Local Columnists

Jun. 25, 2013 @ 11:16 PM

Beverly Finnell: Judeo-Christian principles are under assault

The First Amendment of our Constitution states that Congress cannot make a law that protects one religion over another or to limit the practice of any religion.

Jun. 16, 2013 @ 06:11 PM

Stan Voit: A little bit of this, that for June day

A little bit of this and that for a warm summer’s day ...

Looking forward to attending my first Smokies baseball game of the season this week as a guest of former reporter Derek Hodges, who is celebrating his birthday at the ballpark. Derek now works for Ka-Tom, located in the Smith-Thomas Industrial Park.

Jun. 08, 2013 @ 11:59 PM

Stan Voit: Kids: Get out of the house and be active!

I’ve had to take a detour the last two weeks or so while repairs are made to Snapp Road. It has meant I drive through neighborhoods I usually don’t drive through. Funny thing I have noticed: There are no kids playing outside.

Jun. 02, 2013 @ 11:08 PM

Dan Smith: Americans need to know truth about Libya attack

If I said Benghazi, what would that word mean to you? It is a town in Libya where our U.S. diplomatic compound was attacked on Sept. 11, 2012.

Jun. 02, 2013 @ 01:00 AM

Stan Voit: Humpy Wheeler wants changes with NASCAR

There are a few things I know I’ll never attend with my wife: a professional wrestling match, a trip to China and a NASCAR race. That’s OK. Not all southerners like wrestling and stock car racing. But seeing the Great Wall together would be nice.

May. 19, 2013 @ 11:03 PM

Dan Smith: President must have known of scandal at IRS

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.

May. 19, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Jill Frye: Dolly, we will always love you and what you do

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.”

May. 19, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Duty to inform trumped worry over Forge vote

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.

May. 14, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Rick Holmes: Return trip to community shows changes

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.

May. 13, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

Stan Voit: New Zealand here I come ... maybe one day

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.

May. 06, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Grand Canyon by river a thrill like none other

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.

May. 05, 2013 @ 11:04 PM

Dan Smith: Exploring space thing of the past for United States

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.

Apr. 22, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Time to clean out notebook one more time

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.

Apr. 21, 2013 @ 11:44 PM

Dan Smith: More horrible events seem to be in nation’s future

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.

Apr. 15, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Fond farewell to Annette and Roger Ebert

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.

Apr. 08, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Polls show one thing, politicians do quite another

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?

Apr. 01, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Alexander vote record prompts sharp right turn

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.

Mar. 26, 2013 @ 06:46 PM

Kenneth Burns: Love affair with newspapers has never waned

I’ll never forget what a journalist friend said when I told him I was thinking about getting into the profession.

Mar. 16, 2013 @ 10:34 PM

Stan Voit: Chicken pies, fish sticks not part of my table


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?

Mar. 11, 2013 @ 12:02 AM

Stan Voit: Local man has big dreams for app he created

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.

Mar. 04, 2013 @ 12:02 AM

Stan Voit: CASA stays open to serve troubled kids

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.

Feb. 28, 2013 @ 12:18 AM

Guest Column: Babies born drug-dependent must be stopped

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.

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 12:24 AM

Dan Smith: Disney World remains big hit with young, old

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.

Feb. 25, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

Stan Voit: Sequestration tough, but it’s what US needs

You have to wonder if this country’s national leaders ever will see their way clear to significant cuts to the federal budget.