Aug 15 2018
11:18 pm
By: Bbeanster

So this guy's running to succeed the first woman speaker. He'll probably win.


It's kind of a hoot, given this little factoid that the Tennessean didn't think important enough to include. His mugshot favors Congressman DesJarlais, don't you think?

GREENEVILLE — An East Tennessee jury on Thursday convicted state Rep. David Hawk of reckless endangerment stemming from an incident in which his ex-wife alleged he had struck her.


Jul 28 2017
12:44 am
By: Bbeanster

McCain followed through.
McConnell seems on the verge of tears, castigating Dems for not "cooperating."Meanwhile his party embarrasses itself.


Apr 28 2017
04:32 pm
By: Bbeanster

Evidently McElroy has reconsidered his decision to hire Hornback.

Multiple sources report the the deal is off.

Jan 13 2017
10:28 am
By: Bbeanster

I'm pretty skeptical of TV folks. It probably goes back to the first time I staked out a spot at a news event and had a TV reporter wearing more makeup than a high school girl at her junior prom plant him/herself smack in front of me. I'm short, both in stature and in fuse, and I didn't appreciate that kind of treatment. And it's not like me to suffer in silence.

But I liked Jim Acosta. He was smart. He was funny. He was friendly and he was tough. I've been happy to see his success at CNN, where he has covered Donald Trump since the beginning of his presidential campaign.

As early as last summer, I noticed that Trump seemed to single Jim out for abuse, calling him "beautiful" in a tone that made it clear that this was no compliment, although I wondered if Trump, who frequently proclaims himself "very good looking," might have been jealous of Jim, who looks a bit like George Clooney.

Adversarial relationships between pubic figures and media are healthy. Tension between them is nothing new. But I've never seen anybody as abusive to the media who are obliged to cover him as Donald Trump. He cages them up in pens at his rallies and incites his crowds against them. He has repeatedly singled out individuals like Jim and Katie Tur, clearly inviting his followers to to attack them. And it hasn't gotten any better since the election. This is the way he intends to govern.

Anyhow, for what it's worth, I'm glad Jim Acosta's not backing down. We're going to need reporters with that kind of brain and backbone in this new era we're fixing to enter.

Nov 17 2016
04:42 pm

Mike Hammond has a plan to streamline the operation of the courts – put him in charge.

Last Tuesday – amid the Election Day chaos – a hand-delivered envelope with the word “Confidential” scrawled across the front landed on Mayor Tim Burchett’s desk.

Inside was a memo from Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond, a career radio broadcaster and 10-year county commissioner who ousted incumbent Criminal Court Clerk Joy McCroskey in 2014. Hammond’s letterhead identifies him as Knox County Clerk of the Courts. His office oversees Criminal Court, Criminal Sessions Court and Fourth Circuit Court.

The memo to Burchett begins with a reference to an Oct. 19 TV news story slamming Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist Shanks’ office, which oversees Circuit, Juvenile and the civil court division of General Sessions Court, for not generating excess fees for the past four years. County fee offices are generally expected to be self-supporting and to turn over excess funds to county general government.

Hammond had a suggestion to remedy the situation: he wants to take over.
Click the image above to read the full .pdf.
Click the image above to read the full .pdf.

“My recommendation would be to merge my office, the Criminal Court Clerk’s offices, with the Circuit Court Clerk’s offices. Streamlining all these offices under one management and operation will provide a simple and efficient for the county.”

Hammond offered two alternatives – a merger of criminal and civil sessions courts, which he said has the advantages of using his office’s “highly effective procedures and collection methods” and of moving all the courts toward paperless technology. He also said this merger would provide the benefit of a savings-producing “synergy” and could be accomplished with a private act of the General Assembly and a two-thirds vote of County Commission.

The second alternative would be to eliminate one of the elected clerks.

“We believe that this option can only be made effective at the end of Ms. Shanks and my current term in office.”

It is unclear who “we” is. And Hammond suggests that this measure would also require a private legislative act to accomplish. But there’s a glitch – the Circuit Court Clerk, like the Clerk and Master of Chancery Court, is a constitutional office and cannot be abolished by legislative act. Such a feat would have to be done by constitutional amendment.

If it can be accomplished, Hammond’s proposal would create a “super clerk” who would not be subject to term limits and would have at least 150 employees.

Shanks declined to comment on Hammond’s proposal beyond confirming that she is not included in the “we” reference.

Hammond's memo linked hereL

Nov 6 2016
11:03 am
By: Bbeanster

I was saddened to learn that Nick Chase died Saturday.

The fact that Nick was 103 years old was not the most remarkable thing about him. The father of Knoxville restauranteur Mike Chase, he lived his last years in Knoxville, and I was privileged to know him. I found this story I wrote about him to make his 100th birthday. I really admired Nick Chase.


Jul 7 2016
10:54 pm
By: Bbeanster

I don't often link up my own stories, but wanted to get this out. I started hearing that Ron Williams had died over the weekend, and had some difficulty confirming it. Turns out he died of congestive heart failure June 24th, but there was no obituary because his family couldn't afford one. They also couldn't afford a funeral, and Ron's body has been at Rose Mortuary since his death.


Shannon Carey has a sadly topical story out of Union County:

"At Union County High School in Maynardville, Tennessee, a simple haircut can get you called a dyke.

Of course, bullying is typical in any high school, but what former student and vice president of the UCHS Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Connor Mize calls “standard bullying with a homophobic flair,” came to a head last spring. And while former social studies teacher and GSA club sponsor Chris Richeson isn’t getting confirmation from the school system, he strongly suspects his involvement with the club resulted in his contract non-renewal and dismissal from his post after school let out in May..."


May 25 2016
03:43 pm

Elijah Davis, a rising sophomore at Fulton High School, is an honor student and an outstanding member of the wrestling team. He has been invited to participate in a tournament in Australia this summer, but is having trouble getting the $5200 he needs to make the trip. He and his mom have been working hard, and have gotten pretty solid support from the Fulton community, but he's falling short of his goal.

I'm putting this out here to see if it might move someone to help this great kid. I think he's at about 80% of his goal, but he's got to have the full amount by June 1.

Here's his GoFundMe page:


And here's the story WATE TV did last month: (link...)

Dec 18 2015
12:31 pm

(KNOXVILLE) A 15-year-old Fulton High School football player lost his life Thursday night while trying to protect others from gunfire during a "senseless act of violence," according to the Knoxville Police Department.

KPD Chief David Rausch said Zaevion Dobson was with a group of people in the Lonsdale neighborhood when several men showed up and began randomly shooting.

Dobson jumped on top of three girls to protect them from the gunfire.

He was the only one hit and was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to police, the fatal shooting was connected to two other shootings overnight.

It all began when someone shot into a woman's home in East Knoxville on Dallas Street. Lisa Perry, 46, was hit a number of times in the lower back, KPD said. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A 10-year-old child was also home at the time but was not hit.

Perry's son, Brandon, then went with several other men to the Lonsdale neighborhood and began randomly shooting.


Nov 2 2015
07:18 pm

Of interest to gamers:

One of Tim Schafer's most popular early works, "Day of the Tentacle" is being re-released. This is evidently a pretty big deal in the gaming world, and Tim is just about a swell a guy as you'd ever hope to meet.

(He also likes Tomato Head, Littons and Magpies and floating down the Little River in an inner tube)


Published On: Mon, Nov 2nd, 2015
Politics / Racism / World News | By F. Taylor
KKK Politicians: Anonymous Exposes KKK Ties of United States Politicians | Senators & Mayors

By now you have seen the threats by the hacktivist known as Anonymous saying they will expose 1,000 United States politicians that have ties to the KKK. Well, they have started to make good on their promise to leak the names.

We woke up this morning to find a video circulating the internet by Anonymous, an unknown group of hackers with a decentralized command structure, that claims to expose members of the KKK participating in the US Government as Senators and Mayors across the country.


Here is a partial list of USA KKK Politicians according to Anonymous:

Senator Tom Tillis from North Carolina
Senator John Cornyn, Texas
Senator, John Horne Iverson, Georgia
Senator, Dan Coats, Indiana
Mayor, Madeline Rogero, Knoxville TN
Mayor Jim Mayer, Lexington KY
Mayor Kent Guinn, Ocala, Florida
Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne Indiana

All Rights Reserved: Urban Intellectuals

Aug 31 2015
01:20 pm

From the Mountain Press:

Sheriff Seals tells SC Tea Party of suspicious activity


SEVIERVILLE — Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals told the Sevier County Tea Party last week that some of his officers, working in an off-duty capacity as private security, contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after seeing troubling behavior at Tanger Outlet Center in Sevierville.

Prompted by an audience member’s statement about women in burqas spending long periods of time in shops without making purchases, the sheriff indicated officers had seen similar behaviors.

“We have some officers up there … they’re officers, but they hire them, off-duty police officers, primarily to work traffic, and they’ve noticed the same lady running around up there … taking pictures with a camera,” Seals said. “We got the information. We passed it on to Homeland Security. They’ve addressed it, and I don’t think anything else actually came of it.

“We thought maybe they’re doing that to maybe see what days there’s a big crowd up there.”


Aug 19 2015
05:26 pm



NASHVILLE- Tennessee Democratic lawmakers say fights at the Morgan County Correctional Facility Tuesday morning were apparently much worse than reported by the Department of Corrections. Two officers were seriously injured in what they described as several fights that broke out at the facility. One officer sustained a broken orbital socket, broken nose, cracked thumb and 12 stiches in his lip. He has been identified as Sgt. David “Woody” Garrett. In a press release, the Corrections Department only described his injuries as “not life-threatening”. Yet the pictures attached tell a different story. Garrett will have to undergo surgery next week on his injured eye socket. House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Stewart of Nashville said “If someone is kicking me in the head, particularly a person trained in mixed martial arts, I’m going to consider that a violent and life-threatening activity”. Stewart said sources inside the prison have identified the attacker as Aaron Tate, a former MMA fighter with a history of attacking officers.


Jul 7 2015
10:36 am

The wonderfully talented, witty and generally wonderous photojournalist Jack Rose – formerly the chief photographer for the old Knoxville Journal, died yesterday.

The comment I've seen most of on FB is simply that Jack was the best of the best. Any story I ever worked on with Jack was better because he was there. Sometimes he made it a whole different story, just by asking a couple of quirky, brilliant questions.

Apparently he was stricken within the last three weeks with a rare and awful auto-immune disease that destroyed his liver. His doctor at Vandy was hoping for a liver transplant, but nothing was available in time to save Jack.

All us old Journal Alums are devastated, as are many others. And I hurt for his wife, Sara Fortune Rose, with whom Jack was so happy.

Jun 16 2015
09:22 pm

The caller ID showed a Knox County government number when my phone rang last Monday morning, so I figured the call was going to be something that would put me to work.

I was pleasantly surprised when the voice on the other end turned out to be that of Bradley Reeves of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS). It’s always something good when Bradley calls, because he’s doing remarkable work down there in the bowels of the East Tennessee History Center where he and his wife, Louisa Trott, are preserving ephemeral pieces of our regional history and discovering forgotten gems.


Jun 11 2015
07:11 pm
By: Bbeanster

Crashing the Pachyderm party:


May 20 2015
05:48 pm

I try not to brag about my excellent son-in-law too often, but I'm moved to do so now.

The project that started as a Kickstarter has come to full fruition, and it's pretty gorgeous:


May 19 2015
08:11 am
By: Bbeanster

Does anybody remember when I posted this public thank you letter last summer?


The same young cop caught the eye of some folks last Saturday on Market Square:


Such a good guy.

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