There are so many topics in the news to write about, that I had a hard time making a decision. I’m happy that so many of you appreciate my views, even if we disagree.
Last week, I had an opportunity to attend a special media event for the opening of Splash Country’s newest attraction, the first water coaster in Tennessee. Later the same day, I attended the ribbon cutting and preview of Parton’s latest show, “My people: Dolly’s Letters Home.”
We in the news business forget sometimes that readers don’t really understand or appreciate what goes into producing stories and deciding where they go in the paper.
I left Sevier County in 1985, after five years spent reporting the news and voicing my opinions in The Mountain Press. I wouldn’t say I never looked back, for I thought often and positively about my years here. But I never got around to coming back — until April.
During my eight days in the Grand Canyon, cut off from the outside world, I did what folks don’t usually do these days: talk to other people, making real conversation. Instead of watching TV, reading a book or playing a video game, everyone on the trip passed the time at night engaging the others.
Some 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year, and almost all of them see it from the top down. It’s impressive. However, not nearly as many have viewed it from the bottom up, rafting along the roughly 270 miles of the Colorado River, a mile or so below the rims.
In the news recently was an story about the price that America has to pay to get a lift to the Space Station. It is costing NASA $424 million to grab a seat for our six astronauts to go into space, which we pay to Russia.
Cleaning out the notebook, and the mind, of a few little things. ...
A bill that is about to pass the General Assembly will change the state’s judicial districts, but it won’t have any effect on Sevier County. The 4th Judicial District will still include Sevier, Cocke, Grainger and Jefferson counties.
Some things need to be said. I don’t believe in Bible Thumping, but truth must always be available to all people. Bible precepts are the basis of our nation and many others around the world.
Almost every weekday afternoon in the mid-1950s, when my father would come home from his store, he’d find me in front of the television watching “The Mickey Mouse Club.” The same was true in the houses of my friends as well, at least the ones who had TVs. In the mid-1950s television sets were not everywhere yet.
How is an elected official supposed to know what the public wants him to do? Better yet, should his decisions as an elected official be based just on consensus from his constituents, or on his own sense of right and wrong?
If you think the idea of bipartisanship is a good thing welcomed by all Americans, think again. That may be a stated desire of members of Congress and the president, but when you answer to constituents back home, it can create some problems.
I’ll never forget what a journalist friend said when I told him I was thinking about getting into the profession.
I was out to eat with some friends not long ago, and I asked if anyone might want an appetizer of shrimp. “Oh, no,” one said. “I hate shrimp.”
He hates shrimp. That’s fine. But where did that hatred come from? Was he born hating it? Did he get some bad shrimp one time? Is he a vegetarian? Does he own goldfish?
There are around a million applications — commonly called apps — available to be downloaded to a tablet or smartphone. Robin Aletras has one in mind. He hopes it will become one of those success stories so he can share the profits with a local ministry and, frankly, make some money for himself.
They’re called Court Appointed Special Advocates, better known by the acronym CASA.
These are volunteers who go through 30 hours of training and then agree to be advocates for children in crisis. They meet with school officials. They make home visits. They report to the judge. They are perhaps the lone person on the planet who exists solely to serve the needs of a particular child in trouble.
Too many babies are born in Tennessee dependent on addictive drugs their mother took while pregnant. Often within a few hours of delivery, the baby starts the painful process of withdrawal. It’s difficult to watch, even if you’re a clinician accustomed to seeing a lot of suffering.
As I’m writing this, I’m in Orlando, at a time-share unit. Part of my family flew in from England, and the other part from Washington State.
You have to wonder if this country’s national leaders ever will see their way clear to significant cuts to the federal budget.
In his fifth State of the Union address, President Obama underscored the importance of creating jobs and promoting economic growth, addressing the upcoming sequester, making investments in education and infrastructure, and passing comprehensive immigration reform.
The Pigeon Forge Parks and Recreation Department has been advertising in our paper for umpires, and each time I see it I am reminded of my own experience as an umpire for youth baseball and adult softball.
We all have had friends through the years. Some we’ve had since we were children. Those are the rarest of all since we tend to disperse all over the country. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Who among us has not been shopping in Kroger or Food City or Wal-Mart and had someone — sensing we were locals — approach us to ask: Where can I buy wine? Why don’t they have it in the grocery store?
As director of a small-helps ministry whose main emphasis has been to render support to other parachurch ministries, to help further their ongoing outreach to those in need, surface involvement in hot-button political issues has generally taken a backseat.