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It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I learned to read from the funny papers. Long before my kindly, bespectacled first grade teacher passed out readers introducing Dick, Jane, and Spot, I was already inhabiting the world of Dagwood Bumstead and Li’l Abner.  Blondie and Dais…

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The fair has all kinds of shows. One is the “wowie-zowie” kind where you get entertained by a performance such as a mule jumping from a 60-foot platform into a kiddie pool. Another is where people enter their animals, crops, vegetables, baking, painting, crafting and quilting into a competit…

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The good folks who put on the Lincoln County Fair don’t need me to help promote their event — they already do a great job. I’d rather tell some of the stories that don’t get told enough but add to the rich history of the best county fair in Tennessee.

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I’m celebrating an anniversary. It’s been a year since I drove through the rolling hills of Tennessee and up Elk Avenue before walking through the doors of Elk Valley Times for the first time.

It’s been many years since Japan was our enemy. Now they are an important ally and amazing trade partner. Above all, they gave us kudzu.

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I appreciate technology more than you might think. Yeah, I know. I’m always griping about artificial intelligence replacing natural, human connection. And how we should put down our phones and pick up a book. Though I can be obsessive, I promise that part of me appreciates what technology br…

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For those who haven’t been lucky (err … maybe that’s not the right word?) enough to sit in a room, specifically designed for the masses to get chemotherapy, I thought I would enlighten you on what it’s like.

Socrates famously exclaimed, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Riverside Christian Academy is ready to ignite the hearts and minds of our students this year! Our school remains committed to our families, who have busy professional lives and prioritized fait…

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I would like to welcome back our returning families and give a big welcome to our new families in Lincoln County Schools. Even though there will be some changes and new faces throughout our schools, we expect to continue our success in taking care of the “whole child.”

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When I was nine days old, I received a letter from Reverend J. Howard Scott, minister of the Kelso Cumberland Presbyterian Church, welcoming me into the world. Carefully typed with textbook spacing and margins but embossed with wonderfully human touches: strikeovers and hand-penned additions…

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Like all farmers, Daddy had a predictable seasonal clock; when you saw him hanging the purple martin gourds you could bet that the end of winter was in sight.

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As an avid social media user, I enjoy collecting misspellings, misinterpretations and other mishaps. When I began using them in my columns, the response was encouraging. Many of you began sending in additional AutoCorrect and texting fails, poorly worded signs, and embarrassing invitations. …

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During the most formative years of life, a student will spend more than 12,000 hours in the classroom before high school graduation. This time has a profound impact on academic performance, character formation, social-emotional learning, and spiritual wellness. Lincoln County is very blessed…

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Country folks are always having to run into town for one thing or another; sometime for groceries or to fix a tire, but they prefer to go have fun. One of the best ways to have fun is to go to a show and the best kind of show is one with animals.

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This country, as well as the State of Tennessee, enjoy a long history of open government. Our Founding Fathers insisted that laws, resolutions and other such actions by the U.S. Congress be published in newspapers as public notices.

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To Daddy, a cold, snowy day meant a miserable time of feeding hay in mud or on ice (ice is usually better), pulling calves or lambs (ewes often pick the worst weather to lamb), and breaking pond ice for the animals.

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True confession. I’ve started this column a half dozen times. I usually don’t have trouble finding something to say. Stringing a few words together has never been that great a chore. But today is different. The end of a year always does that to me. It always carries with it the burden of try…

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Winter is here and I’m glad. I’m disappointed that we don’t get cold weather like we used to.  Farm animals also like cold weather.  If it’s not terribly cold, they may even like it better than the heat of summer.

When I turned sixteen, I thought my life would finally take off. My birthday is December 20; close enough to Christmas to allow most folks to pretend that they were giving me an extra-special Christmas present to cover my birthday and Christmas together.

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You probably heard about the Knoxville man who got out of sorts in a Little Caesar’s restaurant because he was told it would take ten minutes to prepare his pizza. I doubt this was his first pizza, so he was aware that ordering a pizza was a little different than grabbing a Sundrop and a bag…

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It was always an adventure to go Christmas tree hunting, but my most memorable Christmas tree hunt wasn’t the most successful. I was 12 and my brother Alan was 10. Daddy was working long hours at the arsenal in Huntsville and hadn’t had time to look for a tree, so I decided that Alan and I c…

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‘Tis the season of dreams and wishes. That magical time when children hunker down and scratch out their Santa lists as parents double-check their bank balances and credit card limits. When husbands methodically justify why a sale-priced air fryer is a much more logical gift than another expe…

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He stormed out of the hospital. I was taking a break from a tedious wait in a cramped car and was stretching my legs in the parking garage, just outside the entrance to the second floor. My wife was the “one family member allowed in the emergency room,” and I had been on car wait two hours a…

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Food insecurity is one of the biggest hurdles that our most vulnerable neighbors face daily — something that gets especially challenging around the holidays. With schools closed for winter break, many families are left without a regular source of meals for their children through the United S…

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I miss the Nashville of myth, the true Music City, when you didn’t have to shoehorn yourself into Tootsie’s or try to remain upright while doing Jaeger Bombs in a hay wagon being tractored down the middle of lower Broadway.

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As time passed, the soldier’s mother often struggled to recall her movements on that day: August 11, 1944. She knew that early morning in Kelso, Tennessee was midafternoon in France. She knew it was a Friday. She wasn’t sure about the weather, but being August, it was probably hot as a skill…

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I’m a “live and let live” kind of guy.  Don’t bother to invite me to a dove hunt or watch the sunrise from a deer stand.  With varmints, I’ll trap and release.  Oh, I’ve been known to nuke a fire ant hill or two in my time.  Or bomb a hornet’s nest.  But generally, if you share this planet w…

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When an English reporter for The New York Journal in 1897 cabled Mark Twain to inquire as to whether the rumor was true that he had recently succumbed to a grave illness, the often-quoted novelist supposedly responded with: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Now it seems th…

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These are particularly trying times. And it’s never been easier to get caught up in the material of life at the expense of the spiritual. Technology and social media are equal parts blessing and curse. Months of pandemic stress and sickness wear on body and spirit. We are losing the art of a…

I caught the old man looking at me this morning. Caught him out of the corner of my eye. Just in my peripheral. Who was he, you ask. What does it matter? He was an old man. An old man. He looked like he had just gotten up, clumps of grey hair rebelling against a balding scalp, eyes still swo…

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Some of you might have noticed a few changes in the Elk Valley Times the past couple of weeks.

For many people, the great outdoors continues to be a source of family gatherings, recreation and much-needed therapy amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Challenges and uncertainties are synonymous with farming and ranching. To say these are challenging, uncertain times is an understatement. But, as is their inherent nature, farmers and ranchers will certainly adapt and persevere, and we at USDA are here to help them.

Alex Haley, a close friend and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Roots”, used to have a powerful message that I always try to keep in mind: “Find the good and praise it.”

If you saw a relative, a friend or even a stranger choking, you wouldn’t hesitate to try to help. There might even be a crowd of people trying to help all at the same time. Our response to suicide prevention can be the same! If more of us are trained to see the warning signs, effectively res…

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During these hard and trying times facing our World today, let’s take a moment to reflect and be thankful for all the things we are blessed with each and every day. This small, quaint, wonderful, little community is the place we all call home. We live here, lots of us work here, and all of u…

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America’s small businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy, but too many are struggling to stay in business as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The good news is that sweeping relief is on the way.

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This is an unsettling time for our country and our community, as we are in a public health emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Your elected leaders and public health officials are working around the clock to slow the spread of the virus and provide care to those …

The 2020 Census is getting underway and is ready for America to respond as the first invitations begin to arrive at the nation’s estimated 140 million households. For the first time, nearly everyone will be invited to respond online, by phone or by mail.