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“With dismay, I have read twice in the local newspaper that the town of Wartrace is taking steps to break away from the Bedford County Fire Department,” is how Wartrace Mayor Cindy Drake, put it on Wartrace Town Hall, the town’s Facebook page. “… at no time did any person on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen or any Wartrace Fire Department member present at the meeting, suggest, propose, recommend or outright say we want to break away.”... more
Students and learners, the times we are facing as cities and nations in the world are unprecedented. We are being challenged like never before, but we at Motlow State Community College know the importance of your educational and social growth needs. We must pull together as one people more now than at any other time in recent history... more
“Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.” Steven Wright The Tennessee House of Representatives returned to the House Chamber last week following a 10 week recess caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Floor Sessions resumed inside the Capitol with certain safety measures in place to allow only a very few visitors to the gallery. ... more
“Late at night when it’s hard to rest/I hold your picture to my chest/ and I feel fine, I feel fine/But it’s a rainy night in Georgia…” – written by Tony Joe White and performed by Brook Benton I need your input. I know this is a terribly personal question, but which songs make you cry? And why? (And would you be miffed if you suddenly, inexplicably started receiving spam emails for Kleenex and Visine?)... more
We always start with each of our communities in mind, but this spring of 2020 united us all in the Middle Tennessee region served by Motlow State Community College. We unite behind the success of our students and for workforce development. We unite because, in times of adversity, Tennesseans support each other. The beginning of this pandemic offered no clear roadmap, but Motlow has persevered and completed an unprecedented 50th year... more
There are lessons to be learned while living and working as a journalist within a pandemic. One thing I have learned is that that there are some people who likely wouldn’t make good partners if ever stranded on a desert island. Of course while I would choose to be with my family, you don’t always get that choice. So I thought a lot about the people I would and would not chose to become my “Wilson.” (From Tom Hanks’ movie “Cast Away.”)... more
By Wednesday this week, 117 people in Bedford County had tested positive for COVID-19. The number of cases is currently doubling every four days in Bedford County. The Tennessee State Health Department confirmed on Wednesday what everybody here already knew. There are a lot of workers at Tyson who have contracted this deadly viral infection... more
As the coronavirus pandemic plays out I am, unfortunately, being reminded of an age-old adage — poverty is a fatal condition. With coronavirus, however, we are also learning that people who work in some jobs are not going to be protected. Workers are getting a message: the companies they work for may be deemed “essential” but they, the workers, are expendable... more
It is the opinion of the Publisher of this newspaper that the Covid-19 virus has caused a level of panic disproportionate to the threat the virus poses to humanity. What began as and very much remains a public health issue has been exploited by politicians of all stripes for perceived political gain and has been sensationalized by attention-seeking media personalities... more
A few days ago, I did something I haven’t needed to do for 34½ years. I signed up for a subscription to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. I’ve never needed a subscription because I was usually here when the presses rolled, and I could grab one right out of the press room if I needed to, while the ink was still warm. ... more
“Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” —Charles Haddon Spurgeon We have 461 bills set to be heard in our committees this week. I have 10 bills that I’m presenting and hopeful that they will all pass and move on the House Floor in the next couple of weeks. ... more
"Knowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right." --Teddy Roosevelt The 2020 Legislative Session is probably half over. The Committee and House Calendars are becoming full and sometimes the bills are contentious. I had eight bills this week that I presented in committees and I should have that again next week. We are striving to adjourn by the middle or end of April... more
For many locals, life is better when they're swimming. The Times-Gazette has received several calls recently in regard to the temporary closing of Shelbyville Recreation Center's indoor pool. I wish I had better news. It seems patrons are going to have to wait a bit longer for a leisurely swim at the Rec Center... more
"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -- Harry S. Truman I wanted to give a huge thank you to Commissioner Linda Yockey and the rest of the Bedford County Commission for working with Bruce Nelson from the State of Tennessee Real Estate Asset Management to purchase the old Social Security Building. ... more
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead The date for filing new bills for the 2020 Session closed last Wednesday. There are 2,901 bills filed for this year compared with 2,727 last year. I believe that we normally pass about 500 bills per year. As you can see, there are many new ideas and changes introduced, but only about 15-20% pass and become laws... more
Why do only a small portion of the voting age citizenry bother to vote in presidential elections? It’s because the majority know their vote doesn’t matter. Here are some details from the National Popular Vote Advocacy Group. State winner-take-all laws are the reason why the vast majority of American voters are politically irrelevant in presidential elections. These laws award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state... more
Hamilton County government has found a new way to prevent access to public records:get rid of them. It's not really new. It's the oldest trick in the book. In late July last year, a reporter with the Chattanooga Times Free Press became concerned that the county government was not following state law in its responses to public records requests... more
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Colossians 3:17 The second year of the 111th General Assembly started back in Session at noon on January 14th. We have a new Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton, from Crossville. ... more
On the evening of Jan. 21, I realized for the first time that the community I was raised in was being compromised and maybe it has always been this way, it has just taken me 24 years to realize it. That evening I sat on the second floor of the courthouse and listened to a few speak about the refugee relocation situation before people like Holly Johnson could speak up. Holly Johnson is the state refugee coordinator for Catholic Charities of Tennessee... more
Tennessee has a rich news media environment with more than 120 traditional subscription-based weekly and daily newspapers, several free newspapers, alternative press, an established black press, 34 television news stations, public and commercial radio stations, niche news outlets focused on single topics like education or the legislature, business journals, a new nonprofit news organization in Memphis, a new university-based Institute for Public Service Reporting also in Memphis, independent student-run college newspapers and TV stations, and a variety of one- or two-person digital-only shops run on grants, grit or both.. ... more
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