The Year in Review: 2012
by By BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Dec 26, 2012 | 2240 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Molly, a Great Dane, was my brother’s dog,” Vicky Guy said. “They got her when their daughter, Annie, was 2 years old and had been everywhere on vacations.” But Molly recently got cancer and she had to be put down on March 16. Guy said Molly took great care of her brother’s three kids — mostly the youngest, Annie, Molly’s first generation of the Doug and Charlcie Ingram family. Molly stayed long enough to welcome the last member of the Doug and Charlcie Ingram family — their first grandchild, Mason.
“Molly, a Great Dane, was my brother’s dog,” Vicky Guy said. “They got her when their daughter, Annie, was 2 years old and had been everywhere on vacations.” But Molly recently got cancer and she had to be put down on March 16. Guy said Molly took great care of her brother’s three kids — mostly the youngest, Annie, Molly’s first generation of the Doug and Charlcie Ingram family. Molly stayed long enough to welcome the last member of the Doug and Charlcie Ingram family — their first grandchild, Mason.
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Pop singer Mademoizell’s appearance, right, at Trousdale School in Cleveland on March 28, 2012 was met with wild applause and appreciation during National Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month.
Cleveland seems to have a special attraction for people who want to make their home in a hospitable town in east Tennessee. Brandi Meachum is one of those people who relocated to Cleveland from her home state of Michigan. A certified nursing assistant, Meachum said a summer visit to Cleveland convinced her this is where she wanted to live — “I never felt the sense of community friendliness I felt when I visited the South and Cleveland this past summer.”

Jonathan Cantrell was the focus of a roast in January. The fundraising event was sponsored by the Pilot Club of Cleveland. Cantrell is the former chairman of the Young Republicans and has served in several positions in the party. Proceeds from the event went to the Pilot Club’s community service projects, including The Alzheimer’s Association, JOY School and Tri-State Riders.

Sarah Coleman was in the news also as she was awarded Bradley County’s Pro Bono attorney of the Year for her outstanding performance in rendering legal aid in the community. The award was presented during the Bradley County Bar Association Christmas Party on Dec. 16, 2011. Coleman worked at the Refuge Community Christmas at the old Blythe-Bower Elementary School.

“The ritual of resolving to improve one’s health at the beginning of the new year may have more positive benefits than once imagined,” began Lifestyles Editor William Wright, as he told of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off in a story on Jan. 22. Gina Tolbert, owner and personal trainer of Spectrum Health and Fitness, said, “We focus on strength training, cardiovascular conditioning and proper nutrition — the whole spectrum. It’s fitness for life.”

There is always something going on at the Museum at Five Points, and January is the month for the Stitches-in-Time Quilt Exhibition. The 2012 exhibit featured approximately 120 contemporary and antique quilts from individuals form across the region. Lisa Lutts, former director, said, “The 2012 Quilt Challenge celebrates Bradley County’s important mark on the Appalachian Quilt Trail and our local quilt heritage.”

It was a new beginning for Roger Parks, who returned to teaching after spending serveral years in the private sector. He had to resign in 1990 to care for his father, who died in 1992, In 1995, his son was killed in an auto accident and he lost his mother to cancer in 2009. Parks said in a Jan. 29 story, he feels he is a God-called teacher and “work becomes more than a job, but a joy.”

Another Cleveland resident, 20-year-old Adam Dodson, said he felt a calling also — “to make music with people he has never known in Australia.” His yearning brought him to a place which he would call home and make music on a scale greater than he ever imagined. His calling led him to Hillsong International Leadership College in South Wales, Australia, where he met Katie, who became his wife, according to a Lifestyles story on Feb. 1.

And speaking about weddings, a local family celebrated nuptials in a castle in Germany on Jan. 14, 2012. The wedding of Crystal’Ann Stanich and Heiko Landgraf brought family and friends together from all over the world to Wasserchloss Castle in Chemnitz, Germany, to join in the festivities.

From intern to reporter, Delaney Walker found herself embracing journalism as her career, even though she is first to admit her “career is till up in the air.” The daughter of a army chaplain, she has traveled the world in her 20-some years, but landed in Cleveland as a student at Lee University. Walker, who is active in sports, is a combination of the All-American girl and the girl next door who is sociable, athletic, family-oriented and easy-going, said the Lifestyles Editor, who was her first supervisor at the Banner.

A ponytail party was more than a fun event held at Fantasy Styles & Tans on North Lee Highway (story Feb. 8). Michelle Bryant and her daughter Julie were hostesses for the party, at which several Cleveland girls got makeovers and donated ponytails to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program. The program accepts ponytail donations and creates free, natural-looking wigs for cancer patients.

Romance, of course, emerges in February and several local couples were spotlighted on Feb. 12, 2012, as they shared how they met, fell in love and relished their most appreciated gifts — poetry.

Focusing on the heart, also, was Dr. James Marcum with his life-saving book, “The Ultimate Prescription.” He asks the question, “What happens to the human body when it does everything wrong?” the second, “What happens when the information pouring into a brain’s neural network is wrong?” and thirdly, “What happens to a person’s relationship with God when that relationship is based on beliefs that are built on flawed foundations, on images of God that are totally, heartbreakingly wrong.” He goes to what is at the heart of good health, and that became the inspiration to write this book.

In February at a Valentine banquet held at Cental Church of Christ, the Family and Community Education Club’s members were honored for participation in its many activities during 2011. Kaye Smith, extension agent and FCE advisor, introduced the honorees and held the auction which provides funds for their Community Service projects.

Marilyn Thomas, a Cleveland transplant from Jacksonville, Fla., said she is delighted to be living in Cleveland where she Has found her niche as a representative for Welcome friends, doing what she enjoys — meeting people. The wife and mother of five said her faith and friendships made the difference when she w diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Thomas, who has been a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant for 22 years, said she and her husband liked what they saw when they took a look at the “City with Spirit.”

An author returns to his hometown with his new release, “Dispatches from Bitter America.” award-winning journalist Todd Starnes, who serves as host of radio FOX News & Commentary, held a book signing at Books-A-Million Feb. 20 and spoke at Lee University. He said he was excited to be back in Cleveland. His book has hit’s No. 1 Hot New Release in political books.

A prom for teen moms was a “dream come true” for several young mothers. The Salvation Army partnered with the Peerless Road Church to hold the prom on March 24. The young mothers dress in style while they celebrated the theme: “One Night With the King.”

If you like a good story, Pete Vanderpool is the person you want to hang around with. Vanderpool wears many hats in Cleveland — in addition to storyteller, he has a “Santa Claus” career and is publishing his storytelling journey in a new book, “The Story Gatherer: Finding Relevance in the Stories of life.”

Little Autumn Duggan got a new room for her 8th birthday. The daughter of Ryan and Sonya Duggan of Cleveland wanted a new bedroom and Special Spaces, a nonprofit organization which works out of Chattanooga, created a dream room for the little girl, who has suffered with a brain tumor since she was 4. The volunteer staff of Special Paces, met at the Duggan home on Jan 28 fro a transformation of Autumn’s room and within eight hours, the little girl had her dream bedroom.

In February, two books by local authors were released. The first, “Grassy Top Mountain,” follows the theme of Charles C. Fletcher’s other four books with stories from the Appalachians. The stories are based on actual events as he remembers them, he said, and “chronicles the journeys of people whose lives touched each other’s in unique situation in creating the whole of a community.”

The second author, Herman D. Ard, a minister for The Church of God, tells of the calling from God he received over half a century ago — “You will go into many countries and preach the Word to many people.” His book, “Spiritual Conquest,” traces the journey of a missionary who has preached in more than 70 countries, revealing the times on the mission fields his life was threatened, when suffering was the norm and when travel seemed impossible. Forced to cut back on traveling after his wife suffered a major stroke, Ard said, “missions are still in m heart. It’s been a long, rough road, but a joy.”

Dawn Williams, a volunteer with Cleveland’s Pets Are Lovable Society, has sheltered more than 100 pets in six years. The Meigs County resident said the Cleveland agency could use more volunteers. Kathy Kinder, president of Pals, are raising awareness of the agency’s role n the community.

After 26 years of teaching — 12 in Bradley County — Tammy Simmons moved in a new career in 2011. She married Terry Simmons, an army chaplain. The Simmonses are stationed in Fort Benning, Ga., where he serves as garrison chaplain. She has taken on the job to analyze, evaluate and develop curriculum and training methods for the officer candidate school and infantry basic course. Her husband attended the Church of God School of Theology and was an instructor/counselor for the Hiwassee Mental Health Center while living in Cleveland.

Susan LaBarr of Cleveland has people singing her praises. The 2012 Missouri Composer Laureate (Missouri Verses and Voices) is making a name for herself as an accomplished composer with an ear for making her musical compositions unforgettable. The 30-year-old Missouri native is in popular demand for writing commissioned choral pieces. She was recently appointed Composer-in-Residence for the Chattanooga Girls Choir, according to a story on March 4.

The Christian Women’s Job Corps is making a difference in women’s lives through the concept of “help themselves.” The ministry organization, which is under the umbrella of the Women’s Missionary Union and Bradley Baptist Association, not only assist women in education efforts, but training, also, for job-readiness. The program began in 1996 when Sue Bennett saw the Christian Women’s Job Corps logo. The advisory council was formed in 2007-08. “The Journey is the Reward” story ran on March 4.

The March 2 EF-2 tornado left Laine and Billie Lawson without a home. The couple was amazed they survived the fast and furious twister. They didn’t have time to run and hide before the tornado ripped the roof off their hose and left the two of them in a pile of debris — unscathed. In the March 7 story, the Lawsons said they are ever thankful for their lives being spared.

Israel native Mark Raoul Molnar spoke at the Sunday evening service at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church on March 11. He will be spending a year as a cultural emissary with the jewish foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Molnar said he tries to expose people to different cultures and to show the diversity there is inside the Jewish world.

Women of Ruth International held its Spring Tea on March 18 at Church of God, Jerusalem Acres. This is the second time the group has held the “Getting To Know You Spring Tea as a way for everyone to interact — churches getting together and doing positive things for the community. Sonja Luckie is the director of the local organization.

“Carnival de Cleveland” was the theme for the local Distinguished Young Women program held at First Baptist Church on March 16. Nineteen young ladies vied for the Cleveland title with the winner going to the Distinguished Young Women of Tennessee program set for July in Cleveland.Bridget Baggett Forrester served as mistress of ceremonies and David Goodwill was master of ceremonies. The reigning DYW Ariana Kim provided entertainment, along with other guest performers. Ashley Heald was name the 2013 DYW and Allyson Kimball was named first runner-up.

Tina Orcino left her family in the Philippines and her daughter and grandchildren in San Diego to help the Herman and Doris Ard — a Cleveland couple in dire need of assistance due to a stoke which paralyzed Mrs. Ard’s left wide several years ago. It takes a special person to leave their home country, family and friends, wrote Lifestyles Editor Wright, to take care of someone who is not related to them by blood. “But that is what Tina Orcino did for a couple living in Cleveland.” The Ards in the March 11 story said Orcino was the anser to their prayers.

Alonzo Ulysses Hagans, 84, and his wife, Arnetta, 5, were an unlikely pair to get married in 1968, but their May-December marriage, stood the test of time and blossomed into a happy union. Alonzo played the saxophone with some of the greatest saxophonists of the 1950s and ’60s and continued to play today. According to a March 14 story, he and his wife attribute their success and survival to serving God and following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

Trousdale School celebrated their love of music with its annual musical starring Mademoizell, who said she has a special place in her heart for students with disabilities. She performed live on March 28 to help raise awareness about intellectual disabilities and show her support for Trousdale’s interest in the performing arts.

Cecil Stokes, who grew up in the Birchwood community, had his first job at a McDonald’s in Cleveland. He was excited to have released his first major motion picture, “October Baby,” a film that addresses issues of pro-life, protective parents and forgiveness at the Premiere Theater on March 23. Stokes said in the March 18 Lifestyles story that his latest movie is more than a multi-layered motion picture event, but mission with a life-changing message.

Ruther Ethlic Turner if known for his historical and religious paintings and designs across the country. The 87-year-old sculptor, poet and artist said he has managed to stay busy. He confided in a March 21 story, he has enjoyed his career as an artist and is proud of his faith-themed work displayed across the country. He and his wife Myra have been married 56 years and have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“The Frontier Boys” won the coveted Crystal Dove Seal Award in the category of Limited Theatrical Release in March. The family-themed film featured former Cleveland Resident Rodney Wiseman as the tough Irish gang leader. Wiseman, who attended United Christian Academy, said, in a March 25 story, “I am amazed at how faith-based, family-oriented films are so strongly impacting the media market.” “The Frontier Boys” is available online at

“When a man loves a woman” is the headline on a March 28 story of a West African doctor, who leaves his practice for life and love in America. Although it took them several years in separate countries before they could be together as husband and wife, Victor and Deborah Amuzu kept their love alive, married in Togo and are together in the United States. Mrs. Amuzu works at Whirlpool.

The annual Chair-ries Jubilee began its 14th season with a “traveling roadshow” — the annual fundraiser for the Allied Arts Council of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. The event was held April 20 at the Museum Center at Five Points with a silent auction, a live auction and food service by 10 area caterers. Since 2000, the Chair-ries Jubilee has raised more than $290,000 for arts activities in the schools and community.

Pets Are Lovable Society in an April 4 story thanked the community for responding with contributions to the needs of pets being housed. Volunteers open up their homes to homeless pets. Kathy Kinder, president off PALS, said, “We all agreed to give back to our community and welcome any local support.”

Great Dane Molly (see photos in April 4 Lifestyles) posed for pictures with her “family” and welcomed the most recent member of the Doug and Charlcie Ingram family — the first grandchild, Mason, before cancer took its toll on the lovable pet.

Some 40 Bradley Healthcare residents took to the runway n fashion on March 29. The fashion show was organized by Janice Allen, activities director, and her assistant Beverly Abee. Volunteers helped the participants with costumes and hair styles. The room was filled with visitors who cheered on each one, proving “people at any age can still strut their stuff” and have fun.

Claudine Ensley is one of Cleveland’s most beloved people, wrote Wright in an April 11 story. Ensley, 88, has been a sterling example of how a crossing guard can make a difference in the lives and hearts of children, particularly at Blythe-Bower Elementary School. She has provided a safe way for children to get to and from school for 47 years. She said it was her love for children that motivated her to become a crossing guard.

Nestor Praniu,, a professional drummer and CEO of AJP Custom Drums in Cleveland, is bringing drums to the forefront by making them available to churches of all denominations and using his carpentry skills to make the first quality drums available for many bands. For Praniuk, 36, creating music with drums has a personal message — “to praise God.”

A local couple in need of an organ transplant is raising organ donor awareness. Jim Jones is on the organ transplant list of more than 17,000 in the United States. He and his five, Sarah, are not just waiting fo lifesaving liver transplant, but, according to an April 18 story, they are raising awareness about the importance of becoming an organ donor and saving lives. Jones is the co-owner of Dick Jones and Associates Inc. in Cleveland. He is waiting for the perfect match, along with thousands of others “who are at the mercy of those who are healthy enough to become organ donors.” Jones said, “To me, anyone who sacrifices his life for his country is a hero. And anyone who sacrifices an organ to save a life is a hero.”

The Cleveland-Bradley Concert Association brought the Chinese Acrobats of Hebet to Cleveland as the final performance in the concert series. The international sensations appeared at the Conn Center on April 20. The pageantry of Chinese tradition and the power of athleticism made a must-see appearance.

Daniel and Hannah Erikson are miracle twins, say their mother Misty. The twins were born 14 weeks premature and Erikson was told there was little to no chance of survival and if they survived, it wold be a life-long care of two children with devastating disabilities. In the April 22 story, the twins celebrated their 17th birthday and show that smiles and closeness between siblings never change.

Local author Joyce Lane Rayburn chronicled the life and times of her family in her new book, “My Time is in Your Hands.” The book traces her journey beginning in 1937, taking many turns in her life. In an April 22 story, she said her journey which led her to meeting several people “making me the person I am because of what they have contributed to my life.” From an early age, Rayburn was taught how important it is “to love, to give and to serve.”

Tim Bailey tells the latest “buzz on bees” in an April 25 story, as he gives his take on the life and future of bees. Bailey, who has been a beekeeper for almost 40 years, said the more he learned about honeybees and their society, how they cooperate and contribute to the environment, the more he admired and respected the amazing creature.

How one woman made an exemplary transition in the loss of her mate is the featured story on April 29 in Lifestyles. The sudden death of her husband left Liz Pitman stunned and wondering what the future would hold for her. Bur surviving the loss of her spouse was only part of what she was determined to do. According to Pitman, she has learned to move forward, “thanks to her faith, family and friends who keep her active, involved and encouraged during her transition into single life.”