• 'What I saw'

    By Christie Elkins

    Unwashed faces, cold embraces, empty looks of sleepless nights. Tubs filled with trash, no place to bathe, toilets overflowing. 

    This is what I saw. 

    Drugs hidden in microwaves, meth labs where kids used to play, sleeping on the floor since someone took the bed away. 

    This is what I saw. 

    Wearing pajamas to school — since that was the only thing clean. Relying on free lunch — since they hadn’t eaten in days. 

  • From a Mother's Heart

     John the Baptist told two of his disciples (Andrew and, most likely, John or Philip) that Jesus was the “Lamb of God,” and suddenly, they turned around and followed him. Jesus asked bluntly, “What do you want?” 

    It was perfectly timed, with a well-placed question. 

  • Spiritually Speaking

     If you are a Christian and you love the Lord do you ever feel like searching your heart?

    I am going to paraphrase Psalm 139 NIV, please read it in its entirety.

    O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

    You hem me in, behind and before you have laid your hand upon me such knowledge is too lofty for me to attain.

  • On Higher Ground
  • GOVERNOR: Healthcare a complex issue facing this state

    There is no more important, or more complex, issue facing our country and our state today than healthcare.

    While Tennessee is doing a better job than the rest of the country in controlling costs of Medicaid growth, the costs are still taking a larger and larger percentage of our budget each year.  

    For the last several months, I’ve been working on a plan to change the way healthcare coverage looks in Tennessee.

  • What I learned when I went to jail

     I went to jail last week. I wasn’t arrested. I wanted to go.

    For several years I have known that a women’s jail ministry existed. I knew that each Sunday the women of Celebrate Recovery gave of themselves expecting nothing in return. But knowing it and seeing it are two different things.

    So last Sunday I willingly entered the guts of the county jail. And while I will tell you I would strongly prefer never returning there I don’t regret going. 

  • New look, new editor at The Press

    Dear readers: 

    I hope you enjoy this edition of the LaFollette Press. 

    For 103 years this publication has been bringing you the best of local news, features and sports. We’ve also provided extras, like job and real estate listings, death notices and thousands of dollar-saving coupons. 

    Don’t worry. We’re not stopping that anytime soon. 

    In fact, we’re giving you even more. 

  • Luck of the Irish

    "If he is born after midnight, he will be born on St. Patrick’s Day,” the nurse smiled, then gently closed the heavy wooden door to my labor and delivery room. I flashed a weak and nervous smile and sighed. He was not supposed to be here yet. We had already been warned that he could have a collapsed lung or spend days in the NICU. 

    He was not due until mid-April, yet here we were, ready to welcome to the world our first son. 

  • The time for closure has come

     Last week’s ruling from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in the Kenneth Bartley case wasn’t news- so to speak. What it was and still is disruptive and upsetting.

    Pleas are meant to bring closure and allow people to move forward.

    Bartley’s plea has done nothing of the sort. Instead it has been a legal volleyball from the moment it was entered.

    Seated in the jury box that day watching the 15- year- old Bartley agree he was guilty of fatally shooting Ken Bruce and wounding Jim Pierce and Gary Seals, I was concerned. 

  • Board of education members should take heed of their responsibilities

    The outpouring of support for Campbell County Director of Schools Donnie Poston has been moving to say the least.

    At last week’s special called meeting many members of the community turned out in support of the embattled Poston. They rallied behind him in a show of support or force depending on where you fall on the issue of his contract renewal.

    But why did it come to this?

    The answer is simple. Some things never change.