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VOL. 52 NO. 19 1

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Not a secret anymore

IN THIS ISSUE Faith matters to you, and to us

Matthew Best

“One of the beautiful things I love about the Lord is the fact that anyone that comes into contact with God can’t leave that encounter the same way

that he came.”

May July 29, 10, 2013 2017

Ribbon cutting officially opens Fort Dickerson Park gateway

Read new columnist Matt Best, Page A-5

Contending again for a following

“Heavyweight boxing has my attention for the first time in 20 years. And it should have yours. “The heavyweight boxing champion used to be somebody. Remember? He used to be a contender – for our attention, for our worldwide admiration.” See sports columnist Jesse Smithey, Page A-7

Why is UT doing this?

Former Knoxville mayor Victor Ashe questions the salary for UT’s new vice chancellor for communications. It’s more than twice the going rate.

See “Last Words,” Page A-7

Area farmers markets

■■ Dixie Lee Farmers Market, Renaissance|Farragut, 12740 Kingston Pike. Hours: 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays through Oct. 28. Info: dixieleefarmersmarket.com; on Facebook. ■■ Gatlinburg Farmers Market, Great Smoky Arts and Craft Community at the Covered Bridge (849 Glades Road), 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays, May 13-Oct. 8. Info: gatlinburgfarmersmarket.com. ■■ Market Square Farmers Market, 60 Market Square. Hours: 11 a.m.2 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 18. Info: marketsquarefarmersmarket. org. ■■ Maryville Farmers Market: Broadway, Founder’s Square, Founder’s Lot near CBBC Bank. Hours: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturdays through mid-November. ■■ Seymour Farmers Market, lower parking lot of Seymour First Baptist Church, 11621 Chapman Highway. Hours: 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, June 3-Oct. 14. Info: on Facebook. ■■ “Shopping at the Farm” Farmers Market, Marble Springs, 1220 W. Governor John Sevier Highway. Hours: 3-6 p.m. Thursdays, May 18-Sept. 21. Info: marblesprings. net. ■■ UT Farmers Market, UT Gardens, 2518 Jacob Drive. Hours: 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays through October.

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The Aslan Foundation’s generous donation helped fund the creation of an enhanced gateway into Fort Dickerson Park. It includes twin 15-foot pillars at the street entrance, a three-story stone veneer wall, and an open space surrounded by a circular stone seat wall.

By Ali James

“It was difficult to get in and out of it (Fort Dickerson),” said Walsh of the former park entry. The new gateway is 50 feet south of the old entrance and complements the city’s recent $1 million Fort Dickerson Road Realignment Project. That project realigned Fort Dickerson Park’s Chapman Highway entrance with Woodlawn Pike and introduced a much-needed traffic light, sidewalks and crosswalks for more prominent access. “It was a destination for Civil War enthusiasts, but not the public,” said Walsh. “Now it’s a gateway to the park, rather than a hid-

Joe Walsh, city of Knoxville parks and recreation director, stood at the brand new Fort Dickerson Gateway on May 3 and quipped that ribbon cutting has become a bit of a habit of late. “It’s a good habit, I hope we keep it up,” he said, referring to the recent openings of the Baker Creek Preserve and Suttree Landing Park. The City of Knoxville officially revealed a new park entrance that includes a three-story stone veneer wall, 15-foot twin pillars, a covered KAT bus stop and an open space surrounded by a circular stone seat wall.

den gem. By simply making the park easier to find and get into, it will become a more widely known destination for local people as well as tourists.” Other officials present at the ribbon cutting included Mayor Madeline Rogero, representatives from City Council, the Aslan Foundation, local neighborhood groups, the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and the Civil War Round Table, as well as city officials. “We wouldn’t be standing here today without The Aslan Foundation,” explained Walsh. The Aslan Foundation invested $1.65 million

Tribute T-shirts By Ali James

“Every time my wife sees a South Knoxville-related shirt, she has to get it,” said Ryan Willis, who co-founded MuleKick, a southern apparel line, with his wife, Rachael. “I always made fun of her, it didn’t matter where she found it, she would buy it because she was born and raised in South Knoxville.” Willis said their brand is about providing high-quality but affordable apparel designs aimed at “kicking up nostalgic memories, pride and love for your town and state.” “I tried to think of the most random southern term for a name,” said Willis. “Most people have done a mule kick and we had mules around where I grew up, I thought ‘MuleKick’ would be a cool logo for our T-shirts and hats.” “We’re both fans of hyperlocal T-shirts and we thought it would be cool if we would offer people in smaller towns T-shirts and hats that pay tribute to where they are from,” said Willis. “Last summer I started thinking there might be a market here for them.” Inspired, the couple started

We Offer:

South Knox couple’s line spreads community spirit

Ryan Willis works in public relations and Rachael Willis works for a family-owned insurance agency. They run their fledgling brand out of their house and sell their range of T-shirts, decals and hats online only. “Rachael grew up here and has seen all of the different changes in South Knoxville,” said Willis. “Even though we are two minutes away from downtown Knoxville, you feel like you’re not in a bigger city. There’s a strong community, a real sense of pride.” Willis tries to reflect that spirit in the design of the “37920” Tshirt. The interior of each number includes the street names and neighborhoods in South Knoxville – from Island Home to John Sevier. “The growth south of the river, I would characterize as more local, rootsy growth and smaller businesses,” said Willis. “Not a The “37920” ZIP code T-shirt is the best-seller in the MuleKick growth of huge developments apparel line. The design features names of South Knoxville and big box stores, it’s more local streets, and decal stickers are included as a “thank you.” operations, and that lends itself to the community. We want to do more designs geared towards researching start-up costs. “We time and with a new baby,” said South Knoxville, perhaps include thought we were crazy to be start- Willis. “We ended up launching some forgotten places.” To page A-3 ing this as well as working full- MuleKick at the end of January.”

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to acquire and then donate the former G&R Automotive property to the city and to cover design and construction costs. The council then approved the plan to demolish the building to create the better positioned entrance. “It’s not a secret anymore,” said Rogero, during her speech. “It feels like yesterday that we were at a Legacy Parks lunch, with Peter Hillary (son of adventurer Sir Edmund Hillary) when he said we have an amazing treasure, a wonderful asset in the heart of town, just like New York’s Centennial Park.” To page A-3

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A-2 • May 10, 2017 • Shopper news

health & lifestyles

A wise choice

New parents are grateful for team approach at Fort Sanders Regional Wesley Minton sat in the waiting room at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center wondering if he would go home as part of a family, as a single parent, or all alone. His wife was 36 weeks pregnant, hospitalized, and unconscious following a seizure. There was nothing he could do but wait and pray.

Thanks to the teamwork between Fort Sanders Regional and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the entire Minton family is happy and healthy.

Making a choice When Wesley and Emily Minton decided to start a family, there were plenty of great hospital choices for the delivery of their first baby. Emily, who is a nurse practitioner, says the partnership between Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital was a major factor in the decision-making process. The two hospitals are located next door to each other and connected by a tunnel, so pediatric specialists have the fastest access to the littlest of patients. The Mintons’ hospital choice turned out to be more important than they ever could have imagined when Emily was airlifted to Fort Sanders Regional from their home in Claiborne County on a Saturday night in October.

An unexpected emergency Wesley says he walked into their bathroom to find Emily sick, suffering a seizure caused by eclampsia, a life-threatening condition brought on by high blood pressure. He held her close and called her name repeatedly, but instead of responding she began to go into another seizure that was even worse, driving her whole body into convulsions. He called 911 and an ambulance quickly arrived, but before it could leave the driveway Emily was overtaken by a third seizure, and paramedics determined she needed to be flown to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for immediate care. Her blood pressure was 262 over 175. “I knew the severity of the situaCurtis Elam, MD tion,” Wesley says. “I was just hoping

one or both of them would make it.” Obstetrician Curtis Elam, MD, was on call and waiting when the helicopter landed. Dr. Elam carefully explained to Wesley and extended family members what was happening and reassured the father-to-be that Emily was being well cared for. “He told me that the baby was alive, and they had to do some extensive tests on Emily,” Wesley says. “She was in very critical condition and they had to get her stabilized.” There was an MRI, more medication was administered to bring Emily’s blood pressure down, and preparations were made for an emergency C-section. Wesley was re-

A special partnership Emily Minton had worked at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital as a nurse and nurse practitioner, so she had firsthand knowledge of the partnership between Fort Sanders Regional and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The two facilities have an open door policy, so there’s nothing to slow down the effort to provide immediate, specialized care to newborns who need it. When the decision was made to perform Emily’s emergency C-section, a team from Children’s quickly assembled and moved through the tunnel connecting the two hospitals, standing nearby as the procedure was performed at Fort Sanders Regional. Baby Amelia was immediately assessed by pediatric specialists and whisked away through the tunnel to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s.

While medical staff at Fort Sanders worked to stabilize Emily’s blood pressure, Wesley Minton was able to see his newborn daughter without traveling too far from where his wife was being treated. Later, the day after Amelia was born, Emily was able to travel the short distance indoors through the tunnel to meet her baby. “The whole team was extremely compassionate, and very attentive to our needs the whole time we were there,” Wesley says. “We couldn’t ask for a group of people to be any better to us.” Emily agrees, saying she would definitely choose the Fort Sanders Regional and Children’s teams, if she had to do it all over again. To learn more about labor and delivery at Fort Sanders Regional, visit www.fsregional. com, and click the Services tab.

lieved when he learned his daughter had been safely delivered. He waited and prayed for his wife, who still lay unconscious in a hospital bed. Friends and relatives sat with him in the waiting room as the minutes and hours crept by. There were also private moments when he waited at his wife’s bedside in the intensive care unit. Emily’s blood pressure began to lower, and she was eventually removed from a ventilator. Shortly afterward, she opened her eyes. “I knew I was in a hospital,” Emily says, “but I had no idea what had happened.” She was also aware that she was no longer pregnant, so the first question she asked was about her baby. She was flooded with relief to hear that her child was safe and sound on the other side of the tunnel, just across the street at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The mother and daughter had to remain hospitalized for a time, but while Emily was still a patient at Fort Sanders Regional, she was able to travel through the tunnel to hold her baby. Little Amelia stayed under the watchful care of Children’s Hospital for about a week, and then the Mintons were finally able to start life as a family together at home. Wesley says that through the care of doctors, nurses and specialists, his family has experienced a miracle. “Dr. Elam has a special place in our hearts,” he says. “And the team at Fort Sanders and Children’s went over and above in how accommodating they were. We’re so grateful and thankful and couldn’t have asked for anyone better than Dr. Elam and the whole staff at Fort Sanders Regional and Children’s.”

National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Progam recognizes Fort Sanders Regional FSRMC was recently recognized by the National safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburghbased organization dedicated to preventing infant sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. In addition to being Cribs for Kids® partners, Fort Sanders Regional was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for parents and hospital staff. “Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S.,” said Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs

for Kids®. “We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.” FSR Director of Women’s Services Cathy Fry recognizes the importance of community education in preventable deaths. “The nursery begins the discussion upon a baby’s admission and continues their education throughout the stay, prompting new parents to continue these practices when they go home.” For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit www.cribsforkids. org/safesleephospitalcertification/. For more information about women’s services at Fort Sanders Regional, visit fsregional.com/ womens-services.

Happy Mother’s Day


South Knox Shopper news • May 10, 2017 • A-3

The City of Knoxville officially revealed a new park entrance for Fort Dickerson Park that includes a three-story stone veneer wall, 15-foot twin pillars, a covered KAT bus stop and an open space surrounded by a circular stone seat wall. The new Fort Dickerson Gateway features a three-story stone veneer wall and circular stone seat wall.

Not a secret

From page A-1

“There are stairs to get to the overview,” said Rogero. “A covered KAT stop so you can catch the Route 41 bus right to the front of the park.” According to Walsh, there could be another official ribbon cutting by next summer, with improvements in the works for the park’s Blount Avenue entrance closer to the quarry. Rogero recently allocated $1.75 million of her budget for Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, with a good portion of those dollars going toward Fort Dickerson. “Funding will improve access to the quarry lake and the overlook,” said Walsh. “If approved by city council in the next three to four weeks, we hope to start the design process. We will create a parking lot, concessions, a place to store kayaks and canoes, bike racks, a pier to swim and launch boats from. We hope to have a good portion started

or completed by the next swimming season.” In addition to helping the city with the completed and upcoming Fort Dickerson Park improvements, the foundation also purchased nearly 100 acres encompassing the majority of the nearby Fort Higley site to protect it from encroaching development. The two Civil War sites, Fort Dickerson and Fort Higley, are part of the Battlefield Loop of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. “It is about enhancing the natural beauty, being able to pause everyday life, to relax, read and play,” said Andrea Bailey Cox, executive director at The Aslan Foundation, who also participated in the ribbon cutting. Bailey Cox also said that the foundation was looking forward to partnering with the City of Knoxville to help join the dots of the various phases of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

Mayor Madeline Rogero stands with the Aslan Foundation’s Bob Young and Lindsay McDonough at the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

Tribute T-shirts Rachael and Ryan Willis launched their “MuleKick” apparel line from their South Knoxville home in January. Photos by Ali James

COMMUNITY NOTES

garyedeitsch@bellsouth.net. ■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association. Info: Pat Harmon, 865-591-3958.

■■ AARP Driver Safety class, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday-Friday, May 11-12, First Baptist Church of Seymour, 11621 Chapman Highway. Info/registration: 425-830-6545. ■■ South Knox Republican Club. Info: Kevin Teeters, kevinteeters018@gmail.com. ■■ Colonial Village Neighborhood Association. Info: Terry Caruthers, 865-579-5702, t_caruthers@hotmail.com. ■■ Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Firearms Association. Info: Liston Matthews, 865-316-6486. ■■ Knoxville Tri-County Lions Club. Info: facebook.com/ tricountylions/info. ■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Molly Gilbert, 865-209-1820 or mollygilbert@yahoo.com. ■■ Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Kelley DeLuca, 865-660-4728, kelleydeluca@gmail.com. ■■ Old Sevier Community Group. Info: Gary E. Deitsch, 865-573-7355 or

■■ South of the River Democrats (9th District). Info: Debbie Helsley, 865-789-8875, or Brandon Hamilton, 865809-3685. ■■ South Woodlawn Neighborhood Association. Info: Shelley Conklin, 865-686-6789. ■■ South-Doyle Neighborhood Association. Info: Mark Mugford, 865-609-9226 or marksidea@aol.com. ■■ Vestal Community Organization. Info: Katherine Johnson, 865-566-1198.

SCHOOL NOTES ■■ Whittle Springs Middle School PRC will host a family Spring Fling, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18. The event will feature a basketball tournament, face

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June 4-8. Ages 4 years through sixth grade. Theme: Operation Arctic VBS, “Exploring the coolest book on the planet.” Info/preregistration: buffatheights.org. ■■ Central Baptist Church of Bearden, 6300 Deane Hill Drive. Kickoff, 4-6 p.m. Sunday, June 4. Continues 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday, June 5-8. Theme: Passport to Peru. Info/registration at CentralBearden.org/Camp-Central, campcentral@cbcbearden.org or call 865-450-1000.

Willis creates most of the designs himself, with friends offering input. “We work with Threds, a local screening printing company,” he said. “We were concerned that we would have to order a crazy amount of inventory, but they print manageable quantities. “I’ve had to reorder the original orange ‘37920’ shirt two or three times already – it’s our most popular shirt,” said Willis. The couple are about to release a gray version with the design in navy ink. And Willis hopes to release new designs every three to four weeks. The MuleKick range also includes snap back caps. “One has an embroidered MuleKick logo,” said Willis. “Another has an 865 patch and I’m working on a South Knoxville hat.” Willis is always on the lookout for decal stickers to put on his truck or cooler,

so he has designed some for MuleKick too. “I’m starting to put decals with every order as a thank you,” he said. “I want the packaging and the experience of opening your order to match the quality of the shirts – to show our customers that we’re going the extra step.” Most of MuleKick’s sales are driven by social media and word of mouth. “We’ve had a lot of people ask for kids/baby infant shirts, that’s probably something we’re going to do,” said Willis. They also hope to roll out some tank top designs and participate in local events and perhaps even Mule Day in Columbia, Tenn. View the full Mulekick range at https://www.mule kickbrand.com; https:// w w w.facebook.com/Mule KickBrand/ or on Instagram at https://www.insta gram.com/mulekickbrand/

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■■ A golf tournament benefiting the Gibbs High School football team is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, at Three Ridges Golf Course. The Reeder Chevrolet Eagle Classic will be a four-man scramble. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with shotgun start at 8 a.m. Contact Delores Newcomb to register, 865-548-7503.

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■■ Whittle Springs Middle School is hosting a sign language camp, 9 a.m. to noon Monday, June 5, through Friday, June 9, for students ages 10-15. To reserve a spot or for information, contact Florence Ndiaye at Florencesignasl@ gmail.com. The school is at 2700 White Oak Lane.

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A-4 • May 10, 2017 • Shopper news

Creativity grows at

Hazel Bee Epperson-Scott, Violet Epperson-Scott, Grace Templeton, art teacher Cheryl Burchett and Lydia Burchett get ready to add more paint to the track at BMA.

Beaumont

By Ruth White

Beaumont Magnet Academy art teacher Cheryl Burchett, project manager Ben Epperson and creative team have begun work on the playground project after winning the $100,000 Dream Big grant from Farmers Insurance. Burchett hosted a painting party and students, members of the community and other volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got busy painting the track around the playground. The original plan had been to paint the track like a rainbow, but after further investigation, there are only three lanes so Burchett went back to the students and allowed them to vote on different schemes featuring three colors. The winner was three shades of blues and the results are beautiful. Students are currently busy creating mosaic tiles that will be used on the steps that are used to enter the playground. “The kids are connected to the project and they are an important part of the work here,” said Burchett.

Clara Teglas reaches as far as possible to paint the track on the playground at Beaumont Magnet Academy. Photos by Ruth White

Ballard loves being a ‘Carter girl’ By Ruth White Brenda Ballard has given almost 40 years serving students at Carter Elementary. She will close this chapter of her life as the school year winds down, but she won’t go far. She plans to become a substitute teacher so that she can keep in touch. Ballard’s mother, Edna Wyatt, was a substitute teacher for many years and inspired Brenda to become a teacher. Carter Elementary second-grade teacher She calls herself a “Carter girl,” Brenda Ballard will retire this school year, af- having grown up in the area ter serving 39 years in the community. Photo and attending Carter schools. She graduated from Carter High by Ruth White

ED

UC

in 1969 before heading to the University of Tennessee. Her brother, Mike Wyatt, has been a teacher at Carter Middle for 31 years. Teaching is in her blood and she is deeply rooted in the community. Others who inspired Ballard include her first principal, Bill Huffaker, and her second-grade teacher, Margaret Stallings. Huffaker hired her to work at Carter Elementary, and in addition to being her teacher, Stallings and Ballard later worked together in fourth grade at CES. Ballard has a true love for

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working with children, and she will miss standing at her door greeting her students each morning. She teared up when she thought of greeting her students and watching her former students go to their upper classrooms. She enjoys seeing former students out in public and has many occasions – the grocery store, church and even those who return to the school to do specific work – to see them as adults. Retirement won’t mean sitting around for Ballard. She

and her husband, Harold, plan to travel to Nova Scotia to visit their three grandchildren. She is very active in her church, where she serves as church clerk, assistant church treasurer, Sunday school secretary and on the Flower Committee. If you have attended any Smokies baseball games, you might have seen Ballard taking game tickets at the gate. She has worked at the ball park since it opened and loves it. “I get to see people and talk to them,” she said. “This is something that I thoroughly enjoy.”

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Explore Our Urban Wilderness! Advance Metal Fabrication Applied Industrial Technologies Averra Media Borderland Tees Business Graphics & Services Candoro Arts & Heritage, Inc. City of Knoxville Business Support Dogwood Animal Hospital Edward Jones Foothills Physical Therapy Center H & R Block Happy Yap Doggie Day Camp Herald Newspaper Ijams Nature Park

IT’S A R-R-RUFF LIFE Labor Exchange Lowe’s of South Knoxville Marble Springs State Historic Site Round Up Restaurant Sharon Davis, Realtor/South Knoxville Investor Shoney’s Stanley’s Greenhouses Tennessee State Bank The Summit Companies Three Bears Coffee Company Village Bakery Wee Care Shoppe Wood Realtors Ye Olde Steak House

To learn more about the South Knoxville Alliance visit www.SouthKnoxvilleAlliance.org


Shopper news • May 10, 2017 • A-5

Washington Presbyterian begins outdoor worship By Carol Z. Shane “Every year from about April to October,” says the Rev. Rick McIntee of Washington Presbyterian Church in Corryton, “we have outdoor worship on the grounds. April 30 was our first outdoor worship for the season.” The close-knit members of the congregation enjoy their historic building, their legacy – they’ll celebrate 215 years at their May 21 “homecoming” – and the beauty of their grounds. They own a few acres across the road, which is where they meet for the outdoor service. And it’s where they hold their annual apple festival every fall. “The apple festival is a pretty big deal,” says McIntee. “It’s a family festival. This will be our 40th year.” McIntee says that the festival draws a very large crowd, and not just local – “people tell me they come up from Georgia.” Last year they made $32,000, all of it given away to such groups as Morgan-Scott Project, Wallace Mobile Healthcare, Washington Presbyterian Church Designated Outreach and Wesley House Community Center. Though the congregation of about 110 is considered small, McIntee says 95-98 percent of the members are involved in the apple festival. Church member Tim Adams tells the story of a visitor, impressed with the size of the event, who asked, “Where’s

the church that puts all this on?” “I pointed across the street to our little church building,” says Adams. “The guy said, ‘no, really, where is the church?’ He had trouble believing that such a small congregation could put on such a big festival.” And they start preparing for it many months ahead of time. Which is why, if you’d been in attendance on April 30, you might have noticed the unusual sight of church members stirring two big pots of apple butter right next to where the service was happening. “We started the apple butter in the morning before worship,” says McIntee. “Then during the service, folks would get up and go take their turns stirring. We decided this would be a good way to do it since everybody’s already there.” As everyone who knows anything about apple butter is aware, you have to stir it constantly for about five hours. Failing to stir – even for a moment – results in burning that will taint the whole batch. Afterward, McIntee says, participants formed an assembly line to put it all into jars, to be sold at the fall festival. But the main attraction was the worship on the grounds. “Outdoor worship is special in itself,” says McIntee. “It was just wonderful over there!” Info: 865-688-7755 or visitwpc.org.

Washington Presbyterian church member Sam Bennett takes his turn stirring a vat of apple butter during the congregation’s first outdoor worship service for the season. Photo submitted

The ultimate Transformer Humans are obsessed with change. The concept of one object or person transforming into something radically different is a fascinating one. I think it’s the reason why as a kid I was so fascinated by toys like Transformers because there was just something about seeing a little car turn into a giant fighting robot that seemed really cool. In the same way, I think that’s why many people enjoy makeover television shows because the person the audience meets at the beginning of the program is not the same one we see an hour later, at least not on the outside. Perhaps we’re drawn to things that change because in reality it seems that we have accepted the fact that most people or things just stay the same. I dare to say that many of us probably don’t believe that real change is even possible. People are who they are and that’s it. But that’s not the way God sees it. One of the beautiful

Matthew Best

things I love about the Lord is the fact that anyone that comes into contact with God can’t leave that encounter the same way that he came. God by His very nature is transformative, and He desires so much for His children that He refuses to allow us to remain the same. He wants to mold us, shape us, polish us and use us. And not just for His glory but also because it blesses us in the process. I am so thankful that I’m not the same person I was when God captured my heart in a very real way as a freshman at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2007. And I’m also grateful I’m not the same person I was last week. The change that occurs in your life as a follower of Jesus is continual, thorough, and even hard

at times, but always worthwhile. So I invite you to reflect on the ways you have changed in the past few years, whether they be good or bad. What were the lessons the Lord taught you to shape you into a person who looks more like Him? Or what were the hard things you tried to avoid that left you hurting and disappointed? Just think about what He may be calling you to deal with now. I find it to be a blessing that we always have room to grow in our lives. How boring would it be if we ever perfected everything? But it’s doubly encouraging to me that we’re not left on our own to do the fixing, learning, and maturing. God is the greatest agent of change there is. And molding us to be the best version of us always has been and always will be a priority for Him. Matthew Best is an ordained elder at Children of God Ministries in Knoxville, and he works for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Tennessee. You can find more of Matthew’s work and support his ministry at ministerandmuse.com.

FAITH NOTES

SENIOR NOTES

■■ Spring rummage sale at Northside Christian Church, 4008 Tazewell Pike, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, May 18, through Saturday, May 20. Clothing, furniture, jewelry, home décor items, etc.

■■ AARP Driver Safety class, noon-4 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, May 17-18, O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St. Info/registration: George Hancock, 865368-8294.

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

■■ Carter Senior Center, 9040 Asheville Highway. Info: 865-932-2939.

Faith and Justice Legal Advice Clinic upcoming A Faith and Justice Legal Advice Clinic will be held 9:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 600 S. Chestnut St. The church is accessible from KAT line 34. The goal of the Faith and Justice Alliance is to build a coalition of faith leaders in the Knoxville area and to host legal advice clinics at places of worship to give people a less intimidating environment to talk to a

LIBRARY NOTES ■■ Author Nathaniel Philbrick will speak about his book “Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution” 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St. Free event, but donations welcome. Inf o/registration: knoxfriends.org/newsevents/nathaniel-philbrick.

lawyer. Participants in the Faith and Justice Alliance will invite congregants from their churches, synagogues and mosques to bring their legal questions as well. The general advice and referral clinic will have volunteers prepared to advise on a wide variety of legal issues, including family law, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, criminal defense, consumer protection, contract disputes, child support and personal injury.

Schweitzer, PhD, ScD. Preregistration, valid email address and good Internet searching capabilities required. Info/ registration: 865-215-8809. ■■ Dollywood Penguin Players, 4 p.m. Monday, May 22, North Knoxville Branch Library, 2901 Ocoee Trail. Info: 865-5257036. ■■ Dollywood Penguin Players, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May

23, South Knoxville Branch Library, 4500 Chapman Highway. Info: 865-573-1772. ■■ Dollywood Penguin Players, 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, Carter Branch Library, 9036 Asheville Highway. Info: 865-933-5438. ■■ Dollywood Penguin Players, 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 24, Howard Pinkston Branch Library, 7732 Martin Mill Pike. Info: 865-573-0436.

■■ Children’s Festival of Reading Movie Party: “Home,” 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, Lawson McGhee Library, 500 W. Church Ave. PG, 94 minutes. Info: 865-215-8750. ■■ Introductory Internet Genealogy, 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St. Instructor: Eric Head, BA, Knox Co. Archives and/or Dr. George K.

Drive. Info: 865-688-5882. ■■ Larry Cox Senior Center, 3109 Ocoee Trail. Info: 865-546-1700.

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A-6 • May 10, 2017 • Shopper news

Single mom realizes dream Kendra Watkins tears up when she begins explaining why having a home of her own is important. “To have not just a house, but a home, and it will be mine! My kids have seen me struggle to keep a roof over their heads. I applied to Habitat for them, and I stuck with it for them, too.” Like so many applicants, Watkins was turned down the first time she applied. But when Knoxville Habitat for Humanity has to say “no” to an applicant, they always explain why they were declined and what they need to do in order to be successful next time. Watkins has heard “no” a lot, so she wasn’t very optimistic when she resubmitted her application. In fact, she carried the

application around in her car for over a month. Her son finally talked her into dropping it off at the Habitat office. Several months went by when she received a call at work from her kids, telling her she had received a letter from Knoxville Habitat in the mail. She didn’t want them to open it and be disappointed, “but they were just so excited, I couldn’t say no,” says Watkins. “I was overwhelmed when they told me I’d passed the application process and (Habitat) wanted to meet with me.” Watkins, who has worked as

a Certified Nursing Assistant for over seven years, said that attending the weekly budgeting class was hard at first. She had to discipline herself to account for every penny she spent. She’d never done that before, but now that she has learned to do it, she proudly shares that she has money left over each month. When Watkins began taking the homeowner education classes, she knew it was the beginning of a turnaround for her and the three children. The tiny two-bedroom house that she’s rented for seven years is in need

BIZ NOTES

Job fair set May 24

Save Our Sons will host a job fair Wednesday, May 24, 6-8 p.m. at Austin-East High School. The last job fair, at Morningside Community Center on Thursday, April 27, drew more than 150 people to find jobs, receive help preparing their resumes, and get assistance with background checks and record expungement. “Save Our Sons is committed to removing barriers to employment. Finding a sustainable job is an important component for a happy and productive life,” said Save Our Sons Outreach Manager Kevin Perry. Representatives of Goodwill Industries, Knoxville Area Urban League, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), Denny’s, Newell (Rubbermaid), and Crowne Plaza were in attendance, ready to offer employment to qualified candidates. Newell (Rubbermaid) hired several people on the spot. Since its inception, Save Our Sons has worked with local area nonprofits and organizations to address persistent opportunity gaps and to eliminate violencerelated deaths among boys and young men of color. More info: KnoxvilleTN.gov/SaveOurSons

■■ Doctor of veterinary medicine Joanne Hibbs, of Tazewell Pike Animal Clinic in Corryton, was elected a member-atlarge to the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association execuJoanne Hibbs tive board.

of tremendous repairs that her landlord will not make. Watkins has been doing what she can on her own just to keep the house safe and vermin-free, but she is constantly finding holes to patch in order to keep rats out of the house. Watkins is so excited that, in just a few months, her children will have a new home where they can be proud to bring friends over, and she will have an affordable mortgage – less than the $600 a month in rent she is now paying. It is quite fitting that the 2017 Women Build sponsors and volunteers are partnering with Watkins – a strong, determined single mom willing do to whatever it takes to make a better life for her children.

Abby Ham, Habitat and Lowe’s team up Broadcast personality Abby Ham and Lowe’s Heroes were among more than 60 volunteers to join Knoxville Habitat for Humanity to build decent and affordable housing as part of Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Week, May 6-14. The Knoxville build took place Saturday, May 6, on Washington Avenue. Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 to empower women to advocate for affordable housing and spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by many. This year, more than 17,000 women including Lowe’s Heroes volunteers from across the country, were expected to volunteer at construction sites as part of Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week. Lowe’s donated $2 million to Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week.

News from Office of Register of Deeds

Property sales steady in April

was just short of the March figure of $300 By Sherry Witt The first full month of spring was some- million. As of the end of the first quarwhat lackluster for local ter, lending in 2017 was outpacing 2016 real estate and lending by about $46 million; however, that lead markets. The month end- has now evaporated as last month’s total ing on Friday, April 28, fell more than $50 million short of April produced 1,029 property 2016. The most notable real estate sale of the sales in Knox County, down from 1,138 in March and 84 month was the purchase of the Black Oak ■■ Free MS Word 2013 class, short of the total recorded Apartments complex on Maynardville 8:30 a.m.-noon Tuesday and Highway in Halls. The total price for the during April 2016. Thursday, May 16 and 18, While the number of transfer was just over $5.5 million. The Knoxville Area Urban League, Sherry Witt transfers lagged, the ag- largest mortgage loan filed was a construc1514 E. Fifth Ave. Small class, gregate value of property sold during the tion Deed of Trust in the amount of $22.1 personal attention. Certificate month held remarkably steady at $240.9 million financing a development known as from Pellissippi State upon million – nearly identical to both March Waterstone at Hardin Valley. completion. Registration Thus far it has been difficult to discover and last April’s figures. In March, the total required. Info/registration: a trend in the markets in 2017. Real estate real estate sold in Knox County was $240.1 Bill, Gladys or Jackie, 865-524million, while April 2016 produced $240.8 sales continue to run about $100 million 5511. ahead of last year’s pace, but have been million in transfers. Mortgage lending experienced a slight somewhat inconsistent from month to dip in April as $295 million was borrowed month. Mortgage lending got off to a great equipment needs at the UT against real property in the county, which start but now appears to be on the decline. Center for Advanced Medicurrent chief medical officer the UTMC Department of and discovery is central to cal Simulation. Anesthesiology and the An- the UA’s mission, making Once fully funded, the for UT Medical Center. Since its founding in esthesiology Residency. UA virtually synonymous endowment will be named for Dr. Jerry L. Epps, former 1979, University Anesthe- As such, the UT Medical with the  Anesthesiology chairman of the Depart- siologists has provided the Center mission to serve Department at UTMC for ment of Anesthesiology and physician leadership for through healing, education 38 years.

Anesthesiology group pledges $1.5 million The physician group University Anesthesiologists has made a four-year $1.5 million philanthropic commitment to The University of Tennessee Medical Center and the UT Graduate School of Medicine.

The contribution will fund initiatives including educational and training opportunities for anesthesiology residents and nurse anesthetists, expanded faculty training and development, program and

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Shopper news • May 10, 2017 • A-7

UT official gets $80,000 raise Ryan Robinson, the new vice chancellor for communications for UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport, receives a significant pay boost moving from assistant spokesman for the Athletics Department to the Chancellor’s office on May 17. He jumps $80,000 from his current $145,000 a year to $225,000. This is more than double what the communications directors for Knoxville and Knox County make. It far exceeds the going rate for media people in the East Tennessee area. Why is UT doing this? The answer will be it is consistent with comparable positions in other universities. Many do not agree with that argument. ■■ Knoxville lost

Victor Ashe

an outstanding police officer recently when Deputy Police Chief Rudy Bradley died. For 35 years, he was an effective, loyal and dedicated officer. He made Knoxville safer and had the respect of the men and women of the Knoxville Police Department. He was a policeman’s policeman. ■■ Former City Council member Raleigh Wynn Sr. died April 30 at age 93. He served briefly on City Council following the death of council member Danny

Mayfield until Mark Brown was elected to the seat. ■■ County Commission Chair David Wright was in Nashville May 1 visiting House Speaker Beth Harwell, Gov. Bill Haslam and State Rep. Harry Brooks, who is retiring. He sat on the House floor during the session. Wright is a likely candidate next year. Wright said Haslam was “supportive” of his possible candidacy during a 15-minute meeting last week. While Wright has not officially  announced, this trip is a very strong indication he is running. Wright said he would wait until his term as chair of commission expires in August before making it official.

Wright’s term on County Commission runs to Aug. 31, 2020. If elected, Wright would resign his commission seat in November or December 2018 and commission would choose his successor, who would serve without election until August 2020. Wright is actually one year older than Brooks, who has served 15 years. Wright turns 72 this September. Brooks is 71 the same month. If elected next year, Wright would be 73, and probably not serve more than six or eight years. Other candidates for the seat may emerge. State Rep. Roger Kane is also leaving the House next year to run for County Court Clerk. ■■ Randy Boyd had a

last words stellar turnout for his major fundraiser at the Mill & Mine in downtown Knoxville with over 400 raising $1.5 million for the governor’s race. Attendees include U.S. Rep. John Duncan, Knox County Trustee Ed Shouse, Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens, UT vice chair Raja Jubran and UT President Joe DiPietro. Boyd has been a very generous supporter of UTK as well as other groups in Knoxville. It is rare for public university presidents to attend political campaign events. Haslam hosted a $1,000-a-person fundraiser last Monday, May 8, at the Governor’s Residence in Nashville for Ed Gillespie, who is a Republican running for governor of Virginia this fall.

■■ Jared Isaacs, son of well known and respected criminal defense attorney Greg Isaacs and Melissa, was elected president of the Webb School student body along with Palmer Bradshaw, son of Charlie and Kim Bradshaw, as vice president. Isaacs is the goalie for the lacrosse team. ■■ Dr. Digby Seymour, local Civil War author and physician, died at 93 in Arizona, where he had been living after retirement. He wrote “Divided Loyalties,” which is considered the book on the Civil War in Knoxville. He was the uncle of well known attorney Arthur Seymour Jr. His late wife, Lois, was active in local GOP politics in the 1960s and 1970s.

An old sport’s got new fight

ing Council (WBC) heavy- it all. That’s why boxing has weight champion. The become captivating again. other belt Joshua lacks, the I seriously can’t hand Not once in my 12-year 20 years. And it should have thought that Tyson was Klitschko in the 11th round World Boxing Organization over my pay-per-view moncareer as sportswriter for yours. some kind of Chosen One of of a reported indelible tit- (WBO) championship, be- ey fast enough.  the Knoxville News Sentinel The heavyweight boxing boxing. for-tat championship bout longs to New Zealand’s JoIf the sport stays out of its own way, it will have Wilder did I pen an article about champion used to be someBut when Tyson lost the on April 29. The 6-foot-6, seph Parker.  Joshua holds the Inter- and Parker square off, with boxing. body. Remember? He used last of his invincibility in the 250-pound Joshua actuto be a contender – for our late 1990s, boxing deflated a ally comes across in the national Boxing Federation the winner facing Joshua for attention, for our worldwide bit and I lost interest.  public eye as a likable fig- (IBF), International Box- all the belts. admiration. Champions like Lennox ure. He wore white gloves, ing Organization (IBO) and But we’ll have to wait and He used to be one of, if Lewis, John Ruiz and Vitali trunks and shoes in the World Boxing Association see what happens next. Jesse After all, there’s a certain not the, most recognizable Klitschko failed to move the fight against Klitschko, as if (WBA) title belts.  Smithey sportsman on the planet. needle like their predeces- Joshua was some savior to So who does Joshua fight science to these types of Their names were lost on no sors. the sport.  next? When does he fight things. one.  My generation, meanWhile that simile of di- next? A sweet science, that is. Ah, that’s the intrigue of And I am glad it’s back. I will never forget how while, gravitated toward vinity was in jest, Joshua I covered high school much I almost idolized Ultimate Fighting and its does have a certain look to him, a budding superstar sports mainly, with some Mike Tyson. My friends and street-fight-like feel. Boxing returned a couple quality to his style and pergolf and Tennessee athletics I gawked at every one of The City of Knoxville and the Metropolitan Planning sprinkled in here and there. his knockouts. Nintendo’s of weekends ago, however, son. “Mike Tyson’s Punchout” unbeknownst to me and Still, he lacks two belts Commission (MPC) have launched a website for Recode But never boxing. to be the unanimous heavy- Knoxville, the project to update the city’s zoning code. Not an amateur Golden video game escalated his probably you. abilities and reputation to Twitter, as you would weight champion. And one The website – www.recodeknoxville.com – will include Gloves story. Not even a local profes- such unrealistic levels that expect, gave me the wake- of those belts belongs to an general information and frequently asked questions. even Sylvester Stallone up call and even had video American. The first community meeting for the zoning code upsional boxing angle. I’m reeling you in back to date is scheduled for Thursday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at Central So this is a definite first couldn’t fathom. On that highlights. game, one punch from TyI marveled as Anthony boxing now, aren’t I? United Methodist Church, 201 Third Ave. Attendees will for me. Seasoned American have an opportunity to learn about the update and general The reason for the debut: son to the face sent you flail- Joshua, a 27-year-old undefeated (19-0-0) English- fighter Deontay Wilder zoning information by speaking one-on-one with MPC and Heavyweight boxing has my ing to the canvas.  So naturally, we all man, took care of Wladimir (38-0) is the World Box- city staff. attention for the first time in

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A-8 • May 10, 2017 • Shopper news

News from EyeXcel

Dr. Carusone provides pediatric and sports care, vision therapy By Kelly Norrell Dr. Frank Carusone, EyeXcel’s newest partner, provides a fresh perspective on general eye care plus excellent specialty care in his areas of passion: pediatric care, sports vision and vision rehabilitation. An honors graduate of both Kent State University and Southern College of Optometry, Dr. Carusone is excited about the role of optometry in today’s healthcare landscape. Dr. Carusone’s career as an eye care specialist began with his own family optometrist back in northeast Ohio. “I looked forward to every appointment. He was friendly and took time to get to know me and my family,” Dr. Carusone said. “I was nearsighted as a child and never realized it. When he fitted me for glasses as a teenager, I saw things I’d never seen. Later, he got me into my first pair of contact lenses.” Dr. Carusone

said the relationship sparked his own interest in vision and eyes. “I always had a passion and curiosity about how the body works.” Today, Dr. Carusone is at home in the family optometrist’s role. “Optometry is moving more into the medical space that allows us to treat and manage a number of eye health conditions. With the changing landscape of health care, we are always looking to the most effective way to treat patients and obtain an ideal outcome. Often, that means going to your family optometrist rather than to an eye surgeon.” In any given day, Dr. Carusone may be providing routine eye care such as fitting glasses and contact lenses. Or, he may be performing specialty care such as pediatric vision. “A child’s vision guides the rest of their development. If they have a problem that makes their vision blurry,

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Dr. Frank Carusone provides nofear pediatric optometry. This young patient’s visit took place last Halloween.

they may not be able to see their parents’ mouths moving and learn how to form words. If they are not able to see colors and shapes, they are missing the basic building blocks of development,” he said. Simple glasses and, when a child is older, contact lenses, correct many problems. But Dr. Carusone makes use of other methods of vision therapy to train the eye and brain to work together that are not commonly offered elsewhere. The partners of EyeXcel feel so strongly about the importance of early eye care that the practice now offers free, comprehensive eye exams for babies between six and 12 months of age. Parents can call the office at 865-6871232 to make an appointment. Dr. Carusone’s specialty in sports vision helps sharpen athletes’ visual skills through focused therapy. “We work with skills like peripheral awareness, depth perception, visual reaction time and eye-hand or eye-foot coordination. Developing these skills to a high level can separate the average athlete from a more elite athlete,” Dr. Carusone said. “Right now, we are developing the sports vision program. Often if the child is already here for general vision care, we can incorporate sports based therapy to make it more engaging as well as develop skills they are using in athletic events,” he said.

His uses of vision therapy and vision rehabilitation techniques are often life changing. “Vision therapy can help children with lazy eye or who have an eye tracking problem. We are also able to rehabilitate or remediate vision problems that result from disease, a stroke, traumatic brain injuries or concussions. Severe vision problems can result from these events. Rehabilitating these problems can have a life-changing impact on a person’s recovery,” he said. Dr. Carusone, his wife, Mallory, who is a kindergarten teacher at Ball Camp Elementary, and their dog, Ellie, love Knoxville. “I am excited about EyeXcel. We look forward to expanding our ability to care for more patients in this area in order to meet the needs of those in our community,” he said.

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