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Columns

  • Looseleaf Laureate by Terri Likens: Here’s proof that we really walk the talk

    I regularly talk to people who have ended up on the wrong side of the law and want to keep the incident out of the newspaper.
    My answer is invariably a polite no-can-do. If the situation is a matter of our usual public record, it all goes in the paper.
    We make no exceptions.
    Employees of this newspaper are held to the same standard  — including me.
    Which brings me to the point of this column. On Saturday night, in a neighboring county, I was charged with DUI.
    I wanted you to hear it from me first.

  • Nuts & Bolts: Mayfield campaign flack curdles over ‘sour’ headline

    Roane County has its share of political hijinx, but generally, they don’t involve congressional candidates.

    That changed last week when Republican dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield was in Roane County stumping for the 3rd District Congressional seat.

    Mayfield’s 33-year-old son, Michael, was caught on security camera vandalizing the vehicle of a staff member for his father’s incumbent opponent, Chuck Fleischmann.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: How far should we defer to priests’ decisons?

    Gentle reader: In recent days we have witnessed another step in the growing trend on the part of Corporate America to reduce, if not totally eliminate, all service employees.

    We refer to the scene at the checkout area of the Kroger store, a scene duplicated no doubt at Food City, Ingles, and various other emporia.

    These major chain stores have all fallen for the sales pitch on the part of the makers of the self-checkout machinery and bought and installed four, or more, of these atrocities.

  • Nuts & Bolts: A new type of public record coming your way

    Food safety is a big concern – especially at restaurants and public schools where people depend on the care and vigilance of others for the integrity of what we eat.

    I remember, during a vacation in Arizona a few years back, being so sick with food poisoning that I thought I might die alone in my second-floor hotel room.

    I recovered, but some do not. The weakest among us are the most vulnerable to food-related illness.

  • Guest Opinion: Will Rockwood show horse sense on crossing?

    Since September 2010, the Roane County Executive’s Office has used a system of management called a 5-Point Star System.

    It identifies five main topics that are the primary focus of the administration.

    Over the last 20 months, some topics have been added and deleted over time, and some are still the focus of our administration. Go to www.roanegov.org and link to county executive’s office to see the progression of the 5-Point Star System.  

  • WRITE LIKE a GIRL: Now you see it, now you don’t

    I just celebrated a birthday.

    Never mind which one — and don’t you dare try to guess. Those of you who know are sworn to secrecy.

    It started me thinking about the aging process and the running and ducking from Mother Nature that’s commenced.

    Figuratively speaking, of course, because any time I entertain the notion of running or even donning high heels, my bum knee whispers, “Are you SURE you want to do that?”

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Legislature’s policy is to promote ignorance

    Regular readers will recall that as late as 6 February we wrote a scathing critique of Scott DesJarlais’s misuse of our tax money to finance his re-election campaign through federally paid mailings of flyers masquerading as information, but which were nothing more than campaign literature. Some of our Republican friends were unhappy with this criticism of their fair-haired boy. (Oops, as Gov. Rick Perry would say, we forgot. Dr. Scott is as hairless as a Mexican hairless pup, as the many colour photos in the flyers show.)
     

  • Nuts & Bolts Terri Likens Editor: RIP, API: Journalism training takes a big hit

    The American Press Institute is defunct.

    The API, a premier training institute for journalists, closed this month.

    That makes me sad.

    I was lucky enough to spend about a week at one of the Reston, Va.-based API trainings about five years ago.

    Even after all my years as a working journalist, the training I received there helped me — even today — make transitions that are often necessary in today’s changing news business.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Even in 1800, some wanted fair treatment for workers

    We have been reading a 1965 biography of Henry Addington by Philip Ziegler, which has rested on our shelves for several years.
    Addington, a contemporary of the Younger Pitt, Canning, Castlereagh, Liverpool, and other leading lights of the first years of the Nineteenth Century, was for years Speaker of the House of Commons, then for 3 or 4 years King George III’s Prime Minister, and from 1812 to 1821 was Home Secretary.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Stress over shingles has nothing to do with roof

    The tornado outbreaks a couple of Fridays back left a lot of us with a bad case of nerves — but mine was a little different.
    As I headed home to pack for a dash to my boyfriend’s house in Hamilton County, I began to feel an annoying itch on my neck.
    I looked in the mirror and could see blotchy red spots rising. I made a mental note not to scratch, threw my bags in the car and did my best to dodge storms as I headed south.