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Columns

  • Going with the Flo: Trump strong on economy, military and in prayer

    By Flo Charles

    “If the truth be told, can’t nobody talk about nobody; we all got a past, we all got problems and we all need prayer.” Word of wisdom from a true Christian.

  • New school questions now answered

    By Leah Rice Watkins, Roane County Director of Schools

    I would like to take a moment to respond to several important questions regarding the high school building program.

    1. Why the rush for the building program? Why does it need to be done soon?

    a. In actuality, this is not a rushed program. The Lewis Group Firm was selected by the Roane County School Board in January of 2015 to analyze the high school facilities regarding security, accessibility, safety, structure, health, curriculum, and maintenance.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Does nostalgia override reform?

    Simultaneous reflection on Bethel Presbyterian Church’s 200 years and Roane County’s current school debate spurred today’s thoughts.

    Fifteen years ago, Bethel’s Session initiated a visioning process that brought attention to a host of long-neglected problems with the church’s physical plant.

    This unwelcome news coincided with a sense that church finances were strained and evoked sharply different responses from Bethel’s normally cohesive members.

  • Going With the Flo: We must recognize God’s hand in history and schools

    By Flo Charles

    One of the most important elements to the longevity of any nation is the educational system.

    The Founders believed schools and educational systems were a proper means to encourage that “religion, morality and knowledge” were necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind.

    Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), a Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the leading educator in America and called the Father of Education under the Constitution.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Does nostalgia override reform?

    By Mark Banker

    Several recent letters to the editor have expressed reservations about proposed plans for Roane County’s public schools.

    Last Friday, one lengthy letter introduced readers to philosopher-educator John Dewey and connected Dewey’s influence to today’s ongoing educational debates.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Would it really be a Rockwood Mega-school?

    Gentle reader, inasmuch as the mega-school plan is by far the most important public issue to confront our community for some little time, we feel it not out of order to devote an inordinate amount of time and space to that issue in our columns for the time being, so this column will be so focused.

    First of all, we have been addressed with this question: Why are the Rockwood head men so strongly pushing this plan to eliminate their high school when, since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, Rockwood leadership has always strongly supported their community school?

  • Going With the Flo: We must repent, arise and help our president build

    By Flo Charles

    Let us arise and build!

    These were the words of the people in the book of Nehemiah (from the Bible) after Nehemiah saw the walls of Jerusalem were broken down.

    Nehemiah faced the same fierce, hate, intimidation and ridicule that our president is facing today. They attempted to distract and coerce him into changing his mind, but it didn’t work.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Advances foster consequences

    By Mark Banker

    Recent revelations suggest that Britain-based voter profiling firm Cambridge Analytica used infor-mation from Facebook in its at-tempt to influence at least 50 million voters in the 2016 presidential election.

    If reports that the Trump campaign paid the firm $6 million for their services are true, special counsel Robert Mueller will, no doubt, consider if this effort aided and abetted alleged Russian meddling in the election.

  • Going with the Flo: The right needs to protect our rights before we’re left

    Friday is what is called, “Good Friday” and is the example of what Jesus did after he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane – not My will but Thine be done.

    Jesus was our example of dying to self. Our country exists because many gave up their desires and left their homes and loved ones to sacrifice so that we could have a free county.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: We could use a Baker again

    By Mark Banker

    Episodes of the popular 1970s sitcom “All in the Family” began with Archie and Edith Bunker singing at a piano.

    In not-so-melodious lyrics, the Bunkers conveyed deep, widely shared anxieties about changes that transformed American life in the middle third of the 20th century.

    Like almost all of us, the Bunkers were susceptible to nostalgia. Selective memories of idyllic by-gone days have long offered a haven from history’s inexorable, dimly understood changes and their ever-traumatic effects.