Facebook saves girl’s sight


Tennessee mother of two Tara Taylor may have very well saved the vision of her 3-year-old daughter simply by posting her photo on Facebook. That’s where two observant friends saw the picture and noticed a strange glow in little Rylee’s left eye, prompting the eye exam that revealed she had Coats disease, a rare retinal disorder.


“They said, ‘Hey, I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s probably the lighting, but your daughter’s eye is glowing and you might want to have it checked out because it’s a sign there could be an issue with her eye,’” Tara told WREG Memphis. After a trip to the doctor, she discovered her friends’ instincts were right.


“Anything that happens in the retina will alter that red reflex, or ‘red eye,’ which is a reflex from the back of the retina,” Dr. Jorge Calzada tells Yahoo Shine. While Rylee’s right eye did have the typical red eye, the left eye had a larger, more yellowish glow to it, because “she had a scar in the back part of her eye,” says Calzado, the opthalmologist specializing in retinal surgery who diagnosed Rylee at the Charles Retina Institute.


Coats disease, named for the Scottish ophthalmologist George Coats, who first identified it, involves the abnormal development of the blood vessels behind the retina, which is the layer of tissue lining the eye’s inner surface. It can lead to retinal swelling and detachment and cause vision loss, typically in one eye only, if not caught early enough. In those lucky cases of early detection, such as Rylee’s, treatments including laser therapy or cryotherapy can save or restore a person’s eyesight.


Warning signs may include an eye drifting inward or a noticeable loss of vision, Calzada notes. However, this wasn’t the case for Rylee. “She didn’t sit close to the TV. She is actually in gymnastics and can walk on the balance beam, so there was no indication that there were any visual problems with her left eye,” Tara told WREG Memphis.


This has been the second medical scare within a year for the Taylor family, as Rylee’s father, Jason, was involved in a life-threatening fall from a balcony in August. The accident caused many broken bones and led to a series of surgeries, prompting a friend to start a GoFundMe effort to help the family with its medical expenses. “This is a fantastic family that has been through a lot the past 12 months,” noted a friend who commented on the WREG story. “We’re praying for Rylee’s vision.”


An eye with a glow like Rylee’s should never be ignored, Calzada stresses. “If you see that odd reflection or lack of a red reflex, get a dilated-eye exam,” he says. It could be a warning sign not only of Coats, but also of problems including a cataract, retinal detachment or even retinoblastoma, a cancerous tumor of the retina. “Thank God the child did not have that,” he says.


source:Yahoo Shine

First-Ever Documentary on Medal of Honor History Premieres

The Knoxville Medal of Honor Convention Committee Unveils its Legacy Project


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (April 1, 2014): The first documentary on the history of the Medal of Honor premiered in Washington, D.C. last week and Knoxville, Tenn. yesterday at a sold out showing setting the stage for the city’s role in this year’s Medal of Honor convention. Each year the Congressional Medal of Honor Society holds its annual convention in a different city in the U.S. and Knoxville, Tenn. has been selected to host the 2014 convention in September.

Knoxville-based RIVR Media Interactive was chosen by the Knoxville Medal of Honor Convention Committee to produce the documentary titled “The Medal of Honor: A History” more than one year ago. Led by historian Ed Hooper, the hour-long documentary is the Knoxville Convention’s legacy and will be given to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Medal of Honor recipients.

“This documentary will help perpetuate the legacy of the Medal of Honor for generations to come,” said Joe Thompson, co-chairman of the Medal of Honor Convention. “Mr. Hooper and RIVR Media have done an excellent job recounting the history of the medal and sharing pertinent information and intricate historical details – most of which, no one has ever seen.”

“The Medal of Honor: A History,” highlights the medal’s history dating back to its creation during the Civil War. Monday, March 24, the world premiere of the film was held at The Supreme Court of the United States in Washington D.C. Associate Justice and Army veteran, Samuel Alito Jr. hosted the event and on March 31, a showing was held in Knoxville at the Regal Riviera Stadium 8 Theatre.

“The premieres in D.C. and Knoxville were a phenomenal success,” Thompson said. “Monday’s event pulled the curtain back on what we have to look forward to at the convention this fall.”

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor given by Congress to American military personnel. Annually, the Medal of Honor Society meets for its convention, which will be hosted in Knoxville beginning September 10, 2014.


About the Medal of Honor Convention

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is comprised solely of Medal of Honor recipients including men of all races, social classes and economic levels. The Society exists to perpetuate the legacy of the Medal of Honor, maintain a bond of brotherhood among living recipients and promote patriotism and principles on which our nation was founded. Each year the Society holds its annual convention in a different city in the U.S. Knoxville, Tenn. has been selected to hold this year’s convention September 10 – 13, 2014.


Most people would not really notice that almost all of the paper currency in the United States has undergone a change in the past two years. Some are minor- such as the one dollar note, and some major. A good question would be why? For a similar example, we have to look to England. In 1947, great Britain gave every one 30 days to bring in all of their 5 pound notes, and exchange them for a new issue. The 5 pound note was the most circulated of all British paper currency. At the time, it was worth between $20, and $25 dollars in exchange. The real reason for this major change- the first in 50 years did not become general knowledge until 1953.The real story was that the Nazi’s had rounded up all the skilled engravers, and forgers and placed them in a camp. They were put to making engraving plates  of the 5 pound note, and were working on the U. S. Currency when the war ended. The NAZI’ counterfeit notes were so good that they were used to pay their spies. In 1950, a large quantity of the counterfeit notes, and some that were not perfect with samples of other forgery’s floated to the surface of a lake near Rirl Zeph in Germany. The secret was out, but it was not publicized until 1953.The best estimate of the time was that over forty percent of all the five pound notes in circulation were false .If the  counterfeiting had continued, and other notes added to the circulation, the British economy, weak  from wartime expenditures would collapse. The best estimate was that if continued, the economy would not last another 18 months.

There is always a reason  behind major changes in the appearance of currency. The best estimate by the treasury department is that more than fifty percent of 100 dollar bills- most of the old kind are overseas. No-one has been able to show where theyare best educated guess is that they are held by smugglers. Twenty dollar notes are not far behind. The present changes  of the face of the notes , and a removal, or DE-monetising of the old notes would seriously cut in to the ability of smugglers to be able to buy airplanes, and submarines, as well as cars, and fir digging tunnels into the U.S. This would be a major step in propping up out currency. I remind you that today’s dollar is worth five cents in the money of 1932.. People today are hoarding silver, and gold. Silver has many industrial uses. Currently, it sells for around $12 per ounce. The gold coins that the U. S. has minted since 1986 freely circulate. I speculate that the “new” gold coins could, as happened in 1934 be called in. the “old ones- pre 1934 have already been subjected to a call-with each person being allowed to keep $20 in gold coin. This is why there are so many old $20 gold pieces, and so few one dollar coins, and 2.50 coins. The only thing that would secure our currency more is to, as many European countries have done, implant a magnetic strip like a credit card. I suspect it is coming.

Sports Briefs

Colts owner arrested

1)Colts Jims IrsayThis mug shot provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department shows Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.


Authorities say Irsay is in jail after being stopped on suspicion of drunken driving. Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Bryant Orem says Irsay was arrested Sunday night, March 16, 2014, in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.


Several Schedule IV bottles of prescription medication were found in Irsay’s car. “Multiple prescription drugs were discovered in pill bottles,” police said. “These Schedule IV prescription drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles found in the vehicle.” Irsay was detained, with bail set at $22,500.


Lady Gamecocks enter tournament as No. 1 seed

Photo by Travis Bell/Sideline CarolinaFor the first time in school history, the South Carolina women’s basketball team (27-4, 14-2 SEC) enters the NCAA Women’s Tournament as a No. 1 seed.

Coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are headed to Seattle in the Stanford regional to play Cal State Northridge (18-14, 12-4 Big West) in their first tournament game on March 23.


Five Tennessee teams invited to NCAA Women’s Tournament

Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, Vanderbilt, UT Chattanooga and UT Martin are all headed to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Lady Vols earned the top seed in the Louisville Region after finishing 27-5 and winning the SEC Tournament title.

Tennessee faces 16th seeded Northwestern State Saturday at 3 p.m. in Knoxville.  The winner of that game faces the winner of Southern Cal and St. John’s in round 2.


Meighan Simmons is SEC Player of the Year

4)Meighan simmons

Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons has been named the Associated Press SEC Player of the Year.

Simmons, a five foot, nine inch senior, averaged 16.2 points per game, leading the Lady Vols to a 27-5 record and SEC tournament title. Tennessee also claimed a top seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

In Tennessee’s final 12 games of the regular season, Simmons averaged 20.5 points per game and shot 49.7 percent from the field. She also averaged 15.3 points per game in the SEC Tournament.

ETSU named as Olympic training site

Officials at East Tennessee State University say the school has been designated as an official U.S. Olympic training site for canoeing and kayaking.

Administration and athletic officials told the Johnson City Press  that means the national slalom team members will visit the Johnson City campus at least twice this year for strength and conditioning training.


Johnny Majors back at home after heart surgery6)Johnny Majors

Johnny Majors is back at home after undergoing successful heart surgery. Major underwent a heart valve procedure at UT Medical Center on March 6.

Majors, 78, former UT coach and a runner-up for the Heisman trophy in the 1950s while playing for the University of Tennessee.



King Purnell Joins United Community Bank as Regional President of Tennessee

 KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – (March 10, 2014) – United Community Bank is pleased to welcome King Purnell as Regional President of Tennessee. In his new role, Purnell will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the bank’s nine offices located throughout eastern Tennessee, which includes branches in Cleveland, Farragut and Knoxville.

“It is an absolute honor to welcome King to United Community Bank,” said Bill Gilbert, Director of Banking for United Community Bank. “He is an exceptional leader, and I have a great deal of respect for the experience he brings to our team. His drive and vision, coupled with a rich history of building deep relationships in this region, will be tremendous assets to the customers we serve in Tennessee.”

Purnell has more than 37 years of banking industry and general business experience. He began his banking career with Trust Company Bank in Atlanta, where he managed a team of commercial lenders in the metropolitan banking division. He later relocated to Knoxville and became the Executive Vice President of Eastern Tennessee for SunTrust Bank. Shortly after, Purnell was promoted to President and was responsible for implementing and rolling out the commercial line of business strategy in all markets in Tennessee.

In his most recent role, Purnell served as Executive Vice President and Line of Business Manager of Commercial Real Estate Lending for First Tennessee in Memphis. He established the Commercial Real Estate Line of Business for the bank, which consisted of eight offices, 50 employees and a portfolio of $1.5 billion in commitments.

“The Tennessee market offers a lot of potential for a bank like United Community Bank,” said Purnell. “The bank’s success is a direct result of its emphasis on relationships and customer service. United Community Bank is known as ‘the bank the service built.’ I look forward to helping the bank reach its full potential in Tennessee, and I am extremely proud to lead such an incredible team of bankers.”

Purnell earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He holds an MBA in Finance and a master’s degree in Accounting and Taxation from Georgia State University.

Purnell serves as Treasurer for the Cherokee Country Club and is an active member of the Knoxville Industrial Development Board. He has served as Chairman of several organizations, including the American Heart Association, Knoxville YMCA, Project In-Roads, and Robert Morris and Associates.

Purnell lives in Knoxville with his wife, Denise. They have two children and three grandchildren.


About United Community Banks, Inc.                                   


Headquartered in Blairsville, United Community Banks, Inc. is the third-largest bank holding company in Georgia. United has assets of $7.4 billion and operates 102 banking offices throughout north Georgia, the Atlanta region, coastal Georgia, western North Carolina, east Tennessee and western South Carolina. United specializes in providing personalized community banking services to individuals and small to mid-size businesses and also offers the convenience of 24-hour access through a network of ATMs, telephone and on-line banking. United’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol UCBI.  Additional information may be found at United’s website at www.ucbi.com.

What to do when your kids lie about drug use


These days, kids are faced with non-stop pressure to drink or take drugs. Even if they know their parents don’t approve, some choose to lie and sneak around.


Their parents, meanwhile, are often in denial. It’s difficult to accept that their son or daughter would deceive them. They want to believe their excuses, no matter how outlandish.


No parent wants to think their child is using drugs or drinking alcohol. It’s easier to ignore the problem and pretend nothing’s wrong. But avoiding the issue doesn’t make it go away. It will only get worse.


Parents should listen to their instincts. If you feel something is wrong, act right away. Teens can progress from social use to dependence or addiction very quickly. The earlier you intervene, the more effective you will be.


If you suspect drug use, investigate further. Learn to recognize the signs of substance abuse, including side effects and common drug paraphernalia. Look for radical behavior changes. Watch for missing alcohol, medicine bottles or money. Ask questions about your child’s friends, what their values are and how they like to spend their free time.


If you still have concerns, it’s time to have a talk. Don’t be surprised if they act upset or defensive. To keep the conversation from escalating, following these five steps for effective conversations:

  • Explain Your Suspicion: Tell them what you have observed. Inquire (in a non-judgmental tone) about their behavior.
  • Listen Actively: Allow your child to give an explanation without interruption. Suspend your pre-conceived beliefs until you hear them out.
  • Stay Calm: Your child may admit to things you don’t want to hear. Don’t yell or threaten. Encourage them to honest without the risk of punishment.
  • Show Concern: Remind them that you love them and want them to make positive choices. Talk about the importance of good health.
  • Get Help: Your child may need a professional assessment. There are great facilities in the area that can determine if a medical intervention is necessary.

Most kids are making good choices about drugs, so don’t jump to conclusions. Be an engaged parent while still allowing them their freedom and independence.


source: Metropolitan Drug Commission

Haslam’s free tuition proposal advancing in House

haslam(AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to create a community college program for all high school graduates is a step closer to a full House vote.

The “Tennessee Promise” legislation advanced out of the House Education Committee on a voice vote.

The proposal would cover a full ride at two-year schools for any high school graduate, at a cost of $34 million per year.

The measure was amended to change lottery scholarship amounts. Initially, the bill sought to lower the current $4,000 lottery scholarship amount at four-year colleges to $3,000 for freshmen and sophomores, but increase it to $5,000 for juniors and seniors.

The amended version makes the amount $3,500 for freshman and sophomores, and $4,500 for juniors and seniors.

The move is meant to encourage students to consider going to two-year colleges first.

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