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Today's Features

  • I can remember when I was a teenager, secretly dying to be 30.
    I thought: “People would finally take me serious when I am 30.”
    Kind of like when you are in elementary school and you cannot wait to get acne—because it is a mark of age.
    Growing up, all we want to do is grow up.
    We want time to fly, years to pass, until we get to that magical age where everything comes together and life just makes sense.
    I turned 31 last weekend.
    And life still does not make any sense.

  •  

    There’s just something about putting in a hard day’s work that makes a man sleep better at night.

    And when you build a porch from scratch, you sleep like a baby.

    We have officially dove headfirst into home improvement projects lately, considering trips to Lowe’s with its car buggies “fun for the whole family.”

    And who knew you could cram 1x4 boards into the floorboard of a minivan?

    You learn something new every day.

    And so it began.

  • When I was little, my father never drove the interstate to Knoxville.
    Or, if we planned a trip to visit family for the day in Clinton, we would drive Tenn. 116 into Lake City.
    Rarely ever did we see the green dragon or the (now removed) Thacker Christmas Inn tree sign, as we were always on the other side of the dusty trail. My brother and I would cruise along in the backseat of our silver Dodge Dynasty, singing along to the latest hits on the weekly top 40 and enjoy the commentary provided by DJ Casey Kasem.

  • Last year, I fully believed that a shopping excursion during Tennessee’s official tax-free weekend would be a plan of sheer brilliance.
    School supplies, computers and clothing­—all sans taxation?
    It seemed sublime. Turns out, it was a rather horrific experience that only the strongest of shoppers can overcome.
    Did I really need to save 9.25 percent on marker boards and glitter pencils for my home-schooled children?
    The answer is no—no I did not.

  • It was a tumultuous storm through which everyone on land and sea tried so desperately to take cover.

    The wind and waves blew so violently that their tiny boat rocked back and forth uncontrollably.

    Desperately, they tried to lighten the load by tossing overboard items that were no longer necessary in stormy weather.

    “Hold on!” one of the passengers cried. “The wind’s about to pick up!”

    They clutched their hands to the side of the boat, white knuckles gripping the watercraft in a desperate attempt to stay aboard.

  • SCOTT COUNTY—Emerald Ash Borer — an invasive insect that destroys ash trees — has been found in neighboring Scott County.
    The identification was made recently and has been confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
    The county will now be placed under quarantine —  a growing list, which already included Campbell, Knox and 17 other counties in Tennessee.

  • Campbell County High School Art Club president Shelby Maiden is pictured with her entry in the 2013 Wildlife Forever State Fish Art Competition. Shelby won first place in the state competition and was recognized nationally at the awards banquet held in Perry, Ga.
     

  • ANDERSON COUNTY—Boyer Farms brings their summer music festival back to East Tennessee for its third year. Situated on 75 acres of rolling farm land — the horse farm takes on its alter ego as a music venue. Ten regional and local bands bring their performances to the stage Friday and Saturday. This year’s headliner includes Foz Rock’s new collaboration, Avenue of The Giants. Foz Rock was a long time member of the group Rehab whose fame includes the songs “Bartender” and “Welcome Home.”  

  • GATLINBURG—Nashville’s Music Row moves to the mountains today through Sunday, when more than 30 hit singer-songwriters will perform at free concerts there at the second annual Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival.
    Organizer Cyndy Montgomery Reeves, festival founder and director, said the festival will include three luncheon presentations on building a music career.
    For a schedule of free performances by hit writers and workshop times and enrollment costs, see www.smswf.com.
     

  • We heard the rumbling in the distance, like that of large tires blazing through a dusty trail of gravel. We scampered high to the old porch in anticipation, in an attempt to be the first to catch a glance at our farm mode of transportation.  Barreling around the final curve toward home, with squeaks and sounds of shocks in dire need of replacing, it arrived in glorious splendor — an oversized, somewhat white truck with a few kisses of rust placed here and about.