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Hawkins This & That: Rogersville's 5-pound Philly cheese steak challenge finally falls

Jeff Bobo • Mar 23, 2020 at 9:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — Carnival Cafe’s reigning eating champion Joe Waskiewicz broke his own record Thursday, downing a 5-pound Philly cheese steak at the Rogersville eatery in less than an hour. 

Waskiewicz also holds Carnival Cafe’s cheeseburger in an hour record, which currently is 5.5 pounds. 

Carnival Cafe, which is located on Highway 11-W on the western outskirts of town, has two ongoing challenges. Break the records and earn immortality on the Carnival Cafe Wall of Fame.

Thanks to Waskiewicz’s accomplishment Thursday, the Cheesesteak Challenge is now up to 5.5 pounds. The challenge is to eat the massive sandwich on a 26-inch bun in an hour. That’s equal to about six or seven of the large Phillys on the menu.

The challenge costs $44.95 and also comes with two large orders of fries, as well as peppers and onions, which are optional. You don’t have to eat the fries, onions or peppers to win.

Aside from earning a place on the Wall of Fame, anyone who meets the challenge gets the meal for free, a $20 gift card, and — believe it or not — a free dessert. Presumably the dessert is packed “to go.”

The same rules apply for the cheeseburger challenge, which currently sits at 6 pounds, but hasn’t had many takers since Waskiewicz conquered the 5.5-pound burger in 2018.

VHS runner earns Milligan track scholarship

On March 12, Volunteer High School runner Megan Christian signed a track scholarship to attend Milligan College.

Coach Jim Ailshie said Megan has run track at Volunteer since her freshman year and has continued to show steady improvement each season. She was on the fifth place sectional 4x100 team and was also named the most outstanding runner on the Volunteer cross country team this past fall.

Her best track event is the 400 meter dash, and Ailshie noted that Christian was also a starter on the soccer team and was voted homecoming queen.

“Milligan is not only receiving a great runner but more importantly an outstanding individual,” Ailshie said. “Megan is strong academically, popular among her classmates and is a true leader on our track team and within the school. From a track perspective, Megan has a great deal of leg speed. What caught the college’s attention was that she ran cross country for the first time and did quite well.”

Aishie added, “They and I both feel she has a great deal of potential in the 800 meter run once she runs a few more miles and continues to increase her aerobic system. I think she will certainly continue to improve under Coach Chris Layne at Milligan.”

 Mount Carmel Elementary ‘Goody Day’

On March 5, Mount Carmel Elementary celebrated its teachers with a faculty and staff “Goody Day” for special teachers. 

The second grade sponsored the event and gave yellow roses to each special teacher. The A team prepared goody bags to go along with MCES RTIC cups.

The student body signed a banner and some cards were presented to each teacher. The school is thankful for its art, music, gym, and speech teachers as well as its counselor, librarian and interventionist.

Margaret Peterson Haddix visits RCS

Four years ago, Rogersville City School fifth grade teachers came to library media specialist Kari Fields with a dream to have New York Times bestselling children’s author Margaret Peterson Haddix visit RCS. On that day, Fields emailed Haddix and was put on a waiting list.

RCS finally got its turn on March 11, when Haddix made a special visit to the school, addressed the entire student body in the auditorium, and then had one-on-ones with students in the school library.

“The teachers were just as excited, if not more so, than our students,” Fields said on March 11. “Mrs. Haddix’s books don’t stay on the shelves in our library. Our fifth grade teachers in particular read them in class. Once they finish that first one, students are hooked on the series. Her visit today was so special. We had high school and college students returning to meet her. They fondly remember reading her books at RCS. Mrs. Haddix’s writing left a giant impact that they have never forgotten.”

Fields added, “It is a big deal to have an author of this magnitude visit our school in East Tennessee. We are so thankful to have a supportive parent organization, the RCS Academic Booster Club, who values and sponsors experiences like this for our students.”

Church Hill Middle School luncheon

Some of Church Hill Middle School’s unsung heroes were honored with a special luncheon recently including school nurse Heather Christian, guidance counselor Tonda Stevens, and school SRO Harry Torian.

March is UTrust Appreciation Day for school staff members who perform miscellaneous tasks that don’t fit into any other category. 

If you have a Hawkins County-related announcement, upcoming event or something to brag about that you’d like to see in “Hawkins This & That,” email the information and photos to jbobo@timesnews.net.

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