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Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015
Speak positively - it makes a huge difference (03/01/15)
As we go about our everyday lives, both personally and professionally, it's easy to get bogged down by challenges, yielding negative attitudes and perspectives on any given situation. But negativity breeds negativity, only making a bad situation spiral into a worse situation in a hurry...
State senators look closely at budgets (03/01/15)
Senate Committees worked at "full steam" this week as state senators examined the budgets of 12 agencies and departments of state government and approved a number of important bills. The budget hearings are part of the process of reviewing how taxpayer dollars are spent to examine whether the money is being used efficiently and effectively to meet the state's goals for each department or agency. ...
State's beauty, friendliness make tourism flourish (03/01/15)
"Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." -- Ryunosuke Satoro This week the legislative session kicked into a much higher gear as the bills started going through the committee system. I have 15 bills on my agenda for this Session. Four of them will be going to the sub committees next week and then hopefully on to the full committee the following week. We have about 1,300 to 1,400 total bills that will be heard during this session...
State Senators remember storm victims (02/22/15)
The Tennessee General Assembly met in an abbreviated week of meetings as a severe winter storm created hazardous conditions across Tennessee. Lawmakers paused in prayer during the Wednesday morning session of the State Senate to remember victims of the storm, including two good Samaritans who were struck and killed while they were offering assistance to passengers involved in a crash in Williamson County...
Letters to the Editor, Feb. 22 (02/22/15)
Dear Editor, Recently, I found an informative letter from the FEMA Distribution Center in my mailbox sent from Buckeystown, Maryland. Upon reading the contents, I wondered how many property owners in the entire country would receive this letter?...
Soccer isn't answer for ISIS (02/22/15)
Last month, this column reported that the Obama administration seemed crippled by far too much political correctness -- mainly the reluctance of labeling radical Islam as radical Islam. I mean, when the Islamic State beheads 21 Coptic Christians, saying that Rome is their next target, it's fairly obvious where they are getting their ideas from...
War kindling in eastern Europe (02/15/15)
History buffs can rejoice -- this week, we witnessed the 21st Century version of the 1938 Munich Agreement. It's the new ceasefire worked out by Germany and France, with a deal between Russia and Ukraine to stop the fighting that's been going on for months in eastern Ukraine between government forces and rebels supplied by Russia...
Education, jobs are Capitol focus (02/15/15)
Education and jobs were the focus on Capitol Hill this week as Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled his proposal to fund state government for the 2015-2016 fiscal year in his annual State of the State Address. The $33.3 billion balanced budget makes strategic investments in education and workforce development, while continuing a thoughtful approach to making government work more efficiently and effectively...
State of State address one of governor's best (02/15/15)
Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." - Newt Gingrich It has been another very busy week at the Tennessee General Assembly. We started the week off with Governor Haslam giving the State of the State address on Monday night. I thought it was one of his best speeches ever and he laid out many of his plans for this coming year. Some of his goals and highlights are:...
Letter to the Editor: Drivers create bypass problems (02/15/15)
Dear editor: The finished work and opening of the 437 bypass was great success into the future and progress for Shelbyville. A great stretch of 4 lane bypass to divert traffic from 231 North to 41A was a much needed highway for this county to move into the 2000's. (It will be great when we get the connection from 41A to 64 West.) A great calling card for future business and new industry for Shelbyville...
Insure Tennessee fails; session begins (02/12/15)
Our main reason for being in Nashville two weeks ago was to work on the Governor's Insure Tennessee plan. We spent most of that time learning about the plan and heard testimonies from people from both sides on the positives and negatives of the plan. It was very complex and complicated....
Ukraine deserves weapons help from US (02/08/15)
After nearly a year of fighting in eastern Ukraine, it looks like the Obama administration still wants to go the diplomatic route, even with pressure building to send weapons to that country. It's about time. More than 5,000 people have died since fighting began last April...
I want more cowbell -- and you can help (01/29/15)
Like Christopher Walken in a famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch, I want more cowbell. Let me explain. I'm a member of the organizing committee for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life here in Bedford County. We're having a kickoff party 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Bedford County Agriculture and Education Center, and everyone is invited...
'American Sniper' shocks critics (01/25/15)
American Sniper surprised box-office watchers by pulling in a huge haul over the four-day weekend -- taking over $105 million during its first weekend of wide release. The film is up for several Oscars this year, including one for star Bradley Cooper, who bulked up 30 pounds and learned how to speak Texan for the role of Navy Seal Chris Kyle...
Guest column: Officials need more accountability (01/22/15)
In Shelbyville-Bedford County, why is it when these "qualified elected officials" make reckless decisions, they are never held accountable? For instance, the lawsuits seem to be never questioned when they occurred. I further don't understand why they seem to enjoy getting re-elected...
Speak out - but still show a little respect (01/22/15)
Freedom of speech is one thing. Blatantly insulting someone's beliefs, though -- or shocking someone else beyond reason to make a point -- is something else entirely. The editor of the French publication Charlie Hebdo -- that's "Charlie Weekly" in English -- is criticizing U.S. ...
US leaders won't condemn evil (01/18/15)
The Obama administration took a lot of abuse this week for refusing to send anyone to last weekend's march in Paris to denounce a wave of terrorism that struck the City of Lights. Many were appalled and humiliated that this country was not represented during this historic display of support for free expression...
World rages, but many conflicts go unreported (01/11/15)
There's a lot of conflict going on in the world these days, but to look at what this country's mainstream media is reporting, you'd never know it was happening. In Syria, the United Nations is reporting "utter devastation" to that country's ancient heritage since civil war broke out there in 2011...
Serious abuse, and a need for help (01/08/15)
Amidst all the New Year's resolutions going around, it's time to make another one: Being there for others when it seems no one else is. Picture a woman, suffering sudden serious health problems at a young age, in a hospital emergency room. Add to those problems a head injury she's suffered, she says, because she was "possibly" pushed by her husband during an argument. She opened up, finally, after first saying she tripped and hit her head as she fell...
Police deserve public's thanks (01/08/15)
Our society needs to take a time out on police-bashing. I don't care what you think of the Ferguson controversy, if you fight with an officer you should expect to get shot, regardless of your race or the cop's race. Police are trained to defend themselves and others. They fear for their lives in a fight, and who can blame them. With that being said, it is a tragedy anytime a person, police officer or suspect, dies in a confrontation...
Attack on free speech shouldn't be tolerated (01/08/15)
Twelve people died Wednesday for telling jokes. Masked gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar!" stormed the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, slaying editors, cartoonists and two police officers who were guarding them. The offices had already been burned to the ground in 2011 after the newspaper published controversial cartoons of Mohammed...
Simple, motivating words of wisdom (01/04/15)
New Year's always brings with it a time for reflection. Whether or not you commit to or stick with a resolution, I think most people at the very least use early January as a marker to reflect on the past and think about the future. I believe it's human nature to want to improve ourselves; to strive ahead...
Premature release diminishes punishment (01/04/15)
Covering the local justice system is a unique experience. From people dealing with their first traffic violation, to more serious crimes, everyone gets their day in court. It can be tedious, exciting, and educational all at the same time. However, there are many instances that leave you scratching your head and wondering when the endless cycle of bad behavior will end, or why it is allowed to continue in the first place...