At 80, Stan Brock remains committed to saving lives

cover_5KMXX01AXXXX_COLR.inddRemote Are Medical founder Stan Brock has managed to take an abstract idea to offer medical help those uninsured and turn it into a multi-million-dollar relief operation, although he’s quick to duck credit for such a thing, instead pointing to the thousands of men and women, medical doctors and dentists and others, who have volunteered time and energy over the years, or donated money, to help those in need. RAM’s operating budget fluctuates year-to-year depending on when different disasters strike and what sorts of relief efforts may be needed, but it generally tops more than $1 million, Secretary of State filings show.

“What is this, mission 810?” Brock asks a volunteer as they prepare for a weekend medical clinic in Macon County, Tenn. They’ll roll in with a convoy of trucks, setting up an impromptu complex offering medical, dental, and vision services for two days, treating as many people as they can. Just this past weekend they were at it again, this time in Lee County, Va. Next weekend they’ll be in Pickett County, Tenn. doing the same thing, and then to Lyon County, Nev. the weekend after that.

Now in his 80th year, Brock shows no signs of slowing down.

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Lawsuits follow local developers

If all had gone as planned, Gay Street would now be home to a Carolina Ale House restaurant and brewery and a new Wild Wing Cafe. Instead, both of those prospective business expansions soured, ending in lawsuits totaling millions of dollars against a prominent Knoxville developer who has scooped up a number of high-profile properties in downtown Knoxville in recent years, many of which still sit fallow.

The lawsuits have one thing in common: both allege wrongdoing or malicious intent by Brant Enderle, a local developer with a long history of business discrepancies and ties to a slew of limited liability corporations (or LLCs) that, on paper, own many key downtown properties in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

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On the defensive

cover_5KMXX01AXXXX_COLR.inddIt starts with gunfire—rapid bursts blasted over the loudspeaker. This time it’s just to get people’s attention, but what if those shots fired were real? What if the sound was coming from just outside the classroom, or from down the hall? How would you react? Or better yet, how should you react?

That’s exactly what these dozen people gathered at the Pigeon Forge Community Center have come to learn more about. This is active-shooter survival training, a free hour-and-a-half class led by an off-duty police officer that covers a range of topics in sharp contrast to the seemingly benign surroundings.

Anything could happen, but statistics show that you’re unlikely to be caught in a mass shooting like the one at Columbine High School in 1999 or at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June. But the number of mass shootings—which, as defined by the FBI, are indiscriminate shootings with four or more victims—in the U.S. has increased in recent years, and 24-hour news coverage has made them seem more common and widespread than they are.

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Knox County Schools faces (another) civil rights investigation

The Johnson family has a beef with Knox County Schools, one they say they’ve been trying to resolve for years but keeps cropping up because of an ingrained culture of discrimination and prejudice.

If those accusations hold true or not will be up to the federal Department of Education to decide. Sharlës Johnson and his wife, Rebekiah, have filed a complaint with the federal Office of Civil Rights against the school system—one of at least two pending against KCS.

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Something of a learning curve

Emerald Academy in Knoxville, TN. Mercury cover photo by Clay Duda.Emerald Academy is Knoxville’s first charter school, one aimed at giving a boost to inner-city kids stuck in underperforming schools. It may be too soon to say conclusively whether this new model of schooling is proving effective, but as the school starts its second year of classes reporter S. Heather Duncan takes a critical look at its first year and how it stacks up. I tag along to capture inquisitive young minds as school gets back in session. Despite a few hiccups, many parents say they’re happy with Emerald’s rigorous and individualized teaching approach — but Emerald’s discipline has not set well with all families.

>> Read Duncan’s story
>> Photos: Inside Emerald Academy (e-edition)