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Today's Opinions

  • Grateful for Hurricane Sandy relief help

    I want to thank you for the coverage you gave to the relief effort for the Hurricane Sandy victims in the northeast.

    I also want to thank our churches and entire community for the wonderful response in loading the trailer with so many helpful, useful items.

    Landmark Truck Leasing in Knoxville donated the use of the trailer and Remote Area Medical Ministry also in Knoxville donated their tractor and fuel to haul the trailer to Union Beach, New Jersey where your gifts are already in the hands of the people who need them.

  • Bowers food drive success due to donors

    Every year, the staff and students at Bowers Elementary School sponsors a Thanksgiving food drive designed to provide our school families with much-needed food items for holiday meals.

    This year was a huge success as we provided baskets to over 90 families.

    These baskets included turkey, rolls, potatoes and many other canned food items.

    For many families in our community, holidays are very stressful times.

    We are confident that our food drive made Thanksgiving a holiday to remember.

  • GUEST OPINION: Do you have free speech in a shopping mall?

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Most Americans know that they can speak their mind in the public square, thanks to the First Amendment.

    But what about shopping malls, arguably the modern equivalent of a village green?

    Well, outside of California and New Jersey, the First Amendment’s strong protection for free expression — particularly speech involving public issues — likely won’t apply in your local mall if it’s privately owned.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Get out of your comfort zone

    If you are reading this and the world hasn’t come to a fiery end (as per Mayan calendar hoopla), then I can safely say 2012 has been a great year.


    I have been touched by the many people who have told me they enjoy reading this column, and who “travel” with me on my adventures.

  • GUEST OPINION: Mistakes in Newtown need discussing

    By KEN PAULSON
    First Amendment Center
    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much flawed reporting as in the news coverage surrounding the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

    Errors abounded. News organizations identified the wrong man as the shooter, reported that the shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school and mischaracterized both the killers’ weapons and his access to the school. One flawed report said that the killer had a run-in with teachers at the school the day before the massacre.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Recollections of our past Christmas parties

    Gentle reader, as we wrote a few weeks ago we are increasingly grateful for the gift of friendship, but all too often we are reminded of the meaningfulness of our friendships most strongly when one or more of those friends is called from us by their death.

    Thus it was this past week when we lost one of our old South Harriman High School friends, Bill Gibson: and almost simultaneously came the news of the death of Mary Lou Bradford.

  • Guest Opinion: Sentencing teen to pew crosses line

    BY DAVID L. HUDSON Jr.
    First Amendment Center
    The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a judicial-conduct complaint against an Oklahoma judge who sentenced a 17-year-old to an unusual form of probation — 10 years of church.

    In November, Muskogee County District Judge Mike Norman imposed the sentence on Tyler Alred, who was found guilty of manslaughter for getting into an accident that killed his 16-year-old friend.

  • New TVA chief is tested and proven

    By BILL SANSOM
    TVA board chairman
    The leadership transition at TVA is well under way.

    With the new year, the second CEO for the Tennessee Valley Authority will be in charge and continue the shift from over six decades of management by a three-member board to a more traditional corporate structure and part-time board.

    As the first CEO, Tom Kilgore set TVA on a clearer path tied to low rates, cleaner air and a diverse energy mix.