On the 10th day after screaming winds drove arsonists’ flames down the mountain into Gatlinburg, the city still felt like a war zone – blockaded at every entrance, strewn with rubble and charred reminders of lost lives, homes and businesses. Burned out motor lodges and shops and restaurants along East Parkway bore witness to that awful Monday night.
But just beyond the last police barricade, at the far end of a little strip mall on the left, there was music and food and laughter and friendship and happy surprises at the Three Jimmys restaurant, where the steel magnolias of the Gatlinburg Garden Club were having their annual Christmas party.
Question: How much did Bill Haslam hate Knox County school board member Amber Rountree’s resolution asking the state for a one-year waiver from using TNReady/TCAP scores to calculate student scores and teacher evaluations?
Candidates in the next city election cycle will be making formal announcements soon, and although a multitude of rumors swirl about the mayor’s race in 2019, no one has gone public yet. On the other hand, the District 4 City Council seat that Holston Hills resident Nick Della Volpe will vacate in December 2017 is drawing high-quality, high profile competition.
Lauren Rider, former president of the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association, plans to announce her candidacy after the holidays. Rider, a librarian at the Pellissippi State Division Street campus, is co-chair of the Broadway Corridor Taskforce and has been active in community issues since she moved to Knoxville 12 years ago.
Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist Shanks will not run for re-election in 2018, she told the Shopper News last week.
Shanks, whose job includes running the Civil Sessions and Juvenile courts, will have served 20 years in office by the time Election Day ’18 rolls around. She said she promised her husband, Greg Shanks, in 2014 that this would be her last term, and that she might have come to this decision sooner, if not for some unfinished business – completion of the build-out of Juvenile Court and conversion to “paperless” digital record keeping – that she wanted to complete.
For anybody who didn’t get enough politics this fall, here’s an interesting scenario developing on the state scene. Three of the folks who’d like for Bill Haslam to hand them the keys to the governor’s residence when he leaves office in January 2018 are all Republicans, all from Middle Tennessee, all women.
House Speaker Beth Harwell and two members of the state’s congressional delegation – Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black – are prime contenders to succeed Haslam. Despite similarities of party, locality, age, race, marital status and gender, the three couldn’t be more different, say those who know them.
Dilemma Ultra Lounge and Grill, at 2630 N. Broadway, occupies the building that once housed Drumheller’s appliance store. Its landlord is Drumheller Real Estate Management, and it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods occupied by people who are losing patience with the club, which opened last November.
Last week, Dilemma owner Kevin Cherry attended the November meeting of the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association to defend his business.