VOL. 1 NO. 20
IN THIS ISSUE
December 30, 2013
Kwanzaa comes to Vine Middle
Homeownership is about people The camera finds Bob Temple, probably because he’s having so much fun. It’s 10:30 a.m. and he’s chowing down a full plate of ham, potatoes and peas. “Breakfast or lunch, Bob?” “Brunch,” he smiles. Temple is an unsung hero of Habitat for Humanity’s local work.
Read Sandra Clark on page 5
Butch Jones’ first year
Jakhia Smith, Camiah Wilson and Armonie Blair perform with the West African dancers during Vine Middle School’s Kwanzaa program. Performing in the back are the West African drummers K’Nori Bone, Coby Colquitt, Jadarius James, Demetrian Johnson, Marquis Thomas and DeEric King. Photo by Ruth White
The best thing Butch Jones did during his first year at Tennessee was win friends and influence people. That combination provided a comfortable security blanket against the shrapnel of a disappointing season that looked worse than the record. Nobody that matters blamed Butch.
By Betty Bean It was the next-to-the-last day before Christmas break, and the parents and friends of Vine Magnet Middle School were ready to celebrate the accomplishments of their children. Vine Kwanzaa 2013 was big and bright and colorful. It danced and sang and prayed and recited poetry and celebrated both Kwanzaa (which starts Dec. 26 and runs until Jan. 1) and Christmas with poinsettias and African masks. The red and green and black of Kwanzaa and the red and green of Christmas were all on display in an inclusive, noisy and joyful celebration. The community obliged by filling the auditorium with proud parents, grandparents and friends. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 in California by professor, activist and author Maulana Karenga. Camiah Wilson performs with the Vine Drawing inspiration from African “first fruit” traditions, Karenga named the celebration for Dance Company.
Read Marvin West on page 5
Righting the record Victor Ashe’s histrionic column about Fort Sanders (published in Dec. 23 ShopperNews) requires some clarification. The current discussions about the property owned by Covenant Health on Highland Avenue and 18th Street have not been conducted in some kind of secret black box.
Read Jesse Fox Mayshark on 4
Tony Earl: Man on a mission Six years ago, Pastor Tony Earl was called to join Angelic Ministries. Since the age of 17 he knew his life’s work was to preach the gospel. Tony grew up in Corryton and Blaine before moving to Halls. He preached at various churches as a youth minister before being ordained at Texas Valley Baptist. He served at Stoney Point, Marbledale and Oakwood Baptist. He felt his ministry was going in the right direction.
Read Nancy Whittaker on page 7
Sevier Heights Baptist adds North Campus By Betsy Pickle Sevier Heights Baptist Church is starting the new year with some new digs. The church at 3232 Alcoa Highway will debut its North Campus across the street on Sunday, Jan. 12. Tim Miller, the church’s teaching pastor, will lead the 11 a.m. services. “It’s going to be exciting,” says Miller. Sevier Heights has grown steadily since it moved to Alcoa Highway in 1999. “We wanted to start a third service, but there wasn’t a great time to do it,” says Miller, son of senior pastor Dr. Hollie
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In doing research, Miller says, they found that “churches across the United States that are reaching people are doing multiple sites. We said, ‘Let’s look into this.’” The church considered leasing the old Food City site on Alcoa Highway, but ended up buying it. “We found out that we could purchase it at the Tim Miller, teaching pastor, price we were wanting to with wife Jenny and kids Elin pay,” Miller says. The church hired Johnand Silas son Architecture to plan the site renovation. In adMiller. The church already dition to the worship cenoffers 9:30 and 11 a.m. ser- ter, there are two different areas for kids: one for vices on Sundays.
birth to pre-kindergarten and one for kindergarten through fifth grade. The former grocery store was gutted and now looks like neither a grocery nor a church exactly. “You wouldn’t think it’s a church,” says Miller, who started as Sevier Heights’ youth pastor 15 years ago. No adult Sunday school classes will be offered at the campus. The children’s programs will operate dur-
ing the worship service. The pre-K area is designed to look like Market Square, while the K-5 area looks like the Tennessee Theatre. “We want kids to understand that church is supposed to impact the city, and when they leave church they’re still part of the city,” he says. “It’s really fun for the kids.” To page A3
State parks set ‘first hikes’ of 2014
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the Swahili “first fruits” celebration, “matunda ya kwanzaa,” and designed it to promote family, community, national and racial unity, self-determination, cooperation, responsibility, creativity and faith. Master of ceremonies Reggie Jenkins presided over the program. As founder and executive director of UUNIK Academy, a program for young males between the ages of 10-15, Jenkins is well known among Vine families and faculty, and he brought a mix of discipline and enthusiasm to the proceedings. The Vine Singers brought the house down with a medley that combined “We Shall Overcome” and “Lean on Me.” The Vine Band performed and the Vine Dance Company and its drummers were joined by the Austin-East Dancers and the Austin-East West African Drums, who also played important roles in the celebration.
Tennessee State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes on New Year’s Day. Each state park will host its own special hike in the first few days of the New Year as part of the quarterly hikes program.
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2 • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • Shopper news
health & lifestyles
Once again, Fort Sanders named a ‘Top Performer’ Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, an independent nonprofit organization that accredits more than 3,300 hospitals across the country. The honor is based upon accountability measure data reported during 2012 and it’s the second straight year Fort Sanders Regional has garnered the status. The Joint Commission announced the distinction in its annual report. Fort Sanders Regional was recognized for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain
conditions. In all four areas – heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care – Fort Sanders Regional met or exceeded target rates of performance. Each of the hospitals named as a Top Performer must perform at a rate of 95 percent or above in accountability measures. For example, an accountability measure may include giving an aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients or getting that person to the heart catheterization lab quickly, both of which are considered evidence-based practices. Statewide, Fort Sanders Regional is one of only 33 hospitals to be recognized.
Fort Sanders Regional garners VHA Clinical Excellence Award Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center has been honored by VHA Inc. for achieving clinical excellence in several areas. Fort Sanders Regional received a Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence for being among the Top 10 highest scores nationally in 2012. The criteria for receipt of the award was based on the following: ■ Value-based Purchasing (VBP) Total Performance Score ■ 30-Day Readmissions Index for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Heart Failure and Pneumonia ■ Overall costs of care Fort Sanders received the honor for exceptionally high-level performance among acute care hospitals
with more than 250 beds. “We are very humbled to receive this recognition from VHA. Our staff and physicians work tirelessly to provide the quality, compassionate care our patients have come to expect from Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center,” says hospital President and CAO Keith Altshuler. VHA is a national network of not-for-proﬁt health care organizations that set new levels of clinical performance, identify and implement best practices to improve operational efﬁciency and clinical outcomes, and work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena.
Fort Sanders attains highest recognition for efforts to improve elderly care Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center has achieved “Exemplar” status for its NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) program. NICHE is the premier designation indicating a hospital’s commitment to excellence in the care of patients 65 years and older. The “Exemplar” status recognizes Fort Sanders Regional’s ongoing dedication to geriatric care and progressive implementation and quality of systemwide interventions and initiatives that demonstrate organizational commitment to the care of older adults. The status – the highest of four possible program levels – was assigned following a rigorous selfevaluation of the current state and future goals of the NICHE program at Fort Sanders Regional. The requirements include implementation of the NICHE Geriat-
ric Resource Nurse (GRN) model and evidence-based protocols on all applicable units, including specialty units; implementation of aging-sensitive policies; inclusion of the input of patient, families and community-based providers in planning and implementation of NICHE initiatives; and assuming regional and national leadership roles. “This honor signals our efforts to provide patient-centered care for older adults,” says Keith Altshuler, president and CAO of Fort Sanders Regional. “Through our participation in this program we are able to offer evidence-based, interdisciplinary approaches that promote better outcomes, positive experiences and improved care for the older adults in our care. This leads to greater satisfaction rates for our patients, their families and our staff.”
Members of the Fort Sanders Regional Stroke Center are pictured with Fort Sanders CAO Keith Altshuler and Covenant President Tony Spezia.
Covenant Health awards have Fort Sanders ﬂavor Annually the Covenant Health Performance Excellence Awards recognizes individual peak performers and top departments and afﬁliates within the organization. This year, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center was home to multiple award winners. Janet Cameron, a FSRMC supervisor in respiratory therapy, and Fred “Tony” Webb of FSRMC cardiac diagnostics, were announced as two of the three Everest Award winners at this year’s event Oct. 29. The Everest Award is based on entries from any employee, physician or volunteer. It recognizes individual achievements of nonmanagerial Covenant Health employees who excel based on the company’s standards of performance. An unbiased team of judges score each entry. Also, the Stroke Center at Fort Sanders Regional was awarded a Performance Excellence Achievement Award. The Performance Excellence Award is based on entries submitted by hospital affiliates and/ or departments. An external panel of judges scores each application on the basis of project selection, improvement process, results, innovation and sharing
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center wishes you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. fsregional.com • (865) 673-FORT
your knowledge. Cameron sets the bar high for her co-workers. She is highly respected by pulmonologists and hospitalists for her expertise and work ethic. Cameron rounds on all ventilator patients daily, teaching new staff, and ensuring that the weaning protocols and ventilatorassociated pneumonia bundle are implemented. Because of her attention to detail, when bronchoscopies are ordered “STAT” any respiratory therapist can grab the cart she organized with supplies and physician preferences and get to the patient’s bedside immediately. She volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Second Harvest, Hardin Valley High School and St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Webb takes ownership in Fort Sanders Regional. He approaches each patient as if they were a family member. One patient said he was having difﬁculty getting back to bed, but Webb came in and scooped him up in his arms and said, “Don’t be afraid. You are safe with me.” He currently volunteers at the Hope Center and was named volunteer of the year there. He has served as captain of the Heart Walk Team for the past 13
years and has been the top fundraising walker for Knoxville for the last two years. Joining Cameron and Webb as Everest winners was Michael Sutton of plant engineering at LeConte Medical Center. The Stroke Center’s application highlighted their goal to continue community outreach programs related to stroke education, achieve 15 percent or better of patient arrival into the ED within three hours of symptom onset and several other key measures. Their results showed they exceeded compliance scores of 99.2 percent for the past four quarters, along with improving ED arrival times and increasing patient volume. Also, the Stroke Center achieved a Gold Stroke Quality award in 2012 and has been named a Joint Commission certiﬁed Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Shopper news • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • 3
Teachers take contest up a creative notch What started out as a tacky holiday-sweater contest wound up being something much more wonderful.
participants were rewarded with gift cards. Santa and the reindeer took first place – not surprising since the judge is a huge fan of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” ■
Dogwood Elementary School teachers and staff were encouraged to wear their worst on the last day of school before winter break. This reporter – who has been known to offer an opinion or two – was invited to come judge. But teachers always go the extra mile, and they outdid themselves at Dogwood. This was not a case of teachers seeking individual glory. Nearly every grade level assembled a team to showcase a theme. One group got gussied up as reindeer, along with Santa and an elf. Another appeared in costumes representing Christmas songs, including one grandma who got run over by a reindeer and definitely looked the worse for wear. The overexposed Elf on a Shelf was there, with a twist. Then there was the broken lamp and the box she rode in on. Some brought their own cheering squads, and some included kids to pander to the crowd. The costume parade was a hit with students and staff alike, and almost all the
SKA at Fort Dickerson
Even with the holidays in full swing, the South Knoxville Alliance did not slack off on its commitment to keeping Fort Dickerson Park tidy. On the Saturday before Christmas, a crew of two – Monte Stanley and Carl Hensley – brought their chainsaws to whack away at the honeysuckle vines surrounding a majestic, 150-year-old sycamore tree that stands by the trail leading to the Fort Dickerson quarry. This is an ongoing project as the honeysuckle is persistent and pervasive. Antoinette Fritz used less dangerous tools but tangled with bushes and boulders both while trying to pick up trash scattered along the trail. It’s amazing – and sometimes disgusting – what visitors will leave in such a naturally beautiful place. Reaching the trail’s end proves that SKA’s work is worth it. Even on a gray, chilly day, the Fort Dickerson quarry lake is a gorgeous, serene sight. Considering the crowds that use the lake in the warmer months, nature lovers should find this a good time to pay a visit.
First-prize winners in the Dogwood Elementary School teacher costume contest are Santa and her reindeer: (back) Jessica Newport, Christine Hill, Robin Herbert, Katie Leonard, Kirstie Fredrich, Remola Turner, Wendy Benjamin; (front) Erma Dollin, elf Lynn Keffer, Rita Barrick, Susan Ferguson and Christine Gerlach.
The Elf Off the Shelf is Lakin Wooliver.
Classic Christmas songs are: (standing) “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” Nancy Friedrich and Aneisha Boddie; “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,” Michele Abbott and tree Kayla English; “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” Katy Reasor; (kneeling) “Jingle Bells,” Traci Price; a present, Thomas Foshee; and “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” Taryn Truett.
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Spreading love and cheer CrossPoint Church rch h pastors paastor past orss Jerry Jerryy King Jerr King g and and d Tim Tim im Parker Par arkker ker deliver delilive deli verr Christmas Chri rist istma mass gifts giff ts to residents at gi Northgate residential living facility. Church members collected items for the bags, filled them and delivered them with a big dose of Christmas cheer. CrossPoint Church meets at 2000 Loves Creek Road, sharing facilities with Spring Place Presbyterian Church. Photos by Ruth White
Kensey Parker Zimmerman gets ready to spread Christmas joy to residents at Northgate.
tion workers and church staff, says Miller. “Hundreds of volunteers signed up,” he says. “It’s been awesome.”
Miller doesn’t expect the new worship center to draw people away from the church’s 11 a.m. service at the main campus. “The audience we’re trying to reach is anybody that’s not in church currently. We want to change the way that Knoxville views church.”
From page A-1 The leaders at Sevier Heights believe that many people don’t attend church “because they’ve been to a church,” says Miller. “We want to reflect the purpose and personality of Jesus. Jesus drew people to him; people liked being around him.”
Music during the service will be eclectic, from traditional hymns to contemporary Christian, from a piano to duos to a band. The feel will be “intimate,” Miller says. Doors will open at 10:40 a.m., and there is a coffee bar in the foyer. Making the North Campus a reality has taken more than architects, construc-
over four waterfalls, through Hemlock and Beech Forest before its confluence with meet at the park visitor cen- and other unique aspects the Caney Fork. This guided ter at 10 a.m. for a winter- of the park. Be prepared for hike will cover the history of time hike on the Ridge Top the cold weather. Following the park, common flora and Trail. Be sure to wear warm the hike we return to the fauna of the area and ongoclothes and sturdy shoes recreation building for hot ing conservation projects. for this 1.5 mile moderately chocolate and coffee. Info: January days are typically strenuous hike. Info: 423- 423-566-9701. brisk and blustery in this 884-6217. Burgess Falls: Kick the area, so check the forecast Cove Lake: Kick off the New Year off right with a beforehand and come preNew Year with a 5k fitness hike to the Jewel of the East- pared for the weather. walk. Meet at 10 a.m. at the ern Highland Rim – Burgess Designed for all ages, recreation building trail Falls. Ranger Miller will lead details are on the website head and walk the entire hikers on a 2-mile trek above http://tnstateparks.com/ 3.1 paved trail. We will see a the gorge as the Falling Wa- about/special-events/1stvariety of waterfowl species ter River plunges 300 feet hikes. From page A-1
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government Righting the record on Fort Sanders By Jesse Fox Mayshark Victor Ashe’s histrionic column about Fort Sanders (published in Dec. 23 ShopperNews) requires some clarification. Mayshark The current discussions about the property owned by Covenant Health on Highland Avenue and 18th Street have not been conducted in some kind of secret black box. In fact, Mayor Rogero and Deputy to the Mayor Bill Lyons met and discussed the issue with representatives of both Knox Heritage and the Historic Fort Sanders Neighborhood Association before they ever talked to Covenant. There is no done deal here, much less one that “negates” the work of the Fort Sanders Forum in 2000 or the Fort Sanders District Plan of 2010. (Ambassador Ashe does not mention the latter plan, in keeping with his general pattern of acknowledging only those things that happened in Knoxville between 1987 and 2003.) The discussions are still going on. Most recently, the mayor, Dr. Lyons and Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis had a productive meeting with the leadership of Knox Heritage, at which various alternative proposals were discussed. No decisions have been made about any next steps. Moreover, the city is in the midst of a comprehensive $17 million redesign of the entire Cumberland Avenue Corridor. This is the main commercial thoroughfare of the Fort Sanders neighborhood, and its haphazard design and perennial congestion have made it a barrier to attractive, functional urban development. The Cumberland Avenue plan aims to reduce through-traffic, improve safety for all users and bolster the district’s standing as a desirable place to both live and visit. By encouraging more residential density in apart-
GOSSIP AND LIES ■ Dolly Parton says she and husband Carl Dean may renew their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in two years.
ments clustered along or near Cumberland, it will take some of the pressure off the historic homes in Fort Sanders, which have for generations served largely as student living quarters. By reconfiguring Cumberland as a pedestrian- and visitor-friendly area, it will enhance the desirability and marketability of the neighborhood as a whole. And by taking steps to deal with the parking shortage that floods the neighborhood’s streets with both short- and long-term parkers, it will make Fort Sanders an easier place to navigate for both residents and visitors. The Cumberland Avenue plan is currently the city’s largest capital project, and the primary beneficiaries of it will be the residents, merchants and property owners of Fort Sanders. Representatives of all of those groups have been deeply involved in its planning since the beginning. The city is also continuing to work with the neighborhood on other concerns. Just this month, the city’s Public Officer entered an order to repair a deteriorating, historic home in the Fort Sanders conservation district. When neighborhood representatives asked if garbage pick-up could be switched from Friday to Monday, so that the previous weekend’s refuse wouldn’t sit by the curb all week, the Public Service Department juggled routes to do it and engaged in a month-long public education campaign to make sure residents were aware of the change. Mayor Rogero and city staff have had multiple meetings with neighborhood representatives to discuss these and other issues, and will continue to meet with them in the future. None of that may matter to Ambassador Ashe, who – for the record – has not asked a single question about this issue to anyone in the city administration. But it may matter to those genuinely interested in the future of Fort Sanders.
4 • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • Shopper news
Speaking truth to power Halls Elementary School 3rd grade teacher Lauren Hopson was sitting in a Fountain City restaurant being interviewed for this column when a teacher from a distant part of the county came by her table to say thank you.
Betty Bean “She’s saying what every teacher in Knox County wants to say but is afraid to,” the teacher said of Hopson. “All my teachers know her, and every Knox County teacher supports her.” “Tell them to show up at school board meetings,” Hopson said. “Tell them we need them and that we’re safer if we all stand up together.” “Keep on keeping on,” the teacher said as she left to resume her Christmas shopping.
This illustrates why Lauren Hopson is my Knox County Person of the Year for 2013. Although she’d never considered herself particularly political, Hopson went to the October school board meeting and started a revolution. She was there to protest the stress the school system’s relentless data collection regime is placing on teachers and students. She’d done it before, in January 2012, but got no response. She decided to try again after two of the most respected teachers she knows received letters of concern, informing them that their jobs were in jeopardy because they got low scores on an unannounced evaluation that required them to hit 61 data points per lesson. “These are excellent teachers and there’s no reason they should ever be concerned for their jobs. We’d been trying to be heard for 2-3 years, and I was just mad. I didn’t want them to
be able to say that nobody had told them, even though I voiced very specific concerns with the evaluation system 21 months ago. “I gave (the school board) some very personal stories, and I invited them to talk to teachers, and absolutely nothing happened. Nobody saw it. Nobody heard it. And none of the board members did a thing. It was like they were saying, ‘Okay, little woman. Now get back in your place. All right, shut up now. Get back in the kitchen.’” By Christmas Eve, a YouTube video of her speech had been viewed nearly 200,000 times. Hopson has been interviewed by national education writers and has gotten fan letters and gifts from teachers she doesn’t even know, and when she went to the November board meeting, 300 of her colleagues stood with her. “At this point, I’m in too deep to go back,” she said. “I just want people to inform themselves about what’s go-
Lauren Hopson ing on in education and not just believe the soundbites of politicians. They need to know where these changes come from and who’s making money off them. They need to question statements like ‘Change is hard.’” “It’s not that hard; it’s just plain wrong. Teachers are adaptable. We change all the time. We’re not afraid of working hard. But we have a problem with being asked to do things that are wrong for our kids.”
Mayor downgrades communications
(Jesse Fox Mayshark is Communications Director, city of Knoxville)
The immediate past director was Angela Starke who was a senior director in city government (above the rest) and made $118,000 plus a $5,800 car allowance. She reported to the mayor. Starke’s tenure can best be described as unremarkable. Jesse Mayshark did most of the work without the high pay. The department now has only a director, Mayshark. He reports to deputy Dr. Bill Lyons. While Mayshark got a pay bump up to $88,000 from this move plus a car allowance of over $5,800 a year he still earns $30,000 less than Starke. Not reporting
directly to the mayor is a downgrade. It is a strange system where the communications person for the city does not have immediate direct access to the mayor. It lessens their effectiveness among the media. The new setup is a cost savings to the taxpayer and a downgrade to the status of the department. The secretary position held by retired Mary Ann Blankenship has been filled by a lower-paid, temporary employee, Alexandra Box, 22, a recent communications graduate of Carson-Newman University. This marks the second senior position which Mayor Rogero created two years ago but has now eliminated without an announcement. The other was the Christi Branscom position when she became deputy mayor. This suggests senior director positions are not all that useful or needed as well as costly. Eric Vreeland, 50, will take over much of the dayto-day responses to media inquiries but will he have daily direct access to the Mayor? He says he will. He worked 27 years at the News Sentinel. Vreeland’s wife, Emily Jones, has been a
Proving again that nothing works quite like a transcontinental marriage. ■ Cracker Barrel announced it won’t stock Easter bunnies this spring, but two days later reversed its decision saying customers
can browse both bunnies and ducks while waiting for a table. ■ Ducks!???! ■ Rumors that R. Larry Smith may move to Union County and run for constable are exaggerated.
But Smith says he’ll run for something because there’s no squelching his urge to serve. ■ Happy New Year to our friends the politicians. May 2014 be as much fun as the last few decades!
The new personnel and pay scales for the city’s communications department tell a story which has not been publicly discussed. Mayor Rogero has downgraded her communications department. How is that?
longtime Rogero supporter. They live in East Knoxville. Vreeland comes to work too late to participate in the city pension system as his work with Rogero will be only six years assuming a second Rogero term. Vreeland says working for Mayor Rogero appealed to him because of the ongoing work on the waterfront and Cumberland Avenue. His father, now over 90, was a longtime city administrator for Hillsboro, Mo. ■ The city salary survey adopted by council which can run up to $219,000 will unquestionably lead to a push for higher pay for some city employees above the increase they are already mandated. A salary survey seldom comes back with a recommended pay cut. It is step one toward higher pay with the excuse the city needs to be competitive with the private sector. However, several Rogero top aides are making far more with the city than they ever made in the private sector including the mayor herself. Given Knoxville is one of the few cities in the U.S. to have an annual mandatory 2.5 percent pay increase, city employees get an annual pay increase automatically but not as much as city retirees. However, since the 2.5 percent applies evenly to all, it means those four city employees now making over $150,000 a year get an annual $3,000 increase while employees at $75,000 a year
receive half that. The gap between the highest paid and lower paid city employees widens. If council wished to change that inequity it will need to change the ordinance. Otherwise, the gap will continue to grow. Paying $200,000 plus for a salary survey which could have been secured by a few phone calls seems financially excessive. Council members Marshall Stair, Daniel Brown and Duane Grieve voted to defer the matter to determine the city’s fiscal situation in a few months before rushing to spend this money. The fire department was mentioned as needing a new rank for pay purposes. But the fire department has one of the lowest turnover rates of any department in city government. Most firefighters make their employment at KFD a long career. They are fine people but once employed seldom move elsewhere. ■ Deborah DePietro, wife of the UT president, was elected vice chair of the Tennessee State Museum Commission at its recent December meeting in Nashville. ■ Mike Cohen, president of Cohen Communications Group, and former press person for the city Mayor, county Mayor and School Superintendent, has spent the Christmas holidays in South Korea visiting his son, Graham, who is teaching English in a private school for the academic year.
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Shopper news • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • 5
Homeownership: ‘It’s about the people’ The camera finds Bob Temple, probably because he’s having so much fun. It’s 10:30 a.m. and he’s chowing down a full plate of ham, potatoes and peas. “Breakfast or lunch, Bob?” “Brunch,” he smiles. Temple is an unsung hero of Habitat for Humanity’s local work. The man who developed Temple Acres in Halls (and built several other homes) has been involved with Habitat virtually since its inception, swinging a
and on Middlebrook Pike had gathered to dedicate the new home on Washington Pike just a block from Belle Sandra Morris Elementary School. Clark The owner is Nikia Thompson, who will live there with her children, Domenic, 11, and Darmonie, 6. hammer and donating mon- Nikia has been working since Temple age 16 and has dreamed of ey for materials. “I’ve never seen a fam- her own place. She was accepted and ily so involved,” he said of Nikia Thompson. Folks began the Habitat process from sponsoring Methodist in 2012. That meant minichurches in Fountain City mizing her debt and attend-
Butch Jones’ first year The best thing Butch Jones did during his first year at Tennessee was win friends and influence people. That combination provided a comfortable security blanket against the shrapnel of a disappointing season that looked worse than the record. Nobody that matters blamed Butch. Jones made a remarkable impact on former Volunteers. He treated them with respect, recognized their contributions to the happy part of Tennessee football history and convinced most that he can coach. Jones gave hope to the beat-up fan base. People quoted his catchy slogans as if they were scripture. Some think next year will be better. Some are again blindly optimistic. Some realize reconstruction may take longer. It is called a process – culture change, positive attitude, attention to detail, family atmosphere. I do believe his brick-bybrick building plan might work – if it doesn’t take too long. I’ve been told that Coach made a speech at Rucker Stewart Middle School in Gallatin where super recruit Josh Malone’s mother is a teacher. He talked for most of an hour about character and discipline and reputation, about leadership and what type young men he seeks for Tennessee football. Think about that: He used his time to win a few young friends and influence that age group in defining a purpose. Amazing! Jones pushed his first squad of Volunteers pretty close to the limit but won admiration by working as hard as he asked them to work and won hearts by being the real deal, by caring for them as human beings. You did read what some seniors said? That they wished they had another year to play for this man. Such thinking might explain why the team, even when things went bad, did not quit. Academic progress by the players got my attention. Jones said the right things. He was the master motivator. Making friends and influencing people are basics in Butch Jones’ recruiting plan. The man has a winning approach. He looks you in the eye. He remembers names. I do believe that plan is working. Jones establishes relationships that are perceived as sincere. Parents trust him. He may actually take title to the state. The overall commitment count is astounding. This coach is no phony. He is selling what he actually has, the place and the people. When he says Tennessee is special, he is believable. He actually knows who the Vols beat in bowl games past. He knows why Bob Neyland’s name is on the stadium. He is quite different from recent leaders. The checkerboards are secure. Butch appreciates tradition, even if he did the grey thing to encourage the children and give the marketing division something new to market.
sive line, open tournament at quarterback, probable coming in the Marvin makeover secondary? By pointing to West where this staff has been and inviting study of what happened there. It is called a track record. Perhaps you noticed that When he says he has the Tennessee football wasn’t best coaching staff in the all that sharp in 2013. As a country, I may chuckle, but some of his assistants strategist, the coach graded are obviously outstanding out average. As a communisalespeople (think Tommy cator, Butch Jones was outstanding. Thigpen). That rare skill, coupled So, how do you sell loswith forthcoming recruiting ing? By turning it into a rewards, faster, stronger, positive and calling it early more athletic players, may opportunity to play. How do you sell the fu- sometime make him coach ture when there is so much of the year. Marvin West invites reader reaction. His uncertainty, new offen- address is email@example.com
ing regular classes in addition to her already considerable responsibilities. With the support of her family, she persevered. “Fa mily is safe. Family is everything,” she said in a blurb on H a bi t at ’s website. Edwards N i k i a’s uncle, a professional carpenter, helped the Habitat volunteers and professionals construct her new home. Her grandmother Sarah Edwards brought food every day. “Best cobbler pie you’ve ever had,” said Randy Frye, pastor of Fountain City UMC. Grandpa Robert Edwards Sr. just beamed. “We’re so proud of Nikia. She’s a wonderful girl.” He had promised at the outset to sit in a chair and supervise the construction. Nikia is proud of her kids and shared son Domenic’s message to her in a homemade Mother’s Day card. “I love you so much! ... I know it’s very hard doing things on your own, but as life con-
Nikia Thompson (center) with children Domenic and Darmonie tinues it will get better. ... If you follow these four things we will make it in life: Hope for joy, justice in life, live and honor, and strength to complete twists and turns.” In addition to her grandparents, uncle and the kids, both of Nikia’s parents have helped, as has her younger brother and sister. “The process has been amazing, and I am blown away,” she said on the Habitat website. “Everything you pour into life comes back to you.” Nikia recently accepted a new job, and on Dec. 21, she received the keys to her new house. The next morning she was at Fountain City UMC, speaking at the early service.
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“Habitat has an unbelievable record of (people) paying off their homes,” said Temple. “Even during the recession the default rate was low.” Middlebrook Pike UMC associate pastor, Evelyn Harris, offered a calming prayer with little cousin Zion, who was racing around in a Santa hat. John Voss, Middlebrook’s project coordinator, said the church has sponsored “8 or 9 houses over 10-12 years.” And Rick Murphree, a retired banker, said it’s easy to recruit volunteers. “People like to be involved in tangible things.” “It’s not about the house,” said Voss. “It’s about the people.”
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6 • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • Shopper news
Faulconer to lead Career Magnet Academy By Betsy Pickle John Derek Faulconer’s new job has a lot of unknowns, but he’s certain that he’s in the right place because he’s with the right students – the students who will be coming to the Career Magnet Academy at Pellissippi State. “I can envision myself being in their shoes,” says Faulconer, who was hired by Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre in November. “It’s a group of students that I connect with. If this opportunity had been provided to me, my mom would’ve had me by the ear, and this is the route I would’ve gone.” The Career Magnet Academy will open for the 201415 school year. Based at the Pellissippi State campus
at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, the career-track high school will take over the bottom floor of the former Magnavox building. Students will pursue a track in either Advanced Manufacturing, Homeland Security, Sustainable Living or Teacher Prep. The faculty will have certified high school teachers for freshman- and sophomore-level classes and Pellissippi instructors for upper-level career classes. Of course, that’s once the school has sophomores, juniors and seniors. Next fall, there will be only freshmen. “We will want them to do the whole program from start to finish. It won’t be easy. It will be rigorous, relevant and rewarding. “This is something that
no other high school in the country is doing right now. If you’re one of the first 125 students, you’re really in for a treat because you’re getting to be the pioneers of this whole effort.” The career tracks were chosen based on East Tennessee’s workforce needs. Eighth grade students from across Knox County can apply to attend. “Each (traditional) high school is going to be allotted so many seats based on the number of freshmen coming up. If high school A is allotted 15 seats and 15 students from that high school apply from that freshman class, those students will get in. If 20 apply and there are only 15 seats, then it goes into a lottery.” Faulconer joined KCS from Corbin High School in Corbin, Ky., where he was in his third year as principal. Previously, he had worked as a teacher and administrator at elementary and middle schools in Anderson County. A native of Cynthiana, Ky., but a Norris resident since 2002, he says he’s long had an affinity for Tennes-
John Derek Faulconer has large sheets of paper hanging on the walls of his office in the Andrew Johnson Building so that he can jot down ideas about the Career Magnet Academy and keep them in front of his eyes. Photos by Betsy Pickle
see. His commute to Corbin was 78 miles one way, and he often had to sleep in his office when his day ran long. Though he loved his job and his students, he felt he was missing out on too much time with his own children, so he saw the offer to work in Knox County as a blessing. Faulconer, who earned his bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Kentucky and his master’s in educational leadership from Tennessee Technological University,
also felt like it was fate. “When I went to Lexington, my goal was to go to UK right off the bat. But it was so large, and my high school was so small. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it.’” Overwhelmed, he enrolled at what was then Lexington Community College and completed his general education classes in two years before transferring into UK’s College of Education. “I’m kind of the poster
child for the community college system. I guess that’s why I fit into this model so well is because I understand it.” Students who complete their studies at the academy will have a high school diploma, an industry certification and enough college credits that they can complete an associate degree with one more year at Pellissippi. While the magnet academy won’t be “a typical, traditional, ‘Friday Night Lights’” high school, it will have extracurricular activities based on what students want. “That’s going to be the exciting part of being the first 125 because you’re really going to set a whole lot of things in motion,” Faulconer says. The students may even be the ones deciding the school’s name. Career Magnet Academy at Pellissippi State Community College “is the title that we’re going by. Students and the community will be involved in the naming process. “We don’t really know what it will be called.”
International affair at Mooreland Heights The United Nations is alive and well at Mooreland Heights Elementary School. At a morning assembly just before winter break started, after principal Roy Miller gave out a number of reading awards, the school honored its international students and shared the spirit of Christmas with them. Thirty-eight Mooreland Heights students representing 12 countries or territories were presented with gifts provided by a sorority from the University of Tennessee. Jamie Brightwell, the school’s English Language Learners teacher, says she has about 30 of the international students in her classes. The rest are proficient enough in English that they don’t need the extra help. Brightwell says classroom teachers prepared the students for the assembly and explained the prac-
tice by covering Christmas around the world. “It’s a cultural experience for them,” she says. “This is how we celebrate Christmas in the United States. This is our tradition.” While Brightwell, a former Air Force translator, encourages students to speak their native language at home, she says it’s important for them to learn English. “They need English as a life skill in the United States,” she says. Students who received Christmas boxes are: Bolivia – Elliani Stewart; Burundi – Waly Abiar, Lionel Mpawenayo, Innocent I., Justin Nijimbere, Pacifique, Antoine (Niyo), Angeline Irankunda; China – Melinda Wu, Coco Tang, Hunter Tang, Michelle Tang and Jie Ou; Guatemala – Laura Santizo, Antony Santizo and Dorian Santizo; Honduras – Ashlee Bustillo;
International students at Mooreland Heights Elementary School hold their Christmas boxes. Photo by Betsy Pickle
Iran – Carmen Sedeghi; Mexico – Kevin Zavala, Oscar Martinez, Angela Martinez, Tomas Mendoza, Rosa Mendoza, Jorge Mendoza, Nathanial Seals, Yaremni Ortiz, Ramy Garcia, Raul Garcia, Herlich Garcia and Noemy Casillas; Nigeria – Olivia Culp and Dominick Culp; Puerto Rico – Haziel Martinez; Sudan – Kalifala Sanoe and Maseeta Sanoe;
Uruguay – Mickey Gar- Woods Junior.” cia; and Vietnam – SheryThe cast of 35 seventhlyn Sittniewski and Ellis and eighth-graders has Sittniewski. been rehearsing since October, and the backstage crew ■ SDMS serious will be chosen in January. Community performances about play time will be at 7 p.m. March 6-7. Fractured fairy tales are “Into the Woods Jr.” is coming to life as the Souththe authorized young perDoyle Middle School choral formers’ version of Stephen department prepares for Sondheim and James Lapa production of “Into the ine’s Tony Award-winning
1987 Broadway musical. The story combines characters from fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and Rapunzel and intertwines them in ways the Brothers Grimm never envisioned. Music teachers Bethany Williams and Rebecca McCurdy are directing. – Betsy Pickle
The cast opens the show with hustle and bustle in downtown Runyonland.
Christmas made a little merrier
Carter High presents
‘Guys and Dolls’ The audience responded warmly to the Carter High School production of “Guys and Dolls” before the winter break. The production was directed by Jessica Strutz and stage managers were Laura Clift and Rachel Clift. Many people were backstage making sure scene changes ran smoothly, props were changed, lighting cues were hit and choreography went off without a hitch. These workers included prop masters Sarah Hunt-
er, Morgan Hanson, Laura Clift, Rachel Clift and Payton White; sound technician Gene Wooten; lighting technician Adam Baranowski with Lykrotech; light crew Austin Hillard, Emily Hubbard and Landon Lyons;
Carley Chollman performs “Adelaide’s Lament” during the show. Photos by Ruth White
make up and hair crew Nan Lambrecht and Olivia Martin; choreographers Traci Lively and Brittany Foust and costume designers Bethany Hancock, Emily Hubbard and Olivia Martin. Musicians in the pit included Meagan Langford on piano; Kristen Arp and Noah Tuten on trumpets, Davis Denison on bass guitar and Troy Rodgers on drums.
Donald Greene, supervisor with Waste Connections, carries a bicycle to a Christenberry Elementary School parent’s car. Waste Connections handed out 120 bikes to children who were selected through an incentive program. The students chosen possessed good grades and made good choices at home and in school. Thanks to office staff, drivers, vendors and matching funds, the purchase of the bikes was made possible. Photo by Ruth White
Nathan Detroit (Alex Drinnen) and Sky Masterson (Ben McCurry) discuss a location for an upcoming game of craps.
Shopper news • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • 7
Tony Earl: Man on a mission “spir it ua l fix,” but says God let him know that Tony needed to help even more. Over time Tony helped this Nancy young man Tony Earl Whittaker get a home, a job and daycare for his children. Tony felt his misTony grew up in Corry- sion with Angelic Ministries ton and Blaine before mov- had been accomplished. Tony explains that God ing to Halls. He preached at various churches as a said, “I’m not finished with youth minister before be- you yet.” Tony started voling ordained at Texas Valley unteering at Angelic MinBaptist. He served at Stoney istries while remaining the Point, Marbledale and Oak- pastor at Oakwood and wood Baptist. He felt his completing an internship ministry was going in the at Johnson University. He joined Angelic Ministries right direction. Tony had no idea what full time in January 2008. The ministry has grown, was in store for him when he attended a Compassion which enables Tony and his Coalition meeting in Knox- crew to reach more people. ville. Betsy Frazier, Angelic Between 3,000 and 4,000 Ministries’ founder, invited families are helped every year. Tony to tour her facility. Tony is proudest of how While on this visit a young man came in ask- they are making a real difing for help. He and his two ference in people’s lives. small children were living Angelic Ministries strives to in his van. They asked for a help people but wants to do child’s car seat. so in a way that these people Tony felt fulfilled because will not become dependent. he was able to lead this A donation box is set up young man to the Lord that and all types of hygiene day. He felt he had gotten his products are currently needSix years ago, Pastor Tony Earl was called to join Angelic Ministries. Since the age of 17 he knew his life’s work was to preach the gospel.
ed. Towels, washcloths, children’s underwear and socks, larger size diapers, and baby wipes are currently needed. To volunteer or donate, contact Angelic Ministries through its website at www. angelicministries.com or call 523-8884. ■
Eating at the North Corner
North Corner Sandwich Shop is nothing like I expected. Located in an unassuming building at 2400 N. Central, the shop features a professionally trained chef who has lived and worked in fascinating places. David Blevins was a chef and sous chef for years in vacation spots at Denver, Vail, and St. Thomas. He has an associate’s degree in culinary arts and was professionally trained as a chef in Miami. Originally from Murfreesboro, he decided it was time to put down roots. He decided on a great sandwich shop with a “scratch kitchen” here in Knoxville. After spending eight months renovating, David opened in April. He doesn’t settle for anything but the best. He orders hoagie rolls from Philadelphia and special orders salami and Italian cold cuts. When you
Frussie’s seeks new location By Betsy Pickle Improvements in the South Knoxville economy aren’t happening quickly enough for some businesses. Frussie’s Deli and Sandwich Shoppe, 133 Moody Ave., probably won’t be on this side of the river in 2015. “I’m in the market for a new location, and when I find something that’ll suit me, I’m probably going to jump on it,” says Jay Bran-
don, who took over the eatery on Nov. 1, 2011. Brandon’s departure will be a huge loss for South Knoxville, which has few non-franchise restaurants. Even though 46-seat Frussie’s is lunch-only, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday, it has earned raves for its homemade breads and house-cured meats since it was opened in 1986 by James and “Sam” Dicks.
Owner Jay Brandon probably will be moving Frussie’s Deli out of South Knoxville this year. Dicks closed the shop after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009 (he passed
order a roast beef hoagie, you get fresh top round that David cooks. The “cubano” sandwich David Blevins has roasted pork, also freshly prepared. Along the way, David learned the art of real Italian cooking. He grinds meat for his Italian meatball hoagies and makes the marinara sauce from scratch. Meatball hoagies are available a couple of times per month. Check out North Corner’s Facebook page for daily specials. Specialties include homemade soups, bacon potato salad and fresh-baked Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies with a sprinkle of sea salt. I could easily become addicted to these cookies. North Corner Sandwich Shop is open Monday through Friday from 11 to 3. David will prepare brown bag lunches for a meeting or sandwich trays for an office party. The business has grown rapidly because once people go there they are hooked. I think you will be too. Info: 423-737-0760.
News from Pellissippi State - Magnolia
Teaching degree at PSCC
It’s so much more than reading and ’rithmetic. Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus offers prospective elementary education teachers a unique and streamlined way to attain an associate of science in teaching degree. “Students who are pursuing the AST degree can take all of the required courses on the Magnolia Campus,” said Barbara Jenkins, consulting coordinator for teacher education. “Pellissippi has made a commitment to offer every class a student needs for the AST degree at Magnolia, so that students who live in South or East Knox County don’t have to attend classes at multiple campuses to complete their degree.” With 49 students enrolled, the AST program at Magnolia is offered in two cohorts, an arrangement that allows students to attend classes and progress through a program together. One cohort is offered during the day to accommodate traditional full-time students. The AHEAD, Accelerated away in March 2012). A group Higher Education Degree reopened it briefly but failed, Program, cohort is offered and it remained closed until in the evenings and is deBrandon took it over. signed for working adults. Brandon, a graduate of Central High School and Peter Kumps Culinary Insti- ‘If you’re interested in retute in New York, was work- opening Frussie’s, I’ll show ing as a chef in other restau- you how to make everything rants but became a Frussie’s the way I made it.’ I was like, fan after being introduced to ‘Deal.’” Brandon has mixed feelthe deli. Over a decade, he and Dicks grew to be friends, ings about relocating. “The South Knoxville and after Dicks retired he customers I have are terrifwent to visit him. “He made me an offer,” ic,” he says. “There are some recalls Brandon. “He said, very loyal ones.”
“The accelerated cohort allows working adult students to progress through the associate of science in teaching degree in two years, the same time as a traditional full time student, through evening and online classes,” said Celeste Evans, specialist of cohort and certificate programs. Cohorts encourage greater community and teamwork among students as well as greater individualized attention from faculty, who work with the cohort students to advise and offer academic support. The associate of science in teaching degree is a transfer or university parallel program, in which students who graduate from Pellissippi State can easily transfer credits to a Tennessee Board of Regents four-year university to complete the final two years of a teacher education licensure program for K-6 teachers. The AST degree meets the requirements for students transferring into elementary education programs; it does not meet all of the transfer requirements for secondary education programs. Info: www.pstcc.edu/ magnolia or 865-329-3100. He estimates 30 percent to 40 percent of his customers are from South Knoxville. Unlike other struggling SoKno business owners, Brandon doesn’t blame the lengthy Henley Bridge closure for his problems. “Baptist Hospital closing down really put a ding in business over here,” he says.
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8 • DECEMBER 30, 2013 • Shopper news