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Columns

  • Going With the Flo: Attacks on conservatives sabotaging our freedom

    By Flo Charles

    “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” — Thomas Jefferson

    We must face the fact that the leftists in America do not want a free America; they just want to control America.

    This anti-American sabotage has been spreading like gangrene, blocking our president’s nominees by publicizing degrading stories to destroy their credibility and attacking conservatives with an all-out force.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Another Elegy for Appalachia

    By Mark Banker

    J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” spoke recently at the University of Tennessee. His visit to East Tennessee spurred me to share these thoughts about our similar – yet very different – journeys.

    Mine began and continues in Roane County!

    Vance’s ancestors settled in hardscrabble Eastern Kentucky at a time when coal was king. There, they developed traits that came to distinguish Appalachian: an isolated rural lifestyle, fierce independence and disdain for formal education.

  • Going with the Flo: We should all measure up to Barbara Bush’s yardstick

    By Flo Charles

    The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

    The life celebration of Barbara Bush was held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston with past presidents, dignitaries and leaders from all backgrounds and religions — 1,500 inside and thousands outside showing their respect for her life of service to her fellow man.

    She was the matriarch of one of the most powerful American political dynasties in the families of American history.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: Comments on & analysis of Watkins’ essay pt. 1

    When we wrote last week’s column concerning the mega-school proposal and the need for a vote by the people on that proposal, little did we know that this week’s column would be on the same mega-school proposal, without any intervening messages about anything else.

    But, Friday’s Opinion page featured not only our dear Flo’s column, and our own View, but also had a lengthy discussion bearing the title “New school questions now answered,” with authorship credited to Leah Rice Watkins.

  • Wage gap contributes to Tenn. poverty

    For the Roane County News

    A state-by-state analysis released for Equal Pay Day tomorrow reveals that a woman employed full time, year-round in Tennessee is typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man – a yearly pay difference of $7,745.

    That means Tennessee women lose a combined total of nearly $16 billion every year to the gender wage gap.

  • Going with the Flo: Trump strong on economy, military and in prayer

    By Flo Charles

    “If the truth be told, can’t nobody talk about nobody; we all got a past, we all got problems and we all need prayer.” Word of wisdom from a true Christian.

  • New school questions now answered

    By Leah Rice Watkins, Roane County Director of Schools

    I would like to take a moment to respond to several important questions regarding the high school building program.

    1. Why the rush for the building program? Why does it need to be done soon?

    a. In actuality, this is not a rushed program. The Lewis Group Firm was selected by the Roane County School Board in January of 2015 to analyze the high school facilities regarding security, accessibility, safety, structure, health, curriculum, and maintenance.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Does nostalgia override reform?

    Simultaneous reflection on Bethel Presbyterian Church’s 200 years and Roane County’s current school debate spurred today’s thoughts.

    Fifteen years ago, Bethel’s Session initiated a visioning process that brought attention to a host of long-neglected problems with the church’s physical plant.

    This unwelcome news coincided with a sense that church finances were strained and evoked sharply different responses from Bethel’s normally cohesive members.

  • Going With the Flo: We must recognize God’s hand in history and schools

    By Flo Charles

    One of the most important elements to the longevity of any nation is the educational system.

    The Founders believed schools and educational systems were a proper means to encourage that “religion, morality and knowledge” were necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind.

    Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), a Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the leading educator in America and called the Father of Education under the Constitution.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Does nostalgia override reform?

    By Mark Banker

    Several recent letters to the editor have expressed reservations about proposed plans for Roane County’s public schools.

    Last Friday, one lengthy letter introduced readers to philosopher-educator John Dewey and connected Dewey’s influence to today’s ongoing educational debates.