acre community has transformed into a serene housing community,

Rather than sell the land to residential or commercial developers, Michael Garland and his family opted to keep the land and develop it based on their own vision, with the first seven lots sold in 1995.

“We’ve developed as the economy and our family felt comfortable. We’re not in a position that we have to be in. (We don’t have) the sense of urgency that other developers maybe have because the land has been in the family for so many years,” Garland said.

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“Obviously, there is a sense of urgency that we want to sell the lot, but we’ve been slower to take on those sections of infrastructure.”

Now, over 20 years later, the Garlands’ land houses roughly 50 families in 50 homes, with more land — The Terrace at Garland Farm Estates — just hitting the market.

Consisting of 24 lots, the Terrace is situated on a pastoral hillside with an unobstructed view and a forest nearby.

Garland said two homes are already under construction in his newest addition with another ready to break ground soon.

Located rather centrally to downtown Kingsport and Johnson City, the Terrace comes with a 2,000-square-foot community clubhouse, which has a kitchen, fireplace, bath facilities and an exercise room coming soon. In addition, the housing development will feature a 2,500-square-foot pool, a basketball court, a tennis court and a children’s playground.

In addition to benefitting the family, the Garland development will also help bolster the tax rolls of Washington County and Johnson City and local real estate activity.

“Coming from a development standpoint, there’s a lot of activity in the county right now, but there is not as much in the activity in the city,” Garland said.

“I think our development is only one of maybe three or four that are really active right now in (Johnson City). There really is just a handful of developments that are bringing new home sites online right now.”

Garland estimated each new home built in the development would generate an additional $2,000 and $2,500 for the county and city each year, respectively.

First purchased in 1926, Michael’s grandfather Jesse Garland first cultivated the land and eventually established a dairy farm, which eventually grew to over 300 head of cattle.

The Garlands’ farm was actually one of the first farms in the region to introduce no-till corn as a way to preserve the topsoil.

In 1966, David Garland was given the Tennessee Outstanding Young Farmer award by the Tennessee Jaycees. He later served as chairman for the Washington County Soil Conservation District and was a member of the Governor’s Council on Agriculture and Forestry in Tennessee.

“Obviously, we grew all the crops we could to minimize what we actually had to purchase. So the land has been cropped for hay, corn and different crops over the course of the years,” Michael Garland said.

To learn more the land for sale at Garland Farm Estates, visit www.garlandfarmestates.com. or call 1-866-688-6432.

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