ear (2006-09)

Shoe to Drop

Counting Heads

Study in Contrasts

We Knew He Had It in Him

TVA to Integrate?

Mayor Bob

Fake Microphone Giveaway

Bug in Our Ear

Shoe to Drop

The investigation of the incident led to Ragsdale aide Tyler Harber leaving his post after a bizarre episode in which his computer was found hidden on top of a heating duct. The computer was confiscated and the sheriff’s department had it examined by experts.

The timing of the case has political overtones, coming as it does during the Republican primary that pits Ragsdale against Steve Hall , a Knoxville city councilman also running for County Mayor. Hall has said he was encouraged to run for County Mayor by Sheriff Tim Hutchison ; Hutchison has denied it.

When investigators go to the grand jury, District Attorney Randy Nichols , also up for re-election, is expected to assign an assistant district attorney to handle the evidence and he and Hutchison will assume a “hands-off” position as the case proceeds. Tindell is also on the ballot this primary season, running for Sessions Judge.

 

Counting Heads

Jimmy Kyle Davis was rumored to have 10 votes on Commission to get himself appointed to a vacant Sessions Judge post. But he couldn’t get to 13 votes to get the matter put on the Commission agenda.

But someone convinced District Attorney General Randy Nichols that there were enough votes on Commission to give the post to Andy Jackson . Jackson is an assistant in Nichols’ office; Davis ran against Nichols in the last election and the two are bitter rivals.

Nichols went to County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and said the empty Sessions Judge post is leading to jail overcrowding and that a federal judge may put the hammer down on the county if the “crisis” is not averted. Ragsdale signed on with Nichols, calling on commission to vote to fill the post. The issue thus came to commission after Davis and attorney John Valiant had been unable to get it on the agenda for months.

Once there, Valiant produced Davis’s 10 votes and Davis got the appointment. Jackson got one vote. Ursula Bailey got two.

Davis is running for the post as an incumbent against Jackson and Chad Tindell in the Republican primary. Bailey is running as a Democrat.

 

Study in Contrasts

One is from Mike Corum offering to “provide a new vision that brings proven leadership and commitment to education, community growth and fiscal responsibility.”

The other is a reception for Greg “Lumpy” Lambert offering the opportunity to shoot machine guns. The event on Thursday night at Cold Creek Armory features a demonstration of the Thompson M1A1 and the British MK II Sten submachine guns. “You may have the opportunity to fire one of these legendary VICTORY weapons of WWII.”

Lambert once drew national attention and an appearance on the Today show when he offered a free rifle with every car sold at his used car lot.

 

We Knew He Had It in Him

His second play ever to be produced, The Sunset Limited , is opening at Chicago’s Garage Theatre on May 18. A production of Steppenwolf Theatre, with Sheldon Patinkin directing, its setting is, at least, a departure from his other works. The action concerns one man who saves another man on a New York subway platform.

Meanwhile, Hollywood casts his most recent novel, the reportedly “hyperviolent” No Country For Old Men , a project by the prolific directing/screenwriting team of Joel and Ethan Coen . Shooting is scheduled to start in May in Texas and New Mexico, and Tommy Lee Jones (who else?) and Javier Bardem are said to be in talks to star.

Finally, word is that McCarthy’s 10th novel, The Road , is due out in September, a 240-pager from Knopf.

McCarthy lives in New Mexico now, but still comes home now and then to visit. We’re glad he does, but there’s one phrase we’d prefer never to hear again: “Did you see Cormac? He was just in here.”

 

TVA to Integrate?

The White House is considering two African Americans from Memphis. William Graves is the bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Memphis and Herman Morris is a partner at the Baker Donelson law firm and is the former head of Memphis Light, Gas and Water, TVA’s largest utility customer. The Memphis utility has 2,700 employees and a $1.5 billion budget.

Either would be the first African American on the TVA board and the first member from Memphis.

 

Mayor Bob

Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell has announced that he will not seek a third term.

The next mayor will have to deal with a proposal from the Nashville business community for a $450 million convention center. Bills in the General Assembly would allow Nashville to use the financing mechanism Knoxville used for its $160 million convention center. It allows state sales tax collected in the downtown business district to be diverted to pay off convention center debt rather than be tendered to the state.

 

Fake Microphone Giveaway