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Today's Opinions

  • GUEST OPINION: Freedom to report requires another freedom

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Freedom to report the news requires the freedom to gather it.

    In the months ahead, that basic concept — so central to the First Amendment’s protection of a free press — will also be at the heart of the ongoing debate over how far government officials may go in pursuit of those responsible for “leaking” classified information to journalists.

  • GUEST OPINION: Graduation prayer fights a lost cause

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    School officials in Lake City, Arkansas have come up with a novel solution to the fight over prayer at graduation:
    No prayer, no graduation.

    On May 6, the school board voted to cancel sixth-grade graduation at Lake City’s two elementary schools.

    The action came soon after the district received a complaint letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation objecting to prayers at previous graduations.

    Rather than drop the prayers, the district opted to drop the entire ceremony.

  • Told HIPAA was why dog could not be found

    My husband and I have been supporters of the Roane County Animal Shelter for several years, both donating monetarily and adopting three pets from the facility. 
    The last pet we adopted, about a year ago, was a robust and active Lab-mix puppy. 
    He is a handful of happiness and love but after a few months we found it difficult to keep him home.
     We live in the county and he loved to roam the woods and follow the other dogs through the yard. 

  • Letter not a lie, writer says, but instead a typo

    I am responding to the individual who questioned the validity of the statements on the Background Check bill that failed in the Senate in my letter that ran May 3.  The only mistake that I made was listing the section as 922 when the proper section was 122(t)(4).  I have copied the exact wording as it is written.  It obviously it does not name Eric Holder in the section of the bill as it needs to apply to whoever the attorney general is at any given time.  The following is the exact wording:

  • AP records seizure an affront to a free press

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    What The Associated Press calls “a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice”(DOJ) into its news gathering activities is more than an affront to a free press — it’s a direct challenge.

  • Trouble with Congress includes constituents

    By LEE H. HAMILTON
    Center on Congress
    When two senators recently got into a spat over whether the Boston Marathon bombings were being politicized, the news was everywhere within minutes.
    Reams of commentary quickly followed. In the maneuvering over gun-control legislation, every twist and turn was instantly reported and then endlessly debated.

  • Fire victims thank community

    On March 29, we suffered a severe fire at our home on Blue Heron Way, Ten Mile. Our family would like to take this opportunity to thank the Roane County and neighboring fire departments, police officers and emergency squads for their experience, compassion and advice.
    We would also like to thank the Half Moon Shores community; Blue Springs Marina; Watts Bar Community Service Group; Knoxville Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center; and the various churches, family and friends for their overwhelming support and generosity throughout this terrible experience.

  • Lies in letters should be caught