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A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about how Benton County once changed the person that the county is named for without changing the name. This led a reader to ask me about how many towns in Tennessee … more
The sounds of football practice and band camps are clear signals that school is about to open. Parents and students are shopping for new outfits, and it seems that everybody’s excited except the … more
The recent passing of Don Goff, a much-loved teacher and principal in local school systems, prompted many stories about this remarkable educator. Former students, colleagues and parents seem to … more
I get a lot of advice on writing columns. Some people tell me to write funnier. Others say, “Be more serious. Solve the world’s problems.”Family members say, “Write more about your Southern … more
Like newspaper editors everywhere, I receive hundreds of emails each week. Most are from out-of-state public relations agencies wanting to plug their clients, but the only ones I care about are from … more
The biggest flim-flam artists of all time are “nice folks.” You cannot deceive people by being mean. The art of the successful lie is practiced by those who speak in platitudes, which are easy … more
We have to start thinking bigger.It’s been a few news cycles ago, but you’ll recall the headlines the MegaMillions lottery made when the jackpot topped out at $1.28 billion.I’ll admit Kim and I … more
What do you get when you combine the odious optics of a dead-of-night vote with one of the most politically potent issues of the past 50 years?If you’re a Pennsylvania Republican, and you’re … more
My husband, Peter, and I are back in our little place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.Of course, it is not really “our” place. We don’t own it and have no desire to own anything here larger … more
On Dec. 5, 1900, an advertisement appeared on page 5 of the Nashville American advertising “building stone” for sale near the Corner of Eighth Avenue and Church Street. This tiny ad pinpoints … more
Donald Trump is out there speaking and drawing fired-up crowds in places like Illinois.It’s obvious that he’s still the most popular figure and dominant force in the Republican Party.But I’m … more
Jen Judson, president of the National Press Club, and Gil Klein, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, came out this week against the LIV Golf tournament taking place this … more
I have been covering schools for 30 years, and I have visited more schools than the milk delivery guys. As Johnny Cash sang, "I’ve been everywhere, man." From the modest rural schools to the swanky … more
We’ve probably all idolized someone at some point in our lives.It could be an actor or an athlete, or maybe just the older kid in the neighborhood with the cool girlfriend.Or it could be a radio … more
The Cleveland City Council in 2016 approved a 17% increase in property-tax millage rate (from $1.7655 to $2.0600 per $100 in assessed values) effective Jan. 1, 2017. Based on results of a public … more
With gas prices at all-time highs, what could be a better time to embark on an RV trip to South Dakota and Wyoming? The good news is that it’s my friend’s RV; the bad news is that I am paying for … more
If you follow the trendline of plummeting trust in newspapers, as just updated by Gallup, you could make an argument that by the year 2030 or so, 0 percent of respondents will say they have any … more
I’ve decided that I’m good enough.I had a big birthday, and it got me to thinking, as big birthdays will, about what would change and what would stay the same in the decade to come. I found my … more
On what should have been a morning of joy, I could not escape the darkness. Churches have been vandalized. Pro-life clinics have been fire-bombed. Supreme Court justices have been targeted. A … more
I used to tell my wife that I was the most patient man in America. This was usually followed by a swift verbal reprimand, so I stopped saying that.Still, that title may be accurate, because I have … more
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