• On Earth Day, I went for what felt like an incredibly long hike along the Cumberland Trail in order to benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Association.

    While I raised money and hopefully a little awareness, I was really the one who benefited from the experience.

    Two days walking 18 miles through the mountains with my best friend and my dog through sunshine and fresh air taught me a lot about myself, who I am and what life is really about.

  • For nearly three years, I have witnessed the way small town governments work.

    I have gotten to see elected officials battle against falling revenues, downtrodden economies and shortages of employees. I have seen hours reduced, equipment reduced and even manpower reduced.

    But when a mayor that truly cares recently made a suggestion for the betterment of his town, I was shocked that only two board members backed him up.

  • The Bible (Hebrews 13:2) says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers. For thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

    This past week, a community and church lost a very special lady. Everyone who read the obituary knew her as Lou J. Nealy. To those of us who had the pleasure of knowing this special lady, she was Mama Lou and she touched my life in a special way no one knows about until now.

  • I’m mad.  

    Okay, maybe not really mad, but more than a little irked.

    It all started on Tuesday night at the board of education meeting, which is a little unusual considering that is one of the least controversial beats I cover.

    Anyway, I walked into the meeting just in time to catch a presentation by members of the Campbell County High School Student Council outlining all of the great things the school has to offer.

  • Marcel Proust, the famous French writer and philosopher, penned between 1913 and 1927 one of the most famous works in the western literary tradition. Entitled In Search of Lost Time, this seven-volume novel remains today a bestseller. It is little wonder man is perpetually searching for, or trying to recapture, lost time.

  • So what’s the deal with all the signs?  

    Now before someone starts thinking I’ve gone ‘round the bend, let me just say I am well aware that there is an election coming up.

    But I still don’t get it.

    What does putting up signs from one end of the county to the other accomplish except a whole lot of post-election work for candidates who can’t remember where they put them all?  Or do they really mean something?

  •  That’s right, my friends, today is a very special day.

    It’s a holiday.

    While you’re reading this, I want to wish you a Happy Play Dress-Up With A Raccoon Day, a Happy Talk Like A Mad Scientist Day, and a Happy Chocolate Cake Appreciation Day.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. You probably think I’ve lost my marbles or perhaps I’m one brick shy of a load. Please allow me to explain my fascination with such an unusual thing.    

  • Life, we all know, is a matter of perspective. In America, the nation of boundless freedom and wide open spaces, perspectives are as numerous as our citizens. We are a hyper-pluralistic society, one where everyone’s perspective, mainstream or off-the-wall, generally finds its way to the public forum. That’s what makes America the great nation it is.

  • I recently wrote a sad story about drug use and child abuse, but there was a small ray of light; the police and the Department of Children’s Services had intervened in the situation.

    After writing that article, I was alleged to have placed the DCS worker in danger, by using her name. When writing articles about crime, my information comes from police reports, which are public documents and therefore public domain. This means that anyone can access these records.

    I did not write anything that was secret information.

  • Journalists are always looking to land the exclusive interview.

    We all want to sit down with the “It” person of the moment and garner  details that no one else has uncovered.

    It seems that no matter how outrageous, wicked or just plain stupid someone acts there is a journalist waiting to interview them.

    So, being a journalist, when Phillip Pack began talking to me last week at his murder trial I stopped to listen, until I heard what he was saying.

  • The word socialism has come up a lot in our political debate over the last year.

    Perhaps you’ve noticed whenever a commentator has used this term, usually in context of some new Obama initiative, there’s nervous laughter and awkward gestures of embarrassment. Ever wonder why?  Let’s take a look at the definition:

  • Thomas Hobbes, a 16th century English philosopher, famously said that life is “poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

    For much of the human existence, Hobbes’s observation hit the nail on the head; human life, as wonderful as it is, was, and remains today, overshadowed by cruelty.

  • Easter is by far one of my favorite times of the year.

    Although the religious significance of the season is a big part of why I love this time of year, it’s also the feeling in the atmosphere that excites me. The smell of hyacinths and honeysuckles that fill the warm, sun-kissed air and the vibrant colors that can’t help but make you feel at ease in the midst of personal storms.

  • At Monday night’s county commission meeting the group agreed to move forward with a justice center. That is great.

    But let’s be honest we have been here before.

    In fact, many times before. The last three budget cycles have all had allocations for a new justice center.

    Why the hold ups and hold offs?

    It could be any number of reasons. From the commission’s apprehension about borrowing money to some feeling ambivalent about taking care of criminals the delays have happened.

  • Let me start by saying I am a cat lover. I always have been. They’re neat, require little attention and basically fend for themselves; they’re more like extended stay house guests that you only occasionally have to entertain.

    What more could you want in a pet right?

    Well recently that all changed when I adopted a white German Shepherd puppy named Rosa Barks and believe me when I say that -Rosa barks!

    In the few short months that I have owned her, this dog has utterly turned my life upside down.

  • Shortly after the current LaFollette City Council was elected rumblings began that it could be a difficult group to work for.

    That statement could be said about nearly every elected body. However, as the months have passed the council has taken what began as speculation and given it a fair amount of credibility.

    But last week’s out of the blue chastising of fire chief Gary Byrd was dreadful. I will give the council some credit for not instigating the conflict. Nonetheless it gets a failing grade for not defending a long time city employee.

  • Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah once said, “Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache. You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.”

    Oh, well. Judy Collins sung it best. Hey, I’m just the messenger. Nevertheless, I’m excited about something. Spring is about to be sprung and I‘m more than ready for it.