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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014
National Newspaper Week: Really, it's about you (10/09/14)
Thanks for reading this -- and the rest of today's newspaper, or the other content on our website. Because YOU are why we do what we do. This is National Newspaper Week and, as always, we hosted a "coffee" (for most of us, it's actually about the food and the people -- coffee takes a back seat)...
Think progress and back industrial park (10/05/14)
Just an empty field -- for now. But that field near Heritage Medical Center represents a crossroads for Bedford County's future. Tennessee is a magnet for manufacturing firms. Business executives are attracted to our state by lower cost of living, lesser union influence -- and a welcoming attitude from city and county leaders...
Beliefs should still be respected (07/03/14)
So many politicians and pundits are missing the entire point about Tuesday's Supreme Court decision allowing some employers to opt out of birth control coverage for women in insurance plans. No one's trying to tell women how to live their lives or deny anyone's rights. It's simply about respecting faith-based groups' beliefs...
A few houses make a big impact on neighborhoods (06/22/14)
Just a few thoughts... *Hopefully the city of Shelbyville is still paying attention to rundown houses blighting neighborhoods. A concerned citizen called me last week complaining about the condition of a house on Bethany Lane -- uninhabited, in a state of disrepair with part of the front literally appearing to be falling off, shingles missing, no front door...
Common Core: Right or wrong answer? (05/22/14)
Common Core. The new proposed method for educating America's children is divisive -- and I wonder if anyone really has the answers. Proponents say it's designed to teach children to think through answers -- teaching the thought process, in effect -- rather than just memorizing facts. That's a simplistic explanation, and there's much more to it...
Princess doesn't reign on the street (04/24/14)
I met a princess on Monday night. But if you think this is going to be a gushy love story...no. Prince Charming and the Princess didn't work out... (stifle the giggles, y'all...) Princess wasn't too happy to see me. At first she didn't notice. She was totally absorbed in her own little world, as royalty can sometimes be...
Summer's on the way: Word from a fly (04/20/14)
Summer's coming. A fly told me. It didn't have to speak. He buzzed through and stopped by my computer screen for a moment. It was the first fly I've seen since last fall. Was it a he or a she? Ever thought about the fact you can't easily tell the gender of a fly? Actually. the female's 25 perccent larger and the male's abdomen is striped differently...
Time for a little more caring (02/09/14)
"My wife and children don't care about me and haven't helped me since I had my stroke." Sad words from a man being treated for swollen legs and feet -- frankly, the best description would be neglect -- at Heritage Medical Center's emergency room. "His wife tells him he stinks when he is around her," a police officer called by a nurse wrote in his report...
Real needs and meaningless promises (01/09/14)
Her pleading words revealed she was hurting emotionally. The look on her face was touching. "Are you going towards Belmont Avenue?" the bedraggled woman in the lobby of Shelbyville's Walmart asked on a bone-chilling Tuesday night. I wasn't. And I'm not in the habit of giving rides to people I don't know. Kinda felt guilty about saying no, but you don't take chances these days...
The real freedom is the right to speak (12/26/13)
Looks like Phil Robertson's everywhere on this page today. The "Duck Dynasty" patriarch, who was given a "vacation" from the show by A&E Network officials for simply quoting scripture reflecting his views on homosexuals, may be getting the last laugh. Let's hope so...
Our job: Be ready to do a job (12/05/13)
Bedford County, we have a problem. Our job -- which, if successful, can lead to more jobs -- is to fix a problem one large industry says hinders hiring locally. We have plenty of people who need jobs. But are they hireable? Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright recently said a "large local employer looking to hire several hundred workers" - from recent news reports we know it's Calsonic -- "can't find an adequate workforce locally."...
Idiotology rules in Washington (10/03/13)
Among the bookmarks on my home computer is a government-operated website giving the exact-to-the-second time. It wasn't there Tuesday. Gone -- due to the government shutdown. How appropriate. Our lawmakers have no time for us anymore. Now, it's all about idiotology -- uh, ideology -- and the public be damned. (I know idiotology isn't a word. But it needs to be added to the dictionary...) The rule now ruling: Promote your own political party, no matter the damage to the nation...
Some who matter -- and some who don't (09/22/13)
Three groups. Three outlooks. People gathered Friday to honor prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. All there -- whether present in everyone's minds or present in person -- represented what's best about America: A nation's people, of all backgrounds, coming together to honor those who cared enough to go through extreme conditions -- including willingness to give their lives -- to keep our nation free...
Stricter gun laws aren't the answer (09/19/13)
Twelve people are killed because of the "voices" in a troubled man's mind. So the gun control advocates are at it again. And I'm usually not one to use the term "liberal" media, but the choices of cartoons I had for today's editorial page are ridiculous...
Crudity, straight from the top (09/05/13)
I'm no prude, but the attitude -- more than the on-screen gyrations -- of Miley Cyrus reflects a growing crassness among too many Americans (and elsewhere, for that matter). Add a self-centered, I'll-do-what-I-want-to attitude and yes, folks, we may have a problem...
Real life isn't what leaders think (09/01/13)
Gnarled, wrinkled hands push the lawn mower...or plow...or tractor. Sweat pours from the brow of the old man who's spent his life helping feed others as well as his own family. In a nearby farmhouse, his wife shuffles to the kitchen,smiling at a wall full of photos ad mementos of a hard-working life -- and, of course, grandchildren -- as she passes. ...
Just the perfect place to be (07/14/13)
Just looking out over Shelbyville from one of the overlooking hills - say, New Hope Road or County Line Road on Chestnut Ridge - is one of the most comforting feelings in the world. Look during early morning or late afternoon. The buildings we all visit everyday, nestled in the foggy valleys amidst the sun's rising or setting glow. ...
The Paula problem (06/30/13)
Paula Deen. There. Your strongly-held opinion of her probably flashed across your mind as you read her name, right? We heard from two women -- one black, one white -- who disliked an editorial cartoon showing Deen last week. At least there was some common ground there...
Just who exactly does own us? (06/23/13)
Who do we belong to? The IRS? God? The federal government? Ourselves? I'm still pondering that one. Because it may not matter who we think we belong to. Example: George Zimmer, founder and commercial guy for Gentleman's Wearhouse. You know, the "You're going to like the way you look.." voice...
Free expression must not be attacked (05/16/13)
Enough already. The public has the right to advocate causes, and the media the right to report news, without government intrusion. Probes by the Internal Revenue Service into records of conservative groups such as the Tea Party are completely uncalled for. ...
It's safe to release roadblock info (05/09/13)
Roadblocks -- as we call them or, as they're officially called, driver's license or sobriety checkpoints. Since last year the Tennessee Highway Patrol and, on one occasion, Bedford County Sheriff's Department have issued press releases with times and somewhat non-specific locations of their checkpoints...
Politicians are abusing America (04/11/13)
It's too bad politicians can't be immediately fired, like Rutgers University men's basketball coach Mike Rice was last week after video showed him verbally and physically abusing players. Our so-called leaders -- and many of their most vocal supporters -- are just as abusive toward most of us in every aspect except actual physical attacks (which some seem to wish they could add to their bags of tricks)...
Guns aren't real answer to violence (04/04/13)
Those aiming to quell violence in schools by arming personnel may be aiming at the wrong target. The National Rifle Association, through its School Shield Program announced Tuesday, wants -- in addition to programs to identify possible shooters -- more school employees to be armed and trained in firearms use...
You be the law: What would you do? (01/31/13)
Several years ago I regularly did columns describing examples of incidents involving law enforcement -- and how they were handled. These usually were interesting enough to publish but not serious enough to put in the police blotter. We've had some interesting incidents lately. Looks like it's time to restart those columns...
Focus on lessons learned, not lingering anger (12/20/12)
One massacre far to our north, one spoken threat in a Shelbyville school -- and major changes to our mindset. Within one week, steps are being taken toward possibly placing police officers in every Bedford County school, even elementary schools. Talk toward other security measures is beginning...
Life in the (shopping) trenches (11/25/12)
(Vignettes from Shopper World...) Grrrr!!! Get outta my way! Now! Those people are outrunning me! This is still costing too...darn...much money. Stop yelling! I'm driving 60 in the parking lot because I will get that parking place!...Durn it! There's a dinky little car there!...
A few things to give thanks for (11/22/12)
Just ignore the constant complainers we've heard from this year -- some of whom love their country so much that they want to secede from it -- and realize that yes, we do have a lot to be thankful for this year. We can give thanks because donations driving holiday food, clothing and gift drives prove that many Americans still care...
We've got you covered, always (11/15/12)
We're here for you. Always. And always will be. But we can't help but get irritated sometimes at how so many people take their requests for news coverage directly to Nashville television stations. Example: Last year a woman who spent quite a bit of time as a self-appointed representative of Shelly Mook's family told me that they were going to concentrate on television rather than newspaper coverage...
All the people should be heard (09/06/12)
Two weeks' worth of political party conventions and we're hearing the same rhetoric we've heard all summer. Both presidential candidates claim to be for the working person, and the rich person, and for our health, and for making us all prosperous, and to be the one who will change our world...
Heat is on, so just remain cool (08/23/12)
It's time to play nice. Shelbyville and Bedford County are now being inundated with our yearly crush of Celebration visitors. We've had a rough summer locally, with many more anger-related police calls than usual -- domestic violence, fights, etc. And emotions may be running high at times during this year's Celebration due to fears of, or actual action by, the U.S. Department of Agriculture...
Both sides matter, not just the loudest (03/18/12)
The comments received, for and not for publication, about alleged underfed horses in Bedford County -- and what those making the comments want us to say -- provide a good lesson for all about how journalism works. The case involves a woman and daughter who have been accused -- and that's a key word, accused -- by several concerned horse enthusiasts of allegedly purchasing horses and not feeding them properly. ...
Horse industry needs chance but with a watchful eye (02/02/12)
Requests by officials of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration to Shelbyville's city council and the Bedford County Commission for a total of $11,500 in support of two horse shows bring on a perfect occasion for local officials to take a stand...
Medical bill hurt more than cut (01/23/09)
Medical expenses are high these days, as we all know, but when it costs over $1,000 for five stitches ... well, that hurts more than the injury. I fell while sleepily stumbling around the bathroom Sunday morning, striking my head hard and landing on my butt in the bathtub. ...
My life as Jack Frost (12/09/08)
For a few hours Saturday, I was Jack Frost. In other words, the epitome of cool. Frosty. Chilly. Cold. Cool. Get it? Several talented Times-Gazette staff members spent part of Saturday afternoon transforming me into ... well, you had to be there...
It's time to build a better county (11/02/08)
Bricks and mortar. And, a financial burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. That's possibly the final ending of the 1939-vintage ex-Central High/Harris Middle building on Elm Street, along with its dilapidated 1954-vintage gym, and the 1950-vintage ex-Bedford County General Hospital on Union Street...
Twelve men who gave everything (10/31/08)
Names inscribed in cold, impersonal chunks of granite on a so-called "Moving Wall." For some, they're just that ... names. But for those who remember the individuals behind the names, or who simply think deeply enough to realize the sacrifices those names represent, much more...
'Flowery' Fowler soon to be 'Sgt. Sadie' (09/29/08)
In six weeks, if you see me out and about, you will be able to call me "Sergeant Sadie." Not really, but by then I will have graduated from Citizen's Police Academy, which is currently being taught by Lt. Trey Clanton of the Shelbyville Police Department to a group of 12 or so each Tuesday night...
Stopped 'in the name of the law' (09/24/08)
Excuse me if I refuse to believe there's a gasoline shortage. So far, and this includes a special trip Friday afternoon after seeing gas lines on TV news, I've had no trouble driving right up to Shelbyville gas pumps without waiting in line. TV news is going to pump this for all it's worth to build ratings, just like the mere threat of a snowflake sends news anchors into a you-must-go-to-the-store panic...
Attacking the innocent is not the right answer (09/18/08)
The tall, slender, young Somali man ordered fried chicken -- appropriate, considering his likely employment at Tyson Foods -- at the convenience store counter the other night. I was behind him, waiting to make my purchase. He politely told me to go on ahead of him, despite the fact he was there first. I motioned for him to go ahead...
End of the newspaper war (02/02/08)
It was 60 years ago Saturday that what I'll call "the great Shelbyville newspaper war" ended. Look at our masthead (actually at the bottom, not head, of page 4; it's a traditional newspaper term) and you'll see the phrase "The Bedford County Times and Shelbyville Gazette, consolidated Feb. 1, 1948."...
OPINION: Uniformity? Not in this case (01/19/08)
Jail inmates wear uniforms. It's a form of instant identification as to their status -- and a constant reminder to them, and others, of loss of freedom. If some officials have their way Bedford County students, the vast majority of whom will never commit a crime, will come close to experiencing undeserved loss of personal style -- one freedom we, unlike many in other countries, may cherish...
When the news becomes a weapon (12/19/07)
There's news, there's gossip, and then there are people who want to use the news media as a weapon. It's those individuals of whom we in the media are wary. I've written about this issue before, but the story of teacher Dawn Bobo accidentally bringing a gun to Liberty School is a perfect example...
Emotions run high in cases of tragedy (12/04/07)
Emotions run highest when individuals experience personal tragedy. I appreciated Dickie Gardner being willing to talk to me as his stables burned to the ground last week. I can fully understand the emotions he must have felt knowing championship horses were in the ruins of the enterprise he'd worked so hard to build, and having to see his wife emotionally upset as well...
Vol coverage: going too far? (11/10/07)
A few days ago in my blog I chastised Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer for not disclosing why a player accused of repeated drug possessions was kicked off the team. Now comes Vol center Josh McNeil, who's upset because the media, especially the Knoxville News-Sentinel, ran details of a police report involving a smashed window and three drunk women he says were on his bedroom floor and media reports say were in his bed...
Banning cell phones would lead to something worse (11/07/07)
My colleague, David Melson, recently wrote a piece in which he touched upon the dangers of drivers talking on cell phones, a topic that has been alluded to on numerous blogs posted on the T-G web site. He wrote, "Communication is good. And having constant contact with others is everywhere you go is great. ...
TM: Not such a good thing (10/31/07)
Baby boomers are likely familiar with Donovan, singer of "Mellow Yellow" and other tripped-out songs of the late 1960s. Now Donovan Leitch's on a new trip. He plans to open Invincible Donovan University in Scotland, which will promote transcendental meditation...
Trucks, metal gang up on us (10/27/07)
Just a few random observations: •During the warm months I frequently saw trucks full of people, often small children, riding in the beds. If a speeding drunk rams one of those trucks tragedy will likely result. If you're 12 or over on any road; 6-11 on non-federal highways (meaning city or county roads); or involved in agricultural activities (which could be loosely interpreted in this rural area), you can legally ride in the back of a truck...
Journalism: It's all about you (10/10/07)
As visitors enjoyed food and drink at the T-G's offices Tuesday in observance of National Newspaper Week, I was struck by the changes -- and what's stayed the same -- during my years in journalism. We've come a long way in a relatively short time...
From the speedway to the White House? (09/29/07)
Can the perfect presidential candidate be found? Maybe. Political professionals may find Mr. or Ms. Predicted Perfect President among auto racers. Consider: At least one ex-driver who tried politics comes to mind. Richard Petty actually ran for secretary of state in North Carolina. Unfortunately for him, the voters quickly discovered he knew more about racing than state politics...
Bad attitudes, worse results (09/19/07)
The South Carolina man accused of holding a teenage girl hostage in an underground bunker for 10 days says he turned himself in to police so he could live what he considers an easy life. "If I gave up, I would have full medical coverage, three meals a day and never have to work again," he wrote WLTX-TV this week...
Roadsides too often resemble dumps (08/22/07)
It seems like... Bedford County's favorite drink must be Bud Light, because those containers are the most prominent along roadside trash....Too many people locally think of the roads as trash dumps....
The world won't forget Elvis (08/15/07)
Much of the country was indescribably blue 30 years ago tomorrow. On Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis Presley, the so-called King of Rock and Roll, breathed his last on a seat which wasn't exactly a throne. "That's someone you never forget," many are probably thinking...
Safety feature may be a bad idea (08/08/07)
How much longer will it be before our vehicles drive us instead of the other way around? Some Nissans, primarily commercial vehicles, will soon come with a gas pedal which automatically lifts if a collision is possible, reports the Associated Press. Take your foot off the pedal and the vehicle stops...
Put yourself in these situations (07/11/07)
Here's another in an occasional series of "what would you do" columns. All incidents but one are taken from Shelbyville Police Department reports. *Not so tough: A witness sees a man hit his small child in the back of the head so hard he falls. Police are called. The father admits the hit, saying he wrestles and is "trying to make his kids tough."...
Working hard ... for what? (06/27/07)
You have to wonder if anyone cares about the working person anymore. Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has said to keep sticker prices competitive the firm must begin sourcing more parts from low-wage countries such as India and China. Workers earn too much pay in the United States and Japan, Ghosn says...
Oil prices keep spiraling upward (06/02/07)
Americans are becoming too complacent about high and rising gasoline prices. I was talking over the issue with a convenience store clerk the other day. She thought $2.50 would be a "fair" price. I suggested more like $2. She considered that a little too low...
Storm sirens can save lives (05/16/07)
Winds howl. The sky darkens. A tornado is near. Are we in a safe place? Will we even know the twister's coming? Bedford County's slightly safer than in times past. The storm shelter system now in place may eventually save lives. But one element is still missing: Storm sirens...
Global warming must be taken seriously (04/14/07)
Ignore global warming at your own risk. And keep in mind that some in Washington and elsewhere could care less about the risk. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a dire picture of our future if something isn't done. More severe weather ranging from hurricanes to heat waves in the United States. Water shortages in Africa. Disappearing glaciers worldwide. Shrinking ice sheets...
Letting the world know someone still cares (03/17/07)
Death becomes more and more an expected thing as time rolls on in one's life. For most middle-aged and older people, they go through the usual routines following a death without many outward signs, at least publicly, after their loved one's funeral is behind them...
Think about it: What would you do? (02/24/07)
Seems like I got out of the habit of doing occasional "What would you do?" columns. It's time for their return. Put yourself in these four situations, three taken from local police reports we considered too minor or personal to publish as news items, and inagine a little bit. Keep in mind that these may be far from "minor" for those involved...
A Royal address (02/14/07)
A recent caller asked why he was receiving mail addressed to "Royal, Tennessee" instead of Shelbyville. My former cell phone provider claimed I lived in "Royal, TN 37160" and I've seen Shelbyville listed as "Royal" on the Internet. It's amazing that, specifically due to today's high technology, "Royal" has made a comeback. Apparently old maps showing "Royal" have been scanned into computers...
Protecting us from ourselves (01/17/07)
Part of the reason our tax dollars have to pay for police protection is that many of us must be protected from ourselves. The police reports we consider too minor to publish are often sad and/or ridiculous. Examples: Plus the usual problems of some people who think anything not strapped down should belong to them, or those who believe driving or doing anything else in public while drunk is "cute" and no big deal...
Media isn't America's problem (12/16/06)
Here we go again, folks, it's Bash the Media time. Bill O'Reilly's column last Sunday particularly irritated me. O'Reilly speaks the Republican party line: Anytime anything goes against their wishes, blame the media for reporting the truth. Too many leaders and politicians want their opinions reported as if they're unarguable facts...
A tale of Wolf Meadows (10/25/06)
For many of us who grew up in 1970s Shelbyville, Wolf Meadows held a mysterious allure. The rumors abounded. It was a legend, along with the Chapel Hill light and the old church halfway down New Hope Road. At the dead end of Stewart Road was a former home for the mentally challenged in the days before group homes and serious treatment and care became common...
Group's beliefs are inconsistent (09/27/06)
Among those in favor of brutal interrogation tactics for terrorism suspects is the Traditional Values Coalition. "The Bible teaches us that we are to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us," the group's Web site states. "In short, Bible-based traditional values are what created and what have preserved our nation. We will lose our freedoms if we reject these values."...
Leaders behave like children (09/20/06)
Many of the world's and nation's leaders, or wanna-be leaders, are acting like unruly children lately. Trouble is, they're playing adult games with dangerous, sometimes life-threatening agendas. "Take it back!" he yelled. "Take it back!" Some Muslims are reacting the same way following Pope Benedict's XVI's comment in which, as the Associated Press reports, "he cited the words of a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as 'evil and inhuman' and referred to spreading Islam 'by the sword.'". ...
Issues around 'horse show' draw scrutiny (09/01/06)
The controversy surrounding the alleged condition of several horses at last Friday night's Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration has brought a long-festering issue to a head. For a lot of Bedford countians, the "horse show," as most of us call it, is familiar yet somewhat mysterious...
Everyone loses when news is controlled (08/21/06)
Warning: Too many people want to control your news. Consider these examples: Think of them as ramped-up infomercials. They show personalities describing a product as if a news story was being reported. Newspapers aren't immune to those efforts. Occasionally we see businesses, usually dealers advertising used car sales, attempting to make display advertisements resemble news stories...
Here, have a bite of the past (08/05/06)
Shelbyville has had its share and more of fast food outlets for years. The tradition goes back quite a few years, even when our fast food was from locally owned drive-ins. Several of these restaurants form some of my earliest memories. Imagine yourself driving inbound from the Madison Street-Wartrace Pike intersection. Directly across the road from today's Kangaroo store was:...
Immigrants need to comply and adapt (08/02/06)
I was a bit amazed about recent criticism directed at David Melson for a column where he was pointing out some of the habits of immigrants in our community that may not be acceptable to most Americans. Namely coming into America illegally in vast numbers, behaving like you're still in a third world country and treating women like dogs, among other things...
Looking like a foreign country (07/26/06)
It was ironic, driving out South Cannon Boulevard on a recent weekend and seeing: The Armory frequently hosts Hispanic-oriented events. It's likely that many of those Hispanics are in the country illegally. Imagine, crowds of illegal aliens -- right there in the home of Bedford County's military power...
Flat fireworks and stale cereal (07/05/06)
Scattered thoughts, written as the fireworks blasts fade to stillness in the final minutes of Independence Day: I couldn't help reflecting on that as, while walking through the midst of Shelbyville's July 4 observance at Griffin Park, often the predominant language I heard was Spanish...
It's only a game (06/21/06)
Scattered notes: The woman driving the car that Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger hit has been receiving threatening phone calls. Get over it, people. It's football. It's a game. Keep this in mind. Sunday afternoons this fall Tennessee Titans and players from other NFL teams will be making hundreds of thousands -- or millions -- of dollars for a couple of hours of trying to advance a ball up and down a field in front of thousands of screaming in-person and TV viewers...
In search of the perfect candidate (05/13/06)
Some Democrats are talking about running Hillary Rodham Clinton for president. Okay. Let's all step back and take a deep breath. And realize that the "other" Clinton is way too liberal to be elected in today's political climate. What America needs is a candidate, Republican, Democratic, or other (and we'd all be better off with "other," I suspect), who fits these criteria:...
Pile of trash still covers field (03/29/06)
Well, there it is again. I'm talking about another pile of beer-related trash on that property on Wartrace Pike. It was the first thing I noticed on the way into town Monday morning. Just imagine what people traveling to Shelbyville for the first time think when they see it...
It's not racist to state the facts (03/29/06)
So I'm allegedly a racist? Hardly. I simply presented the facts as I see them in a recent column about Hispanics' drinking and driving problems. I welcome new residents of any ethnicity as long as they are here legally and don't break laws, just as I get irritated at anyone of any background whose actions hurt other people...
Race relations, weather and traffic (03/22/06)
Just two quick responses to some of the reactions about columns published last Friday by David Melson and myself over the drinking problems in our community: "Using the race card means you are dealing from the bottom of the deck." "You know you are over the target when you start taking heavy flack."...
Commission vote shows lack of respect (03/19/06)
Despite what County Commissioner Joe Tillett accuses, the Times-Gazette news staff doesn't sit around the newsroom debating which stories will "sell more newspapers and sell more advertising." We don't base story selection on potential profits...
Hispanics' drinking a growing problem (03/17/06)
One of the most noticed problems among Bedford County's wave of illegal and legal Hispanics -- but one not talked about enough by officials -- is obvious alcoholism. Note these excerpts from last weekend's police reports involving Hispanics. See Brian Mosely's column elsewhere on this page for one example of where some of these problems may be originating. Here's where many of those at the Wartrace Pike soccer fields may end up after their day of partying...
A new threat to Internet surfing (03/11/06)
Hopefully, the BellSouth merger with AT&T won't mean an attempt by broadband Internet providers to limit user "surfing." One of AT&T's top leaders has been gung-ho about the possibility of "slowing" profitable Internet sites, such as Google, unless the firms pay access fees...
A journalist who shouldn't be forgotten (03/04/06)
Sixty years ago Saturday marked the beginning of permanent changes in Shelbyville journalism. On March 4, 1946, sales of both the Bedford County Times and Shelbyville Gazette were announced. The Times was purchased by Franklin and Johnnie Yates, whose family owned what became the Times-Gazette until two years ago. Most readers are probably familiar with Franklin Yates' many journalistic achievements...
Covering a tragedy (03/01/06)
Tragedy is doubly hard when it strikes someone you know. Such was the case for a group of nursing students last week. Classmate Danyelle Sumrell was killed Thursday when her car struck a school bus near Deason as she drove through thick fog to classes at Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville...
A place where the people still rule (02/25/06)
Complaints abound over government today, but at least one branch still does things right. I've spent some mornings over the last few weeks in Circuit Court as part of the jury pool, and two things stand out: A jury pool made up of a good cross-section of people. Often in life, one small, non-inclusive, group of the privileged or connected make too many decisions...
'State' could be in a better state (02/11/06)
We've heard President Bush and Gov. Bredesen's addresses on the state of their respective domains. But they don't own the final say on how things are. You -- and I -- have a voice as well, and a right to be heard. Here are my takes on things as they are. We welcome yours...
Media had good intentions in mine tragedy (01/07/06)
Many Americans woke up Wednesday to see newspaper headlines blaring the news, "They're alive!" only to see TV news reports of miners' deaths. Those same Americans, if watching cable news channels about midnight CST, were seeing excited news reporters proclaiming survival -- before a different outcome became obvious by 2 a.m. or so...
Figuring out where we are (10/26/05)
The problem of similar street names in Shelbyville and Bedford County could have caused a major problem after a serious traffic accident last week. Railroad Avenue becomes Railroad Road at the Stanley Boulevard intersection. A caller to 9-1-1 specified Railroad "Avenue" when the wreck was actually on Railroad "Road."...
A perfect time to repair the break (09/09/05)
"We'd like to stop the voices out there trying to create a divide," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. "There is no divide. We're all in this together." Blanco was right. Maybe one of Hurricane Katrina's lasting effects will be to bring an end to the ideological split which, in some ways, has nearly paralyzed the United States...
Words can make a major difference (08/10/05)
A Little League coach in Massachusetts was told a few weeks ago to only speak English with his team on the field. An opposing coach was concerned the foreign language might give the Hispanic team an advantage in communicating strategy. Within a few days higher-up Little League officials backed the Hispanic team...
We aim to please, but some aren't pleased (07/30/05)
For the past several weeks, the Times-Gazette has included a customer survey in its expiration notices, asking readers for their personal evaluations concerning the T-G's delivery service and newspaper content. Most of our readers have been very kind in their remarks, offering constructive criticism that we welcome and examine. ...
Help wasn't on time for abuse victim (05/12/05)
Here's another in my continuing series of 'what would you do?' columns, many taken from Shelbyville Police Department reports: An allegedly-abused woman needs help -- on a weekend. But the state agency which can help isn't available until Monday....
So, who's doing the judging? (04/27/05)
Seems like everyone but judges is doing the judging. Start in Washington, where disputes continue over attempts to drum up support for up-or-down votes for conservative judicial nominees. If you're a Republican, a halo hovers over your head and your angel wings flap in the breeze. Or you're hateful, prudish, angry and attempting to force the world into your own personal view of heaven...
Storm sirens could save lives (04/20/05)
Storms rage and tornadoes sometimes threaten. Will we know when danger lurks? Not always. Because unlike some nearby cities -- Tullahoma in particular -- Shelbyville and Bedford County's populated areas don't have storm sirens. We're dependent on Nashville TV stations' wall-to-wall severe weather coverage, which is good but no help if the power's out and a battery-operated television's not available...
25 years is not enough for murder (04/10/05)
How far should punishment go? Law enforcement agencies in Bedford County are doing their jobs well. But, although our courts and judges generally do well occasionally a guilty party simply doesn't get a stiff enough sentence. The plea-agreement process didn't work to the public's benefit in the case of Michael Thomas Taylor, confessed killer of Grace Handy. America's judicial system may be one of the world's best -- but not in this situation...
It's all about Terri Schaivo -- or is it? (03/27/05)
Life, death... and, somewhere in between, rests Terri Schaivo, at least as of Friday afternoon when this is being written. To whom does her life, or semblance of, belong? Her so-called "husband," still holding power over her despite having made a new life with another woman?...
Finding Bedford County's vision (02/20/05)
A community foundation in Martinsville, Va. -- a struggling "factory town," according to the Associated Press, with a falling population of 15,400 -- has pledged $200 million to start a four-year college. The people of Martinsville -- best known as the home of a major NASCAR race -- are driving a vision of the future...
David Melson
On the Loose