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David Cook

Stories by David

In high school, Patrick Carroll was a bully. And in gym class at Red Bank High School, he bullied a thin, quiet freshman named Bilal Shabazz.

To understand why the Koozer family — Justin, Annie and 2-year-old Piper — left all their friends and church family in Ooltewah to move across the country to Denver, where they knew no one, try this: Start counting from zero all the way to 2,000. Or go walk two miles.

  • Nov. 15th, 2013  |
  • By By David Cook
  • Comment  |

1. It's hell. I once heard of a man here who was sleeping under a bridge -- Veterans Bridge, I believe -- during winter. He drank vodka until he passed out, only to wake up when the rats began to gnaw on his face.

Lt. Corliss Cooper has been swept off her feet.

Pete, the beloved Tennessee Aquarium otter, is dead.

Monday morning, 32 men were arrested by federal and local agents for illegally selling or possessing crack, powder cocaine and guns. At a press conference later that day, one official called them the "worst of the worst" of our city's criminals.

Got kids? Then meet the Estill family. Please.

Some of the bravest, most deliciously compassionate people I know believe in God. They are magnificently heroic, gracefully wise, and unendingly generous. You ask them why they do the crazy things they do — like love their enemies or empty their bank accounts to feed the poor — and they answer, rather softly: God.

For local dogs and cats that don't have a home, there are two major animal shelters in Hamilton County that provide shelter: McKamey Animal Shelter and Humane Educational Society.

This morning, City Councilman Chris Anderson will introduce legislation that would provide medical and health benefits to committed domestic partners — same sex and opposite sex — of all Chattanooga government employees.

Before us? The Cherokees. The history we tell ourselves here is often boiled down to that simple narrative: before any white, Euro-American presence in this area, there were Cherokees. And lots of them.

After nearly five years of zero executions, Tennessee has resumed its death penalty system, announcing plans to execute one man in January and another in April.

So, about 15 years ago, this guy named Steve Sherfey — oh, you're gonna love him — buys the old Rico Monument building in St. Elmo from Manny Rico, who's moving to a new location.

Guy Bilyeu, beloved leader of the Humane Educational Society, has died.

Peyton Manning? The Minister of Defense? Mr. Montana? Love 'em like white on rice.

There are rats at Miller Park in downtown Chattanooga. There are homeless people there, as well.

Aren't you sick and tired of this word "shutdown?" Government shutdown. Political shutdown. Here a shutdown, there a shutdown, everywhere a shutdown.

As Alec Newby's family was inside the funeral home receiving visitors Tuesday evening, Eddie Jenkins was outside in the parking lot, sitting in his truck, trying to stop crying so he could go inside and say what he had to say.

The newsroom phone rang. It was my friend, U.S. Army Sgt. Ian Morrow.

Days after Tennessee was named the most violent state in America, Kevin Chitty walked away a free man.

We ought to outlaw motorcycle riding. Followed by hang gliding, whitewater kayaking and sky diving. Ban smoking, too.

The people's choice to win today's Nobel Peace Prize is Malala Yousafzai, the beautiful, blogging 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who survived a school-bus assassination attempt by a local gunman trying to silence her outspoken, enlightened and very anti-Taliban-esque thoughts on education.

When I think of 21st century education, one name immediately rises above all others.

Twenty years from now, we will look back at this type of hostage-taking, shutdown politics as the first step in which such political cannibalism became normal.

I say this with love.

Face your fears, they said. Stare down your demons, they said. Step out of your comfort zone, they said.

Our government has shut down. Obamacare has begun.

Adam Tatum is a human being.

The package arrived a few weeks ago in her post office box.

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I was a coach, and a very bad one.

There are many rivers and creeks across the land, and boys play in them all the time.

Monday at lunch, I went for a little bike ride with Blythe Bailey, who's the transportation director for Chattanooga.

I hope you read about this idea and faint with delight. Laugh and not stop. Like you just won the Super Bowl and are headed to Disney. Like the Sullivan Show crowds that greeted the Beatles. That kind of joy.

The past is never dead. It's not even past.

You did it.

I didn't know the Delta Queen was ugly.

Before we talk about the startling events out of Gatlinburg, let's first discuss the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or as it's loathsomely known to many teachers and students, the TCAP.

Let's start with some good news.

Doyle Fairchild is the opposite of terrorism.

It was 11:40 last Wednesday morning and Chad Rucks was logged onto, eagerly waiting for high noon and the online registration for the 2014 Ironman Chattanooga to begin.

According to historian William Blum, the U.S. government has bombed or aided in bombing the following nations since 1945:

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's plans to bulldoze and then rebuild the Harriet Tubman public housing site could turn into something grand, perhaps his equivalent of an urban Enterprise South.

By now, you've probably heard the news: Ben Friberg made it.

This summer, Spencer Cantrell went to Palestine to move stones.

You know what some students at The Howard School are always saying to their teachers? Pestering, bugging, nagging. Those pesky kids.

The first time I heard "Blurred Lines" was when my son walked by, singing the lyrics.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?

Stopped by the neighborhood pharmacy last week for allergy medicine, and wound up buying a copy of the 2014 Farmer's Almanac.

On Friday, Rick Bragg, the man Shakespeare would have been had he grown up in North Alabama, spoke for nearly an hour without notes to a chapel full of McCallie School students, then had lunch with a dozen or so more in John Lambert's English class.

After Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke announced his budgeting-for-outcomes plan, I cheered. It's intelligent, cutting-edge, responsible.

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