Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Resolutions Move Mental Health Facility Forward

Knox County Commissioner Kyle Ward’s resolution asking the State of Tennessee to help fund a mental health facility for our community is gathering support.  The City of Knoxville finally adopted its own resolution asking the legislative delegation to help with a mental health facility passed 7 – 1, while the county commission resolution was approved unanimously.

Some in our community point to various resources in place like Helen Ross McNabb, but to address the expanding homelessness problem, one must consider those without any kind of insurance.  The resolution approved by the county commission points out Knox County has the largest admission to the state facility at Moccasin Bend in Chattanooga.  The resolution also noted Knox County taxpayers are already shelling out $17,000 per month for mental health medications for some 585 inmates who have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness.  The Knox County Sheriff’s Office has transported 253 persons, as well as 51 other individuals who were in custody, to Moccasin Bend during the last year of the fiscal calendar.


Parole Should Be Denied

It has been 33 years since businessman Bill Frye was murdered outside of his Corner Market and Deli in South Knoxville on Maryville Pike.  Known as an incredibly hardworking man, Bill Frye was a no-nonsense type who quietly mentored a lot of young people.  For someone who had a sometimes gruff exterior, Frye was notoriously kind-hearted toward those less fortunate or in need.  Bill Frye’s murder is still all too vivid in the minds of his friends and family members.  The two convicted of killing Frye were juveniles at the time of his murder.  The brutality of Frye’s murder is still shocking today.

Jimmy Ray Cureton was 17 at the time he entered the Corner Market and Deli to buy a pack of cigarettes.  Whether Frye refused to sell the youngster the cigarettes or whether he didn’t have enough money to purchase them is lost to memory, but apparently, Cureton came back to the store, along with his companion.  Bill Frye was closing the store and carrying out a bank bag when he was shot in the face and chest with a sawed-off shotgun.

From piecing together the story from the trials, Cureton and his friend came back later as a crowd gathered and were recognized by one of Frye’s employees, which brought the attention of the police.  Still, it was hard work to piece together the events of the night and accumulate evidence.

Ray Hill was South Knoxville’s State Representative at the time and convinced Governor Ned McWherter to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.  Still, it took six long years to find them, convict them and send them to prison.  Now, Jimmy Ray Cureton is being considered for parole.

Daniel Frye, son of the late Bill Frye, and his sisters have a petition up on  You can read about the petition on under Windham M. “Bill” Frye.  You can contact the Tennessee State Board of Paroles at 615-532-8112 or


Our Heartfelt Condolences To The Kredich Family

It is not an overstatement to say the Knox County community is grieving over the loss of Ben Kredich.  The 24-year-old was struck by a car and killed as he walked along Kingston Pike.  Diagnosed with autism very early in his life, Ben touched a remarkable number of lives during his own tragically too-short life.  Like many others in our community, it touched my heart when I read the story of Ben Kredich going to visit Marsha Partin as she lay unconscious in the hospital, her life ebbing away.  Ms. Partin had been a teacher’s aide who had impacted Ben’s life.  As the Partin family gathered to say their final goodbyes, Ben played the piano for Marsha Partin for 30 minutes one last time.

From everything I can gather, Ben was the kind of person who accepted every person.  A loving, talented light was extinguished so needlessly and so tragically.  To the members of Ben’s family and extended friends, The Focus family extends our sorrow and our heartfelt sympathies for the loss of Ben and his special sweet spirit.