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Today's Features

  • Benchmark Church, Oliver Springs, will open its doors on Jan. 4.

    The church will be at 961 E. Tri County Blvd. in the Norwood School zone.

    Benjamin Blankenship, a multi-ple-award-winning Southern Gospel artist, will be the church’s pastor.

    “Come to a great new church with a profound emphasis on Southern Gospel, country Gos-

    pel, Bluegrass Gospel and praise music in worship,” Blankenship said.

  • AAA and Bud Light urge motorists to plan ahead for the holiday weekend if they will be out drinking. This means choosing a designated driver, staying where you are celebrating, using a cab or finding another form of sober transportation.

    “It is imperative that motorists plan ahead,” said Gerry Gutowski, senior vice president, Automotive Services, The Auto Club Group. “For those that have no other safe option, Tow to Go is available.”

  • The Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor Center’s film, “The Obed: Find Yourself Here,” recently placed first in the short video category of the National Association of Interpretation’s 2014 Media Award Winners.

    The awards competition promotes excellence in the delivery of natural, cultural and historical information.

    The National Association for Interpretation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional organization, is dedicated to advancing the profession of heritage interpretation, currently serving pro-

  • The Roane Writers Group has kicked off its annual student writing contest for the 2014-15 academic year.

    Open to all Roane County students in grades 4-12, the contest welcomes submissions in three categories: short story, poetry and essay.

    Entries will be accepted through March 6.

    The contest was conceived to encourage children to discover the joys of good writing and appreciate the difference it could make in their futures.

  • The youth of St. Mary’s Baptist Church was in charge of the youth Christmas last Sunday during the 11 a.m. worship service.

    They gave a skit with the older youth, and the little ones gave their speeches by memory.

    All of the children were great. Their leaders were Missy Gallaher, Pearl Moore and Carolyn Clemmons.

    Minister Allen Hickman delivered the morning message. He spoke about giving my all to God.

    This was a good sermon.

    Afterward, we enjoyed our church family and friends for our Christmas dinner.

  • By FREDDY GROVES

    King Features Syndicate

    Military sexual trauma ... like most things in the military, this also comes with its own acronym: MST.

    It can, apparently, happen to anyone.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced expanded eligibility for health services for MST, this time moving to include Reservists and members of the National Guard in receiving mental-health services for sexual assault or harassment that happened during training.

  • Fort Southwest Point Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution members, from left, Regent Susan Wann, Connie Williams and Barb Wasilko helped bring an atmosphere of the past to Kingston’s Fort Southwest Point during the annual Christmas candlelight tour last weekend.

    Members wore period costumes and treated guests to cookies baked with recipes from the 1700s.

    Colonial brown sugar, pine-tree shillings, hobnails, apple jacks, tea cakes and molasses cookies were among the confections offered in the fort’s visitors center.

  • Thomas “Tom” Scandlyn of Harriman will be organist and provide lead vocals for the Carols and Lessons planned for Christmas Eve at St. Anthony’s Anglican Church.

    The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. CST in the church at 9828 Hwy. 70 East, Crab Orchard.

    Scandlyn, a St. Anthony’s parish member, is organist for a number of area churches. He has agreed to put together a list of carols specifically for St. Anthony’s, said John Moore, the church’s junior warden.

  • Riverside Baptist Church, Harriman, recently welcomed the Rev. Greg Kelly as its new pastor.

    Kelly, a native of Roane County, began his pastoral duties at Riverside on Nov. 1.

    He is married to the former Julie Guettner of Kingston, and they have two children, AnnaLauren and Jackson.

    Kelly is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, holding a Master of Divinity in pastoral care.

    He also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

  • The unique Obed River gorge of the Cumberland Plateau will be discussed during a 6:15 p.m. Dec. 17 program in The United Church, The Chapel on the Hill, at 85 Kentucky Ave., Oak Ridge.

    Interpretive Ranger Veronica Greear will discuss the Obed Wild and Scenic River, notable for its biodiversity, supporting a diversity of ecosystems that are unique to this river system.

    Following the presentation, the Obed Wild and Scenic River’s Visitor Center film: The Obed: Find Yourself Here award winning short movie will be shown.