(c)2013 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
Juanita Frazier, far right, takes aim with a handgun at the carry permit
training class last October at the Newport Community Center. From left
with her are Cocke County High School Assistant Principal Casey Kelly,
Missy and Rob Mathis, who is Cocke County Trustee. Juanita is a
long-time employee in that county office.
|Published: 8:02 PM, 02/22/2013
Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
The last weekend of the shortest month of the year means
no Leap Year birthdays but an early start in our hometown to March with
farmlands already greening in time for St. Patrick's Day soon.
Let me start by correcting a couple of items I recently
mentioned in passing. Luther Woody celebrated his 90th birthday in January, and
his sister's name should have been Clararene Pack. She will be celebrating her
81st birthday on May 28th, said her daughter, Melissa Strom, who chatted with
me. Clararene was married to the late Frank Pack and still lives at Midway.
Some of you Brockwell Construction old timers will recall that "Little
Frank" was a heavy equipment operator.
Also, You read my comment last week about "Coming
Soon Seafood Festival" sign. I saw the sign, as some of you did, near the
former Taste of Tennessee Restaurant off Highway 25/70 and assumed a new
restaurant was opening there. However, Newport Huddle House Manager Belle
Richens corrected me on the sign for Huddle House's new seafood feature that
began Feb. 21 for a limited time. You can get the platter anytime, any day. I
saw a group of five ducks heading for the Time Out Travel Center last Tuesday
morning in the rain, and they may have seen the sign too.
Some folks I saw
Ace Antique's grand opening on February 19 at its new
location behind Gary Kyker's garage brought out many people to support Ailor
and Imogene Turner. I renewed conversation with David McClary, whom I had met a
couple years ago at his musical instrument shop at Bryant Town. He is chair of
the Cocke County Partnership board and an avid musician. He told me that he and
a friend would be playing music at Alewine Pottery off Highway 321 and Glades
Road on March 15-17 in the afternoon. I hope to meet Robert Alewine the
business operator and get some photos of the band. Folks are also thinking more
about fishing, too. I bumped into Make Barnes, veteran's service officer, at
People's Choice restaurant. He told me that crappy fishing was good at Leadvale
because the fish are trapped in the area because of mid January's heavy rain.
At the restaurant the usual crew of characters including John L. Park were
eating breakfast to contribute something to the local economy. John asked me a
question I couldn't answer: "When was the last time Parrottsville boys and
girls both won the basketball championship?" If you know, please let me
know and I'll share this sports note. That same week I bumped into Gary Parks
getting therapy where I was at VIP Premier Therapy and he told me a most
interesting event that you will hear about here. It changed his life.
Sheriff leads gun safety
Last week we began talking about Cocke County Sheriff's
Department annual handgun carry permit training classes. Since the October 12
free class sponsored by Sheriff Armando Fontes, I had planned to tell you about
the experience and who was there. So, inearly February, on a rainy day and after eating a butterfinger
cupcake at For Heaven's Cake, I met with Sheriff Fontes to review this program
and to talk about what else he has been planning to keep citizens safe and
secure in these uncertain times.
If you haven't visited him, he spends some time on the third floor of
the courthouse. Look for the sign on his door: "Restrooms." Draw your
own conclusion on its meaning. These classes started in early 2012 and at no
cost to the citizens. They were so popular that the sheriff is planning three
for 2013, one already filled and set for Detective Kevin Benton, who is the
class trainer. More about Captain Benton later but you probably have seen his
ad in the Plain Talk classified announcing his weekly handgun carry permit
classes at Grassy Fork.
You will find the classes interesting, not intimidating,
and fun thanks to the trainers who include Administrative Captain Derrick
Woods, and Chief John Carrell. Last year about 80 people got certified. In my
class there were 24 people of whom 11 were women. I did not bring a weapon but
there were plenty of guns brought and I wondered how did these folks carry the
guns in if they did not have a carry permit?
Be careful with that gun
The key point observed at the community center
and to learn for life is: "Don't point your weapon at anyone" unless
you do need to protect yourself in a life-threatening situation.
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