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Give 'em a Hex-agonal Sign

You know those road signs identifying a stretch of highway as "adopted" by one civic group or another, generally some garden club or similar bunch of do-gooders? Knox County Engineering and Public Works chief Bruce Wuethrich is in charge of approving such activities, and he is spellbound over what to do with a request for a sign marking the adoption of the stretch of Central Avenue Pike between Emory Road and Callahan Road.

"They've done the clean-up already," Weuthrich says, sounding uncertain of his next move. "Maybe we'll just say it's been adopted by 'KAPAW.'"

His problem is KAPAW stands for Knoxville Area Pagans and Wiccans.

To date, the only requirement for getting an adoption sign is that the group actually clean up the roadside before applying. KAPAW has done that.

Weuthrich outlines three optional answers to his dilemma:

1. Scrap the entire Adopt a Road program
2. Give them the sign.
3. Use the KAPAW acronym.

Weuthrich (a devilishly handsome fellow who will probably look good as a frog) may have an out, however. He suspects the group may have taken an unsanctioned shortcut: "They probably picked up the trash by twitching their nose twice."

What Rhymes With Extravagant?

It seems like a very long time since we've been wringing our hands about whether we need a Justice Center. The rarely repressible attorney Tom McAdams brought to our attention the following anonymous rap, obviously about the Justice Center, which we excerpt in hopes the rapper won't sue us for copyright:

To be let to the bidder who plays lowest fox,
And by him to be rais'd from the stump,
A house that will hold all the justices of Knox
And the cash will be paid by the lump.
Not too high, not too low, but a neat little box,
To hold quarter-sessions and pleas;
And to punish the rogues, both a prison and stocks,
For then we may sleep at our ease....

McAdams didn't actually write the rhyme, which is called "Notice to Undertakers." We have reason to believe the unknown rhymester is no longer with us. It appeared in our predecessor, the old Knoxville Gazette, on April 6, 1793.

Free Sings "Roxanne"

"I have taken it upon myself to try and create a conversation around offering services to prostitutes so they would have an opportunity to lead a different life," says the Knox Area Rescue Ministries' Monroe Free, explaining his latest crusade against the perils of poverty and homelessness. Next month, Free will bring representatives from various community groups and government agencies together for the first in a series of conversations about prostitution on Knoxville's streets. He hopes that from the meetings, a compassionate and comprehensive anti-prostitution effort will emerge. In other words, Free wants to tell local prostitutes, "Those days are over, you don't have to sell your body to the night." We wish him luck.

Market Square: Life On the Streets

We were just starting to get hungry right before noon on Monday when we were startled by a couple of young gentlemen sprinting into Market Square with a whole platoon of police behind them. From the sidewalk below our offices, we watched police tackle both of them right on the Square and lead them away in handcuffs. We later heard the young men were car thieves or something, but the news reports didn't tell us why they drove all the way from Alcoa and ran straight into the most crowded part of downtown at lunchtime, or where they were going in such a hurry. We suspect they were trying to get to the Tomato Head before they were out of the daily special, the famous Monster Sandwich, for $6.50.