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Columns

  • From the Editor’s Desk: Woody’s sequel a good read

    “Stories from the Fog “is the sequel to Roane County Executive Ron Woody’s first book ‘Don’t Get Lost in the Fog”

    In his first book, published in 2016, Woody shared tales from his youth and crafted home-spun philosophy based on lessons he learned growing up living and working on the Tennessee River.

    Woody recalls the changes that have occurred during his lifetime, including memories of his family and friends. The importance of friendship and family are a primary theme of his narrative.

  • Going With the Flo: Spend 2019 praying to God for our country and Trump

    By Flo Charles

    Bring 2019 in by praying like we’ve never prayed before!

    God promises to heal our land if we humble ourselves, pray and turn from our wicked ways. Not protecting our country while our citizens are slaughtered is wickedness!

    Those who vote for these “leaders” are as guilty as if they shot the gun, because they contributed to their position of power!

    President Trump stayed at the White House, (except for surprising our military for Christmas), attempting to negotiate the border wall dilemma.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Wish for greater historical insight

    By Mark Banker

    HAPPY NEW YEARS! On that note, I return to the optimistic tone of several of my recent columns.

    Many readers, no doubt, dismissed as unrealistic my earlier calls for needed changes at our local, state, and national levels.

    Undaunted, I offer now an even more improbable (if self-serving) hope.

    I wish leaders and citizens of our republic might cultivate a greater sense of historical awareness and perspective.

    Perhaps no current issue is more in need of historical clarity than our southern border.

  • From the Editor’s Desk: Look to the past to guide changes in the new year

    As we face the New Year we often look to the future with goals and resolutions, many of which may be forgotten amid the reality of the cold winter months still ahead.

    As we take time to ponder the future it’s often useful to review the past year for clues that will help us navigate the coming year.

    In 2018 the Roane County School Board learned some tough lessons about the difficulty of introducing change.

    The BOE introduced the K-14 initiative, perhaps the most ambitious attempt to improve education ever made by any school district in the state.

  • Going With the Flo: Leaders in both parties sabotage our security

    By Flo Charles

    How many of you would make an omelet with a rotten egg?

    You can put one rotten egg with one good egg and it will still pollute the whole omelet, leaving a bad taste in your mouth and a bad odor all around.

    This odor of resistance has permeated our nation with elected leaders who care nothing about our safety.

    We have leadership in both parties who are sabotaging our security for control and revenge. Their agenda is “Stop Trump!” The pressure is all around him! The payrolls still go out!

  • Inside the First Amendment: Time to Stand up for Journalists, for the Pursuit of Truth

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    Unlike most of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” designees since 1927, we can be certain none of those featured this year on that iconic, red-framed cover wanted to be there.

    This year, Time has four cover images, all recognizing journalists who are imprisoned, facing charges or who died in the pursuit of news on behalf of the rest of us — collectively titled, “The Guardians and the War on Truth.”

  • THE VIEW FROM HERE: Lost antler is a holiday gas

    By SHELIA SITZLAR

    I have always been a huge fan of Christmas and love to decorate my house to the hilt for the holidays.

    I have never been one for hanging lights outside of the house, but I truly appreciate the efforts of those who light up the entire neighborhood with their outdoor decorations.

    I love to ride around during this time, as do many of my friends, to view the various light shows around the area. To me, this epitomizes the pride of Christmas decorating and allows for some spectacular displays to be enjoyed by passers-by.

  • From the Editor’s Desk: Ash spill still hot topic 10 years later

    After a decade of trying to forget the 2008 ash spill, the issue is back in the news.

    The recent finding by a jury that Jacobs Engineering covered up dangers to workers during the cleanup of the spill raises the question of whether Jacobs and its employer TVA were completely correct when they claimed residual ash was harmless to the environment.

  • Glimpses From a Teacher Historian: Kingston Christmas memories

    By Mark Banker

    Rather than risk association with the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch in this my last column before Christmas, I will resist returning to my recent promised reflections on controversial political matters.

    My last two pre-Christmas day columns focused on my father, Eugene Banker and his longtime role as Kingston’s Santa Claus. Today, my attention shifts to Mrs. Claus.

  • Going With the Flo: Comey interview similar to watching dishonest child

    By Flo Charles

    James Comey’s answers to the questions about the FBI leadership reminded me of the training sessions my husband and I took to understand how to help kids placed in foster care.

    It was an intense training where you have the symptoms of a consistent lying character, but you are trying to help that child become a functioning credible asset to society.

    Mr. Comey’s behavior demonstrates a type of behavior we studied. Unattached children lie all the time, not just once in a while.