Red Nation Robotics, Hooves and Feathers visit Halls BPA

Shannon CareyFeature, Halls

At the end of Red Nation Robotics‘ presentation to the Halls Business and Professional Association, Captain Jim Wright of Knox County Sheriff’s Office joked that president Bobby Hubbs “would really like you to invite him to join the team.”

Pretty sure everyone in the room wanted a similar invite.

The team visited the HBPA meeting as a thank-you for a donation that helped the team go to the First Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas, this spring. While the team is based at Halls High, it also accepts students from Powell High and homeschoolers. Students at Halls and Powell middle schools can join as junior members.

“Our motto is, ‘Making Robots, Building Leaders,'” said teacher sponsor and mentor Morgan Everett. “We had a wonderful season. Thank you for investing, not just in our team, but in the future.”

Students representing the various branches of the team took the stage and spoke about their work. The team isn’t just about building the robot. A business team raises the $50,000 per year necessary to keep Red Nation Robotics going, and the marketing team focuses on the team’s image with website, T-shirts, promotional materials and more.

Students spoke about building and programming the robot to accomplish certain tasks during competitions, and the process they use to create the best robot possible.

After seeing a demonstration of the robot in action, R. Larry Smith joked, “Can it carry a football on a Friday night?”

Everett returned the joke, “The answer is that if it could I would never have to worry about funding again.”

Hooves and Feathers

Stephanie Solomon of Hooves and Feathers Farm Animal Humane Society was the HBPA’s featured business. The shelter for farm animals recently opened in the former home of Beaver Brook Stables on Cunningham Road. They work with law enforcement to house farm animals seized from abuse cases or found roaming at large.

Stephanie Solomon of Hooves and Feathers Farm Animal Humane Society

“We are doing our darnedest to make (the stables) a place the community can be proud of again,” Solomon said. “We are really glad to be here.”

The shelter has several rescue cases already, including several Paso Fino horses from a suspected abuse case and a llama found roaming at large in Corryton.

“If you’re driving down the street in the middle of the night and you hit a llama, you could be seriously injured,” she said. “Previous to us, any farm animals went to Young Williams, and it’s set up for dogs and cats, not for farm animals. They were put in cages next to barking dogs, and that is stressful for prey animals. I started looking around, saying somebody should do something about this, and I couldn’t find anybody, so I did something.”

Meanwhile, Hooves and Feathers needs volunteers ages 14 and older, and donations. Opportunities can be found at Solomon said plans are underway to renovate the riding ring and host events there. Hooves and Feathers is selling brass plaques on the ring’s rails to raise funds.

Women’s League Golf Tournament

The second Halls Crossroads Women’s League Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Aug. 20, at Beaver Brook Country Club, with lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the tournament starting at 12:30 p.m. Teams and sponsors are needed. For more information, visit

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