Children of the Mountains

I’m not a regular television viewer.  (This isn’t one of those highbrow I’m-too-good-for-teevee things. It has more to do with the fact that, when we watch prime time, the kids tend ask to uncomfortable questions, such as “what is a sexually-intense thriller?” It’s easier to stick with Disney or Nick where the characters are fictitious, fashionable, perfectly safe, and seemingly sexless.)  However, after I read local inkslinger Joel Spears’ missive about the 20/20 special “Children of the Mountains,” which aired last week,  I knew I’d have to track it down and watch.

Continue reading


Stimulus, Recovery & My New Crush on Phil Roe…

Hank Hayes covered the Rogersville/Hawkins County Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast Saturday morning, where  Phil Roe discussed the stimulus bill.

“We got it at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and voted at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon,” Roe said of the bill. “No one has read this bill. I can promise you not one senator, not one representative in the United States Congress has read that.”

Full report here.

Continue reading

Picketing Parents

A group of approximately six parents picketed outside Hawkins Elementary School to protest the fact that 4th grade science teacher, Veleka Setsor, is still in the classroom.  (More photos here)  Setsor was charged last week with aggravated assault following an argument with her 18-year old daughter.  The Hawkins County school system, in compliance with Tennessee state law, is conducting an investigation into the matter.   Until the issue is resolved, an aide has been placed in the classroom with Setsor.

The small protest, however, is making big news.  A WJHL camera man was on-scene earlier.  According to one parent, WYCB has also agreed to cover the event.  Joel Spears from the Rogersville Review was also on hand with his camera.  And Jeff Bobo at the Times-News had a lengthy piece online this morning, although  I think the reference to Maintenance Supervisor Ralph Hurd, is out of place.  (Typically, maintenance supervisors are not protected by state tenure laws.)

Inside the building, things seemed to be business as usual.  Principal Barry Bellamy said a few of the children had noticed the protesters, but it didn’t seem to be creating a problem.

Continue reading

Tenure Laws Tie Hands


A persistent little reporter from WJHL created quite a stir in Hawkins County this afternoon when she spent some time bouncing around the Hawkins Elementary School car-rider’s pick-up line asking parents what they thought about last Tuesday’s (2/3) arrest of the 4th grade Science/Social Studies teacher.

Most of them knew nothing about it. Continue reading

Hawkins County Schools Closed, Wal-Mart Open, Persia Water Off

* Hawkins County schools will be closed again tomorrow  (Thursday 2/5/09.)   Head here to keep track of other local closings, cancellations and delays.

* Traffic in town is slow.  The main roads are clear, but the sidewalks are slippery – at least I assume they are since I saw a fella in a suit take a spill en route to the courthouse earlier today.   I assumed he was a slick-shoed lawyer.   So, I laughed a little.   The weather has also failed to slow down local Wal-Mart shoppers.  The store was busy this afternoon with the usual two check-out lanes open.  You know, I suspect if a meteor hits the earth and we all turn into zombies, we will instinctively gravitate to Wal-Mart.  Shoppers waiting in long check-out lines  will be easy pickin’s.   In the event of a meteor-related disaster, avoid Wal-Mart.  Write that down somewhere, so you will remember.

*Also, don’t try to do doughnuts in your SUV.  Just don’t.   Write that down too.

*Several Persia Utility District customers lost water today after a main line was accidentally punctured as (other) workers tried to bury cable.   The ladies in the main office say it might be awhile before the issue is resolved.  In lay terms this means – suck some snow, honey, and don’t hold your breath.  We’re pushing up on three hours without water now, which is fine.   I’m pleased to have heat… and somewhat relieved that the pipes aren’t frozen on my end and/or I didn’t forget to pay the bill.

Backseat Predictions: US Economy is Road Kill

Following last week’s discussion of Old Wives Tales, particularly those dealing with woolly worm weather prognostication, acorn-induced luck and future fatalities as portended by the birds, Ms. Diva has developed a tendency to search for a deeper meaning in all things inconsequential.

On the way home today, she inquired about the number of opossums on the roadway.

“Look!  That’s the sixth dead one we’ve seen. What do you think it means?””

Smartypants, who has all the answers, announced:  “Well, I’d guess it means they’re too stupid to look both ways… or it has something to do with the economy.”

(And I’d have found this terribly amusing – had I not been preoccupied with the fact that Diva can tally up the number of carcasses between here and yonder.  Seriously, how weird it is that?  Like… on a Southern scale of 1-10 – with 10 being , when the tornado hit the trailer-park, she appeared on the local news in foam hair rollers type of crazy-  counting roadkill has to be… what? A five? Maybe a six? )