FHS announces Merit Semifinalists

Thirteen Farragut High School seniors recently were recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists after scoring in the top 1 percent of nationwide PSAT test-takers. FHS senior Hayden Allen, seated far right, a National Hispanic Scholar, joins them. Seated from left are Lauren Fiet, Lily Gao, Ameena Iqbal, Raksha Doddabele and Omar Iqbal. Standing, from left, are Eva Viktoria Ohstrom, Nalin Varma, Jackson Johnson, Abraham Joo, David Alex Levi, Samuel Landon, Zaky Hussein and Jingja “Jerry” Zhou. Among another large group of Farragut High School National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalists, 13 from the Class of 2017, several shared their secrets of success.

These 13 semifinalists all scored in the top 1 percent nationwide on the PSAT test: Raksha Doddabele, Lauren Fiet, Lily Gao, Zaky Hussein, Ameena Iqbal, Omar Iqbal, Jackson Johnson, Abraham Joo, Samuel Landon, David Alex Levi, Eva Viktoria Oh-strom, Nalin Varma and Jingja “Jerry” Zhou.

National Hispanic Scholar Hayden Allen, also an FHS senior, joined the 13 in being recognized.

Ironically, “I remember in second grade, at some school project, my parents tried to help me and I got mad,” Hussein said. “But they were able to kind of take a step back and let me be more independent.
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Farragut presents fall fire prevention festival

Roxy, a life find search dog with Knoxville Rescue Squad greets Mason Blalock, 6, at Farragut Fall Fire Prevention Festival, which took place Saturday, Oct. 22, in the parking lot of Turkey Creek Medical Center in Turkey Creek. Hundreds flocked to this year’s Fall Fire Prevention Festival to look at and touch fire trucks, a helicopter and other emergency vehicles.

The event, a partnership between Knox County Fire Prevention Bureau, town of Farragut, Tennova Healthcare and Rural Metro Fire Department, took place Saturday, Oct. 22, in the parking lot of Turkey Creek Medical Center off Parkside Drive.

“Oh, it’s great,” Michelle Hindeman of Knoxville said. “[Brandon and Bryson, her sons] love to touch the trucks and all that.”

“We just drove by and saw it,” Hardin Valley resident Damon Gainey said. “We just thought we’d stop by.

“[Son Kellan Gainey, 4] loves the fire trucks, and we wanted to make sure he knows what they do.”

Roxy, a live find search dog with Knoxville Rescue Squad, met with children while Colin Cumesty, Farragut fire inspector, provided a fire safety dem-onstration and emergency personnel provided a CPR and defibrillator demonstration.
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Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce 2016 Breakfast Speaker Series

From left, Emalee St. Pierre, Stacey St. Pierre and Will Purushotham Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce welcomed the writing team of Dr. William “Bill” Bass and Jon Jefferson, who spoke during the Chamber’s 2016 Breakfast Speaker Series that took place at Fox Den Country Club Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Bass, forensic anthropologist, and Jon Jefferson, author and TV documentary maker, collaborate to write the Body Farm series under the name, Jefferson Bass. After breakfast, attendees heard about the team’s most recently released book, “Without Mercy,” and had the opportunity to have the books signed by Bass and Jefferson.

For more photos from this event, see Westside Faces in our print edition.

Fox Run neighbors gather for chili cook-off

Fox Run neighborhood’s judges, Kevin Potter, left, Gwen Sims and Steve Stow, taste entries for Fox Run’s chili cook-off, which was in Fox Run subdivision clubhouse Saturday, Oct. 22. About 90 residents of Fox Run subdivision gathered to acknowledge the works of emergency workers and enjoy chili during its first chili cook-off.

Ivy Lalonde, who organized the event with husband, Jeff, said the neighborhood usually has a National Night Out, when residents mingle with Knox County Sheriff’s Office personnel and other emergency workers.

“It’s a way to show our appreciation and respect for those who serve us,” she said. “We missed the National Night Out this year so we decided to combine the chili cook-off with the National Night Out.”

Before diving into the chili, children met with officers from KCSO Special Services Unit, which coordinates children outreach events, Bomb Squad members and helicopter pilots. They had a chance to touch the squad’s robot, which searches for bombs, and look inside a helicopter.
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FHS Joe Doyle named All-American

Joe Doyle, Farragut High School football punter/kicker, was honored as an Under Armour All-American during a ceremony in FHS Commons. Joining Doyle, from left, are parents, Mike and Lisa Doyle; Michael Smalls, manager for American Family In-surance Selection Tour manager, and Gerald Robinson, FHS special teams coach. While coach Butch Jones and his Tennessee Volunteers never cease looking for All-American high school football talent, there is an 18-year old with those credentials at Farragut High School.

On top of his clutch performances as an FHS Admirals punter and kicker, Joe Doyle averaged 52 yards per punt — with a 4.5-second average hang time — at a prestigious na-tional camp where he was invited last summer.

It earned the senior All-American honors, as the camp’s No. 2-ranked punter, among 200 of the nation’s top high school punting talent.

As a result, Doyle might be ripe for Jones to pick off the local talent tree.

“It would be nice to stay here, I’m a huge Tennessee Vols fan. … Some schools are offering full scholarships, like UT.

“I’ve been talking to Tennessee a lot,” said Doyle, who officially received his Under Armour All-American jersey during a ceremony in FHS Commons Thursday morning, Sept. 15.
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Up or down, it’s your call

Set your intention to be happy regardless of your circumstances.

Instead of temperatures, imagine words on a meter with emotions, such as miserable, overwhelmed, worried, desperate, optimistic, hopeful, happy and blissful.

When you think about the happy people you know, is one of the attributes they seem to have in common a wonderful outlook on life?

Happy people seem to have an emotional meter that’s programmed for joy and contentment no matter what happens to them. Unfortunately many of us have meters set on negative emotions, but we can always reprogram them for happy by deciding to practice being joyful regardless of the forces outside of us.

What’s interesting about setting an intention of being happy all the time is when something pulls you from that place, you know it and you can kick in and put yourself back on happy. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
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Town seeks glorified gardeners for Outdoor Classroom

Andrea Valdyke, left, volunteer with Farragut Outdoor Classroom, works with Joseph Konvicka, the Town’s former Americorps service member, at the Outdoor Classroom. Farragut Stormwater Matters is looking for volunteers, called glorified gardeners, to help with the Outdoor Classroom off Campbell Station Road.

“It takes a lot of work to maintain a community giving garden,” Lori Saal, Stormwater Matters coordinator, said. “We currently have one adult volunteer and are in need of additional hands to keep the project running smoothly.”

Saal referred to Andrea Valdyke, the present volunteer who has led groups such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts at the Outdoor Classroom.

“I think people can learn a lot about gardening and life in general, about how everything has its season and has struggles and successes, and you just keep moving forward,” Valdyke said.
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