Morning Pointe adds 7th Knoxville location

Morning Pointe Senior Living has broken ground on its campus, Morning Pointe of Hardin Valley, in Knoxville.

The 85-unit facility will be Morning Pointe's seventh building in the greater Knoxville area, complementing locations in West Knoxville, Lenoir City, Powell, and Clinton, and the 36th Morning Pointe Senior Living community overall. Phase I of the 20-care senior living campus is expected to open in the fall of 2021. The Lantern memory care wing will provide an array of Alzheimer's and dementia care services

Morning Pointe of Hardin Valley will create 250 construction jobs and another 250 permanent healthcare positions with an estimated economic impact of more than $30 million annually, considering payroll, property taxes, and local purchase of goods and services.

"Between the economic impact of the University of Tennessee, the access to healthcare resources, and the continued growth of Knoxville and Oak Ridge, the greater Knoxville area has certainly been a wonderful place to expand our footprint of providing the highest level of senior resident care for generations to come," said Greg A. Vital, president of Morning Pointe Senior Living, who helped found the Ooltewah-based company with J. Franklin Farrow in 1996.


Extended benefits to run out Nov. 7

The U.S. Department of Labor said Friday it has adjusted Tennessee's end date for the Extended Benefits program for jobless Tennesseans for another week until Nov. 7, but the state's improving economy will soon trigger the end of the extra benefits.

Extended Benefits is the second extended unemployment program the federal government offers to claimants who exhaust their benefits with the state program and then the additional 13 weeks of benefits through the CARES Act program, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

Former EB claimants may reapply to determine eligibility to receive benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which is part of the CARES Act and runs through Dec. 26.

Tennessee had approximately 3,000 claimants who completed their certification for the EB program during the week ending Oct. 24. They will complete two more certifications for the weeks ending Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.


McDonald's bring back McRibs in December

McRib, the fast-food sandwich that went viral before viral was a thing, is back.

McDonald's announced Friday that for the first time in eight years it will be offering nationwide its barbeque slathered sandwich with the cult following. The McRib will appear on the menus Dec. 2, for a limited time of course.

The McRib is an elusive prize for adherents, who scour the internet for reports of its surfacing at limited locations, and for a short amount of time. There is even a website called the McRib Locator, created to spread the word about McDonald's restaurants that are offering the boneless pork sandwich served with slivered onions and pickles on top.

McDonald's is reintroducing the McRib nationally as it tries to regain its footing during the pandemic, which left many of its dining rooms sparsely populated or empty, though drive-thrus continued to operate.

When it released second-quarter earnings in July showing a 68% decline in net income, the world's largest burger chain said it would spend more than $200 million to support franchisee marketing during the second quarter in a bid to get customers back.


Exxon losses mount as gas use declines

Exxon Mobil reported its third consecutive quarter of losses as the global pandemic curtailed travel and crippled global economic activity.

The energy giant on Friday posted a $680 million third-quarter loss and revenue tumbled to $46.2 billion, down from $65.05 billion during the same quarter last year.

The string of losses and what by almost all counts will be a money-losing year is new territory for Exxon Mobil, which has not posted an annual loss since Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999.

"This is a business that's made a billion dollars a quarter on average from 2011 to 2018 and it's had a rough go," said Peter McNally, global sector lead for industrials, materials and energy at Third Bridge, a research firm.

The price of U.S. benchmark crude has fallen 40% since the start of the year. The cost for a barrel of oil tumbled 10% just this week as coronavirus infections surged in the U.S. and abroad.

Commuting to work has largely ended for millions of people. Air travel this year fell to levels not seen in the jet age and the economy suffered its worst contraction in decades as factories and other big energy consumers shut down. All indications point to a Thanksgiving celebrated close to home, and in smaller numbers this year.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner