Roy Exum: Hennen Center Debuts Sunday

Friday, July 18, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

A dazzling new offering at Chattanooga State Community College will be unveiled this Sunday when friends of the late Michael P. Hennen will announce that The Michael P. Hennen Hospitality and Culinary Center will be launched in his memory. Michael, who was the son of Corinne and Tim Hennen, was a bright and promising entrepreneur who never met a stranger or failed to embrace a day with his delightful laughter.

A reception for early donors will be held at Hennen’s Restaurant, which is owned by his family and is where Michael made many friends as the ever-gracious general manager before his death in August of 2011. A fund established in his name through the Community Foundation has already collected a sizable amount of “seed money” while some donors will contribute Sunday between the hours of noon and 3 p.m.

Members of the organizing committee are Alexis Bogo, Jon Kinsey, John Foy, Sherry Pollock and Rob Stickley.  Those unable to attend but who want to take part can send donations to The Michael P Hennen Fund, Post Office Box 48, Chattanooga TN 37401.

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The Louisville Courier-Journal, in a scathing editorial, skewered Kentucky Senators Mitch McConnell and Paul Rand on Thursday for their opposition to the PAST Act, a bill that will hopefully help diminish horse soring and the sadistic abuse to Tennessee Walking Horses. Included in the blast were Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Rep. Marsha Blackburn after they tried to push a badly watered-down alternative bill.

As of Thursday a total 303 members of the House (out of 435) have endorsed the PAST Act but among the scant 12 who have sided with Rep. Blackburn are Chattanooga Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and Jasper Congressman Scott DesJarlais, both of whom are now trying to get re-elected.

The editorial in the Louisville paper included this paragraph: “The (Nashville) Tennessean, which has endorsed (the PAST Act), was especially scornful of Mrs. Blackburn, who it said has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for her support, calling her bill “the best that horse abusers’ money could buy.”

It is believed Alexander, Fleischmann and DesJarlais have also, either directly or indirectly, received contributions from those associated with the “Big Lick.” Of all the elected politicians in Washington from Tennessee, the lone hold-out is Senator Bob Corker, who has aligned with neither bill.

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Remember the big outcry over Chik-fil-A and the way the Atlanta based-restaurant was slammed by the liberal media for its Christian stance? A market analyst has just announced the popular restaurant chain is on track to surpass McDonald’s in the next 10 years.

Last year the publicly-traded McDonald’s reported earnings of $35.9 billion from more than 14,000 domestic location while Chik-fil-A, privately owned by the philanthropic Cathey family, had sales of $5 billion at 1,775 locations. Chik-fil-A has tripled in size since 2003 despite the fact its stores are closed on Sunday to allow employees the right to worship.

Chik-fil-A has the highest approval rating from consumers in the country while one recent poll named McDonald’s as the worst.

* * *

A poll just announced by The Military Times revealed 60 percent of its readers believe Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should be court-martialed. The Army is continuing its investigation whether the sergeant walked away from his post and was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in June of 2009.

Of those answering the poll, 15 percent were “unsure” of what the Army should do with the soldier while 9 percent said he should face a “lesser charge.” Eugene Fidell, a lawyer who has been retained by Bergdahl, is asking, “Everybody should just hold the phone … Let the facts unfold a little bit.”

There are allegations that several soldiers were killed or wounded while trying to find him after he disappeared from his post.

* * *

Were you chilly Thursday morning? If so, you weren’t alone. In Mobile, Ala., it was 64 degrees on Wednesday, breaking a record low that has stood since 1886. In Jackson, Ky., the temperature was 54, breaking the old mark by 5 chilly degrees, and both Atlanta (61) and Pensacola (65) have new records.

Washington, DC tied its all-time low of 55 at Dulles airport and at International Falls – where it was 39 – was the coldest July 16 ever.  The 53 on the Marquette, Mich., thermometer was the coldest for the day by 11 degrees. Conversely, the 89 in Seattle was the highest ever, as if those in Chicago (42) could care less.

royexum@aol.com



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