Most everyone knows that our current governor, Bill Haslam, lives in West Knoxville on Sherwood Drive. However, very few people know that another governor (now retired) also lives in Knoxville less than a mile from the Haslam home. He is Frank Barnett, 80, former lieutenant governor and then governor of American Samoa (1975 to 1977) who lives on Orleans Drive in the Westlands.
Barnett attended Bearden Elementary School when he grew up on Lonas Drive and graduated from old Knoxville High. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and UT College of Law.
“Hacksaw” is the best nickname in Tennessee sports history.
“Scrap Iron” is second best. It is the personification of Phil Garner, former Bearden High and University of Tennessee infielder who chopped and carved out a very interesting career in professional baseball, 16 years as a player for five different clubs and 15 as a manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros.
The nifty nickname wasn’t a gift. It was earned. Garner was tough – as in gritty, rugged, fearless, aggressive and sometimes combative. Seldom do you find little baseball players, 5-8 and 170, ready and willing to take on the world, bare-knuckles brawl if necessary, pick the time and place.
Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
Hardly anyone in Knox County has poured more time, work and love into a school than Mari Brooks at West High School, which she believes is the last, best hope for a better future for a significant portion of its students.
“I am a devout believer in public education,” she said. “It is the foundation of our nation, and it’s where kids learn to live in the real world. We’ve got kids born in 33 different nations at West and everything from the lowest socioeconomic group to the highest and everything in between. At West High School, you can excel no matter what your background.”
Mark Taylor has become the second Knox County educator to challenge the constitutionality of the Tennessee Value Added Assessment System for teacher evaluations.
The Tennessee Education Association filed a lawsuit on Taylor’s behalf in federal court last week charging Gov. Bill Haslam, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman and the Knox County Board of Education with violating Taylor’s 14th Amendment right to equal protection from “irrational state-imposed classifications” by using a small fraction of his students to determine his overall effectiveness.
Bob Gilbertson, owner of Bob’s Package Store on Winston Road in West Hills, has removed Russian vodka from his store in protest of the Russian occupation of Crimea. Gilbertson was interviewed on Fox News from the University of Tennessee’s Communications Building last week.
Gilbertson said he was tired of Russia being a bully in its region and undermining freedom. Wonder if any other package stores will join Gilbertson in his support of freedom?