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Most weeks, you’ll find me esconced in my office in Kingston.
Last week was not not one of those weeks.
Instead, I spent several days in Nashville involved in training and other events at Tennessee Press Association’s Winter Convention.
We had a lot of work to do.
State legislators have put forth a wide array of proposed legislation that could limit openness in government — the very foundation of democracy.
As the “Fourth Estate,” newspapers have long been recognized as a primary check and balance in holding the executive and legislative branches of the government and the judicial system accountable.
In today’s economy, that job has gotten much harder. Many newspapers have had to make cuts, leaving them with smaller staff to work with.
And, in the meantime, the rich have grown richer in this economy, and some have poured large amounts of money into supporting their special causes or candidates.
It’s not easy keeping up with it all, but as a group, the members of the Tennessee Press Association are working to push back — and to keep you informed so you can push back, too.
A shout out to the Rockwood High Scholars Bowl team
Pardon me while I move off-topic, but I have to commend Rockwood High School on its powerful Scholars Bowl team performance.
In the prerecorded event televised on the Knoxville public TV station Monday evening, Rockwood took on the powerhouse team of Oak Ridge High School.
I don’t often watch Scholars Bowl matches. This one, however, looked like it would be a David-and-Goliath situation, and I figured I’d watch for a few minutes.
Instead, I was quickly hooked.
Oak Ridge is a generously funded high school with a student body filled with the offspring of scientists and other scholarly types attracted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other U.S. Department of Energy facilities and contractors.
Last year’s Oak Ridge team were Scholars Bowl champions.
The Rockwood team took a big lead early on and were tied 150-150 at the half-time break.
With Oak Ridge rocked back on their heels, Rockwood stayed close much of the second half, and then fell behind late in the game, losing 335 to 275.
It was an admirable performance against a tough team.
I’d like to commend team captain Parker McCullough, as well as Michael Grigsby, Seth Emmert and Nick Warner for their outstanding performance. Their coach, Hester Leeann Griffith, said the group had beaten Gatlinburg-Pittman and Cosby high schools to get to play Oak Ridge.
The Rockwood team members were great ambassadors for their community.
Good job, team!