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Columns

  • Harriman Happenings March 9

    The ushers of St. Mary’s Baptist Church will have their annual usher tea on Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m.

    A guest preacher and choir from Knoxville will be with us.

    Everybody is welcome.

    Sister Jo Hickman is president of the ushers.

    The Rev. Jesse L. Williams Sr. is pastor.

    Last week I said St. Mary’s Baptist Church would worship with First Baptist Church in Rockwood on March 7. However, we will meet with them Wednesday, March 11.

  • String of Consciousness: What has happened to basketball?

    District champions that didn’t really win a district championship.

    Not one, but TWO teams trying to lose a game at the same time.

    Possible region champions that aren’t really region champions.

    What’s next? Are we going to draw straws for the state championships this year?

    Look, I get it. This weather has royally screwed up most everything, but does it really have to screw up basketball, too?

    Last week, district tournaments were, for the most part, completely wiped out in Tennessee.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Remembering Nellie Alkire Ward, Part One

    As we promised last week, we begin the portion of our recollections of “characters” related to those of the female persuasion, and as we indicated then, we choose to begin this part of the series with Mrs. R. H. Ward, nee Nelle Alkire. Mrs. Ward’s story will require more space than we have available in a single column, so the following is Part One, to be followed by one or more parts in subsequent issues.
    ******

  • You can’t make this stuff up, and, well, you shouldn’t

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    You can’t make this kind of thing up.

    On the very day America’s top real news anchor gets suspended for telling fake news, the nation’s leading anchor of a mock news program tells us he’s leaving his job — really.

    Brian Williams got tossed Tuesday from “NBC Nightly News” for six months without pay for misstating the facts about facing enemy fire in a helicopter in Iraq in 2003.

  • Dick Hettrick and his legacies of good work

    By MARK T. BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • GLIMPSES: Remembering the Civil War — lessons and legacies

    By MARK T. BANKER
    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.
    1) None of us sees the past or present with absolute clarity; 2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values; and 3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

    At the end of 2014, editor Terri Likens and I discussed restarting my  “occasional” column in the Roane County News.

  • If they call or email, they’re not the IRS

    Friends, the IRS will never call nor email you about taxes or penalties you may owe.

    I saw that line time and again over the summer, when the Internal Revenue Service sent out an almost-continuous stream of press releases warning taxpayers about schemes in which swindlers attempt to separate law-abiding citizens from their hard-earned dollars by evoking the name that sends chills through most Americans.

    I’m now glad I did.

  • See you soon, football

    “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes ... well, he eats.”

    Out of all of the random life lessons the Coen Brothers snuck into cult-classic “The Big Lebowski,” that one line by The Stranger, played by Sam Elliot, may be the most significant.

    After the confetti cleared Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, one thing was clear. The Seattle Seahawks ate — although some might say they choked — the bar, bringing an unwelcomed end to football season.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Educational mismanagement — top to bottom

    Well, Gentle Reader, this week let us discuss education and the sad fact that sometimes the very folks we have placed in charge of the education of our young are themselves sadly lacking in the basic skills of clear thinking, sound reasoning, and basic factual knowledge.

    This unhappy happenstance occurs at all levels, sad to say, running from the ivied halls of academe to the basic neighborhood institutions of kindergarten upwards.

  • An open letter to sports parents

    Dear sports parents, this is an intervention.

    Not for all of you, though. In fact, many of you are free to go but I would advise reading hanging around to read the rest of this. If for nothing else the fact you can point and laugh at the others next time you’re at a game.

    No, I’m not writing this for the normal supporter of their child’s athletic endeavors (no matter how bad they may be).