Are are we gonna be on teevee? Yeah, purty much.

Over the past few months, life has handed me several unexpected twists and turns and I’ve been busy navigating my reality.  (See. The truth about why blogging has been light is far less complex than those vodka-pickled theories of my friends.)

February and March were spent tending the extremely-ill Ms. Diva as she endured two surgeries, three chest drainage tubes, a GI tube, a few weeks of intravenous antibiotics, and enough Demerol and Morphine to make ten grown men slobber on themselves.

She was diagnosed with the flu on a Monday.   By the following Wednesday, she was admitted through the Holston Valley ER to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit  with strep pneumonia, empyema and a long list of other complications.  She was placed in isolation for nearly three weeks.

I haven’t arrived at a point where I can discuss my daughter’s near-death experience without feeling compelled to weep, testify (which would also require me to sing a bit of righteous black gospel music and trust me, we don’t wanna go there) or compose a sonnet containing words like hope, innocence, strength, blessings and miracles.  This would not only blow my reputation as a smartass – a month or so from now, I’d almost-certainly gaze back upon my brief stint as a soulful singing sonneteer and be mortified.

So, let’s skip to the conclusion:

Diva recovered and will be sharing her story on WJHL (Channel 11)  during the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.  She’ll be on at 8pm tonight.   Now, cross your fingers the live portion  goes smoother than the pre-recorded interview during which she answered each question Phillip Murrell asked with the same three words: “Yeah, purty much.”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.