Your Government at Work
Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Quist celebrated her first year in office fighting off threats from General Sessions Court Judge Tony Stansberry to throw her in jail.
Stansberry, a protégé of former Clerk Lillian Bean, whom Quist ousted from office last year, is miffed over the reassignment and subsequent resignation of Karen Frost, the courtroom clerk assigned to him during the Bean regime.
Frost, whose duties sometimes included traveling to judicial junkets with Stansberry, resigned Sept. 3 rather than take a temporary night assignment at the Knox County Detention Facility. Stansberry maintains that she was in fact fired, and he's only trying to "correct the misunderstanding that has occurred. I'd just like to be extended the same consideration all the other judges are given."
Last week, Stansberry apparently ordered Frost's replacement and two other Quist employeesLynette Mills and Mary Beth Rameyfrom "his" courtroom, saying that he would not have "court watchers" present. He is openly threatening to issue a "show cause" order requiring Quist to appear in his court to explain why he no longer has a "trained and experienced" clerk at his command. While Stansberry insists he "never threatened anybody"with jail or ordered anyone out of his court, he would only say that "no paperwork has been filed" in regard to the show cause order.
Quist confirmed that she has indeed run afoul of the judge over Frost's resignation: "His statements have been confirmed by my employees..." Quist is taking the threats seriously enough to have taken precautions. "I got my laundry done in case I have to spend the night in the pokey..."
Seen, Not Heard
At Mayor Victor Ashe's big Old City announcement on Tuesdaywhere he pledged $35,000 in city money toward a courtyard that merchants hope will serve as an event venue to pull people back to the Jackson-Central corridorone of the attendees was conspicuous by his silence. Although it's standard operating procedure at such media confabs for hizzoner to share the mic with the councilperson whose district is getting the goods, that part of the ceremony somehow got left out. "That is customary, but they make exceptions in my case over and over again," mused Sixth District Councilman Danny Mayfield, who made an appearance but nothing more. Mayfield, of course, is on the ballot against Ashe in next week's mayoral election.
WIMZ sports jock Tony Basilio, host of the edgy, confrontational talk show The Next Level, scored a bull's-eye last week with a week-long Gator-ganza, simulcasting a talk show from Gainesville. At mid-week, Basilio moved his Knoxville show to the Purple Porpoise, a Gainesville bar, and had fun baiting Gator fans and gaining listeners as word got around.
Things got not-so-funny near kickoff as the crowd grew drunker and more threatening. After the game, he listened to Gator Kenyatta Walker urging the crowd to "give the Tennessee fans hell" because he said people insulted his mother last year in Knoxville.
Two hours after the game, Basilio got into his rental car and made his way down University Avenue, where he encountered a "human wall" of cursing, spitting, imbibing Florida students lining both sides of the street, rocking cars and challenging fans to fight.
"It was totally out of hand," Basilio says. "There were no police anywhere, and the behavior seems to be not only tolerated, but encouraged..." Basilio plans to send taped testimonials describing Vols fans' gameday experiences to Florida officials.
Plug #1: Former Metro Pulse contributor Katie Allison Granju's new bookAttachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child (Pocket Books)has hit amazon.com's bestseller list for parenting books. (Buy your copy today!)
Plug #2: Our favorite chef in Sevier County, Jock Lijoi of Tastebuds Cafe and Roasted Pepper Cafe fame, is debuting his new TV show this Saturday at 7:30 on Channel 8: Tennessee Cuisine with Chef Jock.