Former Vol Inky Johnson, father find faith after paralysis

Inky Johnson, motivational speaker and former UT Vol defensive back, gives a fist bump to Brenton Hall, 8, as his father, Brett Hall, behind, watches after Johnson's “Man Up” speech at Concord United Methodist Church Friday evening, Feb. 6. Also beside Brenton is his grandfather, the Rev. Brent Hall, CUMC Branton, senior minister, left. For all the inner city hardships Inky Johnson recalled enduring from his youth — sleeping on the floor among 14 children, having uncles selling illegal drugs, attending one of Atlanta’s roughest and least academically sound high schools — his partial paralysis football accident in college actually led to discovering two men’s Christian faith.

Though recalling his confidence about a promising NFL career while earning honors as a Tennessee Vols defensive back entering the 2006 season, one hit early that year ended those dreams. Nerve damage in his right shoulder left his right arm paralyzed.

As keynote speaker during the first of a two-day “Man Up” Christian leadership event Friday, Feb. 6, in Concord United Methodist Church auditorium, Johnson recalled his father “being mad at God.”

But Johnson said he later “saw my real father when I had my injury. … He stayed with me for months, he bathed me, he helped get me dressed. He took me to class.
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Living her dream

Rogers wins Miss Shining Star crown

Mika Rogers was all smiles after recently being crowned Miss Shining Star. Mika is joined by parents Michael and Vanessa Rogers. Mika Rogers’ lifelong dream was realized last month.

“Ever since Mika was a young lady, she wanted to be in a pageant,” Vannesa Rogers said about her daughter winning the Miss Shining Star Pageant crown Saturday, Jan. 24, in the 18 to 35 age category at Chilhowee Baptist Church in East Knoxville. “She was really excited.

“Like her cousin, Brooke Rogers … she was always in a pageant and Mika always admired that so much.”

Miss Shining Star pageant “is free to all the girls with special needs,” Vannesa added. “… Mika never understood why she couldn’t be in pageants … she never understood some of the requirements other pageants had” until Miss Shining Star began, sponsored by Open Doors of Tn. “It’s a Godsend. … A wonderful opportunity for those with special needs to enter and participate in. … They feel empowered.”

Mika, 27, a Farragut resident and member of First Baptist Concord, already had enjoyed pageant success from the previous year.

“She entered this pageant last year and won ‘Miss Personality,’” said Vanessa, who along with husband, Michael Rogers, also are Farragut residents.
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Open House at Dixie Lee Wines & Liquors

Linda Taylor, left, and Bettye Sisco Dixie Lee Wines & Liquors celebrated the completion of its new wine tasting room and beer cave [freezer] with an open house.

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce members gathered for the event, Friday, Dec. 5, in the wine tasting room of the store, 13044 Kingston Pike, Farragut.

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

FIS 5th-grader wins spelling bee

Farragut Intermediate School teacher Emily Woody, center, presents the schoolwide spelling bee winner, fifth-grader Ashlyn Sims, left, and the runner up, fifth-grader Danielle Nastasi. The girls were among those who competed in the school’s spelling bee in December 2014. Ashlyn will compete in the News Sentinel Souhern Appalachian Regional Spelling Bee in March. Farragut Intermediate School fifth-grader Ashlyn Sims won the school’s spelling bee in Dec-ember 2014, while fellow fifth-grader Danielle Nastasi came in close as runner-up.

Ashlyn said she is excited about winning. She will go on

to compete in the News Sentinel Southern Appalachian Regional Spelling Bee in March at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“I couldn’t believe that I had won, she said. “I was a little bit surprised.” Ashlyn is the daughter of Mark and Crissy Sims of Farragut and granddaughter of Beverly Miles, Brenda Miles and Gerry Miles.

Ashlyn said she thought since she is a fifth-grader now, she had a better chance of winning.

“I was in it last year, and I got to sixth place. I won third place, and I noticed the two who beat me were fifth-graders.

“I thought maybe now that I’m a fifth-grader I could win or come closer,” she said.
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Mailbox snowman

Using the family's mailbox as a mouth for her snowman, Elizabeth Dawson, 14, takes advantage of the Thursday, Feb. 26, snowfall in Faragut.

The weekly plan starts with a free day!

Are you following a weekly plan that helps you run a cozy, organized home? When my sister Peggy and I developed the infamous, get organized 3x5 card file system outlined in our book Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise, we created a weekly plan that included a “free day.” read more