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COLONEL BENJAMIN Cleveland Chapter President Jim McKinney, left, presents the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Award to Capt. John Stone of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Steve Lawson, right, said the award is well deserved. BRETT DUNN, left, of the Bradley County Fire and Rescue Service, is presented the SAR’s Fire Safety Commendation by John Campbell, representing the Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Chapter. more

Hundreds, many who had never ever seen bison, attended Saturday's "Blessing of the Buffalo" in Georgetown.


Lee University is inviting local breast cancer survivors to attend its annual Volley For A Cure Survivors' Luncheon. 


The Tennessee Valley Authority is embarking on a major debt-reduction strategy while also investing in initiatives that will ensure its commitment to producing low-cost, reliable energy for decades to come.

State Reports Tourism Growth for Bradley County and Cleveland Special to the Banner more
Smith Teaches in Kenya   Lee University’s Dr. Michael Ray Smith, professor of public relations, recently spoke at a writing workshop for Magazine Training International (MTI) in Nairobi, Kenya.   The attendees of the workshops spent more than a week at Christian Organizations Research and Advisory Trust of Africa conference center. MTI president, Sharon Mumper, invited Smith, an MTI board member, to conduct the research and help with the training.   MTI, a Colorado Springs-based ministry, conducted a series of focus groups to learn about the needs of African publishers, editors, and writers. Smith led the focus groups that probed participants on their varied obstacles, such as running a business, scarcity of resources, recruiting readers, and retaining high-quality talent who share the gospel mission of publishing for a popular audience.   To help the participants overcome these obstacles, MTI used volunteer trainers like Smith to teach business and management principles. Workshops on layout, design, and working with a digital product were also available. Smith taught on feature writing ideas and gave participants a free download of one of his eight books.    Olaitan Olubiyi, of Redemption Light Magazine, attended one of the focus groups and the feature writing training. He noted that he learned ideas on improving his denominational publication while gaining ideas on helping writers succeed in preparing for interviews and other aspects of the writing process.   "MTI participants said that training by journalism and communication professors, even ones from faith-based African universities, did not have the same heartbeat for the faith that MTI has exhibited since it began in 1989," said Smith, who has taught journalism for more than 30 years.   Joining Lee’s faculty in 2016, Smith has taught for more than three decades at state and private universities at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.   Similarly to his work in Kenya, Smith has spoken at many academic and professional conferences, including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also worked in multiple mainstream newspapers, such as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.   Smith received his doctorate from Regent University, his master’s from Shippensburg University, and his bachelor’s from the University of Maryland.   MTI is a non-profit mission “whose passion is to see lives changed as vital Christian magazines in the developing world make an impact for Christ on their communities and nations.” MTI has provided consulting help and organized nearly 50 conferences on every facet of magazine publishing.   The book Smith gave out at the workshops, “Timeless Feature Story Ideas in an Online World,” is available for free download at   more
JENNIFER HARDISON provided this photo of a beautiful hummingbird as she stretches and rearranges her feathers. “What a fun sight to see!” more
MARSHALL RADFORD shared the photo of a pink angel trumpet. more
MIKE WILLIAMS shared these photos. more
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