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VOL. 52 NO. 61


Gas tax makes no ‘cents’ |

The Hills are alive . . . and very healthy

By Scott Frith Gov. Bill Haslam has announced a wide-ranging tax proposal that would add 7 cents per gallon on gasoline and 12 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. As part of the governor’s plan, the sales tax on groceries would be lowered by one-half a perScott Frith cent (a 50-cent decrease on a $100 grocery bill) and the Hall income tax decreased. Most would agree that Tennessee’s bridges need work. Although our state ranks near the top of states in highway quality, we lie near the bottom in bridge health. In fact, one study by TRIP, a transportation research and lobbying firm, found that 19 percent of Tennessee’s bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” Supporters of the gas tax increase say that new revenue is needed to repair bridges and fund a backlog of state road projects. Also, they argue it’s only fair that drivers (who use the roads) pay for road improvements. That’s the problem. A gas tax isn’t fair at all. Gas taxes are among the most regressive forms of taxation. Whether you’re a millionaire, a senior on a fixed income, or a family barely getting by every month, a gas tax increase will cost you more money. If you’re rich (or comfortably middle class), you probably won’t notice any increase. However, if your family is worried about the cash for your next fill-up at the gas station, any tax increase hits hard in the pocketbook. Tax increases are always politically problematic, but a gas tax increase is even more treacherous. Has the Haslam administration not considered the optics of a billionaire governor (who happens to own a fuel center empire) increasing taxes on the poorest Tennesseans to pay for better roads? Even worse, Haslam’s plan decreases the Hall income tax, a tax on interest from bonds and dividends from stocks, which would inevitably benefit rich Tennesseans. The campaign attack ads against these folks write themselves. Of course, it’s important to remember that Gov. Haslam’s To page A-3

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July 29, February 8, 2013 2017

The children of Kevin and Cheryl Hill make the most of time outdoors.

By Joanna Henning Vestal residents Kevin and Cheryl Hill have no shortage of passion when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, they have made it their mission to help teach others just how easy it is to live the healthiest life possible. The couple will open the newest location for Uncle Lem’s Mountain Outfitters on Sevier Avenue this spring, and the store will feature

an entire section dedicated to health and nutrition. In 2015, when their daughter Olivia was 3, the Hills took her for a hearing test because she wasn’t speaking as clearly as their son. She was also suffering with massive amounts of nasal congestion, sneezing and other allergy symptoms, but the test results kept coming back normal, and none of the medical professionals seemed

able to diagnose the problem. “We took her to her pediatrician and two ear, nose and throat specialists who wanted to remove her tonsils and adrenals, and put ear tubes in,” Cheryl explains. Exasperated by the situation, Cheryl and Kevin decided to try Olivia on a gluten-free and dairyfree diet, and the results of their decision were mind-blowing. Cheryl says that, “. . . after just

four days without dairy or gluten, Olivia was like a different person. She stopped sneezing, and there was no more of that congestion and discharge.” Kevin and Cheryl were so inspired by Olivia’s blossoming health that they decided to make the whole family dairy and gluten free. They read books and watched To page A-3

SDHS football celebrates impressive season By Betsy Pickle Praise was served generously at the SouthDoyle High School Cherokees’ football banquet. Players, cheerleaders, their families, coaches and invited guests celebrated the 2016 season with a convivial meal at the Crowne Plaza downtown on Jan. 28. The mood was consistently upbeat as head coach Clark Duncan, the master of ceremonies, and his coaching staff added humorous and heartfelt comments to the affair.

Duncan praised his players and coaches for the team’s unprecedented third-place finish in the state playoffs. 2016 was a comeback year, and he’s expecting the team to keep growing. Scott Bacon reported on upgrades to SDHS athletic facilities, including new turf this semester and a new gym floor over the summer. Plans are in the works for a new fieldhouse to accommodate football, track, soccer and tennis. Bacon said a series of informational

breakfasts will be held to encourage community support. Cheerleading coach Stacy Burton presented the honors to the squad, including Outstanding Leadership: Alisha Ford; Miss Congeniality: Morgan Monday; Best Spirit: Destiny Babyak; Most Improved: Hannah Feller; Awesome Attitude: Hannah Feller; and Best Technique: Bailey Beam. To page A-4

Elect a planner, get a plan By Sandra Clark Madeline Rogero’s degree in urban and regional planning is very handy as she starts her sixth year as Knoxville’s mayor. When she spoke at North Knox Rotary the other day, she listed several plans. Parks and greenways? Plan. Public safety? Plan. South Knoxville? Plan. She’s the perfect extender of former Mayor Bill Haslam’s plans; but, of course, as director of community development for Haslam, she helped write them. “We started at the core and are moving out,” she says. Credit Haslam with the revitalization of downtown Knoxville. Rogero is re-creating the major corridors to benefit businesses and neighborhoods around them: Chapman Highway, Magnolia Avenue, North Broadway and Cumberland Avenue.

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Mayor Madeline To page A-4 Rogero visits Fountain City to announce a $6.4 million federal grant to help alleviate traffic congestion on North Broadway, Chapman Highway and Kingston Pike. Photo by Ruth White

ond-by-second adjustments in the timing of the signals to optimize traffic flow. “The latest upgrades ($2 million for Broadway alone) represent a combined $8.4 million investment in this corridor, and we’re excited to be installing cutting-edge

technology to help resolve decades of frustration with gridlock on Broadway,” Rogero said. “Everyone’s commute will improve, and less time sitting in traffic means reduced emissions of pollutants.” And that’s a plan we all can applaud.


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“We leverage public funds to draw private development,” she says. “I have three more years – 1,060 days or so – to maximize accomplishments. “We’ve got a plan for connecting greenways; we’ve developed the Urban Wilderness and the outstanding Lakeshore Park.” Not mentioned but important, Rogero hired engineers to fix the problems at Fountain City Lake. She joked that Knoxville has so many breweries that we might be called “the ale trail,” and she was back in Fountain City last week to announce a $6.4 million federal grant to improve traffic flow. She spoke at a windy bus stop. The plan, she said, is to install smart, interconnected traffic control signals on Broadway, Chapman Highway and Kingston Pike. The system will analyze where cars are backing up and make sec-

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A-2 • FebruAry -NewS ebruary8,8,2017 2017• •PSowell outh SKhoPPer nox Shopper news

health & lifestyles

Lesson for life

Knox County principal turns stroke into learning experience Within hours after a stroke had garbled her speech and paralyzed her right hand, West View Elementary School principal Beth Blevins was making plans to turn her nightmare into a learning experience. From her hospital bed in the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Blevins was texting and making calls to her staff to schedule an educational program designed to teach the signs of a stroke to all 201 of her pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders. “On that day when I had no control in the morning, by that afternoon I was already starting to put my life back in place,” said Blevins, who had learned of the program only minutes earlier when she was introduced to Jered Collis, one of two registered nurses who cared for her in the NICU. “When Jered found out I was an elementary school principal, he told me that Fort Sanders Regional has this educational outreach program that goes into schools and teaches kids to recognize a stroke,” Blevins said. “I said ‘Absolutely!’ When you feel out of control, you need to start feeling in control of something. When he connected me with this program, I immediately started to get some of my control back and that to me

After experiencing a stroke, West View Elementary principal Beth Blevins invited the Fort Sanders Regional stroke team to her school to present their kid-friendly stroke education program.

was key to recovery.” It was Dec. 1 when Blevins grabbed her coffee as she went out the door of her Farragut home. Before backing out of her driveway, she sent a courtesy text message to Wes Haun, West View’s school resource officer, saying she should be arriving around 6:45 a.m. But as she got off the exit ramp on Sutherland Avenue, Blevins

began having trouble swallowing her coffee. “I just thought, ‘Man, that coffee is not sitting well with me this morning.’ I never thought anything about it,” she said. By the time she traveled one block and pulled into the school’s parking lot, she knew something was wrong. “I couldn’t put my finger on it,” she said. “I just felt funny. I didn’t

know if it was a stroke but I knew it was like one. I didn’t have any of the face droop though – nothing like that. It was just that I could not swallow, I couldn’t put my thoughts together and my speech was really garbled.” Blevins dialed Officer Haun from the parking lot. He rushed to her and quickly summoned an ambulance. “They were over here within, oh gosh, it felt like less than five minutes,” she said. “By that time I literally couldn’t even pick up my purse. My right hand couldn’t pick up anything.” Several students, members of West View’s safety patrol, watched as Blevins was lifted into the ambulance and whisked away to Fort Sanders Regional. There, she received the clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), within 38 minutes of her first symptom. “Within 10 minutes of them putting the tPA in my system, everything came back!” she exclaimed. “Everything!” Before she knew it, she was wheeled into NICU and introduced to Collis. He immediately put at her ease, explaining her treatment and showing his concern as he told her about the hospital’s stroke education program for kids. “He was phenomenal,” Blevins

said. “He told me everything that I needed to know, everything that was happening with me, everything about every procedure. He was wonderful.” Collis wasn’t the only one who impressed her. “From the moment that I was taken off of the stretcher and put into my first CAT scan everybody at Fort Sanders was wonderful,” she said. “Even though I couldn’t speak, they didn’t assume that I couldn’t think. It was a scary time and it was important to me that they talked me through everything.” Blevins was discharged the following day with only a lingering headache and some mild cognition problems. Two weeks later, she was back in school finalizing plans for a Dec. 22 program on stroke recognition presented by Fort Sanders’ stroke team. “Before we left for the holidays, all of my school kids had received this education and the book, ‘Can My Dog Have a Stroke?’” said Blevins. “They learned about the brain and what a stroke really is and what a stroke really isn’t. Every one of my kids now knows about it and they’re not scared – which is really good because, as much as I wanted to protect them from that, they saw the ambulance come for me that day.”

FAST payoff for Stroke Team program Students attending the Dec. 22 stroke education program at West View Elementary learned a lot about a complicated topic – stroke. Through the analogy of a traffic jam, they learned how the blood flows through the brain. They learned how to recognize the signs of a stroke using the FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) acronym. They watched a short cartoon with a catchy tune about stroke, and they talked about exercise and eating right – and they asked questions. “It is important for elementary students to know about stroke because more people are having strokes at an earlier age – about

40 percent of our patient population are younger than 65 years old,” said registered nurse Tracy Dwight, stroke coordinator at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “We hope to send the message that the children can be the ‘stroke heroes’ for their family if someone experiences signs and symptoms of a stroke. We encourage the children to call 911 if needed and we go through a mock call to practice what to say.” Launched in December 2014 to meet a Joint Commission standard requiring a comprehensive stroke center to reach out to the community to offer stroke educa- Principal Beth Blevins poses with a group of her students who became “stroke heroes” after learning signs and tion, the program’s first stop was symptoms from the Fort Sanders Regional Stroke Team.

Students had the opportunity to practice 911 calls and memorized important information that first responders need to treat a stroke quickly and effectively.

Dogwood Elementary School in south Knoxville. “We thought it would be fun to reach out to children and so we targeted third-graders,” said Dwight. “We were trying to think outside the box and target a different audience.” Along the way, the students’ questions inspired another project: a book titled, “Can My Dog Have a Stroke?” A copy of the book is included in goody bags given to the kids during the half-hour

program. The bag also includes a brain-shaped stress ball, a refrigerator magnet, an activity book and wallet cards with the FAST message. When a stroke sent West View’s principal to the hospital on Dec. 1, she learned about the program from her nurse and immediately wanted to bring it to her students. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard she had requested to see the book,” said Dwight. “We didn’t have a pulse on how effective the

book would be or how the community might receive it. When we received the request, it sort of confirmed that we really have made an impact for stroke education in our community. It was an ‘aha’ moment that affirmed we could be making a difference.” East Tennessee teachers interested in scheduling the elementary stroke education program for their school should contact Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center at 865-541-1111.

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No comprehensive stroke and rehabilitation center in our region does more to reverse stroke’s devastating effects than Fort Sanders Regional Medical Fort Sanders performs Center. That’s why hospitals clinical trials and procedures for stroke not available across East Tennessee refer their most complex stroke patients to anywhere else in our region. us. And only Fort Sanders Regional is home to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, East Tennessee’s elite rehabilitation hospital for stroke, spinal cord and brain injury patients.

South Knox Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-3

It takes everyone

to clean up SoKno

Bob Riehl and Jenny Arthur pick up litter during the Jan. 28 Fort Dickerson Park cleanup sponsored by the South Knoxville Alliance for Business & Professionals. Photo by Betsy Pickle

Ten months into Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s campaign to help South Knoxville clean up its environs, the task is still daunting. By carelessness and intent, litter lines both major thoroughfares and neighborhood streets. KKB executive director Patience Melnick is making the rounds of SoKno neighborhood association meetings to enlist participants for a major cleanup on March 25. The groups have been supportive, and many

Betsy Pickle

of them are moving their traditional cleanup days to synch with the communitywide effort. All of SoKno’s neighborhood groups hold at least one trash pickup each year; some twice or more. Several also hold beautification days

where they plant bulbs and trees and spruce up welcome signs. The South Knoxville Alliance of Business & Professionals sponsors a cleanup at the Fort Dickerson Quarry Lake at 11 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month, even in bad weather. January’s event drew six volunteers; sometimes leader Carl Hensley is the only person to show up. SKA and TREK South, which is primarily a hiking club, join forces once a year

to clean up not only the litter on the land but also the debris in the lake. Afterward, they enjoy lunch and time on the water. KKB chose South Knoxville as the first of five areas in the county to focus on for beautification efforts for a year each through June 30, 2021. SoKno actually got a few extra months as KKB launched the program in winter 2016 instead of waiting for the fiscal year to begin in July. Last year, KKB, along

with South Knoxville partners and other groups, held cleanups of Goose Creek, Cottrell Street and Scottish Pike; a beautification mob on Sevierville Pike and Compton Street; and trash runs. The March event probably will be the final major push, though there may be another trash run before the end of the year. The cleanup will take place 9 a.m.-noon starting at Sam Duff Memorial Park, 4060 Chapman Highway.

Community leaders can pick up supplies to take back to their own neighborhoods to pick up litter. Individuals are welcome to come to Duff Park to help collect trash at the park and surrounding streets. KKB will have free cleanup supplies as well as snacks and beverages. Volunteers will convene at the park at noon for lunch. Businesses and other SoKno groups are encouraged to participate. Register at Keep

COMMUNITY NOTES ■■ South Knox Republican Club. Info: Kevin Teeters,

Molly Gilbert, 209-1820 or mollygilbert@yahoo. com.

■■ Colonial Village Neighborhood Association. Info: Terry Caruthers, 579-5702, t_caruthers@

■■ Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Kelley DeLuca, 660-4728,

■■ Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Firearms Association. Info: Liston Matthews, 316-6486.

■■ Old Sevier Community Group. Info: Gary E. Deitsch, 573-7355 or garyedeitsch@bellsouth. net.

■■ Knoxville Tri-County Lions Club. Info: ■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Association. Info:

■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association. Info: Pat Harmon, 591-3958.


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The Hills countless documentaries about Eating Clean: a lifestyle change that encourages the complete removal of processed and refined foods from the diet as well as eliminating toxins from the home environment. Eating Clean also meant removing all refined sugars, chemical additives, preservatives, nonorganic, non GMO foods and of course, the elimination of dairy and gluten. After a year, the entire family saw drastic improvements in their health. Kevin says, “I felt like I woke up from a 20-year

Gas tax hike gas tax plan is only a proposal. There’s no guarantee it will ever see the light of day in Nashville. (Remember, Haslam proposed Insure Tennessee and that plan went nowhere.) Expect a lot of alternative proposals to emerge in the coming weeks. Here’s the bottom line. Few Republican legislators fear a Democratic opponent. However, any Republican voting for a gas tax increase should worry about an antitax Republican primary opponent in the 2018 elections. Voting for a gas tax increase puts a bull’s-eye on every tax-hiking legislator.

From page A-1 fog! I stopped feeling sluggish and sick all the time. I had so much energy without caffeine, and I even began to sleep better.” He also dropped 35 pounds and continues to lose weight. Meanwhile, Olivia continues to thrive along with her brothers , Caleb, Josiah, and Benjamin. Cheryl explains that clean eating is about “feeding their children’s brains instead of just filling their bellies,” and she does this by carefully choosing the food from local farms or

CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), and making much of their food herself. She even makes sunscreen made of organic oils, kombucha, and baked goods made of non-wheat flours. With the new store opening this spring, Kevin and Cheryl are driven by a “moral and spiritual imperative, to help others make the ultimate transition to optimal health.”

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From page A-1 Campaign donations from road builders (and friends of the governor) might not be enough to ensure their re-election. But politics aside, it just isn’t right to fund road improvements on the backs of the poorest Tennesseans while also reducing the Hall income tax, which benefits the wealthiest. Here’s hoping state leaders reject this gas tax increase and find another way to improve Tennessee’s bridges and roadways. Say no to a gas tax increase. It doesn’t make “cents.” Scott Frith is a local attorney. You can visit his website at

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A-4 • February 8, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

The First Pet By Kip Oswald Welcome back, friends, to my series of articles on White House pets, or “First Pets” as I am calling them. I had to take a social studies test last week in Kip class about our constitution and how laws are passed. I made 100 on the test, but I really wanted to add a question about how presidents can grant pardons. You see, one of the most famous pets was a turkey that was given to President Abraham Lincoln for the family to feast on at Christmas in 1863. Tad, the president’s 8-year-old son, named the turkey Jack, and played with him on the White House lawn. So when Tad found out the turkey was to be Christmas dinner, he begged his dad to save him. President Lincoln interrupted a cabinet meeting and issued a presidential “stay of execution” for the turkey who then became the family pet! It is now tradition for the president to issue a pardon for a turkey each Thanksgiving. Jack was not the only pet that avoided being eaten as a White House meal!

Rebecca, a raccoon, was the favorite pet of Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president. The Mississippi town of Peru sent this raccoon to the White House for Thanksgiving dinner in 1926. The Coolidge family found her to be friendly and playful, so they decided to keep her as a pet instead. They built her a special house, and the president was known to walk around with Rebecca draped around his neck, while his wife carried her in her arms like a cat. Once, when the White House was being remodeled, the president even sent a limousine to pick up the raccoon so she wouldn’t be lonely. Now both these families had other pets as well. The Lincolns had normal pets besides Jack the turkey, like dogs and horses, but they also had two goats they called Nany and Nanko. Tad was allowed to let them sleep with him in his bed and run through the White House. (I am going to write more on Tad in my First Kids articles). The Coolidges had dogs and cats but many odd pets, like lion cubs, a pygmy hippo, and Smoky, the bobcat, who was the largest bobcat ever captured in Tennessee. All the wild animals were donated to the zoo . More First Pets next week. Send comments to

Seniors on the South-Doyle High School football team are, from left, Dylan Cameron, David Ogle, Kent’Ta Tanner, Christian Nave, Clarence Jackson, Nate Holder, Devonte Gunter, Caleb Wender, Jake Harper and Jamaine Wilson. Not pictured: Alex Kercher. Photos by Betsy Pickle

South-Doyle’s cheerleading squad includes (front row) Lauren Feller (Indian Princess), Hannah Feller (freshman), Makayla Byrd (junior), Semajeniece Moss (sophomore); (back row) Destiny Babyak (freshman), Sydney Fitzgerald (captain, senior), Morgan Monday (junior), Stacy Burton (coach), Anesha Williams (senior) and Alisha Ford (captain, senior). Not pictured: Brianna Watson (junior) and Bailey Beam (captain, senior).

SDHS football The football coaches presented the following awards: ■■ Senior GPA: Caleb Wender, 3.75 ■■ Newcomer: Elijah Young ■■ Brotherhood Award: David Ogle ■■ Iron Man: Jamaine Wilson ■■ Weight-room Award: Michael Redding, Wes Holt, Bradley Sisler ■■ Special Teams: Austin Morse, Cody Richards ■■ Linebacker Award: Wes Holt, Bradley Sisler ■■ Coaches Award: Clarence

From page A-1


■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■

Jackson, Jake Harper, Gus McAnally, Tyrese Troy Coaches Award: Mathias Erikson (Danish exchange student) Secondary Award: Austin Shular Defensive Big Man: Nate Holder Defensive MVP: Dylan Cameron Offensive Skill: TonQuez Ball Offensive Big Man: Christian Nave Kent’Ta Tanner Chief Award: Caleb Wender


Recruited as a kicker, Mathias Erikson, an exchange student from Denmark, earned recognition for his contributions to the team and was given his helmet and an autographed football.

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South Knox Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-5

Interior castles Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts. … (1 Chronicles 6:54 KJV) It was St. Teresa of Avila who coined the phrase “interior castles.” She was a nun who lived in Avila, Spain. Amid the castles of Spain, St. Teresa built her own mental castles: Her prayers, thoughts, beliefs, convictions were formed, shaped, and honed by that place and by her intellect and her faith. Her most famous writing, Nada Te Turbe (Let Nothing Disturb You), was a prayer found in her breviary, written in her own hand in 1577 and published in 1588. I am intrigued by that phrase. Now I have never been one to go ballistic, to saddle up and ride off in all directions, but I freely admit that some things do disturb me! (I will refrain from listing them here, because a) why should I burden you with my complaints, and b) I am sure you have your own.) There are some battles I am willing to fight, but there are a great many smaller squabbles in

Pictured are (front) Daniel Unthank, Shepard Strange, Nathan Jackson, Mayne DeVault, Pierce Stiltner, Jack Felton and Devin Jones; (back) Mike Capps; Boys & Girls Club president/CEO Bart McFadden; Brett Jackson, Randy DeVault, Randy Stiltner, John Felton, event coordinator Mary McAlexander. Photo by Ruth White

Boys & Girls Club shoots for a cure

The Boys & Girls Club sports camp program hosts a free throw contest called Shoot for the Cure each year to help raise money for breast cancer research. This year the group raised close to $1,750 for the cause. The shootout features players in the individual event from the coed instruc-

tional league and the training league and the Family Feud event featuring a parent/child team from both leagues. Coed instructional league finalist was Mayne DeVault, and the champion was Daniel Unthank, who hit 20/20 free throws; training league finalist was Devin Jones and the champion was

Shepard Strange. In the Family Feud, coed instructional league finalists were Nathan Jackson and Brett Jackson and the champions were Mayne DeVault and Randy DeVault. Training league Family Feud finalists were Jack Felton and John Felton and champions were Pierce Stiltner and Randy Stiltner.

Lunch and a lesson at First Baptist By Carol Z. Shane “I am a ‘familiar stranger’ to Knoxville,” says the Rev. Dr. Tom Ogburn, senior pastor of First Baptist Church for the past three years. “My grandparents lived here much of their lives, my parents lived here for a season and two of my siblings were born here. I was in and out of Knoxville from my childhood until my early 30s!” Coming off a nine-year stint at First Baptist of Oklahoma City, Okla., and having spent the previous 10 years as a missionary, Ogburn says that “when my wife and I moved to Knoxville that familiar sense of home filled my heart and we have settled here with joy.” On any Wednesday you’ll find him leading “The

more consistent in its offering, and ‘The Bridge’ found its name a little over 20 years ago. In my tenure as pastor it has become a weekly offering with rare exceptions. “It is one of my favorite things I get to do each week. I really appreciate the group that gathers for lunch and study each week. It has become a weekday oasis for those from law offices, businesses and government offices.” Ogburn is a compelling speaker with a real gift for The Rev. Dr. Tom Ogburn Photo submitted drawing in his audience. Bridge,” which is FBC’s and a lesson/reflection from At a recent gathering there weekly ministry to the the Bible. lunchtime crowd. Guests “For over 30 years FBC enjoy a delicious meal – has had some variation chicken pot pie, broccoli, of lunch and study for the salad bar and cherry pie downtown community. were featured recently – Over time it has become

News from Office of Register of Deeds

January brings great start to ’17

Seafood for your Sweetheart on Valentine’s!!!

“The Bridge” happens every Wednesday at 11:50 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 510 W. Main Street. Entrance is to the right of the main sanctuary building; take the elevator to the ground floor. Info: or 865546-9661.

■■ Messiah Lutheran Church, 6900 Kingston Pike, will host “Caring for All Creation” choral concert, 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. Choirs from Messiah Lutheran Church, Church of the Savior, Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church and St. Mark UMC will perform. Info: Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light,

■■ South Knox Senior Center, 6729 Martel Lane. Info: 573-5843. ■■ South Knox Community Center, 522 Old Maryville Pike. Info: 573-3575. ■■ John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St. Info: 523-1135.

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which I am willing to follow what I think of as my troika: “Let it go; give it up; and set it free!” Or as a friend of mine was fond of saying: “Whatever.” But it is the “interior castles” that I keep thinking about. There are some folks who have never had an unspoken thought. Whatever is on their mind falls right out of their mouth like a gumball out of a machine. There are thoughts that bear reconsidering. There are others that should be locked up in some interior castle, never to be thought again, much less spoken. There are some thoughts that are so precious and dear that they must be spoken, as a gift to the world!


against real estate in January. In 2016, just $220 million was loaned. By far the largest real estate transfer in January involved multiple parcels in the Dowell Springs complex off Middlebrook Pike. The properties brought $70.6 million. On the lending side, the largest transaction recorded was a Deed of Trust in the amount of $30.18 million filed on real estate formerly known as the News Sentinel Building on State Street in downtown Knoxville. As markets continue their long recovery from the housing collapse of 2008, the data seem to indicate that both sales and lending are now reaching their 2007 levels. If this trend continues, it would certainly be good news for our local economy.

■■ Weigel’s “Hiring Day” event, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, all East Tennessee Weigel’s locations. Applicants will be able to interview for full- and part-time positions at all levels. Info:

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By Sherry Witt After a strong ending to 2016, local real estate and lending markets wasted no time getting off to a fine start for the new year. For the month ending Tuesday, Jan. 31, there were 732 property transfers recorded in Knox County – well short of the 1,020 filed in December, but comfortably ahead of last January’s Witt total of 661. It was also the highest number of property sales recorded in January since 2007. The total value of land transferred during the month was $228.7 million, compared to December’s $244 million, and outpacing January 2016 by more than $70 million. It was the first time January sales had topped the $200 million mark since 2007, when about $250 million worth of property was sold in the county. Lending markets also had reason for optimism as about $314 million was borrowed

were few empty seats and an attentive crowd. “I would love for others to come and join us,” he says. “The heart of this ministry is to help those that live or work downtown to bridge the call of scripture with our everyday lives.”

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A-6 • February 8, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

Protesters from Knoxville and beyond make a statement on Market Square during the Jan. 29 Knoxville Stands With Standing Rock event, which expanded to protest President Donald Trump’s refugee ban. Trudy Miller Monaco is holding the “Love Trumps Hate” sign in the center. Photo by Betsy Pickle

Standing for a cause – and more By Betsy Pickle Some people think of Trudy Miller Monaco as a troublemaker. She would probably describe herself as a problem-solver. The founder of Vestival and retired longtime director of the Candoro Arts & Heritage Center is devoting herself to causes these days. It started last fall when Native Americans opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline put out a call for 5,000 actions across the country over the Columbus Day weekend. “I got on Facebook to see if there was an action here,”

Monaco recalls. “I couldn’t find one, so I thought I’d do my own.” She organized a gathering on Oct. 9 at Market Square to show solidarity for the Standing Rock Reservation’s resistance to the pipeline. Her plan was to have a circle of song, prayers and dance. Once she started, she decided to make it a weekly event, 2-4 p.m. each Sunday. The issue hit home with Monaco because of the oil industry’s impact on climate change. A Knoxville resident since 1993, she says she wouldn’t be protesting be-

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cause she’s “too old,” at 69, if it weren’t for her family. “My children, my grandchildren are going to have to live with the Earth that’s going to be left behind.” The Sunday circles continued through the fall, with many graced by an elderly Seneca medicine man who performed a water ceremony. Attendance varied, with as many as 45 participants and as few as two. Two Sundays ago, Monaco had decided to call it quits. But that morning, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order

blocking immigrants from seven Muslim countries and inspired by the recent Women’s March, she decided to send out a call to combine the weekly circle with a protest of the ban. She spent three hours on Facebook that morning promoting the event. At 2 p.m., there were nearly 30 people in attendance. Before the event ended, the number had soared to more than 60, creating a large circle on the Market Square stage. People were encouraged to share their reasons for coming. Some were refu-

Knox County Extension Master Gardeners will present the following free gardening classes. ■■ Living with Diabetes: Putting the Pieces Together, 2-4:30 p.m. ■■“Spring Lawn Repair: What a Mess!” 1:30-2:30 p.m. SatThursday, Feb. 9, Fountain City Branch Library, 5300 Stanton Road. urday, Feb 25, Bearden Branch Library, 100 Golfclub Road. Info: 689-2681. Presented by Master Gardener Ron Pearman. Info: 588-8813. ■■ Peninsula Lighthouse Group of Families Anonymous meet■■“Raised Beds: Build ’em and Fill ’em,” 1:30-2:30 p.m. Satings, 6:15-7:15 p.m. each Tuesday, 1451 Dowell Springs Blvd. urday, March 25, Bearden Branch Library, 100 Golfclub Road. Newcomers welcome; no dues/fees; no sign-up; first names only. Info: Barbara L., 696-6606 or Presented by Master Gardener Mike Powell. Info: 588-8813.

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says. “They don’t understand it’s really to bring attention to a problem. If people don’t focus on it, it’s never going to be fixed. “People don’t do it to cause trouble. I’ve lost a lot of my friends that I went to school with. They just think protesting is like, ‘They’re trouble-makers.’” She’s hopeful that attendance at the protests will continue to rise. “Now that Trump’s president, that’s the difference,” she says. “Jan. 20 changed everything. Everybody’s really mad.”

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gees and immigrants themselves. Others were motivated by issues such as equal rights and Planned Parenthood. There were some chants and a little singing. The group marched on the plaza around the stage. Attendees were peaceful, as were bystanders. Monaco was so encouraged that she decided to continue the event. She plans to highlight a different issue each week with the help of various speakers. “So many people don’t understand protests,” she

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South Knox Shopper news • February 8, 2017 • A-7

Mary Utopia Rothrock: Innovative librarian Books are a way up and a way out. – Michael Dirda, senior editor, Book World, The Washington Post, 2001 How true! Books really are a way up and a way out. Mary U. Rothrock (18901976) proved that axiom during her 24 years as head librarian at the Lawson McGhee Library and during her 14 years with the Tennessee Valley Authority Library. When she was supervisor of library services at TVA (1934-1948), she instituted an innovative system for providing “do-it-yourself” guides and other books to employees and their families at the various construction sites. Often boxes of books would arrive along with boxes of tools at remote locations throughout the valley. She knew that books promoted enhanced job skills and provided pleasure and she wanted ambitious workers to have access to them. TVA was Appalachia’s “Marshall Plan,” and its network of dams gave impetus to the area’s emergence from the Great Depression (1929-1940) and made Alcoa and Oak Ridge and other developments possible. Rothrock’s initiatives assisted the recovery and evolved into systems that enabled rural areas in several southeastern states to provide library service. Later, her

Jim Tumblin

innovations earned her the prestigious Lippincott Award and her “rare vision and intelligence” were cited during its presentation. Mary Utopia Rothrock was born on Sept. 19, 1890, in the hamlet of Trenton (pop. 1,293) in Gibson County in northwest Tennessee. She was the youngest of five children of Rev. John Thomas Rothrock, a Presbyterian minister, and Utopia Ada (Herron) Rothrock. Pvt. J.T. Rothrock had survived the Civil War as a member of Gen. Nathan B. Forrest’s brigade in Holman’s 11th Tennessee Cavalry. After completing grade school and college preparatory school, Mary matriculated at Vanderbilt University and attained her B.S. in 1911 and her M.S. in 1912. She then attended the New York State Library School in Albany and received her B.S. in Library Science in 1914. After graduation she became head of the Circulation Department of the Cossitt Public Library in Memphis. In 1916, longtime Library Trustee Calvin M. McClung (1855-1919) was designated by the board of Lawson Mc-

Knoxville Public Library on Market at Commerce (1917-1971). Its design by Grant Miller of Chicago’s Patton and Miller architectural firm had “horizontality” features like the Sullivan-Wright Prairie-Style. Many felt it was an outstanding example of the best in architecture. Ghee Library to look for a new head librarian for the new free public library. The old subscription library had just been reborn as a taxsupported public library. Most of the existing funds of the older library were used in the construction of the new public library building. When McClung visited Memphis in 1916 to begin his search, he was immediately impressed by “(a) little red headed librarian,” Mary U. Rothrock, and offered her the job. She worked with McClung and his wife, Barbara Adair McClung, on both library and local history projects until his death in 1919. When C.M. McClung died, she encouraged his widow to donate his personal library of some 4,000 volumes of books and numerous historical papers. That

Beck Center Genealogy Society to hold workshops The Beck Cultural Exchange Center’s Genealogy Society will hold free workshops introducing the detailed process of researching personal and familial genealogy at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus. The workshops will be held 10:45 and 11:50 a.m. Feb. 10, 14, 17 and 21 in room 122. Noted genealogist Tony Burroughs, the founder of the Center for Black Genealogy, will facilitate a longer genealogy workshop, “Help! I Can’t Find My Ancestors! Overcoming Challenges in Genealogy,” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the community room. Info: or 694-6400.

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collection became the centerpiece of today’s McClung Historical Collection, the most comprehensive source for East Tennessee history to be found anywhere. Upon her arrival in Knoxville, Rothrock immediately became involved in the planning for the move to the new library at Market and Commerce (Summit Hill). The design was by Grant Miller of the prestigious Chicago firm of Patton and Miller Architects who utilized the so-called Chicago Style with elements of “horizontality” typical of Louis Sullivan’s and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style. Miller would later design several buildings for the University of Tennessee, including Ayers Hall. The building was occupied in January 1917 and remained Knoxville’s Main Library until 1971, when the current building at Church and Walnut was built. The old library had become a victim of the extensive redesign of streets on Summit Hill and was so venerated that protest about its overnight destruction led to the founding of Knox Heritage.

(That old library holds fond memories for the author as it was there that the then high school student discovered Francis T. Miller’s 10-volume “Photographic History of the Civil War,” which kindled his interest in that era of American history that lasts to the present day.) As early as 1922 Rothrock recognized the need for branch libraries and established the first one in Park City in 1925 followed by others in Lonsdale, Burlington, North Knoxville and Vestal. Rothrock could not resist the challenge when the Tennessee Valley Authority asked her to become their Supervisor of Libraries in 1934. She joined the massive project and held her position until her resignation in 1948 but remained their consultant until 1951. While at TVA she developed the aforementioned multicounty rural library program that has been a model throughout the Southeast, the achievement that earned her the Lippincott Award (1938). She returned to public library work in 1949 as Knox County librarian and worked to consolidate the city and county libraries into one system. She retired in 1955 but continued to maintain a very active interest in local history and spent many pleasant days at her mountain home on Roaring Fork in Gatlinburg. During her long career she contributed greatly to local, state and national organizations and causes in these positions: president, Tennessee Library Association (1919-20 and 1927-28); president, Southeastern Library Association (192224); founding member, East

Innovative changes Mary Utopia Rothrock made in the Knoxville-Knox County Libraries and at the TVA Library were modeled throughout the Southeast and resulted in a vast expansion of library services that were a benefit to the public. Photographs courtesy of the McClung Historical Collection

Tennessee Historical Society (1925) and its president (1932 and 1937); author of “Discovering Tennessee,” a public school textbook (1936); president, American Library Association (1946-47) and editor of the landmark local history “The French Broad-Holston Country” (1946). Mary Utopia Rothrock passed away on Jan. 30, 1976, at her home on Kingston Pike. She was buried in Old Gray Cemetery, survived by a niece and several nephews. Her friend and fellow librarian Lucile Deaderick observed of her: She brought to (her) profession a keen mind and broad intellectual interests, a hard-headed approach to problems, and a sensitive appreciation of people. This combination of qualities guaranteed her great professional success, and under Rothrock’s leadership a modern library system was established in Knoxville.

A-8 • February 8, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

last words

Depends on who you believe

Misplaced priorities in Parks & Rec budget Visit any community and ask what citizens want. You will hear more and better parks, sidewalks and greenways. We heard that in Hardin Valley just last month, and Shauna Godlevsky, parks planning and development director, said her capital budget is just $300,000. When a mile of sidewalk can cost $1 million, you see the problem. “No money” is the mantra. Yet somehow we continue to add personnel – even in Parks & Rec. Mike Donilla, former reporter for the News Sentinel and later WBIRTV, has joined Knox County government as PR guy for Parks & Rec.

Butch and Tennessee assistant coaches talk as if they recruited well, assembled an excellent class of future Volunteers. Maybe they will be good enough to help win championships – which hasn’t happened around here in a long, long time. Fans seemed a little disappointed there was no late drama, no prize that switched at the last moment and went orange. Oh well. Recruiting analysts, almost ordinary people who get paid for perusing video and seeing stars, sound as if Tennessee finished in the middle of the Southeastern Conference pack, well behind the big boys but safely ahead of Vanderbilt. Based on that limited information, you can choose optimism, realism or pessimism, depending on who you believe. No matter how you view the recruiting scoreboard, whether your glass is half empty or half full, Tennessee is no closer to beating Alabama than it was last October. The Tide had more

Sandra Clark We confirmed last week that his salary is just south of $50,000. Add that to the salaries of senior director Doug Bataille, $123,143; deputy dirctor Chuck James, $75,690; and Godlevsky, $50,936, and you see we’re paying about $310,000 for people to plan and manage a $300,000 budget for purchases and projects. How many folks do we need to tell us there’s no money?

Marvin West

talent, has more talent and will have more next year. That reassigns the burden of victory to coaching or luck – development, strategy, precise execution or who drops the ball or misses a tackle. None of that has been a recent Tennessee strength. The Vols gathered several three-stars with great potential. When you hear about upside in recruiting, it usually means somebody else signed the top prospects and you got the couldbe guys, hopefuls and possibilities. Alabama was awesome, as usual. Georgia, with new coaches, came on boldly. LSU exceeded expectations.  There are several compelling thoughts about Tennessee recruiting.

(1) Securing offensive tackle Trey Smith, 6-5 and 310, of Jackson was a big win in more ways than size and need. It was very smart to have his sister employed in the athletic department. Perfectly legal. Also astute. Illustration of family atmosphere. (2) The fence Butch built around the state has a hole in it. Clemson and LSU slipped through and hit us hard. (3) Tennessee filled some vacancies but may not have signed the offensive gamebreaker or future all-American on defense. Here we go again: development can make up the difference. (4) Recruiting gets more difficult as you go along. In the beginning, Butch presented an exciting plan for restoring Tennessee credibility. Brick by brick. Some called it a vision. It was contagious.  There were glaring gaps in his inheritance. He could offer immediate playing time. Sign right here, young man, fill this void. Lyle Allen “Butch” Jones

Jr., a very good salesman, essentially solved the roster problem. The cupboard is no longer bare. The Vols are not juveniles. They have matured into adults. Lots of seniors on the next team. OK, some on defense contributed to record yards allowed. Unfortunately, the great goal in the sky has been capped at 9-4 and 9-4. Butch is 30-21 in four seasons. He is 1-3 against Florida, 2-2 versus Georgia, 2-2 against Vandy and not very good at all against the SEC West. The dream has been scarred by results. Prospects with medium intelligence might wonder how could you possibly lose to South Carolina? What if a parent sought an explanation of the Vanderbilt game? Forget it, that is past tense. The Vols won their bowl game. Recruiting was pretty good or at least soso. New coaches brighten the horizon. Some of the injured are healing. Spring practice is not far away.  If you chose optimism …

Mannis considers mayoral race Barber tells story of Gazan people

Eddie Mannis, deputy to Mayor Madeline Rogero during her first 18 months in office, is seriously looking at running for mayor. He is the owner and founder of Prestige Cleaners and a strong supporter of veterans. Mannis would be Eddie Mannis viable if he decides to run, but the primary is not until August 2019. He has lots of time to think it over. Mannis, 57, grew up in Inskip. He now lives on Kingston Pike across from Sequoyah Hills. His businesses employ 170 people. He has been heavily involved in the community over many years. It is likely he would have the active support of Rogero. Also being mentioned are council members Marshall Stair, 38, and George Wallace, a youthful, energetic 58. Mannis is the only one of these three who has served in the executive branch of city government – as did Rogero for thenMayor Bill Haslam, which assisted her in defeating Mark Padgett and Ivan Harmon in 2011. If all three actually seek the mayor’s office, the city would choose among three able, well-funded, energetic candidates who would bring different perspectives to the office but, in this writer’s opinion, are all well qualified to serve.

Victor Ashe

Mannis’ views on pressing issues will evolve during a campaign. For Stair and Wallace, they have and are compiling a record of votes on council now which they can explain, promote and defend in 2019. The last member of council to be elected mayor was Kyle Testerman in 1971. Other council members have sought the office, including Bernice O’Connor, Casey Jones, Jean Teague, Ivan Harmon and Danny Mayfield. None succeeded. Some have suggested that Stair, who would be 41 in 2019, would be too young. Mayors elected in 1971 (Testerman) and 1975 (Randy Tyree) were under 40 years old. ■■ Bill Hagerty, former state commissioner of Economic and Community Development, will be the next ambassador to Japan. He will follow two Tennessee senators who served in Asia in the past 24 years: the late Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (Japan) and former Sen. Jim Sasser (China). Hagerty worked on the Trump transition and wins favorable reviews wherever he works. He will be a very able and knowledgeable envoy to Japan, which has significant investment in Tennessee. Victor Ashe is a former mayor of Knoxville and U.S. Ambassador to Poland.

It’s going to take Brian Barber a while to get used to the word emeritus, but he will continue the work he’s been doing at the University of Tennessee for the past 30 years from his new home in Washington, D.C.

Betty Bean Barber, the founding director of UT’s International Center for Study of Youth and Political Conflict, studied a generation of Palestinian boys who grew up in the midst of violent political conflict in the territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. When he started, they were adolescents; today they are grown men, married with children of their own. A longtime professor of child and family studies and an adjunct professor of psychology at UT, the center he directed also conducted studies on the effects of violence on young people in Egypt and Bosnia. The center’s work has been supported by the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Jerusalem Fund, the United States Institute for Peace and the Jacobs Foundation. And although the center closed Jan. 31, Barber will remain closely connected to UT, where he chaired the search committee to find his replacement and will return

(Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is

Brian Barber inspects the olive crop with Fuad, the patriarch of the first family that hosted Barber in Gaza. Barber still stays with them on his visits.

in the spring for a scheduled farewell party. “I have nothing but good feelings and good memories of the University of Tennessee,” Barber said. He is now an international security program fellow at New America and a  senior fellow, Institute for Palestine Studies. His work will be available on his personal website (http://, and he is writing a book he hopes to finish by the end of 2017 about five Gaza men, now entering their 40s, who are a subset of the larger group of Palestinian youth in the 30-year study. The working title is “Gaza’s grit: beauty, tenacity, betrayal and yearning from an ostracized corner of the world.” Barber said those four conditions are crucial to the story. “They’re all alive and healthy, and have been re-

markably tenacious in making their lives work under clearly degrading conditions, both political and economic. They are suffering for sure, but they are also making it work. One of the main messages of the book is that people in general are resourceful and value life and love and dignity. “They are doing well – as long as ‘well’ is understood as a very compact word, a single word that captures a very rich and deep set of conditions. ‘Well’ in this case does not mean carefree. It means survival.” Barber has lost track of the number of trips he has made to Palestine over the years, but estimates it’s between 30 and 50, sometimes staying for a month at a time. He has become particularly close to two families whom he says are among his best friends in

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the world. “I’ve been a guest in their home over two decades. They’ve treated me as a son and a brother – and a father in some cases – they are tremendously warm and welcoming people, and some of my best friends in the world are there. This is one of the benefits of being a social scientist. You get to do your work on humanity, and humans connect. And these are very connectable people because of their inherent warmth and sense of hospitality. “Gazans feel very much lost and forgotten and betrayed, by everyone, and the only thing they’ve ever asked of me over two decades is to tell their story. And now, the book will tell their story to people across the world, I hope. Very few people will go to Gaza, so it’s my goal to take you there.”

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A great community newspaper serving South Knoxville and the surrounding area

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