Category Archives: Columnists

Featured articles from our publications.

See how to run

Nick Della Volpe
Features columnist

Should you seek one of the five Knoxville City Council seats up for election this year? The primary is just seven months away. You and your family must decide if you have the time and the inclination to serve.

To start: Examine your district boundaries at knoxmpc.org. Visit knoxvotes.org for rules and forms. Get a petition signed by at least 25 registered voters from your district (get 50 to be safe). Appoint a treasurer before you raise or spend the first dime.

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The gift of snow

Lynn Pitts
Faith Columnist

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55:10-11 NRSV)

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Knoxville High’s influential principal

Jim Tumblin
History and Mysteries

“A firm, steady, stable and human person.” When W.E. Evans was honored at his retirement in 1955, those were the words his former students chose to describe their principal.

Having served one of Knoxville’s longest careers in public education, Evans retired in 1955 at the compulsory retirement age of 70. He served 33 years as principal of Knoxville High School, and after that school closed, moved to East High as principal for four more years.

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A closer look at 2016

Scott Frith
Government/Politics columnist

We all know that 2016 was a great year for Republicans (and a not-so-great year for Democrats), but let’s take a closer look at what happened and what’s ahead in 2017.

First, while the biggest political story of the year was Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, some observers were surprised by the size of Trump’s win in Tennessee. Trump won Tennessee by nearly 25 points – a higher margin than Mitt Romney’s 20-point win in 2012 and John McCain’s 15-point win in 2008.

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A holiday birding treat

Dr. Bob Collier
Nature notes

Our 520-plus National Wildlife Refuges, covering 93 million acres, offer great opportunities for folks to get out and enjoy nature. Their rivers, lakes, swamps, fields and mountains are home to a myriad of varieties of trees and flowers, bushes and grasses. That means they are also home to innumerable critters that people like to watch – big animals, butterflies and, in the case of birders, birds.

Over 200 of our National Wildlife Refuges were set aside specifically to protect, manage and restore habitat for migratory birds, and one result of that effort has been to yield a list of over 700 species of birds that have been seen in America’s National Wildlife Refuges. And the good people who manage those refuges have made many of them very birder-friendly, with wildlife drives meandering through all their different natural features, plus nature trails, photo blinds and observation towers.

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A whole new world!

Lynn Pitts
Faith Columnist

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of the cross.

(Colossians 1:15-20 NRSV)

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Good things come to those who accidently stumble into them

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

We tell our kids to set goals and plan ahead. But we realize during the second half of life that some of the best stuff comes unexpectedly, or even accidentally. That was the case when I got the chance to cover local government for the Shopper News.

I was trained as a journalist, but I took a detour after college to immerse myself in the latest technology craze − desktop publishing. I hadn’t done any reporting for some time when I submitted a writing sample to my first Shopper editor, Larry Van Guilder. It was a story about my older daughter getting her hair styled.

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Keep the main thing the main thing!

Lynn Pitts
Faith Columnist

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.… All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

(Luke 2: 1-7 NRSV)

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