Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Rosalynn Carter: A Life Well Lived

The passing of Rosalynn Carter is a reminder of a life well lived.  Married to her husband Jimmy for an incredible 77 years, Mrs. Carter passed away peacefully with much of her family by her side at age 96.

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement released by the Carter Center.  “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it.  As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”  It was a tender and touching statement from a devoted partner.

Like Herbert Hoover before him, Jimmy Carter served a single term as president, his term of office pockmarked with a series of problems including the hostage crisis in Iran and rising energy prices and crippling inflation.  Carter did manage to broker an important agreement between Israel and Egypt, bitter enemies until that time, which lasts to this day.  Faced with an uprising in his own party led by Ted Kennedy and defeated in a landslide by Ronald Reagan in 1980, the Carters went home to Georgia.

Throughout the difficulties of his life and presidency, Jimmy Carter was fortunate to have Rosalynn with him.  Faced with life after the White House, the couple created The Carter Center in Atlanta which they announced was created to “wage peace, fight disease and build hope.”  From most politicians, it would have been mere sloganeering.  From Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter, it had the ring of genuine truth.

Rosalynn, like her husband, remained among the most modest of occupants of the White House and joined friends and neighbors when pitching in to building homes for Habitat for Humanity.

A gentle woman, Rosalynn Carter was capable of being outspoken in her beliefs and was always firm in her own convictions.  Unfortunately, we live in an age when partisanship prevents us all too often from acting like Christians and acknowledging the good in those who don’t share our political beliefs.  Rosalynn Carter was a woman of quiet grace and dignity, who throughout her life exemplified the very soul of a woman who loved and supported her husband, family, and most of all, her God throughout her 96 years of life.


Justice Roger Page Announces Retirement

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger Page has announced he will retire from the court next year.  Tennessee’s State Constitution bars more than two justices to reside in any of our Grand Divisions.  There are presently two sitting justices from Middle Tennessee, while two others come from West and East, which is our own Dwight Tarwater from Knoxville.  That means Governor Bill Lee will have to appoint a candidate from either East or West Tennessee when Justice Page resigns his seat.

Roger Page first entered the judiciary after being appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals by Governor Bill Haslam.  At the time of his appointment, Page was a judge of the circuit court for Chester, Henderson and Madison counties.  It was also Governor Haslam who appointed Page to the Tennessee State Supreme Court in 2016.

Senator Taylor Asks Governor Lee To Help With Rising Crime In Shelby County and Memphis

Governor Bill Lee has announced he has ordered an increased presence in Shelby County because of the increase in crime in Memphis.  The governor’s office said “approximately 40 additional troopers” were being sent to Memphis beginning last week.  Between 15-20 more troopers from other districts across Tennessee will augment those being sent to Memphis “for the foreseeable future.”

The governor acknowledged rising crime in the country but told Memphis and Shelby County officials, “At the same time, local officials must carry out their responsibility to uphold the law and hold criminals accountable, without resorting to soft on crime plea deals that have serious consequences and too-often result in more crime and more victims.”

Lee’s actions follow a letter sent by state Senator Brent Taylor of Memphis, who pleaded directly with the governor to help with the rising crime in Shelby County and Memphis.

Taylor’s letter came after Alexander Bulakhov, a researcher for St. Jude’s Hospital, was murdered in Downtown Memphis on Sunday, November 12, while trying to protect his wife from criminals.  Within 24 hours, police had arrested Brandy Rucker, 22, and Marious Ward, 23, and the two were charged with first degree murder for the killing of Alexander Bulakhov.

Bulakhov, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter were out for a walk around 8 p.m. when a man wearing a hoodie, ripped jeans and a ski mask approached the young family, waving a gun.  Later identified as Marious Ward, the robber demanded “property” and Bulakhov responded by handing over his wallet.  Then Ward allegedly turned to Mrs. Bulakhov, pointing the gun at her and demanded more property.  That is when Bulakhov began to struggle in an effort to protect his wife and either the gunman fired or the weapon went off, shooting the young researcher.  The suspects jumped into a white Toyota Camry and sped off.

The crime has rightly outraged Memphians.


Happy Thanksgiving!

We here at The Knoxville Focus hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  We hope you experienced every happiness and have much to be thankful for.  The Knoxville Focus family is very grateful to you, our readers.  We thank you for reading The Focus.