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David Cook

Stories by David

One of the last times I saw Peter Hampton alive was during baseball season this spring. He was wearing that pair of bright UT-orange sweatpants. I spotted them from the dugout.

In the early evening on July 3, four local men went fishing.

Last week, Maria Shriver, former first lady of California, was in town. Still not exactly sure why.

Not long ago, I got my Astroturf kicked by a 73-year-old man.

The email came Tuesday morning. It was written by a man in Hixson. He had read Monday's column about Trayvon Martin and the fragmentation of America. Call him Rick. I assume he's white.

Really, no one was acquitted. No one set free. Not George Zimmerman, and certainly not the rest of us.

Undertaker please drive slow, for this body you are hauling, how I hate to see her go. — The Carter Family

Years ago, Jose Perez went shopping at a local Walmart with a pocket full of drug money, probably so much he could have bought the whole store.

To understand why urban chickens matter, think back two years ago, when readers of Outside magazine voted Chattanooga the best city in which to live in the U.S.

Starting tonight, here's the daily schedule for billions of Muslims around the world, including many here locally.

Chris Janda is 38 and lives in North Chattanooga. He's married with two kids, a mortgage and a waist a touch wider than it was 20 years ago.

Students and teachers aren't lab rats. Yet like crispy carrots in front of a donkey, our educational leaders — can I use that word? — dangle incentive after incentive, hoping, sooner or later, teachers and kids will make it through the maze.

Spitting mad? In deep distress over the direction our country's going? I know the feeling.

When things go south in your neighborhood, do you call the cops? "Police would be the last ones I'd call,'' one man said to me.

It should have been the horse, not a bald eagle. No other creature better tells the American story than the horse. There in the early days, it bore witness to the Spanish genocide of native peoples.

When teachers speak, we ought to listen. Here's what I'm hearing from local educators:

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer."

The other night over dinner, we started talking about a summer vacation. Someone suggested driving to Florida to swim with the manatees.

Finally, PK Management, which owns the currently uninhabitable Patten Towers, dusted off the corporate checkbook last week and wrote five checks to local aid agencies that have been caring for displaced towers residents after the May 28 basement fire.

We like beer, but we're no Homer Simpson.

The last time Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson was arrested, the 28-year-old mother was handcuffed and carried off the ground by police — one held her arms, the other her legs — out of a Nashville legislative committee room, where she and six others had come to do all they could to block passage of laws that would weaken labor unions in Tennessee.

Do not bomb Syria. Do not send weapons to Syria. Do not interfere with Syria.

Bustani. It's the Swahili word for garden.

Before the basement fire that scattered them across the city, folks at Patten Towers did a lot of sitting. An awful, awful lot of sitting.

For stealing the time, personnel and already-thin budgets of our area's most important aid agencies, the owners of Patten Towers ought to be charged with theft.

This whole freedom thing? No one ever said it would be easy. You want easy, move to North Korea.

We take pride in what we do. — Joyce Walker, PK Management

"There is no plan. If you want to save your children, you're going to have to do it yourself." — Educator and social activist Geoffrey Canada, speaking in 2011 to a Chattanooga audience

Schools are not prisons.

Monday morning, I climbed in the back of a little red Kia, wedging myself between tool boxes, water bottles and seven spare bike wheels. It was the support car — picture a bike shop on wheels — for I AM Racing, one of the teams entered in the women's USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships.

A week ago, I tossed out to you, beloved readers, a series of questions, including this one: What's the best, craziest, most fun idea out there on improving one aspect of Chattanooga?

Before the final morning came when he could take no more of the sadness and pain, and aimed the cold barrel of a Beretta .40 caliber to his left temple, Chris McDonald was a Marine.

The strip mall was like any other: a manicurist, a shoe shop or Laundromat, some empty storefronts with "For Lease" signs in their windows.

Last Friday, her heart beating as if it was bursting out of a stable, Stacie Sparks Hand loaded up her gray Nissan, hugged and kissed her parents bye, and drove away from her Red Bank home.

• Who is the most powerful person in the area?

Weird is cardboard sledding.

To all you graduating high school seniors: Bravo.

When thinking about Angelina Jolie's breasts, I did the only thing any man would do.

The new movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" premiered on screens across America last week.

To get inside Shonda Mason's home, step wide past the brown-and-white pit bull leashed to the front porch and into the living room where a muted "Sports Center" plays on one TV and old reruns of '80s cop shows on another.

On Palm Sunday night, 48 days ago, many of our city's gang leaders gathered around a wooden dining-room table, some of them sitting, some standing, all agreeing to put down their weapons.

Riverbend is like a pile of kindling that, each summer, refuses to light.

Justin Tabor — the Hamilton County deputy sheriff who bought beer for teenagers — still has a job.

It's there in this one-page letter from the Department of Justice. Right there.

This week, the wide world of sports grew even wider.

This morning, the sheriff's office takes over control of the Murray County Animal Shelter in Chatsworth, Ga. This news is not necessarily Cruella De Vil bad, but sure isn't St. Francis good.

Between 2003 and 2009, the Tennessee Department of Education paid more than $89 million in contracts to six corporations that create the process of standardized tests our public school students are required to take. (Roughly half the money came from federal funds, according to U.S. Department of Education documents).

Before he lived alone in a hut in an English forest, speaking to no one for an entire year, Randy Weinberg, blue eyes the color of the sky, was a wrestler. A very, very good one.

The way we get our food — especially our meat — is the most important system in America.

It's TCAP time in Tennessee, when prepubescent kids — chocolate milk stains on their shirts and stubby No. 2 pencils clutched tightly in their grip — spend hours and hours bubbling in question after standardized question.

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