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VOL. 52 NO. 91
Avon Rollins: words of wisdom By Reneé Kesler
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Librarian and robotics sponsor Heather Palmer watches as robotics team members Shermija Whitehead, Tyra Brown, Lauren Glenn, Da’Mani Kpana, Jesse Jett, Ethan Crossley and Billy Pratt (obscured) run their robot over their Lego course in the library at Dogwood Elementary School. Photo by Betsy Pickle
By Betsy Pickle Heather Palmer started her teaching career only eight years ago at Dogwood Elementary School. Finding out that she’d been named Knox County Teacher of the Year for pre-K through fourth grade was a shock. “I was surprised when I got Teacher of the Year just for my building,” says school librarian Palmer, who received the Dogwood award along with colleagues Christa Smith and Laura Wright. “It was a real honor. “I’m not a main classroom teacher, but they treat me as a teacher here. It was a real treat to be nominated by my peers.” Getting the district honor at last week’s awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Downtown had her scratching her head. “Even when they called me
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ahead of time to make sure I was going to be there, I said, ‘You realize I’m a librarian, right?’ ‘Yes, but your application stood out.’” Like most teachers, Palmer does more than what her job title suggests. She sponsors Dogwood’s after-school robotics program, which she started last fall. Palmer is also a mentor with Hardin Valley Academy’s robotics team. Both of her daughters went through the program and loved it. “In the beginning, I got involved in robotics basically to get to spend time with my kids because I’m not a robotics person,” she says. “But I fell in love with the FIRST Robotics program. “Seeing how much my girls grew and developed using that program in the high school, I wanted to bring it to these guys in the elementary level. So that’s why
we started it this year, and I have two alumni from that team (HVA) that help me with programming and design of robots.” The Lego League, which is the elementary-level FIRST Robotics program, limits teams to 10 members. Dogwood started with 11, but one dropped out just before the competition in December. “With the Lego team, they keep it small, more compact, so every kid works on the job, whereas at the high school level, they get a little more specialized,” says Palmer. In addition to designing and programming a robot built with Lego pieces, the team has to make a presentation that demonstrates research and teamwork. The program also teaches “gracious professionalism,” which includes showing respect during competition.
An Indiana native, Palmer started out studying engineering at Purdue University but realized – ironically, in hindsight – that it wasn’t her “cup of tea,” so she switched to English literature. She moved to Knoxville 19 years ago and worked as a substitute teacher before deciding to seek a master’s in informational science at the University of Tennessee. Palmer tries not to let her enthusiasm for robotics overshadow her library purchases. “I try not to be too over the top, but they do say, ‘Oh, Ms. Palmer, you got a new robotics book, huh?’ I like to have a lot of STEM in here that’s multiple levels for the kids. But I also love my reading, so I’m like, ‘Hey, you got a STEM book – how about some fiction?’ I try to encourage them to check out all kinds of things.”
SoKno gets social with ice cream, Ed & Bob By Betsy Pickle Knox County Commissioners-at-Large Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas held one of their itinerant meet-ups in South Knoxville last week and got a larger crowd than usual. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the appeal was the commissioners, the combo or the dessert – they held their event at Kay’s Ice Cream, 6200 Chapman Highway.
More than two dozen SoKno folks dropped in to chat with and/or play harmonica for Brantley and Thomas. Many of them bought hamburgers and ice cream – and even walked around the corner to buy treats at the Village Bakery – so the Colonial Village business district had a little economic bump Wednesday evening. People were already waiting when the pair
arrived at 4:45 p.m. Residents brought up a variety of topics, including business development in South Knoxville, payday and title loan establishments, the downside of gentrification, discipline in schools, deteriorating playground equipment at the old Doyle Middle School, sidewalks near schools and the gas tax. To page A-3
Welcome to the neighborhood, SoKno Taco By Betsy Pickle
NEWS News@ShopperNewsNow.com Sandra Clark – 865-661-8777 Sarah Frazier – 865-342-6622
July 29, March 1, 2013 2017
Palmer’s passion pays off in KCS Teacher of the Year
The Beck Cultural Exchange Center, “the place where African American history & culture are preserved,” bid its final farewell to Avon William Rollins Sr., former executive director of Beck, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Reneé Kesler Mr. Rollins was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement and was always willing to share words of wisdom. While I was privileged to have the opportunity to engage in numerous in-depth inspirational conversations with Mr. Rollins over the years, perhaps the crowning moment for me came exactly Rollins Sr. five months prior to his death. On Thursday, July 7, 2016, at Beck, I had the privilege of moderating a conversation with eight extraordinarily wise and insightful people: Dessa E. Blair, Robert J. Booker, Luther W. Bradley, Ether R. Jackson, Theotis Robinson Jr., t h e Rev. W. Eugene Thomas, Lawrence B. Washington and Avon W. Rollins Sr. The documentary “East Tennessee Voices: Eighth of August Celebration of Emancipation,” was produced in partnership with East Tennessee PBS and the East Tennessee History Center. The documentary highlighted the significance of the 8th of August in Tennessee history. It was Aug. 8, 1863, that Military Gov. Andrew Johnson freed his own slaves in Greeneville. Further, in keeping with Emancipation Day or the Day of Freedom, in Knoxville, Chilhowee Park was open to African Americans only one day a year, Aug. 8, and this continued until 1948. As you might imagine, during the filming there were amusing bloopers. If you could have been a fly on the wall you would have witnessed heartwarming laughter and real entertainment. At one point the filming had to stop because we could not halt chuckling at a gesture made by one of the eight.
Attendance at Saturday’s South Haven Neighborhood Association meeting at the Roundup Restaurant was higher than normal. Sure, the neighborhood is growing, and there are lots of projects going on. But it was the promise of a tour of SoKno Taco Cantina across the street that had an irresistible appeal. Today (March 1), after a soft
Baker Creek Bottoms – was renovated by owners Brian Hann and Jason Stephens, members of the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club who both live in South Knoxville. Restaurateur Bryan “Howie” Howington (Cool Beans, Central Flats & Taps) met Hann at the launch of a new bike trail and quickly became interested in the SoKno building as the site for an eatery. The interior is a blend of indus-
trial, rustic, artistic and historic. The floors, chairs and restroom stalls are reminiscent of a factory. High ceilings reveal exposed wood. The “garage room” has kept its original concrete walls. Lighting features handmade-looking glass vessels. Vintage maps mix with beer prints and original artwork, including a paisley-themed To page A-3
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opening that began last week, SoKno Taco Cantina officially opens at 3701 Sevierville Pike. General manager Ryan Steffy and manager Stephanie Hall say there are still a few finishing touches that need to be added, but patrons are welcome to come get acquainted with South Knoxville’s favorite new restaurant. Previously home to a variety of businesses, the long-dormant building – conveniently close to
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health & lifestyles
Is your heart ... history?
Knowing your family’s health can save your life Nancy Mott’s cardiac stress test several years ago went without a hitch. At age 70, the Knoxville woman had no heart disease at all. Still, she wondered … could she be at risk of an aortic aneurysm like the one that ruptured and killed her father at 71? It was a family history question that Daniel Slutzker, MD, a boardcertified cardiologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, took to heart. “Almost as a throwaway line, I mentioned that my father had died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm,” said Mott. “That really got his attention! It was this ‘Oh!’ reaction … it seemed to be important information to him. He’s obviously somebody who pays attention to family history.” Dr. Slutzker ordered a CT scan and went searching for an aneurysm. What he found was just as deadly – an atrial myxoma. The rare, noncancerous tumor growing inside Mott’s left atrium was almost tennis ball-sized, threatening to shut down her heart without warning. The symptoms of a myxoma range from nonexistent to mild (low blood pressure, dizziness or arrhythmia) to sudden death. “As soon as you find one, you take it out because they can cause strokes,” said Dr. Slutzker. “That’s the big concern – that little pieces can break off and go to the brain from the heart.” So as soon as the condition was discovered, cardiac surgeon Thomas Pollard, MD, performed the procedure at Fort Sanders Regional to remove the tumor that could have killed Mott. “I had no heart disease, I had
Nancy Mott poses with a portrait of her late father. By sharing his health history with her physician, a rare heart condition was discovered. no signs or symptoms and I wasn’t having chest pains,” she said. “There was no reason to do further testing other than my saying to Dr. Slutzker, ‘My father died of a ruptured aneurysm.’ I had told other doctors about it in the past and had been told, ‘Well, you have no symptoms and no signs.’” Atrial myxomas are so rare that hers was the only one Dr. Slutzker had seen in 30 years of practice. The tumors are found in one out of
every 2,000 patients, and 10 percent appear to be inherited. Most – 75 percent – are found in the left atrium. “Not everybody with an aneurysm has a family history of it,” said Dr. Slutzker. “But when you have a patient with family history of aneurysms, 20 percent of their family could have aneurysms. So we went looking for an aneurysm and found a myxoma.” Since the discovery, Mott’s fam-
ily has become more aware of the importance of family medical history. Both her brother and her daughter have been checked – and cleared – for aneurysms and myxoma. “Family medical history strikes me as very important,” said Mott. “While we don’t know if Daddy had a myxoma, mine was found because of his family history.”
A few years later, Mott asked Dr. Slutzker if myxomas can return. “He said, ‘Recurrence is very unusual. But let’s just check it out,’” she said. “So he ordered another test, and he’s not someone who orders tests willy-nilly. He really listens to you, and he appreciates that I pay attention to my body and that I am able to give him good information.”
Cardiologist: Do your parents’ genes fit you? Daniel Slutzker, MD, likes to say the key to a long life is simple: “Choose your parents wisely.” “So much of our destiny has been predetermined and written by our parents,” said Dr. Slutzker, a cardiologist at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. “I always kid around and tell people to choose your parents wisely. Of course, they can’t choose their parents. But they can alter the time frame and the time course of disease with intervention or medicine. Family history is very important.” Few realize the value of good genetics more than Dr. Slutzker, who lost both parents and his brother to Daniel Slutzker, heart issues. M.D. “That’s part of the reason I went into cardiology – because I was worried about it,” he said. “Dad had his first heart attack when I was a firstyear medical student. So I said, ‘I think I want to get interested in cardiology because I want to find out what is going on with him.’ My brother [Dr. David Slutzker, who was a pulmonologist and chief of staff at Fort Sanders Regional] died two years ago after a heart attack. So, yes, family history is huge.”
Risk factors can be limited, but “it’s amazing how much correlation there is between genetics and what’s going to happen to you,” said Dr. Slutzker, who says he now gets a cardiac stress test every two years. “You can control blood pressure as best you can, you can control hypertension, you can control diabetes as best you can, but you can’t control your family history. “I always tell people that everybody has a timeline for heart trouble,” he continued. “If you live long enough, you’re going to have some heart trouble down the road. The question is, ‘How long is the fuse?’ It’s a time bomb and for some people, it’s a short fuse and you’ve got to get on them early. For other people, you try to lengthen the fuse as long as you can by controlling the risk factors. While the odds of inheriting a cardiac myxoma are only 10 percent and the risk of inheriting an aneurysm 20 percent, the chances of one inheriting coronary artery disease is much higher because of its many risk factors – smoking, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol.”
All Heart. All Here. From diagnosis to rehabilitation, Fort Sanders Regional’s award winning Heart Center provides comprehensive cardiovascular care.
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Still, Dr. Slutzker says only about half the patients who come into his office are aware of their family history. “A lot of them don’t give enough importance to it,” he said. “Young people come in when they’ve had a young family member who’s had problems. They’re already in tune. But often middle-aged people whose parents are still alive do not take family history seriously. One parent may have had a heart attack, but they don’t give it enough importance because the parent is still alive. But ANY heart attack is a big deal. “If more people are in tune with their family history, you can uncover things that you never would have known,” he added. “We didn’t find an aneurysm in Ms. Mott, but we found this myxoma. And the only reason we looked is because she knew her family history and knew there was a problem. It was just one of those fortuitous things where we were looking for something else, but because she knew her family history, we found something that was life-threatening.”
“It’s amazing how much correlation there is between genetics and what’s going to happen to you.” – Daniel Slutzker, M.D.
South Knox Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-3
At 13, Boone Sommers has had 14 acting roles, all but one of them with Knoxville Boone Sommers, a SouthChildren’s Theatre. Doyle student, in “Seussical,” a musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss Boone in “The Hobbit”, playing Bilbo Baggins
The Sommers family: Braxxton, Tammy, Steve and Boone
Boone Sommers, 13, acts up, and that’s good By Joanna Hemming At first, Boone Sommers seems reserved. He sits quietly with his hands folded in his lap, and he tilts his head to listen as though trying to absorb more that your words. His apparent shyness lingers until he’s asked about acting. At 13 years old, the lanky South-Doyle eighth-grader already has 14 stage performances under his belt, and all but one have been productions with the Knoxville Children’s Theatre. Boone was first cast as Ed-
gar the Evil Butler in Mooreland Heights Elementary School’s production of “Aristocats.” He was just 8. Since then, he has performed in shows ranging from “Mulan” to “Seussical,” and secured the lead as “The Hobbit’s” Bilbo Baggins. While most boys his age are consumed with sports, Boone would rather be studying characters and preparing for his next audition. He becomes increasingly animated as he talks about performing and explains that, like sports, acting on stage offers its
own lessons in personal development, discipline, dedication and team building. “I feel more comfortable making mistakes in acting than I did in sports because you can make more choices on stage. In sports, I felt there was just one play that you had to get right, but when you’re acting, you still have to support each other as a team, you just have more ways to do it.” Boone says Zach Allan, acting teacher and director of KCT, has helped him expand his acting abilities as well as improve his
social skills in general. And for a teenager, learning to navigate the social scene is no small feat. “Acting teaches you how to have a backup plan, a toolbox of skills that you can use in any situation, and this gives you courage and makes you feel more comfortable socially.” More recently, Boone has developed an interest in film and admits that he’s intrigued with cinematography, lighting, sound and other behind-the-scenes production. He’s even written, shot and edited a short music video.
But when it comes to career, he has his sights set on engineering and hopes to attend L&N Stem Academy when he graduates from South-Doyle Middle this spring. Boone is currently preparing his audition monologue for KCT’s performance of “The Island of Dr. Libris,” written by Chris Grabenstein and Ronny Venable, and based on the 2015 New York Times best-selling novel about children’s stories coming to life. For tickets or to learn more about KCT, visit www.KnoxvilleChildrensTheatre.com.
Bus drivers honored for service Knox County Schools and Ted Russell Ford has recognized five school bus driv- Cox Evans Hayes ers for their serand every day.” vice and safe driving pracHonored for their service tices while transporting were Junior Cox, serving students in Knox County Knox County for 16 years Schools. and driving for Carter High Bus drivers collective- and Carter Middle, Chilly log 20,000 miles each howee, Sunnyview and L&N day and approximately STEM Academy; Kathy EvBob Thomas and Marcia O’Neal listen as Helen Caldwell talks about parking problems at the 3,000,000 miles per year ans, driving for 3½ years South Knoxville Community Center. Photo by Betsy Pickle for KCS. County Commis- for Carter High and Carter sioner Bob Thomas com- Middle, Chilhowee and From page A-1 mended this month’s hon- Sunnyview; Jennifer Hayes, orees for “doing it right each driving one year for Fulton
Ed & Bob
Marcia O’Neal and Helen Caldwell, regulars at the South Knoxville Community Center, made the case for more parking at the center, 522 Maryville Pike. They said they had heard promises from Mayor Madeline Rogero, City Council member Nick Pavlis and city Parks & Recreation director Joe Walsh for years, but nothing had been done, and recently some of the on-street parking was removed. Gale Shown looked beyond SoKno and asked for more funding for the Cerebral Palsy Center, which she says does tremendous good in the community but doesn’t get a lot of attention or financial support. Several other politicos came by to grab a bite and show solidarity. South Knox’s own commissioner, Carson Dailey, was on hand and busy promoting the March 25 Keep Knoxville Beautiful SoKno cleanup. Tom Spangler, running for county sheriff, and
Charlie Susano, county Circuit Court clerk hopeful, both worked the crowd. Ted and Carla Hatfield and C. Larry Smith came for dinner. And busy taking notes was Andrew Wilson, a forestry consultant who lives in Lake Forest, who is seeking the First District City Council seat that Pavlis is exiting at the end of the year. Brantley and Thomas were pleased with the response to their visit. “I enjoyed it,” said Brantley. “I thought it was excellent,” said Thomas. “I used to live right behind Berry Funeral Home and was a lifeguard at Chapman Recreation Center, so I’m endeared somewhat to the area. “It’s exciting that things are changing in South Knoxville, but we need to make sure that it’s not only growth, but growth that’s good.”
SoKno Taco painting of the Urban Wilderness. SoKno Taco offers seating for 120 inside, while patio tables seat an additional 60 outside. Behind the 30-foot bar are taps for 24 beers. There are also empty shelves and an empty margarita tap – the restaurant is still waiting on its liquor
license. The one-page menu makes it easy to decide between meat and vegetarian choices for tacos, burritos and nachos. Breakfast burritos are available all day. There are also appetizers, salads and desserts, including churros, choco tacos and treats from Magpies Bakery.
COMMUNITY NOTES ■■ South Knox Republican Club. Info: Kevin Teeters, firstname.lastname@example.org.
■■ Knoxville Tri-County Lions Club. Info: facebook.com/tricountylions/info. ■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Molly Gilbert, 865-209-1820 or email@example.com. ■■ Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood Associa-
– Ruth White
Steffy calls the restaurant “super casual,” but there’s a “formal” dining room that harks back to the old days – it doesn’t have a flat-screen TV, unlike the other areas. Hours are 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.
■■ Old Sevier Community Group. Info: Gary E. Deitsch, 865-573-7355 or garyedeitsch@ bellsouth.net. ■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association. Info: Pat Harmon, 865-591-3958. ■■ South of the River Democrats (9th District). Info: Debbie Helsley, 865-789-8875, or Brandon Hamilton, 865-809-3685. ■■ South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association. Info: Shelley Conklin, 865-686-6789. ■■ South-Doyle Neighborhood Association. Info: Mark Mugford, 865-609-9226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■■ Vestal Community Organization. Info: Katherine Johnson, 865-566-1198.
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Beck Center panel makes documentary “East Tennessee Voices: Eighth of August Celebration of Emancipation”
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over the years, including an African proverb that states, “My ears cannot hear what you say because my eyes see what you do.” Likewise, I shall never forget the final words of wisdom that ended the “Eighth of August” documentary in which Mr. Rollins affirmed, “You know I had the pleasure to travel across this country with Dr. Martin Luther King, and I witnessed many, many speeches, but one thing I remember so precisely, he said, ‘A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.’ And too often our backs are bent. And through this understanding of August the Eighth hopefully we will straighten our backs up and achieve that economic parity as we go into the future because that’s so important so we can participate in this whole economy as equals.” Words of Wisdom.
High, Bearden Elementary and Richard Yoakley; Karla Mikels, driving 11 years and serving Gap Creek and South-Doyle High School; and Yvonne Tomlin, driving 12 years for Cedar Bluff. Each honoree received a certificate, gift bag from WIVK and a check for $100 from Ted Russell Ford.
tion. Info: Kelley DeLuca, 865-660-4728, email@example.com.
■■ Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Firearms Association. Info: Liston Matthews, 865-316-6486.
For some two hours, we laughed, reminisced, walked down memory lane and in the end, we produced a reflective documentary that would be featured at a red-carpet premier event in downtown Knoxville and broadcast throughout the state of Tennessee on the PBS network. Perhaps as important, if not more so, is that we were constructing an oral history to serve generations to come. The panel included a 95- and 92-year-old, the first African American Fire Department chief, first African American undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, c i vil r ights a ctivists, h istorian, veterans and a minister, all trailblazers and all overflowing with wisdom. I shall never forget the many words of wisdom that Mr. Rollins shared with me
From page A-1
■■ Colonial Village Neighborhood Association. Info: Terry Caruthers, 865-579-5702, firstname.lastname@example.org.
865-281-6510 | www.dcpllc.org
A-4 • March 1, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news
Ashes to ashes … Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went. (2 Samuel 13: 19 NRSV) Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is a solemn day of prayer, of self-examination, of repentance. In many denominations, the observance includes worshipers having ashes imposed on their foreheads as a symbol of repentance. The ashes are customarily created by burning the palms from the previous Palm Sunday. I have participated in Ash Wednesday services in various places and denominations, depending on what church was handy in the middle of a workday. I have also received the ashes at different times of day, but usually at early morning. I’ll tell you this: wearing a cross-shaped black smudge on your forehead exposes you to some odd glances. That doesn’t bother me, but I tell you, if you have the ashes imposed early in the morning, they begin to be itchy by the afternoon! There is also the subtext of death involved
in receiving the ashes. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” is repeated at burial services. So, when one goes about one’s usual business on Ash Wednesday, it is with a visual reminder that our days are numbered. Even wearing the ashes, we carry in our hearts and minds the end of the story. We know that there will be celebration at Palm Sunday, solemnity at Maundy Thursday communion, pain and sadness on Good Friday. But we can walk through “the valley of the shadow” because we know that Easter is coming. So, wear your ashes as a reminder for your heart and soul, as a witness to everyone who sees you, and as an emblem of your Savior.
The Rev. Jayme Tharp poses with “Oliver,” who’s been known to hold his Bible for him during sermons.
The hand-painted staircase is just one of the kid-friendly features at New Life Ministries. Photos by Carol Z. Shane
New Life Ministries is all about kids By Carol Z. Shane The Rev. Jayme Tharp walks through the wide hallways of the New Life Ministries church building on Fairmont Avenue. It’s been in a state of continuous renovation since he moved in in 2006, and it won’t be finished any time soon. “There’s 57,000 square feet of space,” Tharp says, “and it
was in rough shape.” Though two churches are currently sharing the space, the other congregation moves out the end of February, leaving Tharp and his flock to find their footing as a single entity in a very big building. Fortunately, their church is growing. Tharp says it’s because of their focus. “It’s ‘kids first’ here. We
have been focused on kids from the time I stepped in,” he says. “Everything we do, even with all the adult ministries, we ask ‘how are the kids being ministered to?’” Tharp and his family, wife Rose, grown kids Logan and daughters Jayme Marie and Katlyn Rose, have been in Knoxville since 2000, when Tharp
Abuse workshop shines light into the darkness By Shannon Carey Child sexual abuse is a difficult topic to tackle, but even though it’s hard, it must be discussed if it is ever to end. That’s what a core group of volunteers is trying to accomplish right here in Knox County with monthly meetings of the Community Coalition to Protect Children and through offering the Darkness to Light “Stewards of Children” workshops in as many venues as possible. Community activist Margaret Massey-Cox is coordinating a Stewards of Children workshop at Fountain City Presbyterian Church 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 4. This workshop will be facilitated by Joy Gaertner, who is herself a survivor of child sexual abuse. According to Gaert-
ner, Darkness to Light was founded by a mother who was also abused as a child. When she had a daughter, she pledged that she would not let the same thing happen to her. Gaertner’s motives to becoming a Darkness to Light facilitator are similar to the founder’s reasons for starting the program. “I wanted to make sure that I was part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Gaertner said. And child sexual abuse is a huge problem. One out of 10 children will be abused sexually before they reach age 18. Six of those will be girls, and four will be boys. In 90 percent of cases, the abuser is someone known to the child, not a stranger. Abuse can cause lifelong problems for the abused. “It became a non-event. I just stuffed it for all those
CPR/BLS Certification and First Aid Classes American Heart Association approved classes required for employment in hospitals and healthcare facilities. Also CPR classes required for educators and first aid classes for general public. Call 865-742-5977 or 865-591-4073 for schedules
to bring as many Stewards of Children workshops to Knox County as possible, and increase body safety education in local schools. “Education is validating for victims and empowering for community members,” she said. The March 4 workshop is free and includes a workbook that participants may take home. Registration is required at mmc7951@ gmail.com or 865-5673366. For information about Darkness to Light facilitator Joy Gaertner and community ac- Stewards of Children and tivist Margaret Massey-Cox are joining forces to help end child Darkness to Light, visit sexual abuse. Photo by S. Carey www.d2l.org. years,” said Gaertner. “It damages your relationships. It impacts who you are.” Darkness to Light uses five practical steps to give adults the tools to protect children. Those steps are “Learn the Facts,” “Minimize the Opportunity,” “Talk About It,” “Recognize the Signs,” and “React Responsibly.” “(Sexual abuse) thrives in darkness,” said MasseyCox. “We are trying to push it out into the light.” The workshop is open to the public, not just those who work with children. This, according to Gaertner, is key.
“I believe it is our jobs as The Darkness to Light adults to do this,” she said. child abuse prevention “It’s not just educators, it’s workshop will be held every single adult. It brings 10 a.m. to noon Saturawareness to the situaday, March 4, at Fountion and makes us all more tain City Presbyterian vigilant. It is heavy, but this Church, 500 Hotel Ave., program is about confidence Knoxville. The two-hour and hope. Something can be workshop is free. Regdone to stop it.” istration is required: Amy Rowling, a violence email@example.com or prevention public educator 865-567-3366. at Knox County Health Department, is also a Stewards of Children facilitator, and she facilitates the Community Coalition to Protect Children, a cross-agency group whose mission is to ■■ The FAITH Coalition will commemorate the 2017 Naend child sexual abuse in tional Week of Prayer for the East Tennessee. Healing of AIDS (March 5-11) The group is also trying
with a prayer breakfast 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11, Community Evangelistic Church, 2650 Boyds Bridge Pike. The keynote speaker: Dr. Pernessa C. Seele; topic: “The Church and HIV: Is There a Balm in Gilead?” Free and open to faith leaders, but RSVP requested to 865-215-5170.
SENIOR NOTES Our compassion and caring are only surpassed by our dedication to the communities we serve! Personalized services to best reflect the life of your loved one and the wishes of the survivors.
■■ Knoxville Senior Co-Ed Softball league games, 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 4-Oct. 26, Caswell Park, 570 Winona St. Cost: $10. Noncompetitive league for men over 60 and women over 55. Info: Bob Rice, 865-573-2189 or kxseniorcoedsoftball@ comcast.net.
Values and caring have been a tradition at Mynatt Funeral Home for over 100 years!
■■ South Knox Senior Center, 6729 Martel Lane. Info: 865573-5843.
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■■ South Knox Community Center, 522 Old Maryville Pike. Info: 865-573-3575. ■■ John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St. Info: 865-523-1135.
4131 E. Emory Rd. Halls • 922-9195
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was chosen to preach for the church he now leads. Over the years, he says his faith opened up and changed. He wanted his church to be more welcoming to the greater community, more inclusive of different people. “We are a Christian nondenominational, multigenerational, multicultural church,” he says. “We have every culture you can think of. And we have people from Africa, the Philippines, Japan, Guatemala. We welcome everyone.” They lost some members but gained many more. And the kids are the center of the church’s life. This Sunday, March 5, there will be a grand opening of the newly renovated children’s suite, and it’s a doozy. A brightly colored staircase, its risers painted by talented church member Delana Pogue Blankenship with the covers of popular kids’ books, leads to a bright multi-room, multi-use area with its own kitchen, restroom, large gathering space and smaller classrooms. A puppet theater with three “stages” dominates one wall. Musical instruments ring the area. “We have guitar, bass, drums, keyboard,” says Tharp, who plays drums and bass. “Once a month we have a ‘kids’ takeover’ service in the sanctuary and they do the whole thing.” Tharp has music directors on staff for both the younger kids and the teens, who have their own area elsewhere in the building, including their own sanctuary and cafe. As for the small fry, who are as young as 3, Tharp says, “You don’t have to control them as long as you challenge them. You put a puppet show up and they’re glued to it. As long as they’re challenged, they’re ecstatic.” Tharp says he goes for an eclectic feel, both in decoration and in worship. In other words, something for everyone. But it’s mostly for the children, who, he believes, are “the heart – the root – of Christ. They’re kids today, but they’re married adults with children tomorrow. It happens so fast.” Info: 865-522-6612 or visit newlifeknox.com.
UT NOTES ■■ Tricia Stuth, associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Design, was recently elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Tricia Stuth Architects. Stuth was selected in recognition of her work to further the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice.
South Knox Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-5
Missy Ballenger, Aimee Perry, Emily Frei and Julianne Bowman teach at South-Doyle High.
Abbott-Weav- Lau er
Dogwood’s Christa Smith, Laura Wright and Heather Palmer pose at the banquet.
South Knox teachers honored By Betsy Pickle Knox County Schools honored its best teachers last week, and 16 South Knox teachers received a plaque and a Buzz.
Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas posed for individual photos with all of the nearly 200 teachers who attended the banquet at the Holiday Inn Down-
Stories of presidents’
By Kip Oswald
In researching the famous First Pets, I found fascinating information about the First Kids, children of our presidents. Six pre sident s actually had no children Kip of their own, but five of those presidents adopted children. James Polk was the only one of the six who never had any children at all. President William Henry Harrison had the most with 11 children and 25 grandchildren. Even one of his grandsons, Benjamin Harrison, later became our 23rd president. The first child who was actually born in the White House was Thomas Jefferson’s grandson in 1806, while the first girl born in the White House was the granddaughter of John Quincy Adams in 1828. Two presidents’ daughters married in the White House. In 1967, Lynda Bird Johnson, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, was married in the East Room of the White House. It was the first wedding to take place in the White House since the 1914 wedding of President Woodrow Wilson’s daughter, Eleanor. Not all weddings of First
Families were as happy. One of the funniest family stories involves sixth president John Quincy Adams’ three sons: George, John, and Frances. It seems they all fell in love with the same girl. She got engaged to George but then she married the oldest one, John. George and the youngest son, Frances, refused to attend the wedding because they were so angry. The wife tried to make up with the brothers by naming the first child Georgiana Frances. Some First Kids are still famous! Have you eaten a Baby Ruth candy bar lately? My mom and I argued about the beginning of the Baby Ruth candy bar. I always thought the Baby Ruth candy bar was named for Babe Ruth, the baseball player. She thought it was named after some actress. But no! Actually, the candy bar was named after Ruth Cleveland, the daughter of our 22nd president, Grover Cleveland. Unfortunately, Ruth Cleveland died several years before the candy bar was produced and never even tasted the fun chocolate bar! We have only started on some of the antics of the First Kids! Remember Tad Lincoln? Next week, we will write more of his story and others. Send comments to oswa ld s worldt n@g ma i l. com
town. Many principals and other guests were on hand, bringing total attendance to around 400. Heather Palmer, librarian at Dogwood Elementary, was named districtwide Teacher of the Year for preK through fourth grade (see story, page A-1). Teachers are nominated by their colleagues. Also honored from South Knoxville were: Bonny Kate: Margie Abbott-Weaver, K-fifth resource teacher Dogwood: Christa Smith, fifth grade; Laura Wright, pre-K Gap Creek: Ruth Lau, first grade Mooreland Heights: Holly Briggs, art Mount Olive: Kelly Farr, fifth grade New Hopewell: Ellen Carnes, music South Knoxville: Judy Hiscock, pre-K South-Doyle Middle School: Caitlin Quandt Nowell, music; Joe Peeden, math; Bethany Williams, music South-Doyle High School: Melissa “Missy” Ballenger, social studies; Julianne Bowman, math; Emily Frei, special education; Aimee Perry, career and technology
Math teacher Joe Peeden and music teachers Bethany M. Williams and Caitlin Quandt Nowell earn honors at South-Doyle Middle.
SDMS to lose kids if rezoning plan OK’d South-Doyle Middle School would drop from 960 to about 850 students (in a building with capacity for 1,200) if the draft proposal for rezoning is adopted by the school board. The draft calls for students who live north of the Tennessee River and are currently zoned to SouthDoyle Middle to be rezoned to attend Vine Middle. Parts of the current Carter and Holston zones would also be rezoned to Vine. Vine Middle, with capacity for 600, is currently operating with just 349 students. After rezoning,
it would have an estimated 550. In fact, the rezoning tends to equalize enrollment at five middle schools impacted by construction of Gibbs Middle. There are the numbers as of Jan 17 and the projected enrollment in August 2018: South-Doyle – 989 to 850 Carter – 828 to 650 Gibbs – 0 to 500 Holston – 874 to 575 Vine – 333 to 550 A draft report is available at knoxschools.org and interim superintendent Buzz Thomas has promised community meetings to discuss
it before it’s presented to the school board for a vote. A quick look shows an effort to accommodate those who attended previous meetings. No schools will be closed, and no rezoning will affect Halls, Whittle Springs or Gresham. Gibbs Middle will enroll students from Gibbs or Corryton elementary schools; Holston Middle will lose those kids, but will pick up students who now attend Carter Middle; Vine Middle will gain students who have been attending Holston or South-Doyle Middle. – S. Clark
‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’ continues Knoxville Children’s Theatre presents “Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Jr.” Thursdays-Sundays, through March 12 at 109 E. Churchwell Ave. The play is written for ages 4 and older. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 1 and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $12; special rate for adult and child entering together, $10. Info/tickets: 865-2083677 or knoxvillechildrens theatre.com
Big gift for Sarah Moore Greene
Jasper Sawyer and his wife, Amber Love, surprise Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy principal Dr. Amy Brace with a $10,000 gift for technology. Sawyer, who now lives in Orlando, spent the day with students and staff. He said SMG will always be his school. His company is Sawyer Musical Group (SMG), which employs some 50 musicians. Photo by S. Clark
High School Teacher of the Year is multifaceted achiever By Betty Bean Karen Latus teaches Spanish at Bearden High School, but her mission is to help kids learn life skills. “I consider Spanish the platform for what I do, but in the end I’m in the classroom to help kids grow up. We’re learning about how we interact with each other and how we manage our emotions and how we deal with conflict. For me, that’s what it’s about,” she said. She got an emphatic endorsement for her philosophy last week when she was named Knox County Schools’ High School Teacher of the Year. A transplanted Michigander who has worked for KCS since 2009 and lived in East Tennessee for nearly 10 years, Latus is a Swiss Army knife of teachers: she has bachelor’s degrees in
l i ng u i st ic s and American Sign Language interpreting in addition to Spanish. She also has a master’s degree Karen Latus in social work with a trauma treatment certificate, but has “retired” from another vocation – writing marching band shows and doing color guard choreography. “I worked to get kids in color guard who needed an adult in their lives to create a close- knit family for them through color guard and help find a way for them to forge an identity for themselves.” Latus hasn’t coached cross-country and track for a while, either, although
she cherished the time she spent doing it. “I love working with kids who don’t consider themselves athletes but gain more confidence when they see that they can do that,” she said. She didn’t give up running, though, and finished the Iron Man Chattanooga in 2015 and has a special memory of that day. “My husband (Matt Disney) proposed to me on the finish line,” she said. They were married in the Knox County Courthouse last year and are parents to two rescue dogs – a Bernese Mountain Dog named Toblerone and Kona, a labradoodle who also serves as a HABIT (Human Animal Bond In Tennessee) dog at Vine School Health Center. “I did an internship for my master’s program there,
and my former supervisor picks her up with her little work bag with her treats and her toys and her house key in it,” Latus said. “There’s 170 pounds of dog in our house, but they’re great.” She ended up teaching in Tennessee after hearing about a job opening for a Spanish teacher while visiting a friend who was teaching in Loudon County. She interviewed with the principal, John Bartlett, who said two things that let her know she wanted the job. “He said he likes to hire the best people he can find, then get out of their way. ‘You seem like the kind of person who, if something isn’t working right, will step in and do something about it. I want you to feel free to do that, too.’” Bartlett moved on to Bearden in 2008, so it’s no
surprise that Latus landed there after her 2013-14 sabbatical, which she said she had to take to figure out what she wanted to do. “One year, when kids left after their final exams, I sat down at my desk and cried. I really thought I was failing them. I thought about how much things had changed and how much I was able to do in the classroom with these evaluation procedures – people coming into your classroom every single week, having to do things exactly by the number. I couldn’t jump through these hoops and still keep my kids in the forefront. Something had to change. But I was not going to let my kids down…” That “something” was the fellowship that enabled her to get her master’s and also to take some time off to figure out what to do. She also
joined the group of teachers who publicly challenged the ever-increasing testing and “observation” demands being piled on them by the administration. “I knew I wouldn’t survive another year and would burn out. I knew I wasn’t able to do what my kids needed. So do I keep my job and do what my job was supposed to be? It was almost like those two things were in opposition.” Nothing is perfect, but Latus is glad she stuck it out. “Every teacher lives for that ‘Aha!’ moment, when a kid goes, ‘Yeah, OK?’ I love in my classroom when a kid labeled as a bad kid gets the opportunity to see if they want to stick with that definition. I want to challenge them to not accept the labels that have been put on them their whole lives.”
A-6 • March 1, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news
Looking at a simulated newborn are commissioner Charles Busler, interim superintendent Buzz Pellissippi State nursing instructor Katrenia Hill and president Dr. Anthony Wise show the group Thomas, county finance director Chris Caldwell and commissioner Hugh Nystrom. a patient simulator where students learn to insert an IV. Photos by Ruth White
Building success at Pellissippi State Community College By Ruth White The Strawberry Plains campus of Pellissippi State Community College has been operating for five years, and president Dr. Anthony Wise calls it the “fastest growing campus.” Wise and the staff at PSCC hosted a cultivation visit for county commissioners, and the group toured the nursing simulation center and the MegaLab, learning more about the great education opportunities offered by the school. First stop was the nursing simulation lab, and it is nothing less than a state-of-the-art facility that prepares nursing students to enter the workforce with hands-on training. The lab features Sim Man, a computerized mannequin that interacts with the students. The mannequin, referred to as Stan Checkit, allows students to check vital signs but also communicates with the students to allow them to work on and develop critical skills in communicating with patients. The lab is able to run four simulations at once, including a pediatric area, medication room and more. An
IV simulator provides plenty of opportunities for students to practice this critical skill, and Sim Mom gives birth to a baby, allowing students to actually participate in the birthing process, not just observe. The goal of the nursing lab is to graduate knowledgeable nurses. The school has a 97 percent firsttime pass rate with students and currently has 80 students prepared to graduate in the spring. The school works with students on taking tests in preparation for the board exams. The MegaLab is on the lower level of the building and provides many opportunities for students enrolled at PSCC. This lab provides many opportunities for students in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Students learn to build and operate circuit boards, set up robotic arms, utilize 3-D printers and also to troubleshoot when a problem may arise. Knox County Schools operates the Career Magnet Academy inside the PSCC building to
County commissioners John Schoonmaker and Michele Carringer (behind Sim Man) assist Katrenia Hill in caring for a “patient” in the nursing simulator at Pellissippi State Community College.
offer high school students many opportunities. The school offers four pathways for study – Homeland Security, Advance Manufacturing, Teaching as a Profession and Sustainable Living. As students prepare for their sophomore year, they select a pathway. During their junior year, students who have met required benchmarks are able to enroll in four college courses at PSCC. They spend part of the day studying at CMA and the rest of the day on college courses. By senior year, students are able to take up to seven college courses. Principal Leanne Hawn calls these opportunities “getting a diploma and something,” as the students are well ahead of the game on receiving college credit while still in high school. Pellissippi State has five campuses – Blount County, Division Street, Hardin Valley, Magnolia Avenue and Strawberry Plains. The former Pellissippi State Technical Community College has its roots in State Technical Institute at Knoxville. For more information on the education opportunities at PSCC, visit www.PSTCC.edu/.
Career Magnet Academy principal Leanne Hawn talks to county commissioners about the partnership between the school and Pellissippi State Community College at Strawberry Plains.
Seth Giles shows a robot arm and discusses many other learning opportunities available through the MegaLab at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains campus.
Boyd says work hard, dream big The annual banquet of the Union County Chamber of Commerce is a celebration of accomplishments and a look toward the future. It’s also a fundraiser for Randy Boyd the group that promotes tourism as it recruits and supports local businesses. Randy Boyd brought star power as the guest speaker. He recently resigned as commissioner of the state’s Economic and Community Development Department. The state’s biggest challenge, he said, is training workers for the jobs of the future. “It’s the best time in our state’s history, but not for everyone.” Boyd probably will run for governor when Bill
Haslam’s term ends in 2018. He and Haslam share a boyish enthusiasm for governing; both are wealthy enough to work without pay; both are visionary. Boyd is credited with starting Knox Achieves, which became Tennessee Achieves and led to the state’s program of free college tuition at community colleges for Tennessee graduates. He told of a trade mission to Israel in which he and Haslam got a private visit with Shimon Peres, who died in September 2016. ■■ Beth A. Maynard, CMPE, has been named vice president “We were mesmerized and of Primary Care Physician came away wishing we had Practice Development at UT taken notes,” he said.
Boyd was raised in South Knoxville. At age 19, he was the first in his family to graduate from college. He’s been married for 30 years with two adult sons. He founded Radio Systems Corporation, which produces PetSafe products. ■■ U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said the winds of change are blowing in Washington. “We are reversing regulations that are hurting businesses,” he said, adding that it’s important to get the “replace” part right when repealing and replacing Obamacare. He said tax reform is ahead. “America is winning again.”
Brooks defers bill on utilities State Rep. Harry Brooks has deferred for a year his bill to require proportional representation on utility boards. The bill was scheduled for a hearing Feb. 21 before a House committee. Brooks said: “I chose to move HB 0269 to next year’s session (to allow) the utility organizations time to
Peres told them he’s often asked what he considers his greatest accomplishment. “It will be what I do tomorrow.” And his biggest failure? “That I did not dream big enough.” Peres said we are old when we have more accomplishments to list than dreams ahead; we are young when we have more dreams ahead than accomplishments. If this was Boyd’s takeaway from meeting the world’s most senior statesman, how can he not run for governor? (Note: Haslam told Boyd that Peres had “started at 30,000 feet and helicoptered up.”)
look at these issues as well as offer advice and suggestions. This move will also provide time to work with the Comptroller’s office. ... “While this action will delay the bill’s potential codification, I believe it will ensure that the final product is best suited to benefit the people of Tennessee.” -- S. Clark
Medical Center. Maynard, who has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare management, most recently worked with Summit Medical Group.
■■ Mary Pat Tyree has joined Crye-Leike Real Estate Services’ West branch office, at 9539 Kingston Pike. As a Realtor and affiliate broker, Tyree serves the real estate needs of buyers and sellers in and around Knox, Anderson, and Blount counties. She specializes in residential real estate with a focus on new home construction, condominiums
Tom Spangler announces his candidacy for sheriff of Knox County. Also pictured are retired Sgt. Lee Dunn and Spangler’s wife, Linda. Photo by S. Clark
Spangler enters race for sheriff By Sandra Clark
and townhomes, and helping first-time homebuyers. ■■ Y-12 Federal Credit Union and Inova Payroll have formed a partnership that will allow the credit union to offer Inova’s payroll and human resource solutions to its business banking members, expanding their menu of account, loan and merchant services products.
Tom Spangler is running for sheriff in the May 1, 2018, Republican Primary. The general election is Aug. 2. Spangler formally announced his candidacy Feb. 23 with a noon rally on the lawn of the courthouse. “This is not a race against Sheriff (Jimmy) Jones. He is term-limited,” Spangler said. “This is an open seat.” He retired from the sheriff’s office in 2009 after 29 years of service. He was chief deputy for then-Sheriff Tim Hutchison. He has worked as training director for the Blount County sheriff’s office most recently.
Citing changes, specifically technology, during his career, Spangler said law enforcement is a dangerous profession. “We’re struggling to get good people. We need the community’s help. And you should demand good service from the sheriff’s office. The processes should be open and the money spent wisely.” Spangler said now more than ever the office needs a leader, and “I’m the leader for it.” He was joined by his wife, Linda, and daughters, Mellony Spangler and Mallory Womble. Several retired officers were sprinkled in the crowd of about 100.
South Knox Shopper news • March 1, 2017 • A-7
Each year has two parts ... One of the wise men, a Tennessee fan, said that each year has only two parts: Football season and waiting for football season. This is one of the waiting periods. It is a beautiful time of year. Everybody is undefeated. All things are possible. Big dreams are permitted. The UT ticket department advocates farout optimism. Wouldn’t it be something if Shy Tuttle could get well. Charlton Warren, new coach of the secondary, might teach defensive backs to look back for the football. Everybody has a chance to guess right on who will win the quarterback competition and how long it might take to win the Heisman. Now is a relatively safe time to make grandiose predictions and even a few boisterous bets. Most will forget what you said before we hear again from the Music City bowl. Fans are eager for spring practice. Players are heavily engaged in preparations for a bold, new experience.
They don’t have a fancy theme but they’ve been told to be ready. There are coaches who think teams win games in off-season workouts. I thought the Vols may have lost a couple in March 2016. Butch wanted players to lead his team. He listened closely to veteran views. Could be he reduced the workload. Maybe he sheltered some. They probably didn’t need to be knocking each other around. The coach knew they would hit when the time came. But, they needed to be stronger and quicker, physically and mentally. Alas, when it was finally real football time in Tennessee, I didn’t think the Vols were completely, totally, 100 percent really ready.
All I have to go on is how many comebacks were needed to win the first five games. There is powerful improvement tonic in memories of last year. A professional journalist wrote this: “Stumbling, bumbling Tennessee, misidentified as the No. 9 team in the country, emerged with an embarrassing 20-13 victory over 20-point underdog Appalachian State. The visitors won everything except the final score. They dominated both lines of scrimmage.” A few days later the summation was: “Virginia Tech won the first quarter in a romp. After that, it made many mistakes. “The orange team rallied from a 14-0 deficit and won the rest of the game. The losers gained more yards. Joshua Dobbs passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more. “We woke up a little bit and played Tennessee football,” coach Butch Jones said.
Perhaps you recall that the Vols had a hard time with Ohio U. It was 21-19 after three quarters. The orange team was favored by 27. Butch said he thought the Vols were sloppy. Then came the Florida game: Down 21-0 late in the first half, the Vols scored 38 unanswered points. Glory be! I won’t go into how Tennessee defeated Georgia but I will say there was a lastgasp comeback. It is very exciting to realize that a new season is developing behind the scenes – new coaches all around, new offensive coordinator, several new ideas, more seniors than in past years but more competition for positions. It will be months before we know for sure, but strength coach Rock Gullickson might be the winning edge. He might be the match that lights the fire. His program could reduce injuries. We can dream big dreams. Marvin West invites reader reaction. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Rogero eyeing Duncan’s seat? State Sen. Doug Overbey, who is looking at a 2018 race for governor, says he “has strong reservations” on philosophical grounds over indexing the proposed gas tax increase without legislative action as recommended by Gov. Bill Haslam. Indexing gas to the Consumer Price Index would place a gas tax increase on automatic pilot. This appears contrary to what most principled conservative lawmakers would favor in terms of voting each time a tax increases. It appears this provision will be dropped if the gas tax has a chance to pass. ■■ Mayor Madeline Rogero wrote a column in the News Sentinel urging people to attend a meeting held last week at Whittle Springs M i d d l e Rogero School on Obamacare and current efforts to repeal, replace and/ or repair it. The city does not run a health department. Knox County does. Other than Rogero being concerned as a citizen about the issue, there is no duty as city mayor tied to the current hot debate over health care. However, Rogero has made this her signature issue. County Mayor Tim Burchett could not attend this meeting. Rogero acknowledges that some changes in Obamacare may be needed,
but she never voiced such a thought while President Obama was in the White House. With the attention given recently to U.S. Rep. John Duncan not attending town hall meetings on this topic, and with Rogero going so public advertising this meeting hosted by groups backing Obamacare, the question arises of what is Rogero up to? Her column, which is a not so subtle criticism of Duncan and our two U.S. senators, places Rogero squarely in the conversation as a 2018 Democratic congressional candidate. The recent well-attended Women’s March and continuing debate on this, plus President Trump unifying Democrats as Obama used to unify Republicans, raises the prospect that Democrats for once will field a serious congressional candidate. Democrats in the Second Congressional District have not had a credible congressional nominee since former Revenue Commissioner Dudley Taylor ran in 1988. Rogero would be credible and she will continue one more year as mayor to Dec. 19, 2019, if she lost the race. Rogero may also be hoping there will a potential hotly contested GOP primary between Duncan and
Burchett, which will leave the winner weakened from the intraparty battle when the general election occurs. Bottom line: Keep an eye on Rogero as she quietly but deliberately makes moves to run for Congress in 2018 if Democrats can raise money for media needed to prevail. She has over a year until it is time to qualify. ■■ State Rep. Eddie Smith has introduced a bill to make city elections partisan. His Senate sponsor is not one of the three Knox senators but Dolores Gresham from Somer v ille in West Tennessee, who chairs Smith the Senate Education Committee. It would not affect the five council elections this year. Reaction from several council members and candidates has been negative. Candidate Harry Tindell says “there is no need to fix what is not broken.” Candidate Wayne Christensen opposes it, too. Council members Finbarr Saunders and Marshall Stair oppose it. Smith says it is designed to increase voter participation in city elections, which admittedly is low. ■■ New UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport has to pick a successor to Margie Nichols as vice chancellor for communications. Interviews for this were done a few months back and were abandoned after Jimmy
Cheek retired. The finalists were not from a r o u n d here. In this spot especially, it is essential Davenport this new chancellor, who does not know Knoxville or Tennessee well, have a smart media adviser who knows Knoxville backward and forward to avoid the missteps which plagued Dave Hart. Jacob Rudolph, the interim head, actually has been here several years and knows his way around. Davenport in her meeting with lawmakers has impressed them as facile and smooth in her language and demeanor. However, people will be looking at her for more than words but actual action. A smart media adviser who knows the area would be invaluable. There is no doubt Nichols advised Cheek that the Lady Vols name change would trigger outrage across Tennessee, but Cheek and DiPietro did not listen to Nichols. They backed Hart. The result was stunning. It may be an issue in the contest for governor as the governor is a voting member of the UT board of trustees. It even manifested itself at the Pat Summitt funeral, where no establishment official from UT such as the president, AD or chancellor spoke at the services for the nationally known and admired coach.
last words Wrestler Kane ponders mayor’s race The race for Knox County mayor could take an interesting turn in about a month, and it’s not the rumored impending entry of Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones that’s going to shake things up. It’s unlikely that Bob Thomas, the county commissioner who started distributing Thomas for Mayor yard signs nearly a year ago (and who should not be confused with the Bob Thomas who’s considered a frontrunner for the school superintendent job) is going to do anything unexpected like pulling out of the race. And neither is County Commissioner Brad Anders, who also has been mulling the prospect for a good long while. The disturbance in the field could come from a different direction altogether. And if it happens, it’ll hit like a vertical pile driver. And yeah, that’s a cheap shot, but it’s almost irresistible. So get ready. You’ll be hearing a lot of wrestling metaphors if Glenn Jacobs gets into this race. But it won’t be Kane, the swaggering, choke slamming WWE superstar Glenn Jacobs who’ll (maybe) enter the Republican Primary where local races are decided (although that would be the most fun anybody’s had in local politics since the late Arnold “Burpsey” Zandi used to run for City Council). Nope. The candidate would be the soft-spoken, insurance agency owning, small government-loving, anti-bullying crusader who holds an English degree and loves to talk about education and economic theory and brag about his family (both his daughters are registered nurses). About the only thing Jacobs and his WWE alter ego have in common is the massive, athletic physique. Jacobs stands 6-8 and weighs 300 pounds. He played football and basketball at Northeast Missouri State – now Truman University – and jokes that he led the league in offensive fouls. A knee injury forced him to reorder his priorities. “What do you do with an English degree? I’d planned to become a teacher, but I’d always been a casual fan of wrestling. …”
Betty Bean The Jacobs Insurance Agency in Halls is a community champion in the Kindness Revolution, a nonprofit organization with the lofty goal of promoting dignity, respect and kindness, which means that Jacobs spends a lot of time visiting schools and handing out rubber wristbands to kids who get caught doing something nice. This obviously suits him fine, because he’s keenly interested in education and believes more attention should be paid to Career Technical Education (formerly known as vocational education ). He gets his hair cut by the cosmetology teacher at Gibbs High School. He considers himself a libertarian conservative/Republican and is an admirer of the low tax, high accessibility, small government philosophy of Tim Burchett, the officeholder he hopes to succeed. “My view is, let’s just all get along, and not concentrate on our differences. I’ve been all around the world, and without fail, the vast majority of folks just want a decent life for themselves and their families. I think what happens is we allow our differences to get in the way.” He said he will make a decision by early April. “I’m leaning toward running,” he said. “I’m getting a good response. I think people are tired of career politicians and I think they want someone who has a different perspective and fresh ideas who is one of them. Hopefully as they learn more about me, they’ll realize that it’s not just that this guy is a relatively famous entertainer. He’s really just one of us. “I believe in my neighbors and civil society and private enterprise to get things done. Those are the people – not the politicians.”
Meet the ‘supers’ The school board will host a community meet and greet with superintendent finalists on Tuesday, March 7, at West High School, 3300 Sutherland Ave.Doors will open at 5 p.m. The event will be televised live on KCS-TV Comcast Channel 10 and on knoxschools.org/kcstv
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A-8 • March 1, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news
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