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February 22, 2017

Building community one

‘Super Tuesday’

Super Tuesday student Brooklyn Ballinger presents Em Turner Chitty with a valentine as her grandfather, the Rev. Victor King, looks on. Photo by Betty Bean

By Lauren Hopson Tennessee legislators have recently rebranded private school vouchers as “opportunity scholarships.” Vouchers have undergone this transformation Hopson in the hope that unsuspecting taxpayers will forget what they are, but also because they provide real opportunities for poor, minority students to escape underperforming schools in their neighborhood, right? How is this accomplished? A poor minority student in a community far from here, let’s say Memphis, has suffered through the effects of fetal drug addiction. His mother, now in recovery, hopes to improve his chances of success by moving him out of his zoned school, which the state has branded as failing. His teachers work hard, but she fears the influence of his peers with similar issues may be too much to overcome. She accepts an opportunity scholarship with hopes of sending him to an excellent private school. However, the private school of her choice charges tuition substantially in excess of the scholarship. She can’t afford to make up the difference, and pay for books, uniforms and transportation. Consequently, she elects to send him to another private school that gladly accepts the scholarship as payment in full. The school doesn’t provide the special education services needed to deal with the fallout of her son’s fetal addiction, but it’s a private school, so it must be better, right? He struggles without those much-needed supports, and his mother is ultimately forced to return him to public school, where those services are guaranteed by law. Other parents, similarly disillusioned with the “opportunity,” follow suit. But wait, private schools backers were promised an increased enrollment by legislators. Maybe the scholarships need to be expanded to regular education students who can afford to make up the tuition difference. Never mind that this plan has had disastrous effects on public education in other states. Our private school backers need the “opportunity” to make more money, so let’s give our taxpayers the “opportunity” to fund those private schools.

at a time

By Betty Bean Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday this year, and over at Edgewood Chapel AME Zion Church the room was buzzing. A high school girl was getting help with a chemistry problem, blocking out the sounds of a couple of younger kids who were sounding out words across the room. Others were working on colorful Valentine cards and toward the back of the room, an elementary school boy was figuring out a video game. It was Super Tuesday Tutoring Night at Edgewood Chapel, presided over by Em Turner Chitty, who teaches English language at UT, and Victor Emmanuel King Sr., Edgewood Chapel’s pastor. UT senior Hannah Marley and Inas Alsarmad, an Iraqi national whose doctoral candidate husband had been one of Chitty’s students, are volunteer tutors. To page A-3

Knox Farmers Co-op: a store for all seasons By Esther Roberts Our recent temperatures are encouraging everyone to “think spring.” Nowhere is that more evident than at the Knox Farmers Coop. Since 1946, the Knox Farmers Cooperative (“co-op”) has been helping the farmers and families of Knoxville with all their plant and animal needs. From urban gardens to commercial crops, pet supplies to livestock equipment, the co-op has everything you need. The co-op has two locations in Knox

County: 6616 Asheville Highway and 3903 Fountain Valley Drive (formerly Stockyard Road, in Halls). Manager Sidney Jesse joined the Asheville Highway store in January. Jesse graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and business. While in school, he was an intern for the co-op, so he feels he has come “full circle.” “I’ve been a farmer my whole life,” he explains. “I love helping people and I enjoy helping good quality crops grow, so this pro-

fession is perfect for me.” Along with his degree from UT, Jesse is a Certified Crop Advisor. “I am always happy to come to someone’s home or farm and help them figure out what works best with their vegetable garden, commercial crop or livestock. Onsite consulting is a free service we offer all our customers.” While the cooperative is owned by members, you do not have to be a member to shop there or to take advantage of the available expertise. To page A-3

Brooks sets cap to battle utilities By Sandra Clark State Rep. Harry Brooks has slipped on a three-cornered hat and gone to war over taxation without representation. Brooks wants consumers to be represented on utility boards, such as KUB.

Analysis “We want some level of representation for the folks served by the utility,” he said. His bill (HB 0269/SB 0684 by Ken Yager) was slated to be heard Feb. 21 in a subcommittee of the House Business and Utilities committee. In an interview last week, Brooks anticipated amendments and promised a more comprehensive explanation after that hearing. This bill will draw lobbyists like flies to honey. Utilities are iceberg

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Partisan elections State Rep. “Landslide Eddie” Smith has introduced a bill to require municipal elections in cities 100,000 or larger and all of the state’s school boards to be parti-

san. His bill (HB1039/SB0582 by Delores Gresham) allows political parties to nominate candidates. Leaving the cities to fend for themselves, let’s assume this bill is a reaction to Knox County’s last two school board elections. Fed up with S up e r i nt e nde nt Eddie Smith Jim McIntyre’s high-handed treatment of teachers (among other things), several educators mounted successful campaigns: Patti Bounds, Terry Hill and Amber Rountree in 2014; Tony Norman, Jennifer Owen and Susan Horn in 2016. Suddenly, Mike McMillan found allies while Lynne Fugate and Gloria Deathridge saw their former majority eroded. McIntyre resigned. Would partisan elections have

prevented McIntyre’s woes? Doubtful. McMillan and Norman had previously won election to county commission as Republicans; Bounds and Hill are long-time Republicans; Horn had solid support in Farragut where she was active in the campaign of Republican state Rep. Jason Zachary. Political allegiances are less clear for Rountree and Owen, but Owen represents District 2, a toss-up area previously represented on the commission by Democrat Amy Broyles. So the anti-McIntyre majority is firm – with or without partisan elections. If Smith’s bill passes, however, it could have the unintended consequence of getting education activists involved in partisan politics at the district level … and their next election just might be to run for the Legislature.


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governments – operating mostly out of sight with autonomy to set rates for vital services. Some charge more for the same service to customers who live outHarry Brooks side the municipal boundaries. Many have buy-out provisions and pensions for top execs to rival athletic departments; often they co-opt the very commissioners chosen to oversee them with benefits like health insurance and trips to tradeshows. Godspeed, Brooks and Yager.

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Feeling the burn?

Man’s first case of ‘heartburn’ was actually heart attack It was that last bite of pizza. Or so Michael Smith thought. He assumed his usual Friday night pizza delivery brought on his first-ever case of heartburn. “It was just a burning sensation right there,” he said, pointing to just below his sternum. But what the seemingly healthy 65-year-old Sevierville man didn’t know is that he wasn’t having heartburn – he was having a heart attack. “He’d never had indigestion before so he didn’t recognize it,” said Smith’s partner, Yvonne Osborn, who spent the next three hours trying to persuade him to go to the emergency department at LeConte Medical Center. “I asked him, ‘What does it feel like?’ He said, ‘I don’t know how to explain it, but it just hurts right here.’ And I said, ‘Mike, that sounds like your heart.’ ‘Oh no,’ he said, ‘I don’t think it would be that.’ That was at 7:30, then I looked over and he was sound asleep in the chair, and I thought, ‘Well, it can’t hurt that bad if he’s sound asleep.’ But we had worked all day; he was tired.” At 9:45 p.m. Smith awakened just in time to see the winner of “American Idol.” At 10, Osborn asked if the pain was still there. When he replied that it was, Osborn said she remained calm on the outside, but on the inside was “screaming, ‘Let’s go!’” Finally, she told him, “Maybe we should just go over there and see what they have to say. It’s not far from our house. If they say you have indigestion, hooray! But let’s just go see. It won’t hurt.’ He finally said, ‘OK, let’s go’ – but grudgingly.” They arrived at LeConte Medical Center’s emergency depart-

Michael Smith is back to “flipping” his home thanks to the cutting edge treatment he received at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center.

ment about 10:30 p.m., walked to the counter and told the receptionist that Smith was “either having a heart attack or has indigestion.” “I don’t think it was 30 seconds before they took me to triage and did some bloodwork and put me on an EKG. Another minute later, they said, ‘Get a bed! We need a room,’” said Smith. “They hooked me up with all kinds of other stuff, and told me I

was having a heart attack.” “People came from everywhere,” said Osborn. “There must’ve been 15 people around. Some were putting IVs in each arm, some were putting those heart leads on, another one was on the phone trying to get a helicopter to transport him to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, but it was too windy. It was like in slow motion – I was

watching all these people like they were choreographed in a play. It was incredible to me. Then the doctor (Dennis Mays, MD, a LeConte emergency medicine doctor) came in, and he was, of course, listening to the heart. Everybody was doing a different thing.” “They started asking me questions about how I felt,” Smith added. “I said, ‘I feel fine. I don’t feel dizzy. I don’t feel weak. I don’t have any pains. I just have a little pain right here and it’s not bad.” When asked, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is it?” Smith said, “Maybe a .5.” “Five?” the staff asked. “I said, ‘No, point 5.’ I could barely feel it,” he recalled. By 11:30 p.m. Smith was in the back of an ambulance, chatting with the emergency medical technicians as they raced to Fort Sanders Regional’s emergency department. Along the way, the EMTs were feeding information to Fort Sanders Regional emergency department staff. Upon arrival at Fort Sanders Regional, he was wheeled directly to the cath lab where he was met by interventional cardiologist Joshua Todd, MD, who found Smith’s right coronary artery to be 100 percent blocked, requiring a stent. “He was showDr. Joshua Todd ing me my heart on the monitor and how the blockage was like a big stop sign – no blood could pass through anymore,” said Smith. “Then they put the stent in, and Boom! – you could see it open up and go right down to

the heart. It was just incredible! You’re awake the whole time, and you don’t feel a thing. I was amazed that I didn’t feel any anxiety at all.” “I think part of that was the way that everybody handled it,” said Osborn, who says Smith’s heart catheterization and stent was finished and he was in recovery when she arrived at Fort Sanders Regional at 12:10 a.m. “They were so calm, so forthcoming with information. They told me everything that was going on and that really reduced my anxiety, because I’ve never been through this before. They were so kind about giving me every single detail about what was going to happen, where it was going to happen, and I think that was very important. They all deserve credit for the way they handled everything so professionally. And not just professionally – the kindness they exhibited was really important.” A day and a half later, Smith was discharged from Fort Sanders Regional with instructions not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for seven days. After the seventh day, he didn’t rest. Instead, he returned to the task he was working on before his heart attack – building a threebedroom, two-bath home for him and Osborn to “flip” in two years – something the couple has been doing for 17 years as they travel throughout the United States. For now, however, Smith’s heart has found a home in Sevierville, where Osborn plans to keep a close watch. “If you have a pain, don’t be embarrassed, don’t feel badly – just go!” she said. “If they tell you that you’ve got indigestion, great! But it might not be.”

Heart attacks often mistaken for indigestion Heartburn or heart attack? Michael Smith couldn’t tell the difference. Could you? Decide quickly, because depending on what type of heart attack you have, your best chance for survival is getting to the hospital within the first three hours of your symptoms. “Indigestion can be a common symptom,” said Joshua Todd, MD, the interventional cardiologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center who placed a stent in Smith’s right coronary artery. “Patients tend to ignore the initial symptoms of a heart attack and may attempt other alternative strategies to help alleviate pain such as antacids or pain medications, including aspirin. When the symptoms aren’t relieved, that’s when EMS is usually called.” In fact, a recent survey of 500 heart attack survivors found that eight out of 10 failed to realize that they were having a heart attack. One-third of those mistook their symptoms for indigestion. The study

also found that half of heart attack sufferers do not seek help for more than an hour because they think they have indigestion or other minor conditions. “It can be hard even for physicians to interpret these symptoms” said Dr. Todd. “Based on a patient’s symptoms and their risk factor profile, the chance that indigestion-like signs are indicators of a blood flow problem with the heart can range from 20 to 90 percent. “The emergency department is the best place to determine the patient’s risk by rapidly obtaining an EKG within 10 minutes of the patient’s arrival. This test will tell which type of heart attack a patient is experiencing – STEMI (ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction) or NonSTEMI,” he added. The diagnosis of a STEMI heart attack is made by a combination of symptom indicators and an EKG tracing that shows elevated “ST” segments, indicating an artery is totally blocked. “There are large amounts of data show-

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ing that if you have that type heart attack, sooner is better for interventional action because the artery is 100 percent blocked,” said Dr. Todd. “If the EKG does not demonstrate this finding, a medical evaluation is performed which involves obtaining laboratory testing over the next several hours to see if heart cell death has occurred. The first EKG is how we determine who is emergently transported to the cath lab.” The best time for treatment is within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms. After 12 hours of continued symptoms, there is little benefit to procedures offered in the cath lab. Individuals at risk for a heart attack should be well informed of these facts. If you can recognize the symptoms of heart attack early and get to the hospital, you can receive the most effective treatment. Hospitals without the ability to perform emergent interventions like LeConte Medical Center have established “STEMI” teams that spring into action the moment

a heart patient enters their emergency department. “If a person presents with symptoms that may by caused by a heart attack, they receive an EKG rapidly, and if the patient meets criteria, the STEMI team is activated,” said Dr. Todd. “After the STEMI team is activated, a request is sent to an EMS emergency transport provider. LeConte then notifies the cath lab team at Fort Sanders Regional so that the team is ready to go before the patient arrives.” Michael Smith learned that it’s not how much you hurt, but why you are hurting. “Pain intensity is not as important as the EKG findings,” said Dr. Todd. “Mistaking a heart attack for heartburn is not uncommon. Reflux disease can present the same way. For every one patient who is having a heart attack, there are probably 10 with the same symptoms who aren’t. If you are having symptoms that may represent a heart attack, prompt presentation to qualified medical personnel who can perform and interpret an ECG may be life-saving.”

North/East Shopper news • February 22, 2017 • A-3

Annie Crawford, one of coop’s longest tenure employees, specializes in apiaries and beekeeping.

Deshaun O’Keefe reads with volunteer tutor Inas Alsarmad.

Photo by Betty Bean

‘Super Tuesday’

From page A-1 Shelby Barnes can help you will all your small ruminant needs.

King took a few minutes to talk before he went out to pick up pizza. “That’s just tonight,” said the do-it-all leader whose skills aren’t limited to speaking from the pulpit (he painted the church exterior and laid the hardwood floors). “Generally I cook for them. I’m going to take every excuse away from the parents. We want King Sr. to make it so (that) all their parents have got to do when they get home is give them a bath and put them to bed.” Super Tuesdays grew out of a chance encounter at last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Pastor King had marched with a group of former gangbangers called Heal the Land, Chitty with Mothers Against Violence. They struck up a conversation while watching rival gang members take off their colors and tie them into a multi-colored banner. Chitty has lived in West Knoxville for 30 years and has been increasingly bothered by the city’s racial divide. “When I went to the march, I saw how wonderful it was to have so many disparate communities come together, and how sad it was that we only come together on that one day,” she said. “I told him I wanted to help, but the only thing I know how to do is teach. He said, ‘I’ve got some kids who could use tutoring.’” King remembers it the same way: “Just as we were walking by the church I told her I’d been trying to get a tutoring program started. Two weeks later, she came in on a Sunday morning and stuck her head in the door. I introduced her to the church, ‘This is Miss Em Chitty.’ You won’t forget that name.” King is proud of the tutoring program’s success, which has helped every student who attended. He knows what it’s like to need help. “I was one who struggled,” he said. “When I graduated from Austin-East in

1979, I walked across the stage, shook the principal’s hand, took my diploma and couldn’t read it.” He’d faked his way through school, and didn’t discover that he was dyslexic until he was an adult holding down a full-time job and working on his reading on his own. And then he got some help. Turner Chitty “I got saved, and the Holy Ghost taught me how to read. The Bible was the first book I read, one word at a time. When I was born again, God gifted me with several different things – I can play any instrument I touch. I’m a writer. And I always wanted to be an advocate for schools.” Two years ago, he earned a degree from Johnson University, and is proud that all of his children are college graduates. He wants to make sure that other kids get the chance to excel, too. “I thought it was a sad thing, most of the time the teacher let me sit there and look out the window. I didn’t want any of the kids to feel the way I felt.” Alsarmad said she has missed only one Tuesday since she started tutoring. She and her husband don’t have any children, so she was unsure of how she’d do when she started. “I’ve made a lot of great friends, American friends who make me know what is the meaning of friendship. I’m living the American dream and trying to surround myself with American people. I’ve found out I really like the children. They are amazing and they are beautiful children who have so many dreams. I’m helping them keep up with these dreams that they have.” Last year Chitty raised around $600 to fund Super Tuesday. It’s almost gone now, and she plans to mount a new funding campaign to keep the program going. Anyone interested in helping can email Chitty at

COMMUNITY NOTES ■■ Alice Bell Spring Hill Neighborhood Association. Info: Ronnie Collins, 865-6379630.

■■ Parkridge Community Organization. Info: Jennifer Montgomery, citywhippet@

■■ Thorn Grove Rebekah Lodge No. 13. Info: Mary Jo Poole, 865-599-7698 or

■■ Beaumont Community Organization. Info: Natasha Murphy, 865-936-0139.

■■ Second District Democrats. Info: Rick Staples, 865-3853589 or funnyman1@comic. com.

■■ Town Hall East Neighborhood Association. Info: townhalleast@gmail. com.

■■ Belle Morris Community Action Group. Info: or Rick Wilen, 865-524-5008. ■■ Chilhowee Park Neighborhood Association. Info: Paul Ruff, 865-696-6584. ■■ Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association. Info: ■■ Excelsior Lodge No. 342. Info: Bill Emmert, 865-9336032 or

FAITH NOTES ■■ Fairview Baptist Church, 7424 Fairview Road, will host “Men’s Night Out,” 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb 25, at the church. Speaker: Hank Parker, professional bass fisherman. Cost: $15. Info/registration: ■■ First Comforter Church, 5516 Old Tazewell Pike, hosts Mothers At Prayer Service noon each Friday. Info: Edna Hensley, 865-771-7788.

Photos by Esther Roberts

Knox Farmers Co-op Annie Crawford has been working at the co-op for 35 years, which makes her one of the most experienced advisors throughout the entire cooperative. She is well versed in many areas of agriculture, but her passion is bees. “The global bee population is in a threatened state at the present time,” Crawford notes. “There are places in Japan where people must hand-pollinate their crops because there are no bees. None.” When asked how local folks can help support the fragile honeybee population, Crawford doesn’t hesitate. “Raise bees. The more hives we have, the higher potential for overall survival.” To her mind, just about everyone can be a successful beekeeper. “Just two hives is all you need to start. And there are many local apiaries and beekeeping groups to help mentor the novice beekeeper to learn

■■ Historic Fourth & Gill Neighborhood Organization. Info: Liz Upchurch, 865-898-1809, ■■ Inskip Community Association. Info: Betty Jo Mahan, 865-679-2748 or

to care for your bees.” An avid and accomplished equestrian, employee Shelby Barnes, is one of the coop’s resident experts on livestock, including horses, cattle, sheep and alpacas. The co-op brings in animals for sale on a rotational and seasonal basis. Jesse explains, “many different varieties of chicks will begin arriving Monday, Feb. 20, and the fish wagon comes through once a month so folks can stock their ponds.” He adds, “our vegetable garden plants will also be arriving very soon.” The co-op has a wide variety of seed and feed available, including non-GMO planting corn, organic chicken feed, wild bird supplies, and lawn and turf supplies. The “country store” section features farm and work wear, tools and locally-grown seasonal food items for sale.

World Rotary Day at Beaumont By Tom King Knoxville Rotarians will celebrate World Rotary Day three days from now on Saturday, Feb. 25, doing what Rotarians do Tom King – working together to improve our community. Members of the seven Knoxville clubs will gather at Beaumont Elementary School to clean out a teachers’ work room, rake, mulch, build a timber wall around a tree and create some “flowers” and “pencils” out of plywood and fence pickets, and do some painting. Working alongside the Rotarians will be students from the Rotary Interact clubs at Webb School and Catholic High. The work begins at 9 a.m., and Bearden Rotarian George Wehrmaker, owner of Bright Side Professional Landscape Management, will be the job foreman

and ramrod. Rotarians will bring leaf rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, paint brushes, leaf blowers, a jigsaw and drills along with a lot of elbow grease. George brings along trucks and equipment and orders all of the materials that will be needed. Part of the work was done this past weekend by another Rotarian – Doug Lesher of the Lanrick Group, a member of the Knoxville Breakfast Rotary Club. Doug has access to a truckmounted pressure washer, and he and his crew did the required pressure washing so as not to interfere with the work on Saturday. “Rotary Serving Humanity” is our theme this Rotary year, a theme selected by Rotary International president John Germ. We’ll be working together on Saturday to help one of our schools – and humanity.

Dinner – is planned Thursday, March 9, at the K-Town Tavern at 320 N. Peters Road from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and the proceeds will support the renovation of the library at Sarah Moore Greene Elementary School. You can find more information on the club’s Facebook page. ■■ RCK has new

Peace Committee

The Rotary Club of Knoxville has a new committee for 2017-18. The RCK Peace Committee’s purpose is to support peace-building in the Knoxville community through the study of conflict and conflict resolution training. The committee will select  a recipient  for a new annual RCK Peace Award, to be presented at a ceremony in  the Rotary Peace Garden  at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

■■ Volunteer Rotary

event is March 9

Knoxville Volunteer Rotary’s fundraiser – the 2017 Bourbon Showcase and

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■■ Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. Info: Bill Hutton, 865-773-5228 or Ray Varner

Travis Varner

4421 Whittle Springs Road, Suite B, Knoxville, TN 37917

Dan Varner

2026 N. Charles Seivers Blvd. • Clinton, TN 37716

865-457-0704 or 1-800-579-4561


■■ Old North Knoxville, 6:30 p.m. each second Monday, St. James Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1101 N. Broadway.

From page A-1

The Rotary guy

■■ Family Community Education-Carter Club. Info: Anne Winstead, 865-933-5821. ■■ First District Democrats. Info: Harold Middlebrook, haroldmiddlebrook@; Mary Wilson,

Sidney Jesse is the new store manager of the Asheville Highway location of the Knox Famers Co-op.

865-281-6510 |

A-4 • February 22, 2017 • North/East Shopper news

First Pets with a following By Kip Oswald Over the last weeks, I have been writing about our past First Pets, but there have been some pets that have become very famous! So how does a dog Kip or cat become so famous they have books written about them, receive letters from thousands of fans, or have money sent to them? It started with Laddie Boy, the famous terrier of our 29th president, Warren Harding. Laddie Boy led a parade on his own float, had his own handcarved chair to sit on during the President’s meetings and was even quoted in the newspaper as if he had been interviewed by a reporter. When President Harding died, the Newsboys Association had every newsboy in the country send in one penny so the pennies could be melted down into a statue of Laddie Boy. The statue is still in the Smithsonian Institution. There was a book and a movie written about President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous terrier, Fala. Fala went everywhere with the president, even sleeping in the president’s bed. During World War II, Fala was photographed giving a dollar to help with the war, which caused thousands of his fans to send in a dollar, too.

Although many dogs lived in the White House, only one wrote about her adventures there. Millie, George H. W. Bush’s dog, wrote “Millie’s Book,” with the help of President Bush’s wife, Barbara. It was on the New York Times best-seller’s list for months. President Bill Clinton not only had a famous dog but also a famous cat. His dog, Buddy, and his cat, Socks, received letters from all over the world, and the first lady decided to publish the letters into books that were read by hundreds of children. Not only were dogs and cats famous, but Herbert Hoover, our 31st president, had a famous pet opossum. Hoover found him wandering outside the White House, and when a local baseball team saw his picture in the paper, they thought he was their lost mascot, Billy. When members of the team came to the White House to get the opossum, the animal hid from them, so the boys left a note for the president to send Billy to the games for good luck. Hoover did and the team won its games. Now that we have learned about many of the strange and famous past First Pets, what do you think Barron Trump, President Donald Trump’s young son, will get as a pet if he gets one? Send your comments to Next week, we will learn about famous First Kids!

LIBRARY NOTES ■■ Email class, 2-4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, Burlington Branch Library, 4614 Asheville Highway. Requires “Introducing the Computer” or similar skills; uses tablet/laptop hybrids. Info/ registration: 865-215-8700.

East Knox Elementary selected Mike Biggs and Steve Simpson as the building-level Teachers of the Year. Photo submitted Carter Elementary librarian Sonya Cameron was honored as the school’s Teacher of the Year. Photo by Ruth White

East Knox honors Teachers of Year Carter Elementary Mike Biggs and Steve Simpson were recently honored at a dinner to celebrate each being named Teacher of the Year at East Knox County Elementary. Biggs teaches third grade at EKE and has been a member of the staff for 12 years. He was in industrial sales for 22 years before he began his second career in the teaching profession. He believes that learning should be fun – he tries to add humor to his lessons to keep students engaged. He loves working at East Knox Elementary because it feels like family to him. “The students, staff and the parents are working together to make sure all students maximize their abilities.”

honors Cameron By Ruth White

Sonya Cameron began her teaching career in the classroom and worked with students for seven years. Her love for reading drew her back to college, where she earned her degree in Educational Media and Educational Technology at ETSU. “I love working in the library at Carter Elementary because I am able to work with all of the students in every grade level,” she said. Cameron is in her second year at Carter and loves the school. Although her com-

mute to work is long (from Hamblen County) she knows that the school is worth the drive and calls it “the dream world of schools.” Being named Teacher of the Year was an unexpected surprise for Cameron since she still feels new to the school. “I am so pleased that my co-workers value my job as the school librarian and am honored that they chose me to be the teacher of the year.” When she isn’t working at the school, she enjoys being outdoors, crafts and reading.

PSCC sets genealogy workshops with Tony Burroughs Celebrate Black History month with a free community event at Pellissippi State Community College, Magnolia Avenue campus. On Friday, Feb. 24, genealogist Tony Burroughs, the founder of The Center for Black Genealogy, will facili-

865-314-8171 KN-1462193

Simpson is the music teacher at EKE and has been in education for 16 years and loves to inspire students to enjoy and love music as much as he does. “I enjoy showing them that they can be talented in many ways and use music as an outlet to express their feelings.” He loves working at East Knox because of the wonderful staff and students and feels it’s a great community to work in. When Simpson isn’t in the music room, he enjoys spending time with family, playing golf and the piano and working as the executive director for Tennessee ASCD, an organization for professionals in education.

tate a genealogy workshop: “Help! I Can’t Find My Ancestors! Overcoming Challenges in Genealogy.” Burroughs will talk about the trials of family history research, how to create a family tree and the unique challenges for African-

American researchers. His workshop will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room 122. Burroughs also will deliver a presentation on the importance of genealogical research at 5 p.m., Feb. 24 in the Community Room. The presentation will end

with a question-and-answer session. Campus Dean Rosalyn Tillman invites the community to either or both workshops. Info: or 865-694-6400.

North/East Shopper news • February 22, 2017 • A-5

Come to the L&N

Movie night fun at East Knox

Kindergarten and pre-K teachers at East Knox Elementary join in the fun of the farm photo booth during movie night. Pictured are (front) Cathy Breeden, Jenna Harness, Sara Brown; (back) Scarlett Towe, Clarissa Blevins, Tara Chandler and Sarah Gore. This group is “kind of a big deal” and worked hard to help organize a fun family event. Photos by Ruth White

By Abbey Morgan

Lily Premo dives in to her copy of “Charlotte’s Web,” a gift she received during movie night at East Knox Elementary. Close to 300 individuals participated as families enjoyed a pizza supper before heading to the gym to watch the movie “Charlotte’s Web.” During intermission, door prizes (books) were given away. The night was a great opportunity to get families together for quality time.

Lincoln Park books make a difference for kids By Carol Z. Shane Emily Sherwood organizes children’s books for Lincoln Park UMC’s Literacy Mission. Photo by Carol Z. Shane

This is also a wonderful opportunity to visit the beautiful, historic L&N building. This Knoxville landmark has been standing since 1905. The Louisville & Nashville train company once called this building its home. It now serves as Knox County’s first stand-alone magnet school. The building has held a variety of people from different cultures across the world. This will be symbolized through the celebration of cultures from all over the globe at STEM Around the World. This year the event will focus on tolerance among all cultures. Because the L&N STEM Academy is home to high school students from all over the county, this is extremely relevant. The school is a melting pot and has a welcoming atmosphere. This is an attitude that should be promoted worldwide. For more information, contact the L&N STEM Academy at 865-329-8440 or email Derek Griffin at derek. Abbey Morgan is a senior at the L&N STEM Academy.

‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’ at the Children’s Theatre Knoxville Children’s Theatre will present “Disney’s Beauty & The Beast Jr.” Thursdays-Sundays, Feb. 24-March 12, at the theatre, 109 E. Churchwell Ave. The play is a live onstage version of the smash Broadway musical adapted from the classic animated film, especially written for ages 4 and older. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 1 and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $12; special rate for adult and child entering together, $10. Info/tickets: 865-208-3677 or

have to worry about turning them back in.” They’ll also have them when school is out, avoiding the “the summer slump,” when many children experience a partial loss of progress gained the year before. When asked what children must do to qualify for a book, Sherwood grins and answers, “Nothing. “The goal is to get 100 to 150 books to each school each month. And we’re working on a summer reading project, with 10 books to take home during the summer.” She says that summer reading for pleasure can be as effective as more formal summer academic programs. Among her own childhood favorites, Sherwood names the “Ramona Quimby” books of Beverly Cleary, the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery. “Getting access to books is huge, and more and more schools are interested.”

Right now, she says, the program has plenty of books; what they really need are volunteers because they receive no funding. “As far as I know nobody else is doing something like this on a large scale. We’re hoping to get into every elementary school, and we’re hoping to reach every child. We’re just trying to expand


and do more.” If you’d like to volunteer ■■ Dogwood Arts 2017 Regionor otherwise support the al Art Exhibition; deadline to Lincoln Park UMC Literacy enter: Friday, March 3. Info/ Mission, call 865-525-2725. applications: dogwoodarts.





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Emily Sherwood, who came to Knoxville from teaching ESL classes in the Greene County school system, rolls a metal cart of children’s books up to the door of Lincoln Park United Methodist Church. “These came from the Unitarian church,” she says. Inside, she begins unloading the books onto shelves. Originally from Greensboro, N.C., Sherwood is pursuing a doctorate in literacy at the University of Tennessee. She’s seen the difference book ownership makes in kids’ lives, and says, “research has shown that a main contributor to the achievement gap is the absence of books.” She’s a big fan of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which supplies books to children up to age 5. When the Rev. Monty Walton at Lincoln Park spearheaded an effort to get books into elementary school kids’ hands, she came on board as part of her graduate research. And now she, Walton and a number of volunteers are out to improve the odds of success in literacy for every child, particularly those from lowerincome backgrounds. The program currently works with Emerald Academy, Head Start and Beaumont, Christenberry and New Hopewell elementary schools. Sherwood and her colleagues eventually hope to serve every area elementary school. What about school libraries? Why aren’t they good sources for kids? “Libraries are very underfunded,” says Sherwood. “These books go directly to children. That way they can keep them to enjoy, and not

Join us for family-fun event at the L&N! The second annual STEM Around the World will take place noon to 4 p.m. SatMorgan urday, Feb. 25, at 401 Henley Street. Families will experience various Asian, African and European ethnic foods, watch cultural performances and learn about traditions and tolerance through crafts and activities. It is fun for the whole family! Children can play in the KidZone for face painting and fun games. There is a $5 cash donation to experience the fun at the L&N STEM Academy. Additional food will also be sold. The proceeds will benefit L&N’s class of 2017. Each year, instead of participating in a senior prank, the seniors provide a meaningful gift to the school. This is the major fundraiser for the graduating class.

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Butterfly Fund benefit to fight child cancer The Beta Lambda Chapter of Delta Zeta Sorority adopted The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation as one of its local philanthropies in 2016. The group was drawn to The Butterfly Fund for the incredible work it does locally toward research and treatment to defeat childhood cancers, organizers said. Both founders of The Butterfly Fund lost their daughters to Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, in 2008. The Butterfly Fund continuously donates to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and CureSearch in hopes of one day finding a cure. Delta Zeta is hosting a gala, Bow Ties and Butterflies, on behalf of The Butterfly Fund. The event will be 4-6 p.m. Sunday, March 5, at the Delta Zeta House in Sorority Village at the University of Tennessee. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children (up to age 12). Oncology patients get in free. Children are encouraged to come dressed up in their favorite princess or superhero costume and enjoy appearances from Glenn Jacobs (WWE wrestler Kane), balloon artists from Volunteer Balloons, Miss Knoxville, Morgan Wallen, and more. All proceeds will support The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation. Info/RSVP: Delta Zeta’s vice president of philanthropy, Elizabeth Longmire, dzbetalambdaphilanthropy@gmail. com Checks and credit cards will also be accepted at the door.

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A-6 • February 22, 2017 • North/East Shopper news

News from Emerald Youth Foundation of Knoxville

First-grade scholar DeAndre Gould uses a technology device at Emerald Academy.

Emerald Academy enrollment open

for 2017-2018 Emerald Academy continues to grow as an education option for city families. With five applications for every available seat for the current school year, teachers and administrators anticipate a robust enrollment period for 2017-18. Interested families are encouraged to apply online at www.emeraldacademy. org. Emerald Academy is a free, independently operated, college preparatory public charter school that will serve kindergarten, first, second, third, sixth and seventh grades next academic year. Parents and children are invited to tour the school and speak with staff at an open house on Feb. 28 or March 7 at 5:30 pm. Emerald Academy is located at 220 Carrick Street. For more details, call 865249-7223.

A Message from Steve Diggs Emerald Youth president and CEO Recently I gathered for lunch and fellowship at The Original Louis’ Restaurant with my Emerald Youth colleagues. We joined together to celebrate a joyful year of ministry and God’s kindness to us in 2016. As I looked around the room during the Steve Diggs meal, I was reminded of how far we have come in over two decades. What began as a small outreach of Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church in North Knoxville has grown to include locations throughout our city. Examples include Laurel Church of Christ, which serves youth in the Marble City and Pond Gap communities, The Restoration House of East Tennessee and its ministry with single mothers and their children, and longtime partner Mount Zion Baptist, which opens its doors each afternoon to young people in East Knoxville. Soccer and other field sports are thriving at the Sansom Sports Complex, kids are learning to swim at the E.V. Davidson Community Center pool, and our gym on North Central Street is regularly packed with parents watching their children play basketball and volleyball. But there is still much to be done. Moving forward through 2017 and beyond, our aim is ambitious, and yet we believe it is possible. We imagine a city where every child in every neighborhood has the opportunity for a full life. Our desire is to see the Kingdom of God come alive in our city and to produce promising, Godly young-adult leaders for Knoxville. We can’t do this alone. If you’re not engaged with us already, I hope you will consider doing so, and in turn, help change the trajectory for kids in the heart of our city.

Celebrating Black History Month with Johnson University During its recent Black History Month celebration, Johnson University welcomed Kevin DuBose to campus. DuBose, who serves as church and community development director for Emerald Youth, spoke to students and faculty at their chapel services on Feb. 7, 8 and 9. “I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at Johnson,” DuBose said. “While it was important to share about the many challenges that exist in the heart of our city, it was especially a joy to remind the students of the Gospel and how God is working in children and families throughout Knoxville’s urban neighborhoods.” Each chapel began with praise and worship led by John Jackson, who serves as music director at Community Evangelistic Church in East Knoxville and leads the Emerald Youth choir.

Emerald Youth’s Kevin DuBose, left, with Johnson University Provost Dr. Tommy Smith.

Former banking professional joins Emerald Youth Sanford Miller has joined Emerald Youth Foundation as corporate sponsorship director, returning to the organization where his career began. Miller first worked at Emerald Youth more than a decade ago, where the former University of Tennessee football player used his skills and passion for athletics to lead Emerald’s sports programs. He then pursued a career in financial services with Home Federal Bank, Primerica and most recently Fifth Third Bank. “I am honored to be back with Emerald Youth and will use my experience in banking and sales to raise

support for our ministry with Sanford Miller was young people,” recently hired as said Miller. “As Emerald Youth a native of East Foundation’s corporate Knoxville, I sponsorship director. benefited from youth-serving organizations like Emerald during my childhood, and in this new role, I can give back to kids in the heart of our city in a unique way.” Miller is a graduate of SouthDoyle High School and Tusculum College. He and wife Shay have two sons, Tyson and Zane.

Emerald Youth Foundation | 1718 N. Central St., Knoxville, TN 37917 | 865-637-3227 |

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North/East Shopper news • February 22, 2017 • A-7

Who is in charge at Tennessee? The University of Tennessee has endured considerable criticism and some snickering because it wasn’t ready or able to immediately name a new athletic director. Alabama introduced a replacement for Bill Battle two days after he said goodbye. The secret courtship with Greg Byrne had been going on for months. Last summer, when Dave Hart didn’t get the contract extension he wanted, he announced his forthcoming retirement. Speculation has been romping along ever since. We’ve nominated two really good candidates. Neither has been ordained. OK, the Tennessee situation is different. First priority was to find a new chancellor. We finally got one but she was not ready to approve our suggestions. She wanted to look around. I dare not say that is a woman’s prerogative. I can say this delay caused a very bright Shopper reader to ask exactly who’s in charge at Tennessee? In theory, the chain of

Marvin West

command goes like this: Coaches answer to the athletic director. He answers to the chancellor. She answers to the president. He answers to the board of trustees. Along the way, influential boosters chime in when they choose. Names on buildings probably carry more weight than little league contributors. I will not attempt a pecking order. You can guess who loans jets. In theory, trustees have the final say. Years of observation convinced me that trustees almost always approve whatever the president proposes. This is a political process. Money is the key word. How much does it cost and who is going to pay? ■■ Gov. Bill Haslam chairs the board. Raja J. Jubran, UT engineering honors graduate of a generation ago, founder and CEO of Denark Construction,

prominent in Clayton Bank, is vice chair. He has had lots to say about settlements of Title IX and sexual harassment lawsuits but not much about athletic directors. ■■ Dr. Joe DiPietro, president of the university system, is a voting member except on audit and compliance matters. ■■ Ex-Vol Charles Anderson, CEO of Anderson Media, is an influential trustee. He is from the Florence, Ala., family that founded Books a Million. He is on the committee searching desperately for a new athletic director. He is also on the executive and compensation committee.

The athletics committee: ■■ Spruell Driver Jr., UT graduate with a Duke law degree, is a contract specialist with Vanderbilt’s sponsored programs administration. ■■ D. Crawford Gallimore, graduate of UT-Martin, is chief financial officer for HamiltonRyker, job placement company in Martin.

last words

Other trustees: ■■ Shannon A. Brown is senior VP, human resources and diversity officer for FedEx. ■■ Dr. William E. Evans, UT grad, retired as director and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. ■■ George E. Cates retired from MidAmerica Apartment Communities in Memphis. ■■ Dr. Susan Davidson is a professor of nursing at UT-C. ■■ John N. Foy, UT law grad, is retired from CBL & Associates Properties in Chattanooga. ■■ Candice McQueen, state commissioner of education, is an ex officio voting member. ■■ Sharon J. Pryse, UT grad, is president and CEO of Trust Company in Knoxville.

■■ Rhedona Rose is executive VP of Tennessee Farm Bureau. ■■ Miranda N. Rutan is a student at UT-Martin. ■■ Jai Templeton, state commissioner of agriculture, is an ex officio voting member. ■■ John D. Tickle, UT grad, chairs Strongwell Corporation.

■■ Vicky Brown Gregg retired as chief executive officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Her roots are in Cleveland.

■■ Julia T. Wells, UT grad, is VP of marketing for Pictsweet.

■■ Brad Lampley, ex-Vol, twice a graduate of UT, is with Adams and Reese law firm in Nashville.

■■ Tommy G. Whittaker, UT grad, is president and CEO of First Farmers Bancshares.

■■ Charles E. Wharton, UT grad, is CEO of Poplar Creek Farms,.

Betty Bean named Lester Tanner, who mentioned that he and many other Jewish GIs owed their lives to the bravery of a master sergeant named Roddie Edmonds. Chris contacted Tanner, who introduced him to another former POW, and the old soldiers, who have become like family, told him a remarkable story. The war was going badly for Germany by January 1945, but the Nazi determination to exterminate Jews never flagged, and Jewish soldiers were instructed to destroy their dog tags if they were taken prisoner lest they be assigned to camps that they couldn’t survive. On Jan. 26, Roddie Edmonds got word that Jewish prisoners were going to be taken away the next morning after roll call. As the highest-ranking soldier there (officers were sent to separate camps), he told his men that they could not allow this to happen. The next morning, the camp commander ordered Master Sgt. Edmonds to send the Jews forward. Every prisoner there obeyed the order. “The commander could not believe his eyes – all 1,300 men standing together in sharp formation.” And that’s when Roddie said, “We are all Jews here.”

Chris Edmonds talks to President Barack Obama while Sen. Bob Corker (center) looks on. The Nazi drew his pistol and pressed it hard into Roddie’s forehead. He repeated the order: “You will order the Jewish men to step forward.” Nobody moved. “Dad had been shot, beaten with a rifle butt, punched, attacked by dogs, stripped of his dignity… Yet there he stood with a gun to his head, disobeying Nazi orders. Lester Tanner said, ‘Your dad never wavered.’” “Dad said, ‘Major, if you shoot me, you’ll have to kill all of us because we know who you are. And you’ll stand trial for war crimes when we win this war.’” The Nazi’s arm began to tremble. He holstered his gun and returned to his office. Seventy years later, Chris was visiting Israel at the request of officials who wanted to honor his father, and Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial to Holocaust victims, named Rod-

The first week of February, I visited Easter Island in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,300 miles east of Chile, which owns the island. It had been on my bucket list for years. Two other Knoxvillians who have previously visited Easter Island are Will Skelton, active

Victor Ashe

■■ Dr. Jefferson S. Rogers is a professor of geography at UT-Martin.

A son’s discovery brings father’s heroism to life World War II veteran Roddie Edmonds was always a hero in his son’s eyes, even though he never volunteered details about what had happened after the Germans captured him during the Battle of the Bulge. Chris Edmonds, who grew up to become a Baptist minister, says his father’s beliefs were uncomplicated: “There is a God and God is good. We must be good to one another. Loving others is what Dad did well. I think he was gifted to do that,” Edmonds told the Volunteer Rotary Club. “And here’s another truth. Evil is real. Dad believed that God was good and evil was real, and it was wrong. He knew this from his faith and his Tennessee roots – right was always right and evil was wrong.” Roddie Edmonds died in 1985, and 20 years passed before Chris’s mother gave him a journal Roddie had kept during his time as a master sergeant in the 106th Infantry, including 100 days in two different German POW camps. “The story begins with an old diary, weathered and fragile. It belonged to a young man from Tennessee who was fighting for his country on a continent on the edge of collapse,” Chris Edmonds said. “It touched my heart.” Wanting more information, Chris ran a Google search on Roddie’s name. He found a story about Richard Nixon buying a Manhattan townhouse from a lawyer

A visit to Easter Island

die “Righteous Among the Nations,” an award given to gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews. He is one of five American soldiers to be so honored. Last year, Chris was invited to speak about his father at an award ceremony at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. President Obama was there, along with filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Afterward, Obama sought Chris out. “He was visibly moved,” Chris said. “The last thing he said was, ‘Chris, after you finished talking, I leaned over to Steven and said, ‘I think there’s a movie here.’” Now, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Rep. Jimmy Duncan are working to get Roddie Edmonds a Congressional Gold Medal. Chris says: “I hope the next remarkable event will be at the White House to present Dad with the Medal of Honor.”

greenways advocate and retired attorney, and Jeff Chapman, well respected director of the McClung Museum on the UT Knoxville campus. Getting there is part of the adventure, as one flies to Santiago, the capital of Chile, overnight and then flies five hours west over the Pacific to the island, which is partway to Australia from Chile. There are daily flights to the island from Santiago. Otherwise, one goes by ship, and they are infrequent. About 8,000 people live on 44 square miles in the middle of incredible statues carved on the island centuries ago. In addition to being an open air museum, the island offers outstanding diving, snorkeling and surfing. Hanga Roa is the main and only town. The airport is next to the town. Much of the island is part of the national park established by Chile. Tourism is now its main industry. No one knows for sure how the island was first inhabited or when or how the statues (moai) were made and then moved to different sites on the island. The theories are just theories. It is believed the first settlers arrived from the Marquesas islands between the 4th and 8th centuries. Today about 90,000 tourists visit the island. At times the population has dwindled to a few hundred. I was able to visit the quarry of a long extinct volcano where some 400 statues with oversized heads have been counted in various shapes, sizes and conditions. The photo here is typical of what exists. The climate is tropical but seldom exceeds 82 degrees. Accommodations and food are much better than adequate but not deluxe. It can be expensive as most supplies are imported from the mainland of Chile. ■■ Bearden activist Terry Faulkner says she will not run for city council


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No one knows the origin of the statues of oversized heads on Easter Island. this fall as she needs to be home assisting her husband, who has been ill. However, she will continue to speak out on issues and indicated she has not decided whom to support among Wayne Christensen, David Williams and Andrew Roberto, the declared candidates in the West Knoxville city district. ■■ New UTK Chancellor Beverly Davenport says she will spend time getting to know state lawmakers as part of her introduction to Tennessee. In the same news conference, she announced her opposition to legislation by state Rep. Martin Daniel to guarantee free speech on college campuses, saying it is not needed. However, she was not precise as to what provisions in it she dislikes. Her comments made it appear she had not read the legislation, which she will need to do prior to meeting with Daniel. Davenport was able to avoid explaining why she failed to appoint a single African-American to the Athletic Director search committee and named only one woman to the six-member task force. At some point she will have to address these issues while she promotes diversity. ■■ Attorney James Corcoran is running for the city council seat currently held by Brenda Palmer. So is Jodi Mullins, who has the backing of Palmer. Corcoran has a page on Facebook. He ran a strong race in the GOP primary last year for state representative, which was ultimately won by Martin Daniel. Half the district is inside the city of Knoxville. ■■ County Commissioner Bob Thomas turns 63 today, March 1, and City Law Director Charles Swanson, husband of Judge Pam Reeves, also turns 63 on March 6. ■■ Middle Tennessee U.S. Rep. Diane Black will be in Knoxville today talking to people about her campaign for governor next year and attending a UT basketball game tonight. Attorney Jeff Hagood is helping her campaign.

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A-8 • February 22, 2017 • North/East Shopper news

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