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History Club ➤ VOL. 56 NO. 13 |

Egg Hunts

■■ Sharon Baptist Church will host an egg hunt 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, for preschool through fifth grade. Bring your baskets and a friend for food, candy, fun and the Easter story at 7916 Pedigo Road. Info: sharonknoxville. com or 865-938-7075. ■■ Ebenezer Methodist Church Community Spring Festival, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, April 2, 1001 Ebenezer Road. Free. Egg hunt, petting zoo, balloon animals, magic shows, live music. ■■ Fountain City egg hunt, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 8, Fountain City Park: 9:30 a.m., ages 6-8; 10:15 a.m., ages 3-5; 11 a.m., walking to 2 years; 11:45 a.m., ages 9-12. Free and open to the public. Bring Easter basket. Event includes: the Easter Bunny, vendor booths, food truck spaces. Info: info@ ■■ River View Family Farm 6th annual spring event, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, at 12130 Prater Lane, Farragut. Plenty to see and do down on the farm, including an egg hunt. ■■ Powell, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, Powell Station Park on Emory Road adjacent to the high school. Communitywide event includes prizes, live animals, free refreshments. Info: ■■ Gulf Park Easter Egg Hunt, 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at 528 Pensacola Road (off Cedar Bluff Road). Free. The hunt will begin at 3 p.m. Open to the public. Don’t forget your basket. ■■ Big Ridge State Park, Saturday, April 15, rain or shine. Schedule: 10 a.m., 2 years and younger; 10:30 a.m., 3-4 years old; 1 p.m., 5-7 years old; 1:30 p.m., 8-10 years old. Bring a basket and meet at the Park Office. Info: 865-9925523 ■■ UT Gardens Wild Bird Eggstravaganza, 10 a.m-2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, UT Gardens, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive. Cost: $8 per child. Learn about wild birds and how to feed them. Families will learn how to attract birds to their home garden and create natural spring-inspired crafts. All kids will leave with two bird feeders, a seed dispersal craft to attract wild birds, a bird seed mix catering to your favorite backyard birds’ favorite foods and young seedling that can grow to attract and feed birds in your garden. Hunt for 3,000 eggs in the garden. Don’t forget your basket! The Easter Bunny will also be “hopping” to get his picture taken with you. Preregistration is required at ■■ Submit your egg hunt to

NEWS Sandra Clark – 865-661-8777 Sarah Frazier – 865-342-6622 ADVERTISING SALES 865-342-6084 Amy Lutheran | Patty Fecco Beverly Holland | Mary Williamson CIRCULATION 844-900-7097

Bunny time in

Laura Bailey is surrounded by bunnies, donated as prizes for the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt sponsored at Powell Station Park by the Powell Business and Professional Association. Reserve the time: Saturday, April 15, starting at 1 p.m.

Beaver Creek: Connecting the dots By Sandra Clark

The East Tennessee Community Design Center is drawing plans for public access points to connect Beaver Creek from Halls to Powell under the direction of the Legacy Parks Foundation. Wayne Blasius, executive director of the Design Center, spoke to the Halls Business & Professional Association last week about the work underway. A portion of the cost was contributed by the business associations of Halls and Powell, HBPA and PBPA. The project’s technical volunteer is landscape architect Trey Benefield, a principal with Benefield Richters - Design + Build Company, with offices on Union Avenue downtown. Blasius could not define a timeline, but said afterward, “It is neat how all the north

Knox projects are like dots being connected.” The ET Community Design Center is also working on low-impact development plans for Collier Preserve, adjacent to the Powell Branch Library on Emory Road, and for façade improvements for Historic Powell Station. Founded in 1970 by architect Bruce McCarty, the design center is a nonprofit membership organization that matches volunteer professionals with community groups to help design and plan community projects. These rough designs are then used by the community groups to raise funds to implement the plans. The center serves Knox and the other 16 counties of the East Tennessee Development District. The center has three full- and three parttime staff and has coordinated over 1,000 projects since its founding. “Our staff orga-

By Sandra Clark Last week’s story about legislation introduced by state Rep. Rick Staples implied a problem with drinking water in public schools since Staples wants to require school systems to test it. His bill (HB0631) was scheduled to be heard by the House Education & Administrative Planning subcommittee on Tuesday, March 28. Meanwhile, we checked with state and local agencies to clarify the current status of school water, especially in schools built before June 19, 1986, when the federal lead ban took effect. Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson Shelley Walker refused to comment on pending legislation. Russ Oaks, chief operating officer for Knox County Schools, said the local system has been proactive in testing water.

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nizes the work (including public input sessions) and the technical professionals work pro bono,” Blasius said. He discussed how the old Oakwood School was restored as Oakwood Senior Living. A current project involves Broadway Carpet. The business, a former car dealership, donated a portion of its parking lot as a public park, so the design center is helping design the park and provide façade redesign for the business itself to be consistent with citysponsored improvements underway on the Broadway Corridor. Blasius estimated the community gets $23 in benefits for each $1 spent from his center’s $360,000 annual budget. “Our work has an effect on economic development, public health and communities.” Photo on page A-3

Knox County Schools already tests for safe water

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March 29, 2017


“Working with Knoxville Utilities Board in 2007, we surveyed all schools and remediated as required.” KUB tested water samples from schools in its service area and KCS hired a private lab to test samples from other water districts. “Some marginal readings came back,”

Thomas is new super Contract negotiations are underway between Bob Thomas and the Knox County Board of Education, after the board’s unanimous selection of Thomas as the district’s next superintendent of schools. He will reBob Thomas place Buzz Thomas (no relation), who served as interim superintendent for a year.

but nothing involving pipes. Remediation included replacing a faucet or water cooler. “Recognizing this isn’t static, we can have deterioration over time, (KCS) decided to test water regularly,” Oaks said. Twenty percent of schools are tested annually, meaning every school will

be tested every five years. Oaks said school staff pull 10 samples at each school, focusing on drinking water. So is the water safe? “Our (testing) actions are proactive and prudent. Everywhere we check, we ensure that it’s safe. KUB has been great working with us,” Oaks said.

Buzz Thomas will return to his role as director of Great Schools Partnership. Bob Thomas is a longtime Fountain City resident whose wife, Beckye Justice Thomas, was choral director at Central High School. Their son, Brandon, graduated from Central High School and UT. Bob Thomas taught at Bearden and Rule high schools. He has been an assistant superintendent since 1990.

board in May. The rezoning will take effect in August 2018 as new middle schools at Hardin Valley and Gibbs are opened. The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at Holston Middle School and Tuesday, April 11, at Hardin Valley Academy. The draft plan is available at It adjusts zones for Farragut, Karns, Holston, Carter, Vine and South-Doyle middle schools, while allowing rising eighth-grade students and their siblings currently enrolled in middle school to apply to be “grandfathered” at their existing school.

Rezoning meetings KCS will hold two public meetings to discuss the plan for middle school rezoning before it goes to the school

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A-2 • MArch hoPPer -NewSShopper news arch 29, 29,2017 2017 •• PPowell owellS/N orwood

health & lifestyles

The woman in the mirror After bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, sometimes the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure to those who have the procedure. “I can paint my toenails, girlfriend!” Tiara-Lady Wilson says with a laugh as she pulls her feet up into the chair to sit crosslegged. “And look what I can do now!” Wilson is an energetic woman with an infectious laugh and a positive attitude. It’s the same attitude that has helped her succeed in life, even winning the title of Miss Tennessee State University in 1998. It’s also the same attitude that has sustained her through years of medical problems that caused her to gain 100 pounds. Wilson began taking medications for pain and weakness from musculoskeletal issues and after receiving a diagnosis as bipolar when she was in graduate school. Later, she was found to have gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, but her blood sugar went back to normal until she was prescribed steroids for some fresh issues with pain. Steroids raised her blood sugar level, and diabetes reared its ugly head. Additional thyroid problems made a perfect storm for significant weight gain. “The weight just ballooned,”

she says. “I watched my body literally morph in front of me.” The woman in the mirror, once confident in her skin and comfortable with her size, became someone Wilson hardly recognized. “I describe it as ‘that other woman,’ and I didn’t like what I saw,” Wilson says. It was particularly frustrating because Wilson was eating natural and healthy foods. Sure, she had occasional snacks, but she wasn’t one to overdo. “I didn’t get it, because I wasn’t eating doughnuts, I wasn’t eating (chips), I wasn’t doing these things that you normally think people are doing when they’re gaining weight,” Wilson says. In October of 2013 she stepped on the scales and weighed in at 313 pounds. She was mortified. “I was miserable, and when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t seeing who I knew God created me to be,” Wilson says. On the inside, she could feel diabetes shutting her body

down. “I was sticking myself 10 times a day to give myself insulin or to check my blood sugar,” Wilson says. “Being a diabetic was a job. I was over that.” Wilson describes it as “dying a slow death,” with her children serving as witnesses. She decided she had to take action. “I want to be an active mother,” Wilson says, “I want to dance in the rain; I want to live!” With behavioral therapy classes, a focus on clean eating, and positive thinking, Wilson began to feel better, but she was still morbidly obese and diabetes was still a problem. When Wilson decided to attend a weight loss seminar and heard from bariatric surgeon Jonathan Ray, MD, she had a great feeling about it. She learned the procedure was less expensive than she had previously thought, and the bonus was that the surgery would be performed at Fort Sanders Regional. “I trust Covenant Health, and it made me comfortable that Tiara-Lady Wilson got I was going to be her groove back after at a hospital that weight loss surgery at I trust,” Wilson Fort Sanders Regional says, “and that and even participatthey had partnered ed in a fashion show with doctors who for post-bariatric would be of the patients.

The ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ of bariatric surgery Obesity has become a significant national health issue. Our society is overweight. The foods we eat are often poor choices and can lead to obesity. Morbid obesity, defined as having a BMI over 35 and being at risk for obesity-related health issues, is closely correlated with serious medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery is the answer to the prayers of many who battle obesity and its accompanying issues. Bariatric surgeons Mark Colquitt, MD, and Jonathan Ray, MD, have helped more than 2,200 patients lose close to 200,000 pounds through a combination of

surgical, spiritual and emotional support. The atmosphere at the Center for Bariatric Surgery is one of support and encouragement. Many of our staff members have undergone bariatric surgery and use their experience to help others be successful on their journey. The surgeons offer two main options for their patients: laparoscopic gastric bypass (usually done as a robotic procedure), in which a smaller stomach pouch is created and a portion of the small intestine is rerouted to the pouch; and sleeve gastrectomy, which removes a portion of the stomach and creates a narrower digestive tube. “The safety of bariatric surgery has improved greatly,” Dr.

Colquitt said. “Today, the surgical risk of the procedure is comparable to having a gallbladder removed.” He said in most instances, the patient goes home within 24 hours after surgery. “But in order for bariatric surgery to succeed, people have to commit to making the lifestyle changes to support the choice,” Dr. Colquitt said. Dr. Ray added, “Our team will be there for the patient before and after the procedure. We can get them to the door, but they have to walk through it.” “Our goal is to promote health and wellness and support an obesity-free lifestyle,” they say, “and to help our patients become more productive – and fully engaged in life.”

Learn more about bariatric surgery Register for informational seminars conducted by surgeons from the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery by calling 865-541-BAR1 (2271). See the full seminar schedule at Mar 23 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 11 May 18 May 25

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center LeConte Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Blount County Library Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Classroom 2, Lobby Level Classroom 2, Lobby Level Hospital classrooms Classroom 2, Lobby Level Classroom 2, Lobby Level Dorothy Herron Room Classroom 2, Lobby Level

6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m.

same standard as the doctors I was used to in the Covenant system.” By the day of her surgery, she had lost a total of 56 pounds on her own. While it was an accomplishment to be proud of, she still needed to lose more weight, and she still hadn’t conquered her diabetes. Her surgery was performed in late 2015, and today Wilson has lost about an additional 100 pounds. And she’s most interested in living life and spreading positivity. Wilson has been commissioned as a Stephen Minister at Fort Sanders Regional, providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff at the hospital where she was born, where she was once an employee, and where she had the surgery that changed her life. She’s also created a video blog to share her experiences, and encourage women to be their best and happiest. “For me, this was such a blessing,” Wilson says. “I thank God for Dr. Ray because he gave me the opportunity to live again.” To learn more about bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, visit or call 865-331-BAR1 (2217).

Get to know bariatric surgeon Jonathan Ray, MD Q Where are you from and where did you attend medical school? A I am from Thibodaux, Louisiana, and I attended LSU Medical

School in New Orleans.

Q What types of bariatric surgery do you offer to patients? A At Fort Sanders Regional, we perform Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Lap Band and the Loop Duodenal Switch surgeries.

Jonathan Ray, MD

Q How long have you been doing bariatric surgery? A I started performing bariatric surgery 14 years

ago in Blount County. In 2013, Dr. Mark Colquitt and I joined with Covenant Health to practice at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville.

Q What sort of comprehensive programs does Fort Sanders Regional offer for bariatric patients? A The hospital has the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery, which is accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement. We offer regular education, dietary information, exercise programs, psychological support and support groups with lifelong follow up to help focus on long-term success. Q What is the most rewarding part of being a bariatric surgeon? A I love witnessing the dramatic improvement and resolution of ma-

jor medical issues like diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and overall improvement in the patients’ well-being as well as the weight loss. Seeing patients get excited about life again is very rewarding.

Q How can those interested in making a life change through bariatric surgery learn more? A We offer free bariatric seminars led by a physician two to three times per month at various locations in East Tennessee. More information is also available at

Regional excellence. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is the referral hospital where other facilities send their most complex patients.


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Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-3

‘A good, good life in Powell’

Beaver Creek

From page A-1

In almost 95 years, Margaret Watson has seen a lot of happenings in Historic Powell Station. She’s a great storyteller with considerable wit.

Sandra Clark One problem with last week’s first meeting of the Powell History Club was that folks packed two rooms and most talked at once. There was electricity in the air and potato soup with cornbread on the tables of The Front Porch. Owner Bart Elkins said this was his vision for the restaurant when he opened in the restored Herrell house on Spring Street at Emory Road. He wanted a place where neighbors could gather for a meal and conversation. Bart got so carried away that a kid who had dropped in with her mom said, “He sounds like a preacher.” And the kid was right. He is. So Margaret talked about her family. Her grandfather was born in Powell Station. She was, too, and she still remembers her first phone number: 10. The Groner store was No. 29 and the Gills had No. 5. “The woman who lived in the big (white and red) house on the hill was No. 1.” Watson said Snooks Scarbro’s brother Kenneth liked to read. When he worked the switchboard, he would say, “Line’s busy,” and just hang up if he happened to be at an exciting point in his book. Justin Bailey said his mom, Laura, would ring the switchboard and say, “I need to talk to Daddy,” and Mrs. Scarbro would put the call through to Allan Gill at the water company. Margaret Rhodes and Kenneth Scarbro were about the same age. She graduated from Powell High in 1940 and went on to Carson-Newman College. “I had a good, good life in Powell,” she said with a smile.

Wayne Blasius of the East Tennessee Community Design Center talks with Carl Tindell at the Halls Business & Professional Association’s March meeting.

Margaret Watson talks to the inaugural meeting of the Powell History Club at The Front Porch. At right is Carolyn Jensen. Photo by Ruth White ■■ Mrs. Watson ...

■■ Nashville

Margaret enjoyed Carson-Newman. That’s where she met her husband, Bill. He was a senior who caught her eye. She would watch from her second story balcony as he walked toward the campus for lunch. She would zip across to the lunchroom and take a seat with an empty seat nearby. She would then become engrossed in a textbook until Bill approached and said, “Is this seat taken?” “Why, no,” Margaret would answer. They dated until Bill gave an ultimatum. Marry him before August or the courtship was over. “We got married on July 30, 1944,” Margaret said. “It worked out real well.” She said Bill didn’t want his wife to work, so she never held a regular job. But she volunteered at the school and church; she raised two kids and helped out at the store during the war; she hardly missed the bridge club. She remembers the lovers bench out front at Groner’s store and the horseshoe pits. And now she has outlived Bill and her friends. “The ones I know,” she says, “are already gone.”


Next Wednesday, April 5, Snooks Scarbro and family Carolyn Jensen had members will speak about read about the Powell His- the early phone company. tory Club in the paper. She The meetings are open to remembered Margaret as all – 2-3 p.m. Wednesdays at a volunteer at the YWCA The Front Porch. As a group when Jensen was executive special, Bart Elkins will ofdirector. She didn’t know fer a “pot of something” and until the meeting that Mar- cornbread for $5, or you can garet had also attended Car- order off the menu. son-Newman. Motivated by the energy, ■■ Open Gym Carolyn reminisced about Our friends at Heiskell the time she stayed overUnited Methodist Church, night with husband Tom 9420 Heiskell Road (the forin Nashville. Then a young mer Heiskell School) are oflegislator, Tom shared an fering their gymnasium for apartment with two bachfreestyle basketball every elors, Victor Ashe and RichTuesday during April from ard Krieg. 6-8 p.m. Their require“When they went to work ments: proper footwear and the next morning, I looked kids under 12 accompanied around at the mess and deby an adult. Info: 865-938cided I’d clean the apartment. It was hard work, 5550 and leave message. especially the bathroom, and when I had finished, I ■■ See you Saturday! The Powell Alumni Aswalked into the living room and saw a woman’s coat on sociation meets Saturday the sofa. ‘What’s this?’ I at Jubilee Banquet Facility. It’s too late to reserve dinwondered. “A woman came around ner (although the Mortons the corner and said, ‘Oh, hi! might have a little extra), but the business meeting I’m the cleaning lady.’” starts about 7 p.m. ■■ Next up



■■ Knox North Lions Club. Info: knoxnorthlions.

■■ Books Sandwiched In: “Bad Feminist: Essays” by Roxane Gay, noon Wednesday, March 29, East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St. Discussion led by Dr. Rebecca Klenk, UT Department of Anthropology. Info: 865-215-8801.

■■ Northwest Democratic Club. Info: Nancy Stinnette, 865-688-2160, or Peggy Emmett, 865-687-2161.


■■ Broadacres Homeowners Association. Info: Steven Goodpaster, general

■■ Norwood Homeowners Association. Info: Lynn Redmon, 865-688-3136. ■■ Powell Lions Club. Info:

■■ Knoxville Photo 2017 Exhibition; deadline for entries: Sunday, April 23. Info/entry form/application: knoxville-photo-entry.

Endangered 8 nominations open The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 East Tennessee Endangered 8, a listing of the eight most threatened historic sites in our region. The objective of the list is to inform our communities about the real threat of losing these important sites to development, demolition or lack of maintenance as well as the value of what will be lost if action isn’t taken soon to avoid their destruction. Nominations are due by March 30 and are accepted for sites at least 50 years old and located in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union counties. The 2017 East Tennessee Endangered 8 will be announced May 1 to kick off National Preservation Month. Info/nomination form:


This Wednesday, March 29, Lee Robbins will lead a discussion of the brickyard and early businesses. He’s looking for anyone with stories or pictures to share.

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ket Square. No registration required; everyone invited. Hosted by Helen Ross McNabb Center. Info:; or Houston Smelcer, or 865-329-9119.

■■ “Joint Pain, Don’t Let It Slow You Down,” a free orthopedics seminar presented by Tennova Healthcare. Turkey Creek Medical Center Johnson Conference Center, 10820 Parkside Drive: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, March 29; 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4; 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, May 3; 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. Physicians Regional Medical Center Emerald Room, 930 Emerald Ave.: 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. Register at least one day prior to seminar. Info/registration: or 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682).

■■ Parkinson’s Walk sponsored by PK Hope Is Alive Parkinson Support Group of East Tennessee, 9 a.m. Saturday, April 15, Bissell Park Pavilion in Oak Ridge. Live music, free healthcare info, prizes and more. All donations go to research funding for the seven major Parkinson’s organizations. Info:, specify team: PK Hope Is Alive. ■■ Peninsula Lighthouse Group of Families Anonymous meetings, 6:15-7:15 p.m. each Tuesday, 1451 Dowell Springs Blvd. Newcomers welcome; no dues/fees; no sign-up; first names only. Info: Barbara L., 865-696-6606 or

■■ “Ready, Set, Unite! Walk for Child Abuse Prevention” free community prevention walk and information fair, 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, Mar-

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A-4 • March 29, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

How long are your arms? What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:14-17 NRSV) The faith/works discussion is 2,000 years old, but we still struggle with it. The problem is that having faith is fairly easy. We believe in God, trust in Jesus, and worship regularly and devoutly. However, when the going gets tougher, when we actually have to do something about our faith, take a stand, whether it is popular or not, face opposition or even real danger, what do we do? Pass the buck? Think someone else will fix it? There are children dying now in sub-Saharan Africa, for lack of food. The pictures of these babies will break your heart: Their eyes are large because their cheeks are sunken, their mothers’ eyes are hopeless because they have no food for themselves and precious little for their

SENIOR NOTES ■■ Derby Days Event, 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, Halls Senior Center, 4405 Crippen Road. Info: 865922-0416. ■■ The Heiskell Senior Center, 1708 W. Emory Road. Info: Janice White,

Cross Currents

Lynn Pitts

children. My arms are not long enough to reach every hungry child. My wallet is not full enough to help every person in need. But there are ways to make a difference. Recently, at an intersection I pass every day, there has been a man standing there, holding a sign, asking for food. For various reasons I passed by without stopping. However, the other day, I rolled down my window and told him how to find a place that would help him. He thanked me. I haven’t seen him since.

865-548-0326. ■■ Karns Senior Center, 8042 Oak Ridge Highway. Info: 865-951-2653. ■■ Halls Senior Center, 4405 Crippen Road, Info: 865922-0416. ■■ Morning Pointe Assisted Living, 7700 Dannaher Drive. Info: 865-686-5771 or

The Princess Project is outreach to girls By Sandra Clark Pastor Todd Stinnett and the folks at Black Oak Heights Baptist Church are reaching out to the community in a unique way. The Princess Project offers free services for hair, makeup and nails to Powell High School girls who will attend the Saturday, May 6, prom. Church member Lindsay Maples, owner of Hair Designers at Deane Hill, is coordinating the project. In addition, dresses are offered to any middle or high school girl (not restricted to Powell) who is attending a formal this spring. “If there is a young man in need of help securing a tux, we are willing to help with that as well,” Stinnett said. In an email, Stinnett


real need. “In this case, the need just happens to be hair, makeup, nails and dresses.

By helping these young ladies to feel like a princess for a day, we hope to show them that we serve a King who loves them eternally. “We appreciate the efforts of all our Knoxville friends who will help us make this dream become a reality.” Maples is blunt: “We need more hands.” Prom day should be special. “With the Princess Project, each teen will be given a day to shop for her perfect prom dress with no obligations. “We will provide the dress and dry cleaning and also provide alterations if needed at no cost.” She seeks donated dresses, and she needs volunteer hair stylists who can do an updo and makeup. She is

not worried about having too many applicants. “We’ll get it done. “This is an opportunity for these girls to be blessed,” Maples said. “We want the community to get involved, and the only way they will is if they know what we are trying to do and it’s by paying it forward. “Please help us to get the word out so next year and the year after, we will have more volunteers and more donations so we are able to connect with more schools.” The applicants’ privacy is ensured, and girls will select their dress from those available. To sign up, volunteer or donate, contact Maples at 865-789-7718 or the church at 865-689-5397.

OneLife settles into unusual new home By Carol Z. Shane “We have all this glass,” says the Rev. Dylan Martin of OneLife Church. “I like to sit there and look out – that’s one of my favorite parts.” When you build a church in a former Just For Feet building, “lots of glass” and a beautiful view of the blue sky are some of the perks. The church began in Powell com-


munity living rooms in 2008 under the leadership of the Rev. Rodney Arnold. Named for Arnold’s oft-stated belief that “one life can make a difference,” the congregation has had several homes due to continued growth. When the Just For Feet building at Knoxville Center mall became available, OneLife had expanded to two Road, hosts the Halls Welfare Ministry food pantry 6-7 p.m. each second Tuesday and 10-11 a.m. each fourth Saturday.

■■ Bookwalter’s children’s consignment sale is 8-5 Friday, March 31, and 8-noon Saturday, April 1, at 4218 Central Ave. Pike (intersection Tillery and Central). Sale items may be dropped off 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 30. Clothing must be spring/summer.

■■ First Comforter Church, 5516 Old Tazewell Pike, hosts MAPS (Mothers At Prayer Service) noon each Friday. Info: Edna Hensley, 865-771-7788.

■■ Cedar Lane UMC, 714 Cedar Lane, will host the WordPlayers performing “On a Hill Far Away” 6 p.m. Sunday, April 2. The event is free and everyone is welcome. ■■ North Knoxville Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6530 Fountain City Road., will offer a free weight management program, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 6-27. Info: 865-314-8204. ■■ Cross Roads Presbyterian, 4329 E. Emory

Larry & Laura Bailey



wrote: “You asked why Black Oak Heights Bapt i st Church created The Princess Project. There’s only one reason – we want to show the love of Jesus Christ to some high school seniors and their parents by meeting a

■■ 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 who are dealing with the loss of a spouse, child, family member or friend. Cost: $15 for workbook. Info: 865-689-5175. ■■ Halls Christian Church, 4805 Fort Sumter Road, will host a new study session on the book “You Lost Me” by David Kinnaman, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Sundays. The church hosts a women’s Bible study 6 p.m. Wednes-


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HALLS - Private wooded setting. This 2Br home sits on 39.76 acres and is move in ready. Freshly painted, extra storage with walk-in crawl space & 2-car carport. $189,900 (993655)

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campuses – one in Powell, one in Halls. Plans are in the making for a site in West Knoxville, at a space yet to be determined. “The multi-site thing – that’s how we do church,” says Martin. “We want to see a church or campus open within 15 minutes of every person in Knox County.” days. Info: 865-922-4210. ■■ 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. ■■ Ridgeview Baptist Church, 6125 Lacy Road, offers Children’s Clothes Closet and Food Pantry 11 a.m.-1 p.m. each third Saturday. ■■ St. Paul UMC Fountain City, 4014 Garden Drive, hosts Agape Café each fourth Wednesday. Dinner is served 5:30-7 p.m., and the public is invited. April 26 program: Gayle Mrock, director of programs at Holston Home for Children. Info: 865687-2952.

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Andersonville - Convenience store, Gas & Deli. Well kept and in prime location within minutes to Sequoyah & Stardust Marinas on Norris Lake. Zoned A-2 (1 store per community) sits on corner lot with approx 200+ ft on Park Ln and approx 120+ft on Boyer Rd. Everything you need to be up and running $329,900 (992733)

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Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-5

Byington-Solway CTCE buzzes at open house By Sandra Clark

Samuel Willard, a student at Bearden Middle School, and his family get a Mackenzie Swafford (left) and Maddison Williams demonstrate their work in the cosdemonstration from teacher Tim Epling of the Denso robot. metology class at Byington-Solway. Photos by S. Clark and other production equipment. They will explore legal issues and the history of A/V production. Production II is a continuation program of study intended to prepare students for careers in audio/ visual production. Students explore technical writing, while learning lighting and sound skills. A/V Production III is an applied-knowledge course in which students create programming independently and in teams, with the option of participating in a work-based learning experience for additional credit. Coursework is similarly rigorous in the other subjects. Most are two-year programs for high school juniors and seniors. But Forester and her team want to reach middle school students before they settle on a plan for high school to make them aware of the opportunities available in Career & Technical training. The kids prepared a handout for the open house,

SCHOOL NOTES ■■ Powell Middle School choral department will present the musical “Into the Woods Jr.” in the school gymnasium, Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1. Show times are 7 each night and tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. ■■ Freedom Christian Academy, located in Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church, 4615 Asheville Highway, will host its annual “Stars of Freedom” Gala Dinner and Auction on Thursday, April 6. Seating times for dinner catered by The Parkside Grill are 5:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Silent auction, 5:30-8 p.m.; live auction, 8:20 p.m. Open to the public. Info/tickets: Freedom Christian Academy office or 865-525-7807. ■■ Halls Middle School Dance tryouts will be held Thursday, April 13. Information packets have been sent to all elementary feeder schools and are also available in the Halls Middle School office. Info: jill.

listing the top five reasons to attend: ■■Career preparation including certifications; ■■Uncover interests, strengths and true desires through diverse classes; ■■Job-ready at graduation by learning academic and technical skills; ■■Integration of academics and CTE curriculum through hands-on learning; ■■Enjoy school more by doing something you’re interested in or good at and want to learn more. Cosmetology, taught by Bobbie Odell, can shorten the time a student must train before certification in hair care and cosmetics. Maddison Williams, a junior who attends Hardin Valley Academy, said she will graduate early and plans a career in cosmetology. MacKenzie Swafford, a senior, has taken two years of cosmetology and feels prepared to take her state exams. “Learn today; earn tomorrow,” is the slogan at Byington-Solway.

Gilbert Cruz had students Riley Skidmore and Trevor Booth demonstrating welding. Both are seniors who attend Karns High. Cruz said good jobs await those who finish his program. Tim Epling, electronics, was in high gear, demonstrating a Denso robot for all comers. The robot is programmed by the students to perform tasks. “Don’t worry about being replaced by a robot,” he said, although they are good workers. “You don’t have to feed it and it never takes a break. “If you’re going to work in manufacturing, you need to program or do maintenance on robots.” Epling came to ByingtonSolway after a career in industry. In response to a question, he said he expects to see growth in his technology, including addition of a conveyor belt and more robots. Early childhood education trains students to work

in licensed childcare centers. It’s a dual-enrollment program that allows students to earn hours toward a Child Development Associate certification. Fire protection services offers classes taught by licensed paramedics and firefighters. Upon graduation, students can continue training through the fire cadet program.

Criminal justice classes train students for a career in law enforcement including crime scene analysis, forensic science, public safety and criminal justice. Auto/Diesel program is approved by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). It is a dual-enrollment course, preparing students for careers as technicians.

Noe honored by Brickey-McCloud Teacher Allison Noe believes that if you have a relationship with students, teaching is easier. Noe is one of the three teachers honored as Teacher of the Year at Brickey-McCloud this year. She has been at the school all seven of the years that she has been a teacher. Noe knew that she wanted to be a teacher when she was in second Allison Noe grade and has always enjoyed be-

ing around kids, whether babysitting or watching kids at the ball park. “Children this age are sponges. They want to be here, they start to develop their own p e r s o n a l i t i e s ,”


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Gilbert Cruz teaches welding classes at Byington-Solway.

Central Ave.

Shortly before students left for spring break, the staff at Byington-Solway Career & Technical Center of Excellence hosted an open house for current students and middle school kids eligible to attend. The school sits adjacent to Karns High School and serves students at Bearden, Fa r rag ut, Hardin Valley, Karns and Powell high Kelly Forester schools. Principal Kelly Forester said buses run from each of those campuses to bring in students for either morning or afternoon classes. All classes count as electives toward graduation. Forester is high-energy, greeting each arriving family and welcoming them to the school. Vocational courses offered include: ■■Audio/Visual production ■■Cosmetology ■■Criminal Justice ■■Diesel mechanics ■■Welding ■■Electromechanical technology ■■Early childhood ■■Structural engineering ■■Plumbing, and ■■Fire protection services. Chris Wade puts the kids through the paces in audio visual production, including Retro Radio, a studentdriven radio show at www. There are three levels of A/V production: a foundational course which includes communications and A/V technology. Students will learn to operate cameras



A-6 • March 29, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

Angela Floyd & Friends present …

Cash For Classrooms Angela Floyd checks out the new futon purchased by Adrian Burnett Elementary fifthgrade teacher Austin Bilbrey. He used his Cash for Classrooms money to purchase the futon for students to read in the classroom library, books and general school supplies for the students.

Corryton Elementary kindergarten teacher Annette Benson and Angela Floyd show just a few of the items purchased with the Cash for Classrooms money. Benson purchased road paint and plans to design an outdoor math learning center with assistance from her students. Once complete, the project will benefit all grades at the school. Photos by Ruth White

Central High teacher Christopher Hammond used his Cash for Classrooms money to help establish the Emma Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will go to a graduating senior with a 3.0 GPA or higher who completes 12 hours of community service their senior year, a 500-word written essay and who must be attending college in the medical field. The first scholarship of $1,000 will be presented on senior awards day in May. Pictured with a banner for a benefit are Hammond’s clinical internship students (front) Digna Vazquez, Eva Lane, Courtney Hatcher, sponsor Angela Floyd; (back) Hammond, Keegan Lyle, Demi Berry, Lindsey Kidd, Haley Langley and Austin Kesterson.

Shopper news is proud to co-sponsor the 2017 Cash for Classrooms with the help of the Great Schools Partnership. Thanks to our sponsors, we put $5,000 directly into classrooms ($250 each to 20 classes). And we helped Angela Floyd celebrate 20 years in business.

Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-7

Volunteers, many from Corryton Church, raise the walls of Shannon Perry’s new home.

New home for Perrys honors Temple By Sandra Clark First you see cars lining both sides of the street for two blocks in either direction; then you hear hammers, striking nails in rhythm; then you smell new wood and feel excitement in the air. It’s spring. Time for another Habitat for Humanity house in Knoxville. On Saturday, volunteers and Habitat staff raised the walls for a new home for Shannon Perry and her three kids: Ethan, 15; Leland, 9; and Adelynn, 18 months. “You’ve got to be careful where you swing your hammer on opening day,” said Bob Temple. The House of Hope at 2823 Tecoma Ave. is being built in his honor by HopeBuilders, Corryton Church and Perry. Temple is a developer/

home builder and longtime supporter of Habitat. His son, Rob, was with his dad on Saturday. Perry was wielding a hammer with other volunteers. She expects to move into the four-bedroom, twobath home in mid-June. “It will be the first time Leland and Adelynn have had a room of their own,” she said. The family stops by most evenings, doing cleanup. Their excitement is growing. Perry grew up in South Knoxville, graduating from South-Doyle High School. For the past seven years, she’s lived in Corryton and is a member of Corryton Church. She’s employed at Gastrointestinal Associates. Son Ethan had transferred to Fulton High School to participate in its commu-

nications magnet program before she learned their new home would be in the Whittle Springs and Fulton zones. “Corryton Church is my family,” she said. “We’ll still be going to church there.” Perry has taken personal finance classes as a part of the Habitat program. She’s learned so much that she’s giving tips to friends at work. “You’ll be on the radio like Dave Ramsey,” we joked. Tecoma is a quiet street that dead ends at Whittle Springs Golf Course. It’s an established area with deep lots and mature trees. The Perry family is ready to join the neighborhood. They are thankful to the HopeBuilders and Corryton Church for making their dream possible.

Bob Temple stands on Tecoma Avenue during Saturday’s Habitat “build.”

MAKE YOUR MARK Giving Back, 20,000 Hours of Community Service for 20th Anniversary

Longtime Emerald Youth participant Billy Bradley sings a solo at the 2016 Emerald Youth Breakfast.

Celebrating 25 years with family and friends More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the Emerald Youth Breakfast May 5 at the Knoxville Expo Center, 5441 Clinton Highway. The event will begin at 7 a.m. and highlight Emerald’s 25 years of work in the heart of Knoxville. Worship music by the Emerald Youth choir, testimonials and a message of what’s to come for Emerald’s ministry with young people will be featured.

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A-8 • March 29, 2017 • Powell/Norwood Shopper news

The Rotary guy

5 from Knoxville Rotary visit projects in Zimbabwe By Tom King Five members of the Rotary Club of Knoxville (RCK) recently returned from Zimbabwe to help dedicate a dam that was Tom King repaired through a Rotary International grant and celebrate with the villagers in Bulawayo South. On the trip were RCK president Allen Pannell, vice president  Jody Mullins, past District 6780 governor Frank Rothermel, past president Townes Osborn and world community service committee chair Bob Marquis. The group also visited another village where RCK member Phil Mitchell arranged a dedicated grant through the club’s foundation to provide food for village children who were starving due to a severe drought in 2016. Also, the RCK delegation spent time with the club’s Rotary partners in Bulawayo and stayed at the Nesbitt Castle Hotel. In ad-

BIZ NOTES ■■ Fountain City Business and Professional Association meets 11:45 a.m. each second Wednesday, Central Baptist Church fellowship hall. President is John Fugate, jfugate43@gmail. com or 865-688-0062. ■■ Halls Business and Professional Association will meet noon Tuesday, April

dition, the group visited the nursing school the club helped launch in 2015 with a Rotary grant. ■■ Smoky Mountain

Strong caps

If you’re a baseball cap buff, then we’ve got some news for you. Our friends at the Rotary Club of Gatlinburg have a few hundred “Smoky Mountain Strong” hats in support of those victims rendered homeless by the recent fires in Gatlinburg, Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains. For a monetary donation of your choice, one of these caps can be yours. And 100 percent of the money is going directly to the victims. You can pick one up any Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the glass facility at Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg, or you can send a self-addressed 5 x 7 stamped envelope with a check for a donation. Please send your top three choices in colors since they are not reserving any orders (first come first serve). Mail your donation to: Gatlinburg Rotary Foundation, Attn HATS, P.O. Box 1144, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. 18, Beaver Brook Country Club. Speaker: Liz Albertson, senior planner at MPC. President is Michelle Wilson, michelle.wilson@ or 865-594-7434. ■■ Powell Business and Professional Association meets noon each second Tuesday, Jubilee Banquet Facility. President is Bart Elkins, pastorbart2911@gmail. com or 865-859-9260.

McLemore to manage Civic Auditorium The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum has hired Patrick McLemore as operations manager. In this role, McLemore will oversee the day-to-day op er at ion s of the Auditorium and Coliseum, including event setup, facility changeover and regular facilMcLemore ity maintenance. He is tasked with making sure the building is clean, comfortable, wellmaintained and safe for clients and patrons. This facility, along with the Knoxville Convention Center, is managed by SMG. McLemore started with SMG in 2015 as an operations supervisor at the Tucson Convention Center in Arizona. He transferred to Knoxville in February of this year. Prior to joining SMG, McLemore worked in facility operations with Sporting Kansas City, a professional soccer club in Kansas City, Mo. McLemore is a graduate of South-Doyle High School. Before moving to Arizona, he worked with the Knoxville Ice Bears as an intern and served as the head soccer coach for South-Doyle High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management from UT and a master’s degree in kinesiology and sport studies from East Tennessee State University. The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum attracts more than 250,000 people per year through a wide array of events.

Phyllis Simerly Sellers and Carl Sellers plan for the reunion.

Golden Bears plan 60th reunion By Betty Bean

Rule High School looks lonely these days, boarded and abandoned after the county shut it down in 2000, its student body dispersed to Central, Fulton and West. But once upon a time, it was a hive of activity, serving the children of the proud blue-collar neighborhoods that surrounded it. Named for Knoxville mayor, newspaper editor and Civil War hero William Rule, the school opened in 1927, and generations of alumni cherish the memories they made there. On June 16, the Class of ’57, which had around 120 members, will come from as far away Las Vegas (and as close as Inskip) to get together one more time. The reunion organizers are predicting a turnout of about 50, and a room full of memories. “I guess there’ll be a lot of lies told,” said class vice president John Mills (al-

ways known as Johnny in high school). “Nobody remembers most of the things everybody’s telling on you, but we’ll tell it all. And it’s not going to be a suit and tie deal. We’re Rule. We’re Rule High School. Just come.” Class secretary Jeanette Mathis Tucker is on the reunion committee, which includes Mills and his wife, Charlotte; Ralph Williams, Phyllis Simerly Sellers and Carl Sellers and Joe and Sandra McClure Daniel (Joe was class president). Many of the classmates have stayed in touch over the years, but some will be seeing old friends for the first time in 60 years when they meet at Buddy’s Banquet Hall.

REUNIONS ■■ Gibbs High Class of 1967 50th reunion, Saturday April 1. Info: Nancy Breeding, 865-256-2526.

Jeanette, who had a career working in the courthouse, said many classmates campaigned for Mills when he ran for office (he is a former County Commission chair). “We had the best time when Johnny ran. We’ve always stuck together, and we had a ball.” Mills said he cherishes those old school ties. “We didn’t have everything in the world, but by George, we had each other, and we were like brothers and sisters. And when we graduated, we worked. Everyone got a job, and we worked. I’m a Golden Bear all the way. My heart bleeds blue and gold. We were one proud student body.” ■■ Woodhill School Reunion, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Pleasant Gap Baptist Church, 4311 Pleasant Gap Drive. Bring covered dish. All who attended Woodhill are invited.

Beaver Creek Kayak Club cleans up creek Beaver Creek Kayak Club by adopting the Harrell joined the Knox County Road Stormwater Park area Adopt-A-Stream program of Beaver Creek at 7221 Har-


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Powell/Norwood Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-9

last words

New beginning for Butch Jones This is an exciting time in Tennessee football. Can you see the sparks and feel the thrill? It is the new beginning of Butch Jones’ coaching career. He has a new boss. He has five new primary assistants. He will have a new quarterback. This is Butch’s secondbest chance to become one of the truly famous leaders in the game. His first was when Dave Hart coaxed him away from Cincinnati as the replacement for Derek Dooley. He received a motivational boost in pay and inherited great facilities and the rich Tennessee tradition. Even with roster deficiencies, some degree of success seemed certain. There was almost no way Jones could do worse than his predecessor. Butch, indeed, built brick by brick and made considerable progress but did not set the proverbial woods on fire. His recruiting classes were better than his 3021 record. He lost a couple he should have won. Some pearls of wisdom were misconstrued. Critics sneered. Timing wasn’t too good but “champions of life” and “five-star hearts” sounded noble enough to me.

Marvin West

Last season was a double disappointment. The Vols managed to miss out on the SEC East championship in that inexplicable setback at South Carolina. At Vanderbilt, the Vols played themselves out of the Sugar Bowl. Just guessing, but there may have been some unrest in the ranks. Fans certainly fretted. This is almost like starting over. New deck of cards. The youth movement is complete. The depth problem has been reduced. In theory, 32 of 44 from the two-deep chart are returning. That sounds really good until you notice that many of the best players are gone. There is now more ordinary optimism where wild and wonderful expectations once lived. There is talent and better odds on development. Some who were injured have healed. Competition at several positions is already obvi-

Shelby County to Knox: Stop Harry Brooks’ Opportunity Scholarship Pilot Program was drafted to provide private school scholarships to students in public school districts that have at least 30 schools performing in the state’s bottom 5 percent. In other words, Memphis. And although they didn’t exactly tell him to take his bill and shove it, droves of Memphians traveled to Nashville last week to attend the Education Administration & Planning Committee meetings so they could let Brooks know what they think of his Memphisonly voucher plan: “Our community has to suffer the consequences of your decisions,” one parent said. “We have the highest poverty rate in any county of this size in the state of Tennessee. That’s real and with that comes challenges. When you take dollars out, you’re taking resources.” Democratic Rep. Johnnie Turner, a retired educator who represents an innercity Memphis district, said the voucher bill will siphon $19 million from the resources of the schools she represents. “Leave Shelby County alone,” Turner said. “Go pick somebody else’s schools to be your whipping dog. Why do we always have to be the dumping ground?” Brooks responded that

ous in spring drills. If what we hear from players is fact instead of fiction, Rock Gullickson lit the fire that is supposed to warm up the future. He was an all-NFL strength and conditioning coach who just happened to be unemployed when Butch called. I can still hear Jones’ enthusiastic endorsement … “We are ecstatic to welcome Rock … I know what he stands for as a coach and a person … he fits the culture we are continuing to build at UT … he has a comprehensive plan that I truly believe our players will greatly benefit from … he is passionate about his work, tireless, detail-oriented, and has a tremendous track record of developing and motivating players … he will provide the type of training needed to compete at the highest level.” That sounded to me like Butch had a need and Rock had a chance to meet it. No question about defensive backs coach Charlton Warren. He got a very large pay increase to come from North Carolina to fill a void. If he teaches corners to look back for the football, he will be worth all $450,000 a year.

For another half a million, Butch purchased extensive experience and credibility in Brady Hoke. The former head coach at Michigan has a giant reputation among defensive line coaches. He does face a challenge. The Tennessee head coach changed the offensive staff without changing the offense. Tight end coach Larry Scott made the big jump, to coordinator, and undoubtedly influenced the selection of quarterbacks coach Mike Canales and wide receivers coach Kevin Beard. All three have south Florida ties. Walt Wells’ Middle Tennessee recruiting connections helped him become offensive line coach. What all this says is Butch Jones has improved his chances of moving on up in the world. Contract extension? Five million instead of four? Joy, joy, strike up the band. All we need now are defensive tackles, outside linebackers, secondary solidity and results. Nine more wins might satisfy John Currie until Butch can get to 10.

Roberto has website for council race

Former Election Commissioner Andrew Roberto, 40, who lives on Hayslope Drive in the new Westmoreland, is an attorney and is also running for the District 2 (Duane Grieve) seat on Knoxville City Council. He Roberto is a single parent who shares custody of his two daughters, Kylie and Hannah, with their mother. He is the only candidate in this district who currently has a website at www. The website does not yet specify his stands on issues. He wants to “give back” to the community. He wants to spend time listening to voters. He (Marvin West invites reader reaction. His attends Cokesbury United address is Methodist Church. While a Democrat, he favors nonpartisan elections for city office. Roberto says he does not anticipate Mayor Madeline Rogero getting involved in council races. He says ing room, where the crowd he “has not heard any was admonished not to argument which makes me cheer. Not so with the large think we should increase overflow crowd in the hall, taxes” in the city. On the watching the proceedings Sheffield Drive sidewalk, on wall-mounted TV sets, cheering their side on. “There were about 40 people in the hall when I ■■ A quick way to a good job is went in. When I came out to make noises about running there were at least 65 or 70, for governor. Bill Hagerty is and they were overwhelmthe new U.S. ambassador to ingly anti-voucher,” she said. Japan. What’s up for Beth Harwell as Team Haslam clears In the end, HB0126 the path for Randy Boyd? passed on a voice vote.

messing with Memphis Betty Bean

his bill is about giving families the choice of removing their children from failing schools and sending them to private schools. His cosponsor John DeBerry (a Democrat and a staunch supporter of charter and voucher bills) was pretty much Brooks’ only Memphis ally. DeBerry accused the crowd of “acting as though the zombies are going to come out and the moon is going to turn to blood if we pass vouchers.” Raumesh Akbari, another Memphis Democrat, challenged Brooks to show consistent proof that vouchers work. “You’re stepping into an area that is not your area, and you’re coming into my county and you’re telling us how we’re going to handle it. … If you want vouchers, include your county in it.” Another big stumbling block is end of term testing. Children receiving vouchers will be required to take the TNReady test. Non-voucher students won’t. Republican Ron Lollar, from Bartlett, was no kinder to Brooks than the rest of the Shelby County delegation.

“Everybody should have to take the same test. … There’s words for what you do to one child that you don’t do to all of them, and I think the courts will have something to say about that.” Knox County school board member Jennifer Owen makes a weekly trip to Nashville to observe educational issues being debated. It was standing room only inside the hear-

Victor Ashe

he says he wants to listen to the residents. He had not met at the time of the interview with Sandi Robinson, longtime West Hills resident and sidewalk advocate. Roberto favors the Lady Vols name being restored at UT. One of his council opponents, Wayne Christensen, named prominent attorney and former state Rep. Richard Krieg as his treasurer. Krieg has a long record in local politics. ■■ Former U.S. ambassador to Chad and Benin, Jim Knight, who has retired to Tellico with his wife, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Howard Baker Center at UT. The public is invited to hear his talk on relations between the U.S. and African nations. ■■ Former U.S. Sen. and Vice President Al Gore turns 69 on March 31. He lives in the Belle Meade area of Nashville. Former city council member Larry Cox turns 75 on Thursday, March 30.


■■ Doug Harris, former school board chair, led a behindthe-scenes effort to persuade the board to retain interim superintendent Buzz Thomas for another year. It was no-go. – S. Clark

Witt embarks on race for clerk By Sandra Clark Sherry Witt is a wellliked, respected county officeholder who will find herself out of work in late 2018. So the register of deeds for 10 years is seeking to become Knox County clerk. “There’s an opening in the clerk’s office and I’m applying,” she says. Term limits will kick in next year for Mayor Tim Burchett, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, Witt and Clerk Foster Arnett. In addition, Cathy Quist Shanks has said she will not run for re-election as clerk of Circuit and Sessions courts. Witt, 58, has worked in the register’s office since she graduated from UT. She was chief deputy to Steve Hall before taking the top job. Now her deputy, Nick Mc-

Bride, is seeking to move up. A potential primary opponent has emerged. State Rep. Roger Kane is eyeing a courthouse post. He’s already announced he won’t seek re-election to the Legislature. Foster Arnett has been an anomaly among officeholders. He’s tough to work for, has sued the county for an unhealthy work environment (mold), and forgot that collecting hotel/motel taxes is part of his job. Yet he beat well-known Republicans Mike McMillan and Scott Moore in the 2010 primary and handily defeated former clerk Mike Padgett in 2014. Witt won’t commit on Arnett’s tenure, but she sees similarities between the duties of register and clerk.

“I have extensive experience in how a fee office works. Voters can have conf idence in my ability to operate a fiscally responsible clerk’s ofSherry Witt fice without compromising the level of service they deserve.” Witt has served as president of the state registers association and was voted Tennessee’s Outstanding Register in 2015. She is proud of her record in the register’s office. “We have reduced staff and budget over 10 years,” she says. Her office is totally paperless, with records stored electronically, saving

about a million copies per year. She has reduced staff through attrition as technology has made recordkeeping more efficient. The office currently has 22 fulltime and six part-time seasonal positions. Witt’s family includes daughters Shay and Chelsey; son-in-law Shane Gordon; and grandsons Grelyn and Seth. The life of an officeholder is busy, she says. Office hours are 8-4:30 weekdays. Some days start with a pre-work breakfast meeting. Many evenings are committed to nonprofits or Republican clubs. She is not worried about a primary opponent. “I grew up with seven brothers and sisters,” she says. “I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve got.”

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