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Letters

  • Gratitude, even after losing so much in house fire

    On Wednesday, June 27, while vacationing in Florida, our home burned completely to the ground.

    The only home that our 19-year-old daughter has ever known now sits in ashes.

    Except for the loss of family members, this has been the single-most devastating event in our lives, but we are recovering and know that we must move on.

    A couple of days ago, a young lady asked me how we were doing.

    She stated that out of all this tragedy, God would bless us a thousand times over.

    I looked at her and said, “He already has!”

  • A firsthand look on the need for health benefits

    Who would it hurt if the working poor had health insurance? If elected, Mitt Romney claims he will begin to repeal the Universal Health Care Act on Day One.

    When will the Republican brethren realize that there is only one class of people who can’t see a doctor when they need to?

    The truly poor get free health insurance, and the truly rich don’t need it! The rest of us are only one accident or illness away from bankruptcy.

    Way before my wife ever got sick, I looked into buying health insurance for my family.

  • Sinking real estate prices show flaws in reappraisal

    Like many other seniors in the area, we enjoy walking or bicycling the streets of the neighborhood in an effort to get a little exercise and fresh air.  

    Moving at this slower pace enables us to become more aware of our surroundings, such as the duck that was not quite quick enough to avoid the automobile traffic, or the latest real estate sign.  

    Even though we have no intention of buying a house, it seems almost impossible to walk past those signs or pass up reading the accompanying brochures.

  • Reading to kids early on solves problems later

    Preliminary information from a survey of parents of children in Roane County elementary schools is interesting enough to share.  

    The survey was done by the schools sending home the survey form which had been put together by Kingston Rotary Club’s Ralph Best.  

    The data analyzed so far comes from the Kingston Elementary and Midway Elementary schools and there is rough consistency in the answers.

  • Still looking for closure in two- decades-old case

    Happy birthday, Karen.

    Sunday. July 1, is our daughter’s 57th birthday. But we will not celebrate it with her.
    Her name is Karen Farmer Beard, and she was abducted and murdered in Kingston on Jan. 15, 1991.

    Some of the individuals who are responsible for this hideous crime are still walking the streets.

    Roane County Detective Greg Scalf tells me that Karen’s case is now classified as an open homicide investigation. If you have any information please call Detective Scalf at 717-4709.

  • Newly elected should think twice before firing staff

    Aug. 2 is Election Day.

    Candidates for road superintendent are urged to make public a detailed list of their past six years of experience relevant to work generally performed by the highway department. Such information would be helpful to voters who do not have access to information posted on websites by candidates.

    Elected county department heads are paid substantially high salaries; the public has a right and deserves to know details about a candidate’s up-to-date experience.

  • We all will answer for our actions in the very end

    Freedom of conscience is God’s gift to humans.

    Our American Declaration of Independence recognizes this truth with the words: “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men ...”

  • Woman feels disconnected by all the gadgetry

    I get that dot.com on all my bills.

    I, for one, don’t have any of those contraptions.

    You can’t find anybody in the phone book any more; it’s all on cellphone etc.

    Have you noticed how small the phone books are? I looked in three last night hunting a young man that graduated from Roane State with a 4.0 grade average. I used to clean house for his mom.

    I wanted to wish him good luck.

    I saw his name in the paper but I just gave up.

  • Don’t skip skin cancer checks, sun safety

    There is a skin cancer check available in Roane County on June 25. This is to encourage all who can to attend.

    After several blistering sunburns in my teens when sunscreen was baby oil and iodine and sun protection wasn’t thought of, I now have metastatic malignant melanoma. It is present in my lung, breast, femur and a lymph node in my chest. I’ve undergone radiation and chemo. I’m 57 years old. This all started in my wrist with a “simple” looking mole that I paid no attention.

    Go, get your skin looked over.

    Thank you.

    Paula Townsend
    Harriman

  • Suicide death victims have place in Heaven, too

    On May 31, I was at Roane Medical Center to be with my husband, Doug, who was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer.

    I saw Bina Kirby, sister of J.T. Woods, standing outside the elevators from the emergency room. There were several family members with her as she was crying for the loss of her brother.

    I hugged her and told her that I would be praying for her and her family in this, a family’s most horrific time, a suicidal death.