• A View From Lick Skillet: Will we be lucky enough to ‘muddle through?’

    Gentle reader, when we returned from lunch on Tuesday, our telephone answering machine was blinking, indicating there was a message thereon. And there was. It was one of these scam messages, purporting to be from the Social Security office, warning that we were in a heap of trouble because a warrant had been issued for our arrest for all manner of fraud and criminal conduct for which we were going to be arrested real soon! But to get the matter put right, we should immediately call 800-936-8151.

  • Going With the Flo: There is a threat to our freedom in this country

    By Flo Charles

    With freedom comes responsibility!

    We are in a very dangerous time in America. Warnings have repeatedly been dismissed that would have shown, more than ever before, our increased vulnerability.

    More than 90 Americans ran for office at the national, state and local levels in 2018, seeking to build a powerful Muslim political infrastructure by engaging in American politics to increase Islamic influence.

    Out of the 90, 50 won political offices from municipal to federal levels.

  • Wading Through the Numbers: Providing rural services of fire protection and animal control

    By Ron Woody

    Previous articles addressed the question of whether the county has an emergency fund and how the county operates an ambulance department like an independent business in the fund structure of accounting.

    This third article focuses on rural fire service and animal control. Rural Service means a service available to residents who live outside the boundaries of city government.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Father, daughter both worry about current political climate

    By Mark Banker

    Last week’s reflections on Biblical justice revealed influences from my most immediate and important forebear. Today’s debt goes to my most immediate and important heir.

    Tollie Jean Banker was born in Albuquerque in 1980. Carrying the names of three men — great-grandfather, grandfather and father — and growing up in culturally-rich New Mexico imprinted our daughter in ways Kathy and I could not have foreseen.

  • Environmental sampling complete at Swan Pond

    By John Shaw


    The Swan Pond Sports Complex and Lakeshore Park were created as part of the cleanup and rehabilitation activities associated with the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash release at the Kingston Fossil Plant that occurred on December 22, 2008.

    However, serious health impact concerns arouse during cleanup worker court proceedings as to the hazardous nature of coal ash.

  • Going With the Flo: Never leave the fallen down, instead help to lift them up

    By Flo Charles

    “Anyone can find the dirt on someone; You be the one who finds the gold!”

    I had heard this statement some time ago and thought of it as I watched President Trump present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods.

    Tiger Woods exhibited great fortitude in his spectacular achievement on the golf course, but also in life – overcoming personal failures – allowing the consequences of his choices to restore his goals and desires.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Do black masters get reparations? Should anybody?

    Gentle reader, one of the aspects of having more than 20 candidates for president in the Democratic primary race is the fact that all manner of exotic topics will be introduced as genuine issues upon which each of the candidates is expected to have a well thought-out, reasonable, unexceptionable view which he or she is expected to be able to expound at great length, or alternatively give as a 20 second sound-bite for the TV cameras.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Religious voices may disagree, but can come together for good

    By Mark Banker

    “What does the Lord require of you … but to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

    Thanks to my devout, spiritually curious father, this verse from the prophet Micah is permanently imprinted in my soul.

    But, as Dad would surely remind me, one is never too old nor too wise to glimpse new insights.

  • Wading Through the Numbers: How does Roane County pay for its ambulance operation?

    By Ron Woody

    In a previous article “Does Roane County Government have an Emergency Fund”? I discussed how county government accounting and budgeting is established by fund accounting. In the previous article I talked about how funds are operated like independent companies. The county operates 24 “fund/companies” and one of those is the Roane County Ambulance Services.

    The Ambulance Service accounting is similar to that of an ambulance company with, of course, some accounting exceptions.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Some random thoughts while reading the News

    Gentle reader, before we get into the main area of today’s article, which is random thoughts occurring while reading recent issues of the News, we must take care of one item from last week’s column. That item is our expressed uncertainty as to the status of Mr. Henry Redmond vis-a-vis the Chamber of Commerce. When writing the piece, we did not know whether he “continues as an Ambassador in good standing, and still ‘officially represents the Chamber’.”