Cash for Classrooms ➤ VOL. 52 NO. 13 1 ■■ Sharon Baptist Church will host an egg hunt 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15, for preschool through fifth grade. Bring your baskets and a friend for food, candy, fun and the Easter story at 7916 Pedigo Road. Info: sharonknoxville. com or 865-938-7075. ■■ Ebenezer Methodist Church Community Spring Festival, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, April 2, 1001 Ebenezer Road. Free. Egg hunt, petting zoo, balloon animals, magic shows, live music. ■■ Fountain City egg hunt, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 8, Fountain City Park: 9:30 a.m., ages 6-8; 10:15 a.m., ages 3-5; 11 a.m., walking to 2 years; 11:45 a.m., ages 9-12. Free and open to the public. Bring Easter basket. Event includes: the Easter Bunny, vendor booths, food truck spaces. Info: info@ fountaincitybusiness.com ■■ River View Family Farm 6th annual spring event, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, at 12130 Prater Lane, Farragut. Plenty to see and do down on the farm, including an egg hunt. ■■ Powell, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 15, Powell Station Park on Emory Road adjacent to the high school. Communitywide event includes prizes, live animals, free refreshments. Info: PowellBusiness.com ■■ Gulf Park Easter Egg Hunt, 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday, April 15, at 528 Pensacola Road (off Cedar Bluff Road). Free. The hunt will begin at 3 p.m. Open to the public. Don’t forget your basket. ■■ Big Ridge State Park, Saturday, April 15, rain or shine. Schedule: 10 a.m., 2 years and younger; 10:30 a.m., 3-4 years old; 1 p.m., 5-7 years old; 1:30 p.m., 8-10 years old. Bring a basket and meet at the Park Office. Info: 865-9925523 ■■ UT Gardens Wild Bird Eggstravaganza, 10 a.m-2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, UT Gardens, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive. Cost: $8 per child. Learn about wild birds and how to feed them. Families will learn how to attract birds to their home garden and create natural spring-inspired crafts. All kids will leave with two bird feeders, a seed dispersal craft to attract wild birds, a bird seed mix catering to your favorite backyard birds’ favorite foods and young seedling that can grow to attract and feed birds in your garden. Hunt for 3,000 eggs in the garden. Don’t forget your basket! The Easter Bunny will also be “hopping” to get his picture taken with you. Preregistration is required at http://bit.ly/2oe0umP ■■ Submit your egg hunt to News@ShopperNewsNow.com
NEWS News@ShopperNewsNow.com Sandra Clark – 865-661-8777 Sarah Frazier – 865-342-6622 ADVERTISING SALES Ads@ShopperNewsNow.com 865-342-6084 Amy Lutheran | Patty Fecco Beverly Holland | Mary Williamson CIRCULATION 844-900-7097 firstname.lastname@example.org
July 29, 2013 March 2017
‘Local’ is point of pride for SoKno’s ‘Stryker’ By Betsy Pickle
You might say Kevin “Stryker” Summitt launched his radio career growing up in Colonial Village. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was about 8 years old, sitting in my bedroom with a Fisher-Price record player that had a built-in microphone,” says Summitt. “I would play my mom and dad’s old 45 records, and then while I was changing the records out, I would pick up the microphone and announce, ‘That was Waylon Jennings. Up next is Kenny Rogers.’ “I was bored a lot as an only child.” More than 30 years later, Summitt lives in a different house in Colonial Village – with his own family, not with parents Coy and Jeanette Summitt. But he long ago turned his dream into reality. He’s now the assistant program director, music director and afternoon drive-time disc jockey at 94Z, WNFZ. The 94.3 frequency is an old friend – he was on air before when it was 94.3 the X. It isn’t the only local frequency he has repeated. His resumé and relationships read like a history of the past 25 years in Knoxville radio. “It’s difficult to stay in radio consistently without being a radio gypsy, as they call them, and moving from market to market,” says Summitt. “But I had young children, and moving from town to town was not an option.” He got his start on college radio while he was still a student at Doyle High School. An older
SoKno’s own Kevin “Stryker” Summitt talks on the air at 94Z. Photo by Betsy Pickle
friend opened the door for him at the University of Tennessee’s student station, then called New Rock 90, and program director Benny Smith mentored him. When he entered UT as a broadcasting major in 1991, he continued on the air and became known as “Doc” Summitt. After a couple of years, he got a job at U102. “Larry Trotter hired me there,” he recalls. “I wasn’t really into the college thing back then anyway, and when I got my first paying radio job, I thought I’d made it, so I promptly put a halt to my studies at UT, and it wasn’t until 2013
that I went back and finished my degree.” He became “Stryker” the first time he worked at 94.3. “The program director was Shane Cox. I went through three different interviews up through the hiring process. I didn’t realize it, but apparently I wore a various style of bowling shirt through all three interviews … I guess he noticed it even though I didn’t, and I was going to need an on-air name, so he suggested Stryker, and he’s the boss, so I said, ‘I’ve been called worse.’” Local radio legend Johnny Pirkle and son Jonathan Pirkle
own frequency 94.3, and when Summitt was wrapping up his studies at UT in 2015, a chance conversation put him in touch with the younger Pirkle. He and Summitt were both interested in reviving a rock station on the frequency, which had gone through several format changes. “Jonathan reached out to me, and in secrecy we started laying the groundwork for the station. We didn’t come on the air with it till Oct. 21, 2015.” Most of the disc jockeys are former colleagues from the X To page A-3
South Knox native to manage city facility The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and ColiMcLemore started with seum has hired Patrick McLemore as operaSMG in 2015 as an operations manager. tions supervisor at the TucIn this role, McLemore will oversee the son Convention Center in Arizona. He transferred to day-to-day operations of the Auditorium and Coliseum, including event setup, facilKnoxville in February of this ity changeover and regular facility mainteyear. nance. He is tasked with making sure the Prior to joining SMG, building is clean, comfortable, well-mainMcLemore worked in facility operations with Sporting tained and safe for clients and patrons. This McLemore facility, along with the Knoxville Convention Kansas City, a professional Center, is managed by SMG. soccer club in Kansas City, Mo.
McLemore is a graduate of South-Doyle High School. Before moving to Arizona, he worked with the Knoxville Ice Bears as an intern and served as the head soccer coach for South-Doyle High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports management from UT and a master’s degree in kinesiology and sport studies from East Tennessee State University. The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum attracts more than 250,000 people per year through a wide array of events.
Knox County Schools already tests for safe water By Sandra Clark Last week’s story about legislation introduced by state Rep. Rick Staples implied a problem with drinking water in public schools since Staples wants to require school systems to test it. His bill (HB0631) was scheduled to be heard by the House Education & Administrative Planning subcommittee on Tuesday, March 28. Meanwhile, we checked with state and local agencies to clarify the current status of school water, especially in schools built before June 19, 1986, when the federal lead ban took effect. Tennessee Department of Health spokesperson Shelley Walker refused to comment on pending legislation. Russ Oaks, chief operating officer for Knox County Schools, said the local system has been proactive in testing water.
Thomas is new super Contract negotiations are underway between Bob Thomas and the Knox County Board of Education, after the board’s unanimous selection of Thomas as the district’s next superintendent of schools. He will reBob Thomas place Buzz Thomas (no relation), who served as interim superintendent for a year.
but nothing involving pipes. Remediation included replacing a faucet or water cooler. “Recognizing this isn’t static, we can have deterioration over time, (KCS) decided to test water regularly,” Oaks said. Twenty percent of schools are tested annually, meaning every school will
be tested every five years. Oaks said school staff pull 10 samples at each school, focusing on drinking water. So is the water safe? “Our (testing) actions are proactive and prudent. Everywhere we check, we ensure that it’s safe. KUB has been great working with us,” Oaks said.
Buzz Thomas will return to his role as director of Great Schools Partnership. Bob Thomas is a longtime Fountain City resident whose wife, Beckye Justice Thomas, was choral director at Central High School. Their son, Brandon, graduated from Central High School and UT. Bob Thomas taught at Bearden and Rule high schools. He has been an assistant superintendent since 1990.
board in May. The rezoning will take effect in August 2018 as new middle schools at Hardin Valley and Gibbs are opened. The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at Holston Middle School and Tuesday, April 11, at Hardin Valley Academy. The draft plan is available at knoxschools.org. It adjusts zones for Farragut, Karns, Holston, Carter, Vine and South-Doyle middle schools, while allowing rising eighth-grade students and their siblings currently enrolled in middle school to apply to be “grandfathered” at their existing school.
Rezoning meetings KCS will hold two public meetings to discuss the plan for middle school rezoning before it goes to the school
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“Working with Knoxville Utilities Board in 2007, we surveyed all schools and remediated as required.” KUB tested water samples from schools in its service area and KCS hired a private lab to test samples from other water districts. “Some marginal readings came back,”
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The woman in the mirror After bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, sometimes the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure to those who have the procedure. “I can paint my toenails, girlfriend!” Tiara-Lady Wilson says with a laugh as she pulls her feet up into the chair to sit crosslegged. “And look what I can do now!” Wilson is an energetic woman with an infectious laugh and a positive attitude. It’s the same attitude that has helped her succeed in life, even winning the title of Miss Tennessee State University in 1998. It’s also the same attitude that has sustained her through years of medical problems that caused her to gain 100 pounds. Wilson began taking medications for pain and weakness from musculoskeletal issues and after receiving a diagnosis as bipolar when she was in graduate school. Later, she was found to have gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies, but her blood sugar went back to normal until she was prescribed steroids for some fresh issues with pain. Steroids raised her blood sugar level, and diabetes reared its ugly head. Additional thyroid problems made a perfect storm for significant weight gain. “The weight just ballooned,”
she says. “I watched my body literally morph in front of me.” The woman in the mirror, once confident in her skin and comfortable with her size, became someone Wilson hardly recognized. “I describe it as ‘that other woman,’ and I didn’t like what I saw,” Wilson says. It was particularly frustrating because Wilson was eating natural and healthy foods. Sure, she had occasional snacks, but she wasn’t one to overdo. “I didn’t get it, because I wasn’t eating doughnuts, I wasn’t eating (chips), I wasn’t doing these things that you normally think people are doing when they’re gaining weight,” Wilson says. In October of 2013 she stepped on the scales and weighed in at 313 pounds. She was mortified. “I was miserable, and when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t seeing who I knew God created me to be,” Wilson says. On the inside, she could feel diabetes shutting her body
down. “I was sticking myself 10 times a day to give myself insulin or to check my blood sugar,” Wilson says. “Being a diabetic was a job. I was over that.” Wilson describes it as “dying a slow death,” with her children serving as witnesses. She decided she had to take action. “I want to be an active mother,” Wilson says, “I want to dance in the rain; I want to live!” With behavioral therapy classes, a focus on clean eating, and positive thinking, Wilson began to feel better, but she was still morbidly obese and diabetes was still a problem. When Wilson decided to attend a weight loss seminar and heard from bariatric surgeon Jonathan Ray, MD, she had a great feeling about it. She learned the procedure was less expensive than she had previously thought, and the bonus was that the surgery would be performed at Fort Sanders Regional. “I trust Covenant Health, and it made me comfortable that Tiara-Lady Wilson got I was going to be her groove back after at a hospital that weight loss surgery at I trust,” Wilson Fort Sanders Regional says, “and that and even participatthey had partnered ed in a fashion show with doctors who for post-bariatric would be of the patients.
The ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ of bariatric surgery Obesity has become a significant national health issue. Our society is overweight. The foods we eat are often poor choices and can lead to obesity. Morbid obesity, defined as having a BMI over 35 and being at risk for obesity-related health issues, is closely correlated with serious medical conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery is the answer to the prayers of many who battle obesity and its accompanying issues. Bariatric surgeons Mark Colquitt, MD, and Jonathan Ray, MD, have helped more than 2,200 patients lose close to 200,000 pounds through a combination of
surgical, spiritual and emotional support. The atmosphere at the Center for Bariatric Surgery is one of support and encouragement. Many of our staff members have undergone bariatric surgery and use their experience to help others be successful on their journey. The surgeons offer two main options for their patients: laparoscopic gastric bypass (usually done as a robotic procedure), in which a smaller stomach pouch is created and a portion of the small intestine is rerouted to the pouch; and sleeve gastrectomy, which removes a portion of the stomach and creates a narrower digestive tube. “The safety of bariatric surgery has improved greatly,” Dr.
Colquitt said. “Today, the surgical risk of the procedure is comparable to having a gallbladder removed.” He said in most instances, the patient goes home within 24 hours after surgery. “But in order for bariatric surgery to succeed, people have to commit to making the lifestyle changes to support the choice,” Dr. Colquitt said. Dr. Ray added, “Our team will be there for the patient before and after the procedure. We can get them to the door, but they have to walk through it.” “Our goal is to promote health and wellness and support an obesity-free lifestyle,” they say, “and to help our patients become more productive – and fully engaged in life.”
Learn more about bariatric surgery Register for informational seminars conducted by surgeons from the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery by calling 865-541-BAR1 (2271). See the full seminar schedule at fsregional.com/bariatrics Mar 23 Apr 13 Apr 20 Apr 27 May 11 May 18 May 25
Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center LeConte Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center Blount County Library Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
Classroom 2, Lobby Level Classroom 2, Lobby Level Hospital classrooms Classroom 2, Lobby Level Classroom 2, Lobby Level Dorothy Herron Room Classroom 2, Lobby Level
6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m.
same standard as the doctors I was used to in the Covenant system.” By the day of her surgery, she had lost a total of 56 pounds on her own. While it was an accomplishment to be proud of, she still needed to lose more weight, and she still hadn’t conquered her diabetes. Her surgery was performed in late 2015, and today Wilson has lost about an additional 100 pounds. And she’s most interested in living life and spreading positivity. Wilson has been commissioned as a Stephen Minister at Fort Sanders Regional, providing spiritual care to patients, families and staff at the hospital where she was born, where she was once an employee, and where she had the surgery that changed her life. She’s also created a video blog to share her experiences, and encourage women to be their best and happiest. “For me, this was such a blessing,” Wilson says. “I thank God for Dr. Ray because he gave me the opportunity to live again.” To learn more about bariatric surgery at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, visit fsregional.com/bariatrics or call 865-331-BAR1 (2217).
Get to know bariatric surgeon Jonathan Ray, MD Q Where are you from and where did you attend medical school? A I am from Thibodaux, Louisiana, and I attended LSU Medical
School in New Orleans.
Q What types of bariatric surgery do you offer to patients? A At Fort Sanders Regional, we perform Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Lap Band and the Loop Duodenal Switch surgeries.
Jonathan Ray, MD
Q How long have you been doing bariatric surgery? A I started performing bariatric surgery 14 years
ago in Blount County. In 2013, Dr. Mark Colquitt and I joined with Covenant Health to practice at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville.
Q What sort of comprehensive programs does Fort Sanders Regional offer for bariatric patients? A The hospital has the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery, which is accredited as a Comprehensive Center under the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement. We offer regular education, dietary information, exercise programs, psychological support and support groups with lifelong follow up to help focus on long-term success. Q What is the most rewarding part of being a bariatric surgeon? A I love witnessing the dramatic improvement and resolution of ma-
jor medical issues like diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and overall improvement in the patients’ well-being as well as the weight loss. Seeing patients get excited about life again is very rewarding.
Q How can those interested in making a life change through bariatric surgery learn more? A We offer free bariatric seminars led by a physician two to three times per month at various locations in East Tennessee. More information is also available at www.fsregional.com/bariatrics.
Regional excellence. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is the referral hospital where other facilities send their most complex patients.
● ● ● ●
Certified Stroke Center Award-winning Heart Care Neuro Center of Excellence Robotically-assisted surgery
South Knox Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-3
Guest musician/teacher Kofi Mawuko guides New Hopewell first-graders and kindergartners in a rhythmic presentation. by Betsy Pickle
New Hopewell embraces art, history Not all living wax museums are created equal. New Hopewell Elementary’s version at the school’s Night of the Arts knocked it out of the park. Thomas Edison, Clara Barton and Harriet Beecher Stowe were some of the standouts in the lineup. All the “wax” figures presented thoughtful descriptions of their lives and contributions, and most of them did so without an assist from notes. The celebration by the New Hopewell Owls also included an exhibit of student artwork, a book fair and a reveal of the new owl mosaic in the cafeteria. The mosaic was a joint creation of second- through fifth-graders in the community school’s SHADES of Development program and printmaking students of Beavais Lyons, a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee. Lyons, a Knoxville Museum of Art board member, serves on the KMA’s education committee with Mark Benson, community schools field supervisor for the Great Schools Partner-
ship. He suggested doing a project with GSP, and Benson emailed Knox County’s community school site coordinators. Janine Al-Aseer of New Hopewell responded “within one minute,” she said. (The early owl gets the worm.) “I was interested in having my students have an opportunity to do a community-service project as part of our junior-level class,” Lyons said. One of the requirements was that the school have a sizable wall that wasn’t brick or cinderblock, and New Hopewell fit the bill. Lyons coordinated the schedule with SHADES director Leslie Cook, and despite a “sick week,” the project was completed just before spring break. “It was a great experi-
ence for us,” said Lyons. “As college students, maybe, they’ve forgotten how to draw like an 8-year-old. So we learned from the students, and they got a chance to work with another group of adult mentors to see the possibilities of a creative process.” Only one New Hopewell student had ever seen a live owl, so the kids depended on paintings and books to create depictions of owls, which the UT students then refined. “The boys were really interested in making sure there was food for the owls like squirrels and things in the trees,” said Lyons. “One of the things we played with … is we drew the bodies and head separately. And then we combined them in a variety of different ways. These are pretty imaginary owls. Ornithologists might not approve, but that’s OK.” The night concluded with energetic music and dance performances by students under the direction of
guest musician/teacher Kofi Mawuko in the gym. ■■ Ijams River
The new owl mural in the New Hopewell cafeteria ■■ Awards for
The 28th annual Ijams River Rescue will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. Volunteers are needed to help clean up trash at 50 sites. Bags and gloves are provided. Volunteers can work all or part of the four hours. To register as an individual or group, visit ijams.org.
Suttree Landing Park along the South Waterfront received two awards recently. Dawn Michelle Foster, the city’s director of redevelopment, shared the good news with members of the Old Sevier Community Group at their March meeting, held at Stanley’s Greenhouse. The park, which opened last November, won the
open spaces category at Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s Orchid Awards. Foster traveled to Nashville to accept, with Jeff Beckett of Cannon & Cannon Inc., an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). That award was in the Studies, Research and Consulting category. Users of the park, from both SoKno and other parts of town, could have told you, Suttree Landing is a winner.
Tammy Dailey and Carson Dailey, county commissioner for South Knox, listen intently as “Thomas Edison” (Adam Winter) demonstrates one of his most important inventions, the light bulb.
Point of pride Clara Barton (Hannah Forten- Ulysses S. Grant (Reed Brown) berry) shows her sense of waits for a visitor to push his commitment. start button.
COMMUNITY NOTES ■■ South Knox Republican Club. Info: Kevin Teeters, kevinteeters018@gmail. com. ■■ Colonial Village Neighborhood Association. Info: Terry Caruthers, 865-5795702, email@example.com. ■■ Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Firearms Association. Info: Liston Mat-
From page A-1
whom Summitt recruited. He’s proud of their musical knowledge and what they bring to the station. He’s also proud that 94Z Braelyn Read brings author is an independent station Harriet Beecher Stowe to life. that cares about the com-
thews, 865-316-6486. ■■ Knoxville Tri-County Lions Club. Info: facebook.com/tricountylions/info. ■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Molly Gilbert, 865-209-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■■ Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Kelley DeLuca, 865-6604728, email@example.com. ■■ Old Sevier Community Group. Info:
Gary E. Deitsch, 865-573-7355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association. Info: Pat Harmon, 865-591-3958. ■■ South of the River Democrats (9th District). Info: Debbie Helsley, 865-7898875, or Brandon Hamilton, 865-8093685. ■■ South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association. Info: Shelley Conklin, 865686-6789.
munity. That was evident when wildfires devastated the Gatlinburg area last year. “While the big corporate radio stations in town were having meetings, trying to decide what they were going to do in response to this fire, we had already gathered three truckloads of
donations and sent them up to Sevier County before the other stations had finished their meetings,” he says. “Being a locally owned and operated station gives us the ability and the freedom to make quick decisions, respond quickly to local events in real time and hopefully make a difference.”
Endangered 8 nominations open The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance is now accepting nominations for the 2017 East Tennessee Endangered 8, a listing of the eight most threatened historic sites in the region. Nominations are due by March 30 and are accepted for sites at least 50 years old and located in Knox and surrounding counties. Info: knoxheritage.org/ETPA
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A-4 • March 29, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news
What if George Washington were on Twitter? By Kip Oswald
Just about every person I know has a Twitter account. Even our school has one, so I began wonder i ng about the pre sident s of the United States and TwitKip ter. President Obama was the first president to have a Twitter account, but since he rarely used it, President Trump is actually being called the “Twitter President” due to his daily multiple tweets. So I began thinking what would it have been like if the other 43 presidents had been on Twitter. So let’s pretend that all our presidents had a Twitter account or the media was tweeting about them. When I asked several people what they knew about George Washington, I got little accurate information. Most said he was our first president, but no one knew he was the only president ever to be unanimously elected president. Also, a few said he was called the Father of Our Country, but no one knew that the people tried to call him “His Highness, the President of the United States of America, and Protector of their Liberties,” and that it was Washington who named himself “Mr. President.” Everyone I talked to knew we celebrated Washington’s birthday in February, but no one knew that it became a holiday while he was still president. There were some fun facts no one knew. For instance, Washington was homeschooled by his father and brother until he quit school
altogether to be a surveyor at 15. His favorite foods were cream of peanut soup, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, and pineapples. When Washington became president, he did not have enough money to get to his own inauguration so he had to borrow $600 from a neighbor. However, when he was president, he turned down his salary of $25,000, which was 2 percent of the U.S. budget, and even had a job running a ferry service across the Potomac River during his first year as president. By the way, if the president made 2 percent of the U.S. budget now, he would make $80 billion instead of the current $400,000 presidential salary. There were some big misunderstandings by all the people I talked to. They thought George Washington lived in Washington, D.C., had wooden teeth and chopped down a cherry tree! For these mistakes, I made three tweets from President Washington! George Washington @ FatherofOurCountry I was the first president and the only president to never live in Washington D.C., the capital town named for me! George Washington @ FatherofOurCountry At 57, I had all my teeth pulled and I wore a set of ivory teeth and human false teeth from then on! George Washington @ FatherofOurCountry I never chopped down that cherry tree! Parson Weems made up that fake news story! Next week: John Adams on Twitter! Send comments to oswaldsworldtn@gmail. com
Golden Bears plan 60th reunion By Betty Bean Rule High School looks lonely these days, boarded and abandoned after the county shut it down in 2000, its student body dispersed to Central, Fulton and West. But once upon a time, it was a hive of activity, serving the children of the proud blue-collar neighborhoods that surrounded it. Named for Knoxville mayor, newspaper editor and Civil War hero William Rule, the school opened in 1927, and generations of alumni cherish the memories they made there. On June 16, the Class of ’57, which had around 120 members, will come from as far away Las Vegas (and as close as Inskip) to get together one more time. The reunion organizers are predicting a turnout of about 50, and a room full of memories. “I guess there’ll be a lot of lies told,” said class vice president John Mills (always known as Johnny in high school). “Nobody remembers most of the things everybody’s telling on you, but we’ll tell it all. And it’s not going to be a suit and tie deal. We’re Rule. We’re Rule High School. Just come.” Class secretary Jeanette
HEALTH NOTES ■■ “Joint Pain, Don’t Let It Slow You Down,” a free orthopedics seminar presented by Tennova Healthcare. Turkey Creek Medical Center Johnson Conference Center, 10820 Parkside Drive: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, March 29; 5:306:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4; 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, May 3; 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday,
Phyllis Simerly Sellers and Carl Sellers Mathis Tucker is on the reunion committee, which includes Mills and his wife, Charlotte; Ralph Williams, Phyllis Simerly Sellers and Carl Sellers and Joe and Sandra McClure Daniel (Joe was class president). Many of the classmates have stayed in touch over the years, but some will be seeing old friends for the first time in 60 years when they meet at Buddy’s Banquet Hall. Jeanette, who had a career working in the courthouse, said many classmates campaigned for Mills when he ran for office (he is May 23. Physicians Regional Medical Center Emerald Room, 930 Emerald Ave.: 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. Register at least one day prior to seminar. Info/registration: tennovaortho.com or 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682). ■■ “Ready, Set, Unite! Walk for Child Abuse Prevention” free community prevention walk and information fair, 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, April 7, Market Square. No registration required; everyone
a former Knox County Commission chair). “We had the best time when Johnny ran. We’ve always stuck together, and we had a ball.” Mills said he cherishes those old school ties. “We didn’t have everything in the world, but by
REUNIONS ■■ Gibbs High Class of 1967 50th reunion, Saturday April 1. Info: Nancy Breeding, 865-256-2526.
invited. Hosted by Helen Ross McNabb Center. Info: mcnabbcenter.org; or Houston Smelcer, houston. email@example.com or 865329-9119. ■■ Parkinson’s Walk sponsored by PK Hope Is Alive Parkinson Support Group of East Tennessee, 9 a.m. Saturday, April 15, Bissell Park Pavilion in Oak Ridge. Live music, free healthcare info, prizes and more. All donations go to research funding for the seven major
George, we had each other, and we were like brothers and sisters. “And when we graduated, we worked. Everyone got a job, and we worked. I’m a Golden Bear all the way. My heart bleeds blue and gold. We were one proud student body.” ■■ Woodhill School Reunion, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 8, Pleasant Gap Baptist Church, 4311 Pleasant Gap Drive. Bring covered dish. All who attended Woodhill are invited.
Parkinson’s organizations. Info: unitywalk.org, specify team: PK Hope Is Alive. ■■ Peninsula Lighthouse Group of Families Anonymous meetings, 6:15-7:15 p.m. each Tuesday, 1451 Dowell Springs Blvd. Newcomers welcome; no dues/fees; no sign-up; first names only. Info: Barbara L., 865-696-6606 or firstname.lastname@example.org ■■ Submit your announcements to News@ShopperNewsNow. com
South Knox Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-5
Churches, alliance offer free legal help By Kelly Norrell Colonial Heights United Methodist Church, 6321 Chapman Highway, will host a free legal clinic on Saturday, April 1, from 9:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The clinic is intended to help people who might not otherwise have access to a lawyer deal with a range of legal problems. They might include landlord-tenant issues, debt collection, unreasonable prices charged for services, employment problems, family law, immigration issues, and many more, said Ian Hennessey, co-chair of the Knoxville Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, coordinator of the clinic. Hennessey said anyone can come and benefit from
The Rev. Daniel Ogle
a trained legal ear. “People aren’t always aware. We can listen and recognize the relevant legal piece.” The event is one of about 50 free legal clinics and educational events scheduled across the state in April by
the Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance of the state Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Initiative. The announced statewide goal is to help low-income and working poor families cope with legal problems that also include medical bills, domestic violence, foreclosures and convictions. In Knoxville, there will be another clinic at Vestal United Methodist Church sometime the week of April 17, and one at St. Luke’s Episcopal on Chestnut Street on May 13. Hennessey said he is looking for a church in West Knoxville to host a clinic. Hennessey, who also recruits attorneys to volunteer at the clinics, said people often have difficulty knowing
their rights and options in a situation. “My hope is that people will get the help they need to live better lives. People can get overwhelmed by some of the problems they face,and having the chance to talk and learn from lawyers what the best next step for them is a real gift,” said Daniel Ogle, church pastor. “The legal clinic is another way to bless and serve the people in South Knoxville. We believe this is the mission God has given our church and we are grateful for another opportunity to serve people in the name of Christ,” Ogle said. Clinic partners also include Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Law.
South Knox native gets new home on Tecoma
How long are your arms? What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:14-17 NRSV) The faith/works discussion is 2,000 years old, but we still struggle with it. The problem is that having faith is fairly easy. We believe in God, trust in Jesus, and worship regularly and devoutly. However, when the going gets tougher, when we actually have to do something about our faith, take a stand, whether it is popular or not, face opposition or even real danger, what do we do? Pass the buck? Think someone else will fix it? There are children dying now in sub-Saharan Africa, for lack of food. The pictures of these babies will break your heart: Their eyes are large because their cheeks are sunken, their mothers’ eyes are hopeless because they have no food for themselves and precious little for their
Volunteers, many from Corryton Church, raise the walls of Shannon Perry’s new home.
By Sandra Clark First you see cars lining both sides of the street for two blocks in either direction; then you hear hammers, striking nails in rhythm; then you smell new wood and feel excitement in the air. It’s spring. Time for another Habitat for Humanity house in Knoxville. On Saturday, volunteers and Habitat staff raised the walls for a new home for Shannon Perry and her three kids: Bob Temple stands on TecoEthan, 15; Leland, 9; and ma Avenue during Saturday’s Adelynn, 18 months. Habitat “build.” “You’ve got to be careful where you swing into the four-bedroom, your hammer on opening day,” said Bob Temple. two-bath home in midThe House of Hope at 2823 June. “It will be the first Tecoma Ave. is being built time Leland and Adelynn in his honor by HopeBuild- have had a room of their ers, Corryton Church and own,” she said. The family stops by most evenings, Perry. Temple is a developer/ doing cleanup. Their excitehome builder and longtime ment is growing. Perry grew up in South supporter of Habitat. His son, Rob, was with his dad Knoxville, attending Flenniken Elementary and on Saturday. Perry was wielding a graduating from Southhammer with other volun- Doyle High School. For teers. She expects to move the past seven years, she’s
■■ Seymour First Baptist Church, 11621 Chapman Highway, will hold its spring rummage sale for missions 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 8. All proceeds to support the church’s domestic and international mission trips and projects. Donated items may be left at the church 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
children. My arms are not long enough to reach every hungry child. My wallet is not full enough to help every person in need. But there are ways to make a difference. Recently, at an intersection I pass every day, there has been a man standing there, holding a sign, asking for food. For various reasons I passed by without stopping. However, the other day, I rolled down my window and told him how to find a place that would help him. He thanked me. I haven’t seen him since.
through April 7; large item pickup available: Jeff Sovastion, 865-719-4145; Frank Enter, 865-474-0199; church office, 865-577-1954.
SENIOR NOTES ■■ South Knox Senior Center, 6729 Martel Lane. Info: 865573-5843. ■■ South Knox Community Center, 522 Old Maryville Pike. Info: 865-573-3575.
lived in Corryton and is a member of Corryton Church. She’s employed at Gastrointestinal Associates. Son Ethan had transferred to Fulton High School to participate in its communications magnet program before she learned their new home would be in the Whittle Springs and Fulton zones. “Corryton Church is my family,” she said. “We’ll still be going to church there.” Perry has taken personal finance classes as a part of the Habitat program. She’s learned so much that she’s giving tips to friends at work. “You’ll be on the radio like Dave Ramsey,” we joked. Tecoma is a quiet street that dead ends at Whittle Springs Golf Course. It’s an established area with deep lots and mature trees. The Perry family is ready to join the neighborhood. They are thankful to the HopeBuilders and Corryton Church for making their dream possible.
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The Rotary guy
5 from Knoxville Rotary visit projects in Zimbabwe By Tom King Five members of the Rotary Club of Knoxville (RCK) recently returned from Zimbabwe to help dedicate a dam that was Tom King repaired through a Rotary International grant and celebrate with the villagers in Bulawayo South. On the trip were RCK president Allen Pannell, vice president Jody Mullins, past District 6780 governor Frank Rothermel, past president Townes Osborn and world community service committee chair Bob Marquis. The group also visited another village where RCK member Phil Mitchell arranged a dedicated grant through the club’s foundation to provide food for village children who were starving due to a severe drought in 2016. Also, the RCK delegation spent time with the club’s Rotary partners in Bulawayo and stayed at the Nesbitt Castle Hotel. In ad-
dition, the group visited the nursing school the club helped launch in 2015 with a Rotary grant. ■■ Smoky Mountain
If you’re a baseball cap buff, then we’ve got some news for you. Our friends at the Rotary Club of Gatlinburg have a few hundred “Smoky Mountain Strong” hats in support of those victims rendered homeless by the recent fires in Gatlinburg, Sevier County and the Great Smoky Mountains. For a monetary donation of your choice, one of these caps can be yours. And 100 percent of the money is going directly to the victims. You can pick one up any Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the glass facility at Calhoun’s in Gatlinburg, or you can send a self-addressed 5 x 7 stamped envelope with a check for a donation. Please send your top three choices in colors since they are not reserving any orders (first come first serve). Mail your donation to: Gatlinburg Rotary Foundation, Attn HATS, P.O. Box 1144, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.
Kids helping kids By Margie Hagen What started as a project for students at First Baptist Concord will turn into new playground equipment for Maynard Elementary School kids. Concord Quest Vacation Bible School attendees from kindergar-
ten through seventh grade raised a good portion of the $25,000 needed, with the remainder coming from a large donor. Located on Kingston Pike in Farragut, First Baptist Concord has some 8,000 members. About 1,100 chil-
David’s Tires: Keep on rollin’ By Esther Roberts Matthew Porterfield knows tires. “I started helping my dad at the shop when I was very young. Our pastor helped out at the shop for a while; he likes to say, ‘An 8-year-old boy taught me how to change a tire!’” Porterfield’s father, David, and his uncle, Robert, began their business as “Porterfield Tire” over 30 years ago in a small space on Cherry Street. They had three employees. “My mom, Shirley, did the bookkeeping back then,” Porterfield says. “I have two children and my sister, Crystal (Woods), also has two children. These days, Mom enjoys being ‘Nana’ and my sister and uncle do the accounting.” As business grew, so did the need for space. The business relocated to its present Rutledge Pike location in early 2009. David Porterfield manages the tire side of the business. Matthew manages the mechanical repairs side. “For customers who need tires, they’re welcome to drop in anytime and we can accommodate them,” Porterfield says. “We have all types of customers – including individual car owners to commercial fleets to industrial equipment rental companies. As a small,
family-owned and operated business, we are grateful for each one. “For customers who need mechanical work, from simple oil changes to more complex repairs, we ask them to make an appointment, so we have the right mechanics available for each job at the right time. Appointments help minimize customer wait time, and we like to take the best possible care of our customers.” The waiting area is tidy and both business- and family-friendly. It features workspace cubicles with convenient power outlets for recharging electronic devices, as well as a television and a children’s space complete with books and toys. The biggest challenge facing the business right now? “Keeping our mechanics trained on all the latest technology available in the various vehicles on the market,” Porterfield says. “We are constantly sending our mechanic staff to classes for training, so we can provide top-quality service on the computers and modern technology found in today’s vehicles.” Along with running the mechanical side of this family business, spending time with his wife and two young children, and being active in his church, Matthew Porterfield is an avid
marathoner, a rock climber (Porterfield was second in the nation in 2016) and an ice hockey player. All this from a wheelchair. “I was 18, I had a dirt bike accident and shattered my T-5 vertebrae.” He is remarkably matter-of-fact. “I
never let it slow me down. I love being active. It’s hard to stay in shape, but well worth the effort.” Porterfield has traveled all over East Tennessee, speaking on behalf of the Think First Foundation. “I love talking to the kids.”
dren attend Concord Christian School in grades pre-K through 12. Each year, the vacation school selects a different cause to benefit, according to director of communications Tiffany Roy. “Most of the money came in change from over 1,000 kids who attended our summer event,” she said. “So cool to see kids helping
kids!” A check was presented to the administration at Maynard during its winter carnival in December. Maynard Elementary School is on College Street in the Mechanicsville area. Founded in 1897, the school has about 200 students in grades K-5. “First Baptist Concord has supported the school
for many years through our Partners in Education program,” said spokeswoman and instructional coach Christa Stewart. “They have provided mentors for our students, along with monetary donations and supplies. “Denise Barker and the Helping Hands program at the church have continually checked with our staff
to determine our needs. Principal Kim Cullom is greatly appreciative of their ongoing support. A safe and fun playground benefits a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical and social development.” To learn how you can donate time, talent or money, visit Partners in Education at knoxschools.org or the church at fbconcord.org
Matthew Porterfield is a marathoner, rock climber and plays on a hockey team. His father, David, and uncle founded the family tire business over 30 years ago on Cherry Street.
Photo by Esther Roberts
Angela Floyd & Friends present …
Cash For Classrooms Angela Floyd checks out the new futon purchased by Adrian Burnett Elementary fifthgrade teacher Austin Bilbrey. He used his Cash for Classrooms money to purchase the futon for students to read in the classroom library, books and general school supplies for the students.
Corryton Elementary kindergarten teacher Annette Benson and Angela Floyd show just a few of the items purchased with the Cash for Classrooms money. Benson purchased road paint and plans to design an outdoor math learning center with assistance from her students. Once complete, the project will benefit all grades at the school. Photos by Ruth White
Central High teacher Christopher Hammond used his Cash for Classrooms money to help establish the Emma Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will go to a graduating senior with a 3.0 GPA or higher who completes 12 hours of community service their senior year, a 500-word written essay and who must be attending college in the medical field. The first scholarship of $1,000 will be presented on senior awards day in May. Pictured with a banner for a benefit are Hammond’s clinical internship students (front) Digna Vazquez, Eva Lane, Courtney Hatcher, sponsor Angela Floyd; (back) Hammond, Keegan Lyle, Demi Berry, Lindsey Kidd, Haley Langley and Austin Kesterson.
Shopper news is proud to co-sponsor the 2017 Cash for Classrooms with the help of the Great Schools Partnership. Thanks to our sponsors, we put $5,000 directly into classrooms ($250 each to 20 classes). And we helped Angela Floyd celebrate 20 years in business.
South Knox Shopper news • March 29, 2017 • A-7
New beginning for Butch Jones This is an exciting time in Tennessee football. Can you see the sparks and feel the thrill? It is the new beginning of Butch Jones’ coaching career. He has a new boss. He has five new primary assistants. He will have a new quarterback. This is Butch’s secondbest chance to become one of the truly famous leaders in the game. His first was when Dave Hart coaxed him away from Cincinnati as the replacement for Derek Dooley. He received a motivational boost in pay and inherited great facilities and the rich Tennessee tradition. Even with roster deficiencies, some degree of success seemed certain. There was almost no way Jones could do worse than his predecessor. Butch, indeed, built brick by brick and made considerable progress but did not set the proverbial woods on fire. His recruiting classes were better than his 3021 record. He lost a couple he should have won. Some pearls of wisdom were misconstrued. Critics sneered. Timing wasn’t too good but “champions of life” and “five-star hearts” sounded noble enough to me.
Last season was a double disappointment. The Vols managed to miss out on the SEC East championship in that inexplicable setback at South Carolina. At Vanderbilt, the Vols played themselves out of the Sugar Bowl. Just guessing, but there may have been some unrest in the ranks. Fans certainly fretted. This is almost like starting over. New deck of cards. The youth movement is complete. The depth problem has been reduced. In theory, 32 of 44 from the two-deep chart are returning. That sounds really good until you notice that many of the best players are gone. There is now more ordinary optimism where wild and wonderful expectations once lived. There is talent and better odds on development. Some who were injured have healed. Competition at several positions is already obvi-
Shelby County to Knox: Stop Harry Brooks’ Opportunity Scholarship Pilot Program was drafted to provide private school scholarships to students in public school districts that have at least 30 schools performing in the state’s bottom 5 percent. In other words, Memphis. And although they didn’t exactly tell him to take his bill and shove it, droves of Memphians traveled to Nashville last week to attend the Education Administration & Planning Committee meetings so they could let Brooks know what they think of his Memphisonly voucher plan: “Our community has to suffer the consequences of your decisions,” one parent said. “We have the highest poverty rate in any county of this size in the state of Tennessee. That’s real and with that comes challenges. When you take dollars out, you’re taking resources.” Democratic Rep. Johnnie Turner, a retired educator who represents an innercity Memphis district, said the voucher bill will siphon $19 million from the resources of the schools she represents. “Leave Shelby County alone,” Turner said. “Go pick somebody else’s schools to be your whipping dog. Why do we always have to be the dumping ground?” Brooks responded that
ous in spring drills. If what we hear from players is fact instead of fiction, Rock Gullickson lit the fire that is supposed to warm up the future. He was an all-NFL strength and conditioning coach who just happened to be unemployed when Butch called. I can still hear Jones’ enthusiastic endorsement … “We are ecstatic to welcome Rock … I know what he stands for as a coach and a person … he fits the culture we are continuing to build at UT … he has a comprehensive plan that I truly believe our players will greatly benefit from … he is passionate about his work, tireless, detail-oriented, and has a tremendous track record of developing and motivating players … he will provide the type of training needed to compete at the highest level.” That sounded to me like Butch had a need and Rock had a chance to meet it. No question about defensive backs coach Charlton Warren. He got a very large pay increase to come from North Carolina to fill a void. If he teaches corners to look back for the football, he will be worth all $450,000 a year.
For another half a million, Butch purchased extensive experience and credibility in Brady Hoke. The former head coach at Michigan has a giant reputation among defensive line coaches. He does face a challenge. The Tennessee head coach changed the offensive staff without changing the offense. Tight end coach Larry Scott made the big jump, to coordinator, and undoubtedly influenced the selection of quarterbacks coach Mike Canales and wide receivers coach Kevin Beard. All three have south Florida ties. Walt Wells’ Middle Tennessee recruiting connections helped him become offensive line coach. What all this says is Butch Jones has improved his chances of moving on up in the world. Contract extension? Five million instead of four? Joy, joy, strike up the band. All we need now are defensive tackles, outside linebackers, secondary solidity and results. Nine more wins might satisfy John Currie until Butch can get to 10.
Roberto has website for council race
Former Election Commissioner Andrew Roberto, 40, who lives on Hayslope Drive in the new Westmoreland, is an attorney and is also running for the District 2 (Duane Grieve) seat on Knoxville City Council. He Roberto is a single parent who shares custody of his two daughters, Kylie and Hannah, with their mother. He is the only candidate in this district who currently has a website at www. electroberto.com. The website does not yet specify his stands on issues. He wants to “give back” to the community. He wants to spend time listening to voters. He (Marvin West invites reader reaction. His attends Cokesbury United address is email@example.com) Methodist Church. While a Democrat, he favors nonpartisan elections for city office. Roberto says he does not anticipate Mayor Madeline Rogero getting involved in council races. He says ing room, where the crowd he “has not heard any was admonished not to argument which makes me cheer. Not so with the large think we should increase overflow crowd in the hall, taxes” in the city. On the watching the proceedings Sheffield Drive sidewalk, on wall-mounted TV sets, cheering their side on. “There were about 40 people in the hall when I ■■ A quick way to a good job is went in. When I came out to make noises about running there were at least 65 or 70, for governor. Bill Hagerty is and they were overwhelmthe new U.S. ambassador to ingly anti-voucher,” she said. Japan. What’s up for Beth Harwell as Team Haslam clears In the end, HB0126 the path for Randy Boyd? passed on a voice vote.
messing with Memphis Betty Bean
his bill is about giving families the choice of removing their children from failing schools and sending them to private schools. His cosponsor John DeBerry (a Democrat and a staunch supporter of charter and voucher bills) was pretty much Brooks’ only Memphis ally. DeBerry accused the crowd of “acting as though the zombies are going to come out and the moon is going to turn to blood if we pass vouchers.” Raumesh Akbari, another Memphis Democrat, challenged Brooks to show consistent proof that vouchers work. “You’re stepping into an area that is not your area, and you’re coming into my county and you’re telling us how we’re going to handle it. … If you want vouchers, include your county in it.” Another big stumbling block is end of term testing. Children receiving vouchers will be required to take the TNReady test. Non-voucher students won’t. Republican Ron Lollar, from Bartlett, was no kinder to Brooks than the rest of the Shelby County delegation.
“Everybody should have to take the same test. … There’s words for what you do to one child that you don’t do to all of them, and I think the courts will have something to say about that.” Knox County school board member Jennifer Owen makes a weekly trip to Nashville to observe educational issues being debated. It was standing room only inside the hear-
he says he wants to listen to the residents. He had not met at the time of the interview with Sandi Robinson, longtime West Hills resident and sidewalk advocate. Roberto favors the Lady Vols name being restored at UT. One of his council opponents, Wayne Christensen, named prominent attorney and former state Rep. Richard Krieg as his treasurer. Krieg has a long record in local politics. ■■ Former U.S. ambassador to Chad and Benin, Jim Knight, who has retired to Tellico with his wife, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Howard Baker Center at UT. The public is invited to hear his talk on relations between the U.S. and African nations. ■■ Former U.S. Sen. and Vice President Al Gore turns 69 on March 31. He lives in the Belle Meade area of Nashville. Former city council member Larry Cox turns 75 on Thursday, March 30.
GOSSIP AND LIES
■■ Doug Harris, former school board chair, led a behindthe-scenes effort to persuade the board to retain interim superintendent Buzz Thomas for another year. It was no-go. – S. Clark
Witt embarks on race for clerk By Sandra Clark Sherry Witt is a wellliked, respected county officeholder who will find herself out of work in late 2018. So the register of deeds for 10 years is seeking to become Knox County clerk. “There’s an opening in the clerk’s office and I’m applying,” she says. Term limits will kick in next year for Mayor Tim Burchett, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, Witt and Clerk Foster Arnett. In addition, Cathy Quist Shanks has said she will not run for re-election as clerk of Circuit and Sessions courts. Witt, 58, has worked in the register’s office since she graduated from UT. She was chief deputy to Steve Hall before taking the top job. Now her deputy, Nick Mc-
Bride, is seeking to move up. A potential primary opponent has emerged. State Rep. Roger Kane is eyeing a courthouse post. He’s already announced he won’t seek re-election to the Legislature. Foster Arnett has been an anomaly among officeholders. He’s tough to work for, has sued the county for an unhealthy work environment (mold), and forgot that collecting hotel/motel taxes is part of his job. Yet he beat well-known Republicans Mike McMillan and Scott Moore in the 2010 primary and handily defeated former clerk Mike Padgett in 2014. Witt won’t commit on Arnett’s tenure, but she sees similarities between the duties of register and clerk.
“I have extensive experience in how a fee office works. Voters can have conf idence in my ability to operate a fiscally responsible clerk’s ofSherry Witt fice without compromising the level of service they deserve.” Witt has served as president of the state registers association and was voted Tennessee’s Outstanding Register in 2015. She is proud of her record in the register’s office. “We have reduced staff and budget over 10 years,” she says. Her office is totally paperless, with records stored electronically, saving
about a million copies per year. She has reduced staff through attrition as technology has made recordkeeping more efficient. The office currently has 22 fulltime and six part-time seasonal positions. Witt’s family includes daughters Shay and Chelsey; son-in-law Shane Gordon; and grandsons Grelyn and Seth. The life of an officeholder is busy, she says. Office hours are 8-4:30 weekdays. Some days start with a pre-work breakfast meeting. Many evenings are committed to nonprofits or Republican clubs. She is not worried about a primary opponent. “I grew up with seven brothers and sisters,” she says. “I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve got.”
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