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Avon Rollins: words of wisdom By Reneé Kesler

The Beck Cultural Exchange Center, “the place where African American history & culture are preserved,” bid its final farewell to Avon William Rollins Sr., former executive director of Beck, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Renee Kesler Mr. Rollins was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement and was always willing to share words of wisdom. While I was privileged to have the opportunity to engage in numerous in-depth inspirational conversations with Mr. Rollins over the years, perhaps the crowning moment for me came exactly Rollins Sr. five months prior to his death. On Thursday, July 7, 2016, at Beck, I had the privilege of moderating a conversation with eight extraordinarily wise and insightful people: Dessa E. Blair, Robert J. Booker, Luther W. Bradley, Ether R. Jackson, Theotis Robinson Jr., t h e Rev. W. Eugene Thomas, Lawrence B. Washington and Avon W. Rollins Sr. The documentary “East Tennessee Voices: Eighth of August Celebration of Emancipation,” was produced in partnership with East Tennessee PBS and the East Tennessee History Center. The documentary highlighted the significance of the 8th of August in Tennessee history. It was Aug. 8, 1863, that Military Gov. Andrew Johnson freed his own slaves in Greeneville. Further, in keeping with Emancipation Day or the Day of Freedom, in Knoxville, Chilhowee Park was open to African Americans only one day a year, Aug. 8, and this continued until 1948. As you might imagine, during the filming there were amusing bloopers. If you could have been a fly on the wall you would have witnessed heartwarming laughter and real entertainment. At one point the filming had to stop because we could not halt chuckling at a gesture made by one of the eight. To page A-3

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March 1, 2017

99 years for PHS Alumni Association Mike Bayless (PHS Class of 1975) is advising all grads of the upcoming Powell High School Alumni Association banquet set for Saturday, April 1, at Jubilee Banquet Facility. This year marks the 99th anniversary of the alumni group. The registration line will open at 4:45 p.m. with dinner and entertainment at 6 p.m. The business meeting will start around 7 p.m. Cost Mike Bayless is $24 per person for the meal; dues are $10. Golden Grads (Class of 1967) with be recognized with a special table. Entertainment will be provided by a PHS choral ensemble. Reservations deadline is March 24. Info: Lynette Brown at 865-947-7371 or Bayless, president of the group, is excited about the opportunities ahead. “We are looking to increase our membership and toward partnering with PHS principal and graduate Dr. Chad Smith on activities and projects at the high school. “As always, our main objective is awarding scholarships to deserving PHS graduates. This year we celebrate our 99th year of existence, which makes us one of the oldest

alumni associations in the nation. “In 1964, we began the PHS Scholarship Fund and have awarded 135 scholarships over the past 52 years. We look to continuing that great tradition this year.” PHS Alumni Association partnered with the school and the Powell Business & Professional Association this year to install a state-of-the-art electronic sign and message board in front of the high school. The group also will sponsor the senior picnic on April 26 at the high school. How can you become involved? Send your contact information, year graduated and $10 membership dues to P.O. Box 111, Powell TN 37849. Dues help with the general operation of the association and special projects, Bayless said. “If every PHS grad paid dues annually, many projects could be taken on to improve our school. All donations are tax deductible and go to the scholarship fund unless noted differently.” Bayless is challenging every graduate who owns or manages a business or has become successful in their field to match his donation of $100 to the scholarship fund. “I challenge you to match or exceed my donation. This challenge especially goes out to the Class of 1975, any former band members and those who played basketball or baseball.”

Wright heads sheriff’s north precinct is located with By Sandra Clark the trustee’s and Lt. Jim Wright has been apcounty clerk’s ofpointed to head the north precinct fice in Crossroads of the Knox County sheriff’s office. Centre, home of He fills a job left vacant since the Ingles and Rural retirement of the late Captain Joe King. Brooks several years ago. What’s Wright grew up not changed is the presence of in Halls, attendCathy Norris, who has worked in ing Halls elementhe local precinct since it opened. Jim Wright tary and middle The north precinct serves Powell, Halls and Gibbs. It is open 8 schools and Central High School. a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and He also took classes at Roane

State Community College and UT. “My goal is to get this north precinct up to the standards of our west precinct,” he said. “We’re here for people.” Residents can report nonemergency complaints at the precinct and can get copies of accident reports. Materials are available on domestic abuse, various scams, etc. “It’s a place to come to talk with a real person without having to drive downtown and pay parking.” Wright will work with commu-

nity leaders on events such as parades and festivals. He’s planning to clean up a homeless camp in Halls this week. Wright has served in almost every aspect of police work since joining the sheriff’s office in May 1991 – jail, traffic unit, general assignment detective (property crimes), family crisis unit for child abuse and domestic violence, and the juvenile crimes unit. “I’ve done it all except homicide,” he said.

Powell puts two in awards competition By Sandra Clark The orchids of Keep Knoxville Beautiful may be coming to Powell when the organization holds its annual dinner 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at The Standard. Ticket info: The nominees for Redesign/Reuse include the Powell Airplane Service Station and also the Depot at Powell Station. Both are competing with properties across town including Rahman Dermatology, Geo Hair Lab, the Locust Street Pedestrian Bridge, Lululemon Athletica, Patricia Nash

Designs, Premier Surgical Associates at Papermill, The Daniel, The Mill and Mine, the Kennedy-Walker-Baker-Sherrill House, the 6th Avenue Warehouses, and the 1894 Saloon Building. Awards also will be given for environmental stewardship, new architecture, outdoor spaces, public art and restaurant/café/bar/brewery. “Each year the list of nominees reveals a snapshot of the progress and values of our developing city,” said KKB’s executive director, Patience Melnik. The most interesting (how in the world do

you pick the winner?) competition is for new architecture, where the Market Square restroom facilities square off with the UT Student Union and the Haslam Music Building. The Mary Lou Horner Beautification Award will be granted to a former Orchid winner whose property remains Orchid-worthy. Horner, a KKB founder, branded the annual event as “Orchids and Onions,” and she reveled in presenting “onions” to businesses needing improvement. The East Tennessee Community Design Center judged each category.

Assessor’s office is set for reappraisals By Sandra Clark The real estate market has perked up, just in time for state-mandated reappraisals. Property Assessor John Whitehead says the overall result must be revenue-neutral (the commission can’t use reappraisals to sneak in a tax increase) but that doesn’t mean an individual’s property value, thus real estate taxes, won’t rise or fall. The county commission is obligated to adjust the tax rate after Whitehead certifies the reappraisals on May 20. Whitehead outlined the appeals schedule for the Powell Republican Club, meeting Feb. 16 at Shoney’s. Reappraisals will be completed in March. Notices will go out the first week in April, and Whitehead’s staff will hear informal appeals during April. “You can text, email or phone. We may get 1,000 calls per day,” he said.

Whitehead will open three sites for the informal appeals – Fountain City and Cedar Bluff branch libraries and his office in the City County Building. The month of May is “cleanup,” with notices sent again to property owners whose appraisals were changed. “On May 20, we certify our tax roll to the county Board of Equalization. Then you can appeal to Whitehead them.” Taxpayers still unhappy can appeal to the state Board of Equalization, which will conduct hearings in Knoxville. A fourth appeal can go to the state Appeals Commission in Nashville. The final step is the full state Board of Equalization. “It’s like the U.S. Supreme Court,” Whitehead said. “Nine out of 10 cases

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they won’t hear; they’ll just affirm the Appeals Commission.” After this chain of appeals, taxpayers can file a lawsuit in Chancery Court in Knox or Davidson County. In response to questions, Whitehead said Knox County has some 190,000 parcels. He said it’s toughest to appraise farm land because there are so few comparables. Whitehead has worked in the assessor’s office for 38 years, joining the staff of the late Edward Hill after returning from Vietnam. He sat out eight years while Phil Ballard served two terms, and returned to office in 2016 after a narrow Republican Primary victory over Ballard’s chief deputy, Jim Weaver. “I’m having a good time,” he said. “We’ve got a great group with everybody pitching in and doing a good job.” Info: or 865-215-2360.

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A-2 • MArch hoPPer -NewSShopper news arch 1, 1,2017 2017 •• PPowell owellS/N orwood

health & lifestyles

Is your heart ... history?

Knowing your family’s health can save your life Nancy Mott’s cardiac stress test several years ago went without a hitch. At age 70, the Knoxville woman had no heart disease at all. Still, she wondered … could she be at risk of an aortic aneurysm like the one that ruptured and killed her father at 71? It was a family history question that Daniel Slutzker, MD, a boardcertified cardiologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, took to heart. “Almost as a throwaway line, I mentioned that my father had died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm,” said Mott. “That really got his attention! It was this ‘Oh!’ reaction … it seemed to be important information to him. He’s obviously somebody who pays attention to family history.” Dr. Slutzker ordered a CT scan and went searching for an aneurysm. What he found was just as deadly – an atrial myxoma. The rare, noncancerous tumor growing inside Mott’s left atrium was almost tennis ball-sized, threatening to shut down her heart without warning. The symptoms of a myxoma range from nonexistent to mild (low blood pressure, dizziness or arrhythmia) to sudden death. “As soon as you find one, you take it out because they can cause strokes,” said Dr. Slutzker. “That’s the big concern – that little pieces can break off and go to the brain from the heart.” So as soon as the condition was discovered, cardiac surgeon Thomas Pollard, MD, performed the procedure at Fort Sanders Regional to remove the tumor that could have killed Mott. “I had no heart disease, I had

Nancy Mott poses with a portrait of her late father. By sharing his health history with her physician, a rare heart condition was discovered. no signs or symptoms and I wasn’t having chest pains,” she said. “There was no reason to do further testing other than my saying to Dr. Slutzker, ‘My father died of a ruptured aneurysm.’ I had told other doctors about it in the past and had been told, ‘Well, you have no symptoms and no signs.’” Atrial myxomas are so rare that hers was the only one Dr. Slutzker had seen in 30 years of practice. The tumors are found in one out of

every 2,000 patients, and 10 percent appear to be inherited. Most – 75 percent – are found in the left atrium. “Not everybody with an aneurysm has a family history of it,” said Dr. Slutzker. “But when you have a patient with family history of aneurysms, 20 percent of their family could have aneurysms. So we went looking for an aneurysm and found a myxoma.” Since the discovery, Mott’s fam-

ily has become more aware of the importance of family medical history. Both her brother and her daughter have been checked – and cleared – for aneurysms and myxoma. “Family medical history strikes me as very important,” said Mott. “While we don’t know if Daddy had a myxoma, mine was found because of his family history.”

A few years later, Mott asked Dr. Slutzker if myxomas can return. “He said, ‘Recurrence is very unusual. But let’s just check it out,’” she said. “So he ordered another test, and he’s not someone who orders tests willy-nilly. He really listens to you, and he appreciates that I pay attention to my body and that I am able to give him good information.”

Cardiologist: Do your parents’ genes fit you? Daniel Slutzker, MD, likes to say the key to a long life is simple: “Choose your parents wisely.” “So much of our destiny has been predetermined and written by our parents,” said Dr. Slutzker, a cardiologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “I always kid around and tell people to choose your parents wisely. Of course, they can’t choose their parents. But they can alter the time frame and the time course of disease with intervention or medicine. Family history is very important.” Few realize the value of good genetics more than Dr. Slutzker, who lost both parents and his brother to Daniel Slutzker, heart issues. M.D. “That’s part of the reason I went into cardiology – because I was worried about it,” he said. “Dad had his first heart attack when I was a firstyear medical student. So I said, ‘I think I want to get interested in cardiology because I want to find out what is going on with him.’ My brother [Dr. David Slutzker, who was a pulmonologist and chief of staff at Fort Sanders Regional] died two years ago after a heart attack. So, yes, family history is huge.”

Risk factors can be limited, but “it’s amazing how much correlation there is between genetics and what’s going to happen to you,” said Dr. Slutzker, who says he now gets a cardiac stress test every two years. “You can control blood pressure as best you can, you can control hypertension, you can control diabetes as best you can, but you can’t control your family history. “I always tell people that everybody has a timeline for heart trouble,” he continued. “If you live long enough, you’re going to have some heart trouble down the road. The question is, ‘How long is the fuse?’ It’s a time bomb and for some people, it’s a short fuse and you’ve got to get on them early. For other people, you try to lengthen the fuse as long as you can by controlling the risk factors. While the odds of inheriting a cardiac myxoma are only 10 percent and the risk of inheriting an aneurysm 20 percent, the chances of one inheriting coronary artery disease is much higher because of its many risk factors – smoking, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol.”

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Still, Dr. Slutzker says only about half the patients who come into his office are aware of their family history. “A lot of them don’t give enough importance to it,” he said. “Young people come in when they’ve had a young family member who’s had problems. They’re already in tune. But often middle-aged people whose parents are still alive do not take family history seriously. One parent may have had a heart attack, but they don’t give it enough importance because the parent is still alive. But ANY heart attack is a big deal. “If more people are in tune with their family history, you can uncover things that you never would have known,” he added. “We didn’t find an aneurysm in Ms. Mott, but we found this myxoma. And the only reason we looked is because she knew her family history and knew there was a problem. It was just one of those fortuitous things where we were looking for something else, but because she knew her family history, we found something that was life-threatening.”

“It’s amazing how much correlation there is between genetics and what’s going to happen to you.” – Daniel Slutzker, M.D.

Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-3

The Sushi Spot: Something fishy in North Knoxville By David Hunter

Chef Goodfriend prepared a “custom roll” for Wyrick: tuna, shrimp, salmon and rice with red sauce.

SUSHI ... a Japanese dish of cold cooked rice, shaped in small cakes and topped or wrapped with other ingredients (such as pieces of raw fish). Thus says Merriam Webster. Not all sushi is served raw, but that is the word that most often comes to the mind of a baby boomer like me, one of the people born after 1946 when WWII ended and soldiers came home in droves. There is some dispute about when baby boomers gave way to Generation X, but 1964 is often cited as the year, and they were followed by Millennials around 1980. Sushi has been around a long time in large, cosmopolitan cities, like Los Angeles and New York, but Generation X and Millennials – more adventuresome than parents and grandparents – brought it to the far reaches of Knox County, Tennessee, including Powell. There are several sushi restaurants in Knox County now. After hearing rave reviews about the Sushi Spot – located at 7535 Bar-

but I dived in with the uncooked stuff and I’ve been eating it regularly for 10 years.” In fact, Chef Goodfriend prepared something not on the menu for Wyrick, called a custom roll. I photographed it and found that it consisted of tuna, shrimp, salmon, rice and a reddish sauce that looked spicy. “Yummy” or “yucky,” depending on generation. I thought about trying it because I sometimes eat sushi. I asked basic questions, looked at the menu and display case and found: Yellow tail tuna, white fish, tobiko sauce, calamari (squid), green onions, eel sauce, crab and scallops to name only a few. There are also items cooked on a hibachi grill for the uninitiated. The dining room was fairly busy even at 1:30 p.m. Guests were mostly under 40, quietly enjoying themselves. The lighting is subdued and customers were strangely quiet. I learned a lot and fully intend to dine there in the near future. Sushi is no longer just for Gen Xers and Millennials.

presented by

Avon Rollins For some two hours, we laughed, reminisced, walked down memory lane and in the end, we produced a reflective documentary that would be featured at a red-carpet premier event in downtown Knoxville and broadcast throughout the state of Tennessee on the PBS network. Perhaps as important, if not more so, is that we were constructing an oral history to serve generations to come. The panel included a 95- and 92-year-old, the first African American Fire Department chief, first African American undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, c i vil r ights a ctivists, h istorian, veterans and a minister, all trailblazers and all overflowing with wisdom. I shall never forget the many words of wisdom that Mr. Rollins shared with me over the years, including an African

nett Way, in a strip mall, around the corner from Five Guys, on the same ridge as Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center, near I-75 – I checked it out. Technically the restaurant is in Brickey, a mostly undefined area where Powell and Halls converge. This week, I spent a couple of hours at the Sushi Spot, just observing and talking to server and cashier Amanda Rossini and sushi chefs David Catolli, head chef, and Aaron Goodfriend, as well as diners. The restaurant has been there since 2008, but came under new ownership in September 2016 when bought by Robin and Shane Reed, who live nearby. My first question for both diners and employees was, “How long have you been a fan of sushi?” Rusty Wyrick of Karns, said: “I’ve been eating sushi for 10 years.” Wyrick, who was closer to my age than most of the other guests, told me, “I had friends who loved sushi. One night, I went with them to a Japanese restaurant. They told me I could try cooked sushi first,

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From page A-1 proverb that states, “My ears cannot hear what you say because my eyes see what you do.” Likewise, I shall never forget the final words of wisdom that ended the “Eighth of August” documentary in which Mr. Rollins affirmed, “You know I had the pleasure to travel across this country with Dr. Martin Luther King, and I witnessed many, many speeches, but one thing I remember so precisely, he said, ‘A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.’ And too often our backs are bent. And through this understanding of August the Eighth hopefully we will straighten our backs up and achieve that economic parity as we go into the future because that’s so important so we can participate in this whole economy as equals.” Words of Wisdom.

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A-4 • March 1, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

Abuse workshop shines light into the darkness

Ashes to ashes

By Shannon Carey

… Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went. (2 Samuel 13: 19 NRSV) Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is a solemn day of prayer, of self-examination, of repentance. In many denominations, the observance includes worshipers having ashes imposed on their foreheads as a symbol of repentance. The ashes are customarily created by burning the palms from the previous Palm Sunday. I have participated in Ash Wednesday services in various places and denominations, depending on what church was handy in the middle of a workday. I have also received the ashes at different times of day, but usually at early morning. I’ll tell you this: wearing a cross-shaped black smudge on your forehead exposes you to some odd glances. That doesn’t bother me, but I tell you, if you have the ashes imposed early in the morning, they begin to be itchy by the afternoon! There is also the subtext of death involved

FAITH NOTES ■■ New Pleasant Gap Baptist Church, 9019 Old Andersonville Pike, will host a chili/hot tamale supper, 5:30-8 p.m.

Cross Currents

Lynn Pitts

in receiving the ashes. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” is repeated at burial services. So, when one goes about one’s usual business on Ash Wednesday, it is with a visual reminder that our days are numbered. Even wearing the ashes, we carry in our hearts and minds the end of the story. We know that there will be celebration at Palm Sunday, solemnity at Maundy Thursday communion, pain and sadness on Good Friday. But we can walk through “the valley of the shadow” because we know that Easter is coming. So, wear your ashes as a reminder for your heart and soul, as a witness to everyone who sees you, and as an emblem of your Savior. Saturday, March 4. All donations appreciated. Includes silent auction for gift baskets and chance tickets for local restaurants and businesses. Hot tamales available, $15/

CPR/BLS Certification and First Aid Classes American Heart Association approved classes required for employment in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Also CPR classes required for educators and first aid classes for general public.

Child sexual abuse is a difficult topic to tackle, but even though it’s hard, it must be discussed if it is ever to end. That’s what a core group of volunteers is trying to accomplish right here in Knox County with monthly meetings of the Community Coalition to Protect Children and through offering the Darkness to Light “Stewards of Children” workshops in as many venues as possible. Community activist Margaret Massey-Cox is coordinating a Stewards of Children workshop at Fountain City Presbyterian Church 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4. This workshop will be facilitated by Joy Gaertner, who is herself a survivor of child sexual abuse. According to Gaertner, Darkness to Light was founded by a mother who was also abused as a child. When she had a daughter, she pledged that she would not let the same thing happen to her. Gaertner’s motives to becoming a Darkness to Light facilitator are similar to the founder’s reasons for starting the program. “I wanted to make sure that I was part of the solution and not part of the dozen. Everyone welcome. Info: 865-548-4325.

Classes/meetings ■■ The FAITH Coalition will commemorate the 2017 National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS (March 5-11) with a prayer breakfast 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11, Community Evangelistic Church, 2650 Boyds Bridge Pike. The keynote speaker: Dr. Pernessa C. Seele; topic: “The Church

problem,” Gaertner said. And child sexual abuse is a huge problem. One out of 10 children will be abused sexually before they reach age 18. Six of those will be girls, and four will be boys. In 90 percent of cases, the abuser is someone known to the child, not a stranger. Abuse can cause lifelong problems for the abused. “It became a non-event. I just stuffed it for all those years,” said Gaertner. “It damages your relationships. It impacts who you are.” Darkness to Light uses five practical steps to give adults the tools to protect children. Those steps are “Learn the Facts,” “Minimize the Opportunity,” “Talk About It,” “Recognize the Signs,” and “React Responsibly.” “(Sexual abuse) thrives in darkness,” said MasseyCox. “We are trying to push it out into the light.” The workshop is open to the public, not just those who work with children. This, according to Gaertner, is key. “I believe it is our jobs as adults to do this,” she said. “It’s not just educators, it’s every single adult. It brings awareness to the situation and makes us all more vigilant. It is heavy, but this program is about confidence


and hope. Something can be done to stop it.” Amy Rowling, a violence prevention public educator at Knox County Health Department, is also a Stewards of Children facilitator, and she facilitates the Community Coalition to Protect Children, a cross-agency group whose mission is to end child sexual abuse in East Tennessee. The group is also trying to bring as many Stewards of Children workshops to Knox County as possible, and increase body safety education in local schools. “Education is validating for victims and empowering for community members,” she said.

and HIV: Is There a Balm in Gilead?” Free and open to faith leaders, but RSVP requested to 865-215-5170. ■■ First Comforter Church, 5516 Old Tazewell Pike, hosts MAPS (Mothers At Prayer Service) noon each Friday. Info: Edna Hensley, 865-771-7788. ■■ Fountain City UMC, 212 Hotel Road, hosts GriefShare, 6:30-8 p.m. each Wednesday in room 112. The support group is offered for those


Call 865-742-5977 or 865-591-4073 for schedules

Darkness to Light facilitator Joy Gaertner and community activist Margaret Massey-Cox are joining forces to help end child sexual abuse. Photo by S. Carey

Beaver Dam Baptist Church

who are dealing with the loss of a spouse, child, family member or friend. Cost: $15 for workbook. Info: 689-5175. ■■ Powell Church, 323 W. Emory Road, hosts Recovery at Powell each Thursday. Dinner, 5:45 p.m.; worship, 6:30; groups, 7:40. The program embraces people who struggle with addiction, compulsive behaviors, loss and life challenges. Info: or 865-938-2741.

Community services ■■ Cross Roads Presbyterian, 4329 E. Emory Road, hosts the Halls Welfare Ministry food

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Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-5

Brooklynn Kenney and Ryder Bullock dressed up to spend a fun evening at the annual Pleasant Ridge winter dance and carnival.

Pleasant Ridge teacher Barbara Enloe gives her best E.T. impersonation at the adopta-pet booth.

Mi’Angel Kyle scored a huge Elmo stuffed animal at the adopt-an-animal booth. The school carnival/dance was sponsored by the Pleasant Ridge PTO.

Kamani Mims and Lacresha Mims pose for a photo keepsake at the event.

Trinity Peratta has her face painted like a fox during the PRES dance and carnival. Photos by Ruth White

Fun and games at Pleasant Ridge

Bus drivers honored for service, safety Knox County Schools and Ted Russell Ford recently recognized five school bus drivers for their service and safe driving practices while transporting students in Knox Cox Evans Hayes Mikels County Schools. Bus drivers colHonored for their service were Julectively log 20,000 miles each day nior Cox, serving Knox County for 16 and approximately 3,000,000 miles years and driving for Carter High and per year for KCS. County Commis- Carter Middle, Chilhowee, Sunnyview sioner Bob Thomas commended this and L&N STEM Academy; Kathy Evmonth’s honorees for “doing it right ans, driving for 3½ years for Carter each and every day.” High and Carter Middle, Chilhowee

and Sunnyview; Jennifer Hayes, driving one year for Fulton High, Bearden Elementary and Richard Yoakley; Karla Mikels, driving 11 years and serving Gap Creek Tomlin and South-Doyle High School; and Yvonne Tomlin, driving 12 years for Cedar Bluff. Each honoree received a certificate, gift bag from WIVK and a check for $100 from Ted Russell Ford.

Middle school rezoning plan released Gresham, Halls and Powell middle schools will not be impacted if the draft proposal for rezoning is adopted by the school board. Gibbs Middle will open with about 500 students, taking kids only from Gibbs and Corryton elementary schools. Holston would replace lost enrollment with kids now attending Carter Middle. Vine would add students from Holston and South-Doyle. In fact, the rezoning tends to equalize enrollment at five middle schools impacted by construction of Gibbs Middle. Here are the

numbers as of Jan. 17 and the projected enrollment in August 2018: South-Doyle – 989 to 850 Carter – 828 to 650 Gibbs – 0 to 500 Holston – 874 to 575 Vine – 333 to 550 A draft report is available at and interim superintendent Buzz Thomas has promised community meetings to discuss it before it’s presented to the school board for a vote. The draft shows an effort to accommodate those who attended public meetings. No schools will be closed. – S. Clark

Gibbs High PTA to sponsor vendor market

‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’ continues

Whittle Springs Middle

The Gibbs High PTA will host a vendor market 5-9 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in the gym. The market will feature home décor, boutique clothing, woodworking, jewelry, breads, cakes, jams and more. The group is still accepting vendors for the market. Booth space is 9 feet by 9 feet and costs $35, which includes a table and two chairs for vendor. Booth rental payment and information (number of spaces, electricity requirement) may be mailed to GHS PTA, 7628 Tazewell Pike, Corryton, TN 37721. Info, email

Knoxville Children’s Theatre presents “Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Jr.” Thursdays-Sundays, through March 12, at the theatre, 109 E. Churchwell Ave. The play is a live onstage version of the 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

The Whittle Springs Middle School PTSA will host a Dine to Donate fundraiser at Chipotle’s Restaurant in Fountain City. The event will be held between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, March 3. For anyone dining in the restaurant that day who mentions that they are supporting the Whittle Springs Middle PTSA, a percentage of the sales will be donated to the organization. Chipotle’s is at 4829 N. Broadway.

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A-6 • March 1, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

Notes on a peculiar winter The month of February has certainly added on to what has been a peculiar winter. Our big weather has been a 2-inch snow on Jan. 6 and 7; since then we’ve had mostly spring weather. Warm temperatures, occasional showery days. The temp reached 77 degrees on Feb. 12, an all-time record for the day. The trees haven’t come out yet (at time of writing), but the allergists hereabouts report that they are already making pollen. Allergy season has begun. We had jonquils blooming for Valentine’s Day, and blue, and blue-and-white, violets are in bloom in my yard. I noticed a small fruit tree of some sort down on Woodland Avenue on Feb. 15, covered with pink blossoms. Up along Grove Drive in Fountain City is a very large Chinese, or saucer, magnolia, usually the earliest tree to bloom out in the spring (and usually the first to get frozen back). We noticed it had big pink buds ready to go on the Sunday of Feb. 12. The birds? People have been reporting all sorts of unexpected early ones the past month – an ovenbird in one yard, an orangecrowned warbler in another. And robins? Robins, like the bluebirds, are around here all winter. They are generally in reduced numbers as compared to springtime. But this year, we’re having hordes of them – flocks of 50, even 100. The ground under my big hackberry trees is covered with berry

Dr. Bob Collier

seeds dropped by the multitude of robins. An article in the winter edition of Living Bird magazine, put out by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, reports that this is part of a trend, due in part to more urban landscaping, which robins favor, but also due to the warming climate. It seems that instead of wintering in the sunny Deep South, many more robins are choosing to winter closer to home, still able to find sufficient food supplies in their now less harsh local winters. In the last 25 years their data reveal more than double the number of wintering robins in the Northeast, and an 11 percent increase even in Canada and Alaska. Apparently, those robins that do choose to migrate southward are going shorter distances, many of them deciding to hang out in balmy East Tennessee. This is not to say that anyone has been complaining about the springtime weather here in February. With no leaves, bugs and gnats out and about, and T-shirt temps, it has made for some very pleasant birdwatching. I had a particularly good day on Feb. 20, the last official day of the Cor-

nell Lab’s annual worldwide Great Backyard Bird Count. I set out, and dutifully and methodically counted all the birds I could find in my favorite spot of fields, woods and briery patches up in Union County. It turned out to be one of those betterthan-average birding days – it was a Seven Woodpecker Day. I had hoped it would be, what with no leaves out, the birds very active, and no spring migrants as yet to divert one’s attention. There are 20 or so species of woodpeckers that occur in North America, between our borders with Canada and Mexico. Seven of them are to be found in our region. The downy and red-bellied ones frequent our feeders all winter and are familiar to most of us. The flickers are common here too, but spend a lot of time on the ground, eating their favorite food, ants. They are strikingly beautiful birds when seen close up or through the binoculars. And then there are our huge, vociferous, OMG birds, the pileated woodpeckers, not a rare bird around here. A yellow-bellied sapsucker has been eating suet at my feeder all winter. I’ve noticed that when the suet runs out, the sapsucker, instead of just flying away, sits and stares at the empty suet cage, as if he thinks it will somehow refill before his eyes. Sapsuckers are here only in the winter. In the spring they will be back up north, nesting anywhere from Canada down to the

Red-bellied woodpecker

Great Lakes, and even into the high elevations of the Smokies. Hairy woodpeckers are larger versions of the downies, with a longer bill, subtle differences in some of their tail feathers, and a different call, or vocalization, as birders are prone to say. They are around, but are outnumbered by the downies by 10 to one, and are much less social with us people than the downies. And, they are probably often mistaken for downies when seen. Least common around here are the fancy red, black and white red-headed woodpeckers. They are hard to find, but a beautiful sight when you see one. They live all over the eastern half of the country, but for reasons not understood have become very scarce in the East

Tennessee region. A couple of years ago, we were out in Montgomery Bell State Park near Nashville and were seeing them five at a time one afternoon, but a person here in Knoxville can hardly buy one for a spring or winter bird count. Happily, though, over the past couple or three years more folks are reporting red-headed woodpeckers. A couple in Union County had one coming into their yard regularly, to eat bites of food from their dogs’ dish. Most peculiar, but I have photographs to prove it. And this year, a person out in Sharps Chapel has been reporting seeing one in the woods near the lake on a frequent basis. With this cast of characters, we go back to the Seven-Woodpecker Day. With

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downy and several red-bellied guys promptly checked off, I was prowling along quietly in some big trees when I came upon not one, but two red-headed woodpeckers! One was the superspiffy adult red, black and white version. The other was an immature bird, hatched last year. They have brown heads till the spring following their birth, and his head was changing. From adolescent brown, it had red patches on the throat, and on the back of the head – sort of like a teenager with a nice splash of green or purple in an otherwise decent head of hair. I figured that now, I had a good chance for all seven. But it was afternoon already. A yellow-bellied sapsucker and a flicker came along nicely, and then I found a female hairy woodpecker working away at a dead limb, searching for a juicy grub or two. I had seen a male hairy excavating a nest hole in the vicinity a week before, so had been hopeful. And then, the final woodpecker, and also the last bird of the day, around 5:30 and dusk approaching. There was the King of the Woodpecker Hill – a big pileated bird, squawking loudly from a big, distant ash tree! Hooray for all seven, plus a good bunch of other winter birds, all greatly enhanced by sunshine, temps in the 60s and yet none of those pesky leaves to prevent excellent looks at them all. Not a bad way to spend a February day in East Tennessee.



Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-7

last words

Each year has two parts ... One of the wise men, a Tennessee fan, said that each year has only two parts: Football season and waiting for football season. This is one of the waiting periods. It is a beautiful time of year. Everybody is undefeated. All things are possible. Big dreams are permitted. The UT ticket department advocates farout optimism. Wouldn’t it be something if Shy Tuttle could get well. Charlton Warren, new coach of the secondary, might teach defensive backs to look back for the football. Everybody has a chance to guess right on who will win the quarterback competition and how long it might take to win the Heisman. Now is a relatively safe time to make grandiose predictions and even a few boisterous bets. Most will forget what you said before we hear again from the Music City bowl. Fans are eager for spring practice. Players are heavily engaged in preparations for a bold, new experience.

Marvin West

They don’t have a fancy theme but they’ve been told to be ready. There are coaches who think teams win games in off-season workouts. I thought the Vols may have lost a couple in March 2016. Butch wanted players to lead his team. He listened closely to veteran views. Could be he reduced the workload. Maybe he sheltered some. They probably didn’t need to be knocking each other around. The coach knew they would hit when the time came. But, they needed to be stronger and quicker, physically and mentally. Alas, when it was finally real football time in Tennessee, I didn’t think the Vols were completely, totally, 100 percent really ready.

All I have to go on is how many comebacks were needed to win the first five games. There is powerful improvement tonic in memories of last year. A professional journalist wrote this: “Stumbling, bumbling Tennessee, misidentified as the No. 9 team in the country, emerged with an embarrassing 20-13 victory over 20-point underdog Appalachian State. The visitors won everything except the final score. They dominated both lines of scrimmage.” A few days later the summation was: “Virginia Tech won the first quarter in a romp. After that, it made many mistakes. “The orange team rallied from a 14-0 deficit and won the rest of the game. The losers gained more yards. Joshua Dobbs passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more. “We woke up a little bit and played Tennessee football,” coach Butch Jones said.

Perhaps you recall that the Vols had a hard time with Ohio U. It was 21-19 after three quarters. The orange team was favored by 27. Butch said he thought the Vols were sloppy. Then came the Florida game: Down 21-0 late in the first half, the Vols scored 38 unanswered points. Glory be! I won’t go into how Tennessee defeated Georgia but I will say there was a lastgasp comeback. It is very exciting to realize that a new season is developing behind the scenes – new coaches all around, new offensive coordinator, several new ideas, more seniors than in past years but more competition for positions. It will be months before we know for sure, but strength coach Rock Gullickson might be the winning edge. He might be the match that lights the fire. His program could reduce injuries. We can dream big dreams. Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is

Is Rogero eyeing Duncan’s seat? State Sen. Doug Overbey, who is looking at a 2018 race for governor, says he “has strong reservations” on philosophical grounds over indexing the proposed gas tax increase without legislative action as recommended by Gov. Bill Haslam. Indexing gas to the Consumer Price Index would place a gas tax increase on automatic pilot. This appears contrary to what most principled conservative lawmakers would favor in terms of voting each time a tax increases. It appears this provision will be dropped if the gas tax has a chance to pass. ■■ Mayor Madeline Rogero wrote a column in the News Sentinel urging people to attend a meeting held last week at Whittle Springs M i d d l e Rogero School on Obamacare and current efforts to repeal, replace and/ or repair it. The city does not run a health department. Knox County does. Other than Rogero being concerned as a citizen about the issue, there is no duty as city mayor tied to the current hot debate over health care. However, Rogero has made this her signature issue. County Mayor Tim Burchett could not attend this meeting. Rogero acknowledges that some changes in Obamacare may be needed,

Victor Ashe

but she never voiced such a thought while President Obama was in the White House. With the attention given recently to U.S. Rep. John Duncan not attending town hall meetings on this topic, and with Rogero going so public advertising this meeting hosted by groups backing Obamacare, the question arises of what is Rogero up to? Her column, which is a not so subtle criticism of Duncan and our two U.S. senators, places Rogero squarely in the conversation as a 2018 Democratic congressional candidate. The recent well-attended Women’s March and continuing debate on this, plus President Trump unifying Democrats as Obama used to unify Republicans, raises the prospect that Democrats for once will field a serious congressional candidate. Democrats in the Second Congressional District have not had a credible congressional nominee since former Revenue Commissioner Dudley Taylor ran in 1988. Rogero would be credible and she will continue one more year as mayor to Dec. 19, 2019, if she lost the race. Rogero may also be hoping there will a potential hotly contested GOP primary between Duncan and

Burchett, which will leave the winner weakened from the intraparty battle when the general election occurs. Bottom line: Keep an eye on Rogero as she quietly but deliberately makes moves to run for Congress in 2018 if Democrats can raise money for media needed to prevail. She has over a year until it is time to qualify. ■■ State Rep. Eddie Smith has introduced a bill to make city elections partisan. His Senate sponsor is not one of the three Knox senators but Dolores Gresham from Somer v ille in West Tennessee, who chairs Smith the Senate Education Committee. It would not affect the five council elections this year. Reaction from several council members and candidates has been negative. Candidate Harry Tindell says “there is no need to fix what is not broken.” Candidate Wayne Christensen opposes it, too. Council members Finbarr Saunders and Marshall Stair oppose it. Smith says it is designed to increase voter participation in city elections, which admittedly is low. ■■ New UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport has to pick a successor to Margie Nichols as vice chancellor for communications. Interviews for this were done a few months back and were abandoned after Jimmy

Cheek retired. The finalists were not from a r o u n d here. In this spot especially, it is essential Davenport this new chancellor, who does not know Knoxville or Tennessee well, have a smart media adviser who knows Knoxville backward and forward to avoid the missteps which plagued Dave Hart. Jacob Rudolph, the interim head, actually has been here several years and knows his way around. Davenport in her meeting with lawmakers has impressed them as facile and smooth in her language and demeanor. However, people will be looking at her for more than words but actual action. A smart media adviser who knows the area would be invaluable. There is no doubt Nichols advised Cheek that the Lady Vols name change would trigger outrage across Tennessee, but Cheek and DiPietro did not listen to Nichols. They backed Hart. The result was stunning. It may be an issue in the contest for governor as the governor is a voting member of the UT board of trustees. It even manifested itself at the Pat Summitt funeral, where no establishment official from UT such as the president, AD or chancellor spoke at the services for the nationally known and admired coach.

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Wrestler Kane ponders mayor’s race The race for Knox County mayor could take an interesting turn in about a month, and it’s not the rumored impending entry of Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones that’s going to shake things up. It’s unlikely that Bob Thomas, the county commissioner who started distributing Thomas for Mayor yard signs nearly a year ago (and who should not be confused with the Bob Thomas who’s considered a frontrunner for the school superintendent job) is going to do anything unexpected like pulling out of the race. And neither is County Commissioner Brad Anders, who also has been mulling the prospect for a good long while. The disturbance in the field could come from a different direction altogether. And if it happens, it’ll hit like a vertical pile driver. And yeah, that’s a cheap shot, but it’s almost irresistible. So get ready. You’ll be hearing a lot of wrestling metaphors if Glenn Jacobs gets into this race. But it won’t be Kane, the swaggering, choke slamming WWE superstar Glenn Jacobs who’ll (maybe) enter the Republican Primary where local races are decided (although that would be the most fun anybody’s had in local politics since the late Arnold “Burpsey” Zandi used to run for City Council). Nope. The candidate would be the soft-spoken, insurance agency owning, small government-loving, anti-bullying crusader who holds an English degree and loves to talk about education and economic theory and brag about his family (both his daughters are registered nurses). About the only thing Jacobs and his WWE alter ego have in common is the massive, athletic physique. Jacobs stands 6-8 and weighs 300 pounds. He played football and basketball at Northeast Missouri State – now Truman University – and jokes that he led the league in offensive fouls. A knee injury forced him to reorder his priorities. “What do you do with an English degree? I’d planned to become a teacher, but I’d always been a casual fan of wrestling. …”

Betty Bean The Jacobs Insurance Agency in Halls is a community champion in the Kindness Revolution, a nonprofit organization with the lofty goal of promoting dignity, respect and kindness, which means that Jacobs spends a lot of time visiting schools and handing out rubber wristbands to kids who get caught doing something nice. This obviously suits him fine, because he’s keenly interested in education and believes more attention should be paid to Career Technical Education (formerly known as vocational education ). He gets his hair cut by the cosmetology teacher at Gibbs High School. He considers himself a libertarian conservative/Republican and is an admirer of the low tax, high accessibility, small government philosophy of Tim Burchett, the officeholder he hopes to succeed. “My view is, let’s just all get along, and not concentrate on our differences. I’ve been all around the world, and without fail, the vast majority of folks just want a decent life for themselves and their families. I think what happens is we allow our differences to get in the way.” He said he will make a decision by early April. “I’m leaning toward running,” he said. “I’m getting a good response. I think people are tired of career politicians and I think they want someone who has a different perspective and fresh ideas who is one of them. Hopefully as they learn more about me, they’ll realize that it’s not just that this guy is a relatively famous entertainer. He’s really just one of us. “I believe in my neighbors and civil society and private enterprise to get things done. Those are the people – not the politicians.”

Meet the ‘supers’ The school board will host a community meet and greet with superintendent finalists on Tuesday, March 7, at West High School, 3300 Sutherland Ave.Doors will open at 5 p.m. The event will be televised live on KCS-TV Comcast Channel 10 and on

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FULTON HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND The Fulton High School Marching Band Boosters are holding their Spring Craft Fair 2017 at the Fountain City Lions Club in the Fountain City Park area. We would love for you to come out and support the vendors as well as the high school marching band. We will have tons of different vendors and the boosters will be selling food. Tons of great things will be going on. Come and check it out!


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A-8 • March 1, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

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The legacy lives, expands and now has llamas

Runners get their llamas going in last year’s Great Llama Race for Casa de Sara. The 2017 race will be Oct. 7.

Sara, the young Mexican girl on the beach, that tattooed itself on Lori’s heart.” By Sherri Gardner Howell Casa de Sara was born out of that If you live in the Knoxville area, you’ve chance meeting, which wasn’t chance at probably heard the story: A chance meet- all, believes Santoro, but fate. A burning ing between a 4-year-old child struggling desire to help has never left her, and Casa to sell trinkets on a beach in Acapulco and a de Sara, now a 501(c)3 organization that young Knoxville woman just out of college provides education and opportunities and on vacation; a taxi ride to “the other for at-risk children and families in both side of the mountain, where Lori Santoro Latin America and the greater Knoxville saw the poverty and hopelessness the child area, has stayed true to a mission to help called home; a cherished photograph of individuals and their communities for 17

years. Casa de Sara began with the objective of helping to assist orphanages and institutions caring for abandoned children. It is now so much more. ■■ Early Education Escuelitas (little schools) are designed to reach and meet the needs of children in highly impoverished communities, currently in Latin America. The school is run and staffed by local personnel, providing jobs for those in the community. The schools have field trips, sports and participate in local events as a regular

part of the school day. Special attention is given to each child’s health care issues, nutrition and individual needs. The school provides breakfast, lunch, snack and daily vitamins for students and staff. ■■ Extracurricular Education Casa de Sara/Hispanic Children’s Education Fund provides regular health care education outreach programs to highly impoverished communities and schools. There are also summer school programs for children ages 4 to 17 in English, dance, soccer, karate and art. To page 2

HOPE... Is a Powerful thing! It Can Change Lives and Make a Difference. It is the confident expectation of Good. The Mission of Hope is an Appalachian Relief Ministry serving very depressed rural communities. Our Back To School Program provides new Backpacks and School Supplies to 28 rural Elementary Schools. We also take new Clothing, Toys and Food items to the same Schools with our Christmas Program. Realizing education is imperative to breaking the cycle of poverty, we also provide Scholarships to 13 rural High Schools, Alice Lloyd College and Lincoln Memorial University. We assist throughout the year with Resource Distribution through over 50 Mountain Ministry Centers in rural Appalachian Communities. We build much needed handicap ramps. We also serve healthcare needs, partnering with Rural Healthcare Clinics. Being a ministry, we’re also privileged to give out Bibles and Tracts and our Prayers. We welcome your help as we strive to serve those in dire need in rural Appalachia.

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• March 1, 2017 • Shopper news

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opportunity for a full life.

Learn more!

Country artist Easton Corbin adds his handprint to the Alzheimer’s Tennessee “AlzStar Hall of Fame” after his performance at the Kickoff for the 27th Annual Knoxville Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk coming up Sunday April 9, at the University of Tennessee Gardens.

Corbin tunes up in preparation for the Kickoff luncheon for the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk.

Alzheimer’s Tennessee: Step up to join the fight By Sherri Gardner Howell

If this year holds true to the momentum that has been growing for the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk, 1,500-plus will line up to walk at the University of Tennessee Gardens on Sunday, April 9. It is Alzheimer’s Tennessee’s largest event. It will be filled with celebrities, music, laughter, food, door prizes, pets and stories. So many stories. Everywhere you turn at the fun-filled and fundraising-focused event you find someone who has been touched by the disease. With every story, the reason for participation is clear: They are here to fight. Country music sensation Easton Corbin kicked off the event last week at a luncheon. He had a personal story to tell about his great-grandfather. It was his motivation “to get involved in the fight against Alzheimer’s dis-

ease,” said Corbin. Songwriter, singer and banjo player Ashley Campbell is set to be on stage as the AlzStar of the 2017 Knoxville Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk. Her father, legendary singer Glen Campbell, is living with Alzheimer’s disease. Courtney Fulmer Peace and Jennie Scruggs Johnson are cochairpersons of the 27th annual walk. Courtney recently lost her grandmother Nannie Lee Fulmer after a long battle with the disease. Jennie’s family has been hit hard by the disease. She has lost a grandmother and has a mother and brother who are living with the disease and a related disease today. Even when you subtract the second-degree of separation stories – the hundreds who felt like family to the late Pat Summitt – there are still so many stories of families and loved ones battling

the dreaded disease. Between today and April 9, those walkers will not only be lacing up sneakers to train, they will be scouring the city for financial supporters. Donating can be done easily on the website: www. Teams, which can be any size and include family, friends, church members, colleagues and neighbors, are being formed along with individual walkers. If April 9 doesn’t work, there is a Maryville walk on April 29 and an Oak Ridge Walk on May 20. Registration will begin at 2 p.m., with opening ceremonies starting at 2:30. The Walk steps off at 3:30 and will be finished by 4:30 p.m. Be on the front line with honorary chairpersons Coach Phillip Fulmer and the Fulmer family, Champions for the Cause Beth Haynes, Russell Biven, Ed Rupp and WIVK’s Gunner. Do-

ing the Walk itself is optional, and there are two routes: a short/ symbolic route and longer greenway one that’s approximately 1½ miles. Join the fun. Listen to the stories and tell your story. Add your support to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. On March 21, Alzheimer’s Tennessee will highlight the support and education part of its mission with the Caring and Coping Caregiver Workshop. The workshop, which will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Concord United Methodist Church, offers support and strategies for family and professional caregivers. “There’s no question this workshop is worth gold to anyone who needs to know what the next step is supposed to be. You get all sorts of guidance, and concern for the caregiver,” says Jay Riegel, who cared for his wife with Alzheim-

er’s disease. “It was helpful to find answers – especially for legal questions.” Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Cost is $25 for family caregivers and $45 for healthcare professionals (CEU credits are available). The fee includes materials, lunch and refreshments. For more information or to sign up, call Alzheimer’s Tennessee at 865-544-6288 or visit Alzheimer’s Tennessee is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to coordinating support groups and resource referrals, educating family and professional caregivers and offering financial assistance. Alzheimer’s Tennessee has been providing area services, advocating for the cause and funding research since 1983. Visit, or call 865-544-6288 or statewide toll-free 888-326-9888.

Casa de Sara

From page 1 ■■ College Scholarships

Lori Santoro talks with some of the children in a Casa de Sara escuelita (little school) in Bolivia.

The “Sarita” program allows young women (late teens to early 20s) living in poverty to work in the Casa de Sara schools as teacher’s aides. Through this opportunity, the girls learn a trade, build their resumes and earn a salary. The young women also receive a college or technical school scholarship. Casa de Sara also provides scholarships to young men who are eligible. ■■ Health Care The Hispanic Children’s Education Fund provides periodic health care clinics and health care seminars for children and adults. These clinics typically provide vision, pediatric, gynecological and dental care. ■■ Nutrition The children in the schools often eat very little outside of the school, and what they do eat is lacking in nourishment. Casa de Sara provides a well-rounded and nutritious breakfast, lunch and a snack to all students in the Escuelita, as well as iron supplements and parasite treatment to all students. ■■ Knoxville programs Needs here at home have also hit Casa de Sara’s radar. A partnership with the Boy

Scouts at Northwest Middle School brings mentorship and teaches building skills to at-risk youth. The program engages youth in building gazebos and then donating them to needed spaces throughout the community. Hopes are to expand the program to other communities. There is also a Christmas for Kids program at Sarah Moore Greene Elementary and a college scholarship award given to a West High School student each year. ■■ Fundraising Of all the ideas for fundraising, Casa de Sara’s main event just seems to fit the organization like a glove. The Great Llama Race is a foot race where local celebrities are paired with a Knoxville school and a llama from Southeast Llama Rescue. The race is run in heats and first, second and third place winners are announced after the championship heat. The winning schools receive a percentage of funds raised to go to a project of their choice, with the remainder going to Casa de Sara. Other activities include vendors, food, entertainers, music, crafts and games, a children’s section, interaction with llamas and more. The 2017 event on Oct. 7 will be the fourth year for the Great Llama Race. Keep up with the adventure at Sponsors are still needed.

Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • my-3

Mild weather calls for outdoor seating in KARM’s courtyard. The organization serves 1,000 meals a day to the city’s homeless population. Photo submitted

‘It all starts with a meal’

KARM was begun by a group of pastors homeless population. “We’d like to reduce that to one,” says RenBy Carol Z. Shane “If you do what you’ve always done, fro, and additional methods are constantly Let’s start with the familiar: the stores. and businessmen in 1960 under the name Dotted around town and popular with fans “Knoxville Union Rescue Mission” as a you’re going to get what you’ve always got- being explored. KARM receives no direct federal or state of frugal style, each location sports four homeless shelter for men. Over the years, ten!” says Renfro. “Our job is to help break bright letters that stand for Knox Area Res- as the homeless population grew to include the cycle of homelessness. And we have a funding, yet manages to serve 1,000 meals women, children and whole families, the new motto: ‘Prove Roger Wrong!’” a day and provide close to 400 beds or cue Ministries. She’s referring to retired UT professor of transitional housing situations daily. With “KARM stores are our partner,” says Sue organization changed its name, established Renfro, director of marketing and commu- its nonprofit status and expanded its ser- social work Dr. Roger Nooe, whose research a background in media marketing, Renfro shows that it usually takes three bouts of has been on board since 2010, and finds nications for the organization. “They help vices. Along with all that goes continued re- homelessness before the cycle is broken. that her long-established relationships with to financially support the ministry.” You local area news outlets is invaluable. She’s search into new methods of helping the probably already proud of the careknow that every two fully curated stores, dollars spent at a where she says, “we KARM store buys a only offer the best,” meal for a homeless and is grateful for all person. What you donations, includmay not know is that ing that of time. “We one meal can be the have such a wonderstart of a whole new ful base of volunlife. teers.” “One of our And it really does mottos is ‘Rescue all start with that Plus Relationships one meal. Equals Restora“You really can’t tion,’” says Renfro. profile the homeless. “And it all starts From health situwith a meal.” ations that drain a Getting food into family’s finances, an empty belly and to mental illness, a bed beneath a tired divorce, job loss, body is part of the addiction – every“rescue” phase, says one’s story is unique. Renfro. Then, after a Being across from stabilization period, someone in a serving there’s a “circling line, if you take the around” the hometime to listen, you less person to create find out that they are a support system of not much different relationships, and than you are. We are guidance toward all the same. And we whatever he or she are all very talented may need – say, an and gifted.” addiction recovery To support group or job trainKARM, visit karm. ing. Eventually, it org/donate or call is hoped, the cycle 865-633-7675. If of homelessness is you’d like to volunbroken and replaced teer, log on to karm. with a restored, proCarolyn Tomlinson, Caleb McDaniel, Elizabeth Dukes, Keisy Calderone and Sam Mitchell enjoy working together for the greater good at the Far- org/volunteer. ductive life. ragut KARM store. Mitchell says her job as assistant merchandising manager is “to make the store look pretty.” Photo by Carol Z. Shane


• March 1, 2017 • Shopper news

JOIN US! Make Alzheimer’s a Memory!

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 • 8:00AM-3:30PM

Concord United Methodist Church • 11020 Roane Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934 Caregivers for those facing Alzheimer's and related dementias often feel overwhelmed and alone. Alzheimer's Tennessee offers this opportunity to learn important skills and strategies for caring and coping.

SUNDAY: April 9, 2017

University of Tennessee Gardens (off Neyland Drive)

•Practical Dementia Care Strategies that Work •Dementia and the Law: What You Need to Know •An Overview of Alzehimer's Disase Care and Treatment $25 Family Caregivers • $45 Healthcare Professionals (6 CEUs) • Lunch Provided


Coach Fulmer

AlzStar Ashley Campbell Glen Campbell’s Daughter

Champion for the Cause


Register: • (865) 544-6288

Sign up online:


Mission of Hope executive director Emmette Thompson is happily surrounded by Oneida, Tenn., sixth- through eighth-graders who plan to stay in school. Their “Pledge to Graduate” ceremony includes a motivational speech by Black Oak Baptist Church youth minister Crestin Burke, who uses the biblical story of David and Goliath as a way to help the kids put challenges in perspective. “David didn’t slay the giant right away,” says Burke. “He first faced a lion, then a bear.”

Mission of Hope keeps kids in school By Carol Z. Shane

kids young, in their own communities, and encouraging them to If there’s one thing Mission of Hope (MOH) operations assistant finish high school. “When it comes Laura Peck knows about increas- to breaking the cycle of poverty,” ing poor children’s chances in life, she says, “the answer is almost alit’s the importance of catching ways education.”

She’s just come off a day trip with MOH executive director Emmette Thompson to Burchfield Elementary School in Oneida, Tenn., where they attended the “Pledge to Graduate” ceremony.

Contact Care Line: Listening to those who need help By Sherri Gardner Howell “Can we talk?” was the iconic catchphrase of the late Joan Rivers, legendary comedian. The real question being asked – not only by Rivers but most who ask it – isn’t about talking. It’s a question of listening. Contact Care Line volunteers know how to listen. The trained volunteers and personnel with Contact listen seven days a week. They listen with trained ears, with compassion and with an arsenal of helpful resources close at hand. And there is much to hear. Every year, Contact volunteers field more than 10,000 calls from people who need a listening ear. The volunteers are not there to offer advice, but to help the callers sort through their own story with warmth and empathy and develop their own personal insights. With an up-to-date working knowledge of the community resources available for all kinds of situations – from crisis management to personal and family needs to suicide prevention – the volunteers have help for the callers who need more than a listening ear. Contact Care Line provides critical support services for nine East Tennessee counties in the 865 area code. And sometimes, it’s Contact volunteers who are doing the calling. In addition to the Crisis Line, Contact offers active listening workshops and Reassurance, a program for seniors who need a daily call to check on their safety and well-being. Reassurance is getting a needed boost, thanks to the generosity of an Oak Ridge contractor. “We have just learned we received a grant from Consolidated Nuclear Security Y-12 to help promote and relaunch

our Reassurance program,” says Contact Care Line executive director Bruce Marshall. “The need is there, and we have quietly been doing what we could with existing resources, but this grant will allow us to advertise and expand the program to serve more people. We are hoping to reach out to the community and to churches to find more volunteers.” It was a collaboration of ministers from the Oak Ridge Ministerial Association who laid the groundwork for Contact in 1972. Training classes were held in 1973 and 400 people of all faiths signed up to be trained. When the first volunteer answered that first call on Nov. 3, 1973, a mission was born. Over the years, Contact joined with more than 160 crisis centers across the country to form the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and is presently the only Lifeline call center in East Tennessee. Lifeline is open 24 hours a day, with Contact workers covering 12 of those hours each day. A way to help Contact is happening this weekend. Buy tickets today to the annual Bursting the Blues Gala, an evening of dinner, auctions, a balloon pop for gift cards and live music on Saturday, March 4, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Oak Ridge. Jimmy Logston will provide live music in a variety of genres. The silent auction offers a variety of treasures including a gourmet meal for 14 guests, hotel stays, wine and sports memorabilia. All those who purchase a balloon for a modest donation will be rewarded with a gift card from a local business when the balloon is popped. Tickets are $50 and available at Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Students from the sixth through eighth grades, which are included in the school, had previously signed forms promising to “stick” until they receive a high school diploma. They were presented lami-

nated copies of those forms with their signatures, along with blue rubber bracelets which read, “I have HOPE!! I Will Graduate High School.” To page 5

Second Harvest:

Fighting Hunger in East Tennessee It seems clichéd to say it: No one in America should be hungry. In the most affluent nation in the world, where farmers still produce more food coast-to-coast than any other country and with food manufacturing accounting for more than $730 billion annually, why should anyone go to bed hungry? Connecting the dots between facts and stats and reality draws a different picture. The reality is that one in five people in East Tennessee live in poverty, and one in four children in our community are at risk of going hungry today. In a region of 18 East Tennessee counties, 200,000 people are at risk of hunger. Second Harvest Food Bank is East Tennessee’s largest hunger-relief charity; operating programs in those 18 counties, striving to help get food to those at risk. The food bank secures and distributes over 18 million pounds of food and grocery products annually through a network of over 500 partnering nonprofit organizations such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and schools. If your heart is touched by those with an empty stomach, chances are good Second Harvest has touched you. Local food pantries, soup kitchens, schools and churches count on Second Harvest to keep their pantries and cupboards stocked so they can do the good work they do. On average, more than 75 percent of all food distributed by a church or a community pantry in East Tennessee comes from Second Harvest. Partnership is key at Second Harvest. With schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations, Second Harvest helps operate local community feeding programs. If

none is available, Second Harvest delivers food directly to clients. Programs reach every demographic in every corner of East Tennessee. Listen to organizations such as FISH, the Salvation Army, Open Arms, Western Heights, New Life, Community Food Connection, Appalachian Outreach, Volunteer Ministry Center and hundreds of others to hear praise for Second Harvest. So, how does Second Harvest bring in the “harvest”? Approximately 35 percent of the product is purchased at the request of nonprofit organizations. Items are purchased at bulk rate and at brokered discounts. The majority of food comes from donations of fresh, canned, prepared and packaged items by local grocers, restaurants, manufacturers, distributors and through food drives. This food is often time-sensitive, damaged or seasonal. All donated product must be inspected and often reworked or repackaged, often by volunteers. The majority of donated items are delivered directly to other nonprofits, for free, through various programs. Shelf-stable product that requires re-work and storage is available for nonprofit partners at a rate of 1 to 19 cents per pound. That is a typical savings of $1.47 per pound versus retail. With numbers that would make any nonprofit proud, Second Harvest spends less than 1 percent of budget on administrative expenses, 3.4 percent on fundraising and 95.7 percent on operating its hunger-relief programs. Grassroots support is vital to Second Harvest. Look for the logo. Support the cause. Put your volunteer efforts and support behind fighting hunger in your community.

Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • my-5 When Gary Harmon stands before his audience, he is different from other speakers. Potential Speaking Topics

Businesses and groups have appreciated Gary’s ability to adapt his message to meet their specific needs and address individual issues. However, here are some topics to consider:

Are you interested in learning more about disability ministry? Would you like to volunteer with a ministry outreach, or help your church develop a Sunday school program for children affected by disability? Perhaps you have a disability, or know someone who does.

CONTACT US AT Joni and Friends at 865-540-3860 or KN-1491124

Clown Nancy Scott from First Baptist Concord provides a “stay in school!” cheer. She’s joined by Oneida Elementary School principal Tonya Crabtree, who went to the school herself. “You don’t know how much our kids need to hear this,” she says. Photos submitted

“The response I hear over and over again after he came, was that we needed to make sure and have him back to speak to our children. Everyone can benefit by what he has to offer. His take on dealing with limitations in life is unique. And his message is compelling.” - Rev. Drew Prince West Hills Baptist Church

Disabilities • Accepting People with Disabilities • School • Church • Workplace • Etiquette • Removing Barriers Diversity Accepting people with different ethnic religious, and political backgrounds in schools, churches, and in the workplace.

To Make a Difference in Your Organization Contact Gary Today:;

At the fall 2016 ceremony, a young student of middleschool age signs a pledge to graduate from high school. “Most of the time, when the kids do well, they come back to help their communities,” says Thompson.

Mission of Hope “Those kids were just clutching those contracts and looking up at us,” says Peck. “I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it. When you see how much it means to them, it’s very moving.” Though the 21-year-old Christian nonprofit is mainly known for its Christmas tradition of delivering toys and household goods to children and families in 28 rural Appalachian communities, MOH works year-round to provide aid and improve people’s lives through what Thompson calls “the blooming tree,” which includes two roots and seven branches. And the first root is “schools.” “There’s a lot of despair in these communities,” he says. “Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize the act of finishing high school as a priority.” During the teen years, some kids begin to drift away. Thompson recalls the heartbreaking case of a young man who had previously committed to graduating, but dropped out with only two months left of his senior year. MOH does everything possible to lessen this self-defeating possibility. Along with the blue bracelets and laminated documents comes a brochure that lays it on the line. “The truth may shock

From page 4 you!” it says. “Graduating from high

school will determine how well you live

Mission of Hope operations assistant Laura Peck and executive director Emmette Thompson are all charged up to visit the students at Oneida Elementary School.

for the next 50 years of your life. High school graduates earn $143 more per WEEK than high school dropouts. That’s $7436 more a year! Over 50 years, that’s $371,800! The key to your future is graduation!” The MOH “blooming tree” also includes such “branches” as day-to-day resources, aid with home construction projects, college scholarships, school supplies and evangelism. “There’ll never be anything we bring them on a truck that’s as important as knowing God loves them and Jesus is their greatest hope,” says Thompson. Right now, MOH is in dire need of volunteers who can work in the warehouse during weekly business hours. Some volunteer work calls for lifting, so “strong backs are always appreciated,” laughs Thompson. “If we were a business, our widget – the thing we manufacture – would be compassion,” he says. “We give ’em hope. We’re in the hope business.” If you’d like to volunteer or otherwise support MOH, visit or call 865-584-7571.

Komen turns big guns on cancer On March 24, Susan G. Komen East Tennessee will host its fourth annual Shoot for a Cure sporting clay tournament at Chilhowee Sportsman’s Club. Many are familiar with Komen’s October Race for a Cure in Knoxville, but there are additional fundraisers, like Shoot for a Cure, throughout the year that help the organization raise the funds needed to support the Community Grants Program and fund the research that will find the cures. Beyond providing funding for mammograms for the uninsured through grantees like UT

Medical Center’s mobile mammography unit and the local county health department’s breast and cervical program, Komen East Tennessee also helps to ease the financial burdens for those fighting breast cancer by raising and granting money to community organizations that provide patient assistance. “When going through treatments, patients shouldn’t have to worry about the financial burdens that come with their costly treatments, travel to those treatments and missed work,” said executive director Amy Dunaway.

Komen East Tennessee serves 24 counties funding mammograms, patient assistance and providing education on breast cancer warning signs to help end late stage diagnosis. There are many ways that community members and businesses can help support Komen’s mission. Participating in or sponsoring events like Shoot for a Cure or Race for a Cure are great ways to be involved. Komen East Tennessee also has a BBQ & Auction event in August and Dine Out for the Cure in October. You could also host an event of your

own that benefits Komen East Tennessee. “Community events make a difference in the services, education and financial support we are able to provide in our community. Your event can be as simple as donating a percentage of sales, or you can plan your own stand-alone event,” said director of special events Lauren Chesney. To sign up for Shoot for the Cure or find more information on how to be involved with Susan G. Komen East Tennessee, visit www.komeneasttennessee. org.


• March 1, 2017 • Shopper news

Thank You for 35 Years of Support!

To learn how to become more involved with Komen East TN visit Join us! March 24, 2017 at Chilhowee Sportman’s Club Register online today!


Visit or call 521-0000 to make a donation.

Our vision: A world without breast cancer.

Emerald Youth Foundation: Changing hearts in inner city By Sherri Gardner Howell Emerald Youth Foundation President and CEO Steve Diggs had occasion to do a little soul-searching recently after a lunch with fellow Emerald Youth leaders and supporters. Just where has the organization landed since the late 1980s when the idea began as a summer outreach program of Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church? Diggs found much to point to with pride – and a menu of exciting challenges for the years ahead. “What began as a small outreach of Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church in North Knoxville has grown to include locations throughout our city,” Diggs reflected in a foundation newsletter. “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.” The mission “to raise up a large number of urban youth to love Jesus Christ and become effective leaders who help renew their communities” can be seen daily in the foundation-sponsored programs, in the relationships being forged and in the impact Emerald youth have in their communities and on their peers. There is a sense of community, a spirit of collaboration, an atmosphere of accountability and a whole lot of fun at Emerald Avenue. Programs such as Lead are implemented through urban neighborhood churches in a JustLead Network. The youth leadership program provides a safe place for young people to learn and have fun, offers training, mentoring and conferencing opportunities for church and youth leaders and has ready resources and curriculum for youth development programs. In addition, JustLead is an advocate on behalf of urban youth and their families when sensitive or community issues arise. JustLead also includes an afterschool component for elementary and middle

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school students that provides tutoring, homework help, field trips, service-learning opportunities and instruction in health, fitness and nutrition. Biggs, however, also looked ahead at the challenges and needs as Emerald Youth Foundation moves forward. “There is still much to be done,” he said. “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.” Community support is crucial for Emerald Youth Foundation to meet goals and continue to serve. For ways to help, contact the foundation, located at 1718 N. Central Street, at 637-3227 or visit the website:

Joni and Friends:

Reaching out to the Disability Community Even God’s most compassionate people can hit a brick wall when there is a lack of understanding. Perhaps that is why less than 10 percent of East Tennesseans with disabilities regularly attend church. Joni and Friends wants to change that number. For more than 35 years – 15 years in Knoxville – the nonprofit founded by Joni Eareckson Tada has been working to prepare, equip and support churches to reach out to the disability community. This outreach takes several forms and is individualized according to the needs of the church staff and congregation, explains Alexa Carroll at Joni and Friends. “Our main focus it to help churches physically, emotionally and educationally to reach out to and respond to those affected by disability. We find the desire is almost always there, and the drive to make it happen follows quickly. Education on just how to do it is usually all that’s needed.” Sometimes that can be as simple as teaching staff some “disability etiquette” to help them feel comfortable and know how to interact with their disabled population. With resource material such as “Start with Hello,” “Same Lake, Different Boat,” and “Autism and Your Church” readily available, Joni and Friends staff can put together training sessions or one-on-one meetings with key staff. Once training has been held, Carroll says churches may begin by offering a class for children with disabilities or hold a respite night for parents and caregivers. In addition to church relations, Joni and

Friends still actively supports its signature wheelchair program. Used wheelchairs are collected by the Chairs Corps and transported to correctional facilities across the U.S. to be restored to like-new condition by inmates. After wheelchairs have been restored, they are shipped to countries like Guatemala, China, Cuba, Romania, Ghana, Thailand and India. They are distributed through the International Ministry Outreaches and also through the Harvest Project program. An important focus for Joni and Friends is to provide wheelchairs for children in these countries. Since 1992, Wheels for the World has given more than 100,000 wheelchairs to those affected by disability. The goal is to hit another 100,000 by 2020. Back at home, summer camp is on the horizon. Joni and Friends is sponsoring a family retreat for adults and children with disabilities and their families. Held at Fort Bluff Camp, just six miles northwest of Dayton, Tenn., the camp will include activities such as swimming, fishing, giant water slide, volleyball, ping pong, miniature golf and more. Adults and children with disabilities and their families will enjoy the beauty and comfort of the Brown Deer Lodge, complete with a microwave and a refrigerator in each room. Scholarships are available for those who need them. The camp will be July 16-20. Contact Joni and Friends for more information. Website:; local phone: 865-540-3860. Jim Cashwell is area director.

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