• They come in every shape and size and they’re made from every material: The Christmas tree. Some are cedars, some are pines, some are paper and some are plastic; some fill up the room, and others sit on table tops.


  • Before I unintentionally stumbled into the international lifestyle that I have led for the past 20 years, and well before I received my first passport and served overseas as an officer in the United States Army, I entertained ideas typical for an untraveled person. I thought, for example, that all Germans wore leather knickerbockers and ate Sauerkraut; that French fries were invented in France; that all Englishmen sported tweed jackets and carried black umbrellas; and that all Russians suffered from addiction to vodka.

  • Author, speaker, and reality star from “The Apprentice” Omarosa Manigault Stallworth once said, “In the classroom known as life; no man’s your friend and no man’s your enemy, but every man’s your teacher.”

    Do you ever wonder why people come into our lives and eventually leave us?

  • I am a reporter and I get paid to ask questions. But  it is hard to get answers when board members don’t attend meetings. That was the situation in Jellico this past week. There I stood pen and paper in hand and nobody to talk to.

    Again, there was a lack of a quorum at the board’s scheduled monthly meeting.

    As a reporter, I get to see many of the municipalities go about handling not only day-to-day affairs, but often unexpected business as well.  But how is Jellico handling its business? To be quite honest, it appears they are not.

  • The title says it all. Sounds bizarre, huh?

    While coming up with the concept for this week’s story, I wanted to hit on more than just turkey, parades and gathering together with loved ones. Important as getting together with family is, I didn’t want to write what you, the reader, have been used to, or what you would anticipate me to write about for Thanksgiving.

  • On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln, issued a proclamation of thanksgiving which set apart the last Thursday of November as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

    Earlier in his administration on November 28, 1861, Lincoln had ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.  After that, there became an increasing interest to have Thanksgiving the same day in all the states.

  • As details in the Joseph Smith and Michelle Douglas’ case emerge, I am reminded of the Haley Spicer abuse case.

    In both cases, there is a biological parent and a paramour of some sorts and a child. A child that for some reason became the communal whipping post.

    It sickens me.

    The children at the center of both cases are believed to have suffered unspeakable pain. Their little bodies were covered in cigarette burns; they had untreated broken bones and bruises on obscure parts of their anatomy.

  • Have you ever been so excited to do something that you just couldn’t wait?

    I’m sure all of you have been there. It’s those moments when Pandora has to take a peak inside the box and the cat dies of curiosity a.k.a. you just can’t darn-well take it anymore!

  • Saturday nights in the fall of the year are a magical time. Whether it is attending little league football games, cheering on UT, or just spending time with your family, Saturdays tend to be more relaxing than Sunday.  

    However, this past Saturday night, in the middle of the night, Nancy Pelosi and her Liberal colleagues passed a bill they claim will reform the health care industry. The unfortunate truth is it will do nothing of the sort and could be devastating to the American economy.    

  • American author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “The things that count most in life are the things that can‘t be counted.”

    The one thing I love about this time of year are the leaves.

    You’re probably going to disagree with me, but the one thing I find rather soothing is raking leaves into piles.

    There’s always been something about yard work that’s somewhat therapeutic.

  • We live in a fast forward society.

    We want our information now, our coffee in an instant and our packages expressed.

    This leaves me wondering- what’s the hurry?

    I question this pace even more when it comes to our children, especially our girl children.

    It seems that not only are they in a hurry to grow up, they have begun to take matters into their own hands physically forcing the hands of time forward.

    Little girls no longer look little. Older girls look even older.

  • I am in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina, as I write this. Buenos Aires is the capital of the world’s best steaks and the one and only Tango.

  • In recent months city newspapers have been tanking left and right.

    It seems like the biggest publications are barely hanging on in these times of economic uncertainty, and some of them are just plain going broke.

    In fact, I have read several stories from some of the larger news organizations about the dismal hope of future monetary gains for newsprint even after the current recession is over.

    On any given day I can see thousands of students on The University of Tennessee campus 'plugged in' to headphones and iPods and cell phones.

  • Picture this:  You wake up one morning and everything seems perfect. Your paycheck is more than you thought it would be, your car runs right for a change, and you enter your favorite store to buy that thing you always wanted.

    You walk through the front door and then, without warning, it happens. You see “them.” You know who “them” is. “Them” is that he or she that did something so catastrophic, and made life horrible for you. What’s worse is they see you in return.

    So, what do you do?