Local Columnists

Aug. 10, 2013 @ 11:52 PM

Stan Voit: Happy 32nd anniversary to my son

A person my age can look back on a life of missed opportunities, wasted chances. Would-be fortunes have been lost. A lot of “if onlys...” I’ve had my share. But I’ve had blessings.


Aug. 06, 2013 @ 11:04 PM

Dan Smith: Ambassadors often have been political donors

Just recently, Caroline Kennedy was appointed to be the new Ambassador to Japan. How did that come about? Was she an expert on Japan? No.


Aug. 04, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

Stan Voit: Arrowmont is an institution worth saving

Three years ago some local officials, in an effort to assure the board of Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts that the community was serious about keeping the school in Gatlinburg, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that spelled out what Arrowmont and community leaders were prepared to do to make it happen.


Aug. 03, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

Upland Chronicles: Annual conference of governors once held in Gatlinburg

In 1951, one of the most spectacular events in Gatlinburg’s history unfolded. The 43rd annual Governors’ Conference was held there from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. Governors from all 48 states attended along with territorial governors representing Alaska and Hawaii.


Aug. 02, 2013 @ 11:14 PM

Carl Mays: Be the friend you want to have

Early in my career I wrote a children’s book titled “The Magic of J.B.,” which was published by Broadman Press and later adapted into a film strip program. Now out of print, the book is about a 10-year-old girl who, in addition to being the fastest runner in her school, does seem to have magical qualities.


Aug. 01, 2013 @ 11:07 PM

Dave Merrill: Those lovers of materialism often win out

What appears to be another nail in the coffin of traditional Christian/Judeo ethics, of this nation, was hammered in by this nation’s Supreme Court, on June 28. It was that pivotal day that a majority caucus of this judicial body essentially redefined the traditional marriage bed to reflect an increasingly popular Hollywood propagated cultural value system.


Jul. 23, 2013 @ 11:41 PM

Dan Smith: Imperfect beings continue struggle to do what’s right

With a story this big, you just know I would have to comment on it. I believe I can add a few new sides and bits of information that you might not have heard yet.


Jul. 16, 2013 @ 11:28 PM

Tom von Berg: Assess students, tailor educations in teaching kids

Despite what leaders in education and government are saying, education reform in Tennessee is not likely to reach its goals of a highly educated, career-ready workforce.


Jul. 13, 2013 @ 11:45 PM

Stan Voit: Random thoughts on this and that for summer day

A little bit of this and that for a hot summer day ...


Jul. 09, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

Dan Smith: Twinkies back, so forget dieting and enjoy them

Next Monday we’re all in for a tasty treat. July 15 is when the world will be able to buy that old and reliable cream and yellow cake junk food known as the Twinkie.


Jul. 02, 2013 @ 11:48 PM

Jayne Vaughn: Animal shelter objectives often misunderstood

A frequently asked question of the Sevier County Humane Society is, “Are you a no-kill shelter?” The answer to that question is no. The Sevier County Humane Society is an open admission, full service animal shelter.


Jun. 30, 2013 @ 11:37 PM

Dan Smith: Remember our history as nation observes birthday

This Thursday marks the 237th birthday of the United States of America. You can always argue the dates, and you would be right on a few of them that differ from July 4, 1776.


Jun. 30, 2013 @ 11:09 AM

Stan Voit: Bootleggers had container source in family business

Four years ago in Sevier County you could only get a margarita in Gatlinburg. Not only can you get one in any of the three cities these days, but we soon may be the moonshine capital of America.


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.