.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Columns

  • Addressing the tragedy of drunken driving

    I have been a prosecutor for the past 14 years, yet I’ve never become accustomed to the sorrow I feel when I’m involved in a case where someone has died because of alcohol-impaired driving.

    These crashes happen far too often: In 2009, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 32 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States. That means an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality happened every 48 minutes.

  • In search of Grandma's misplaced soul

    The words surprised me, especially since they came from Grandma.

    “She says she can’t find her soul and she’s ready for God to take her home,” my mother-in-law told me on the phone, her voice cracking as she spoke through her tears, trying her best to quote Grandma.

    By “home,” Grandma meant heaven. That made sense. Grandma had not been feeling well for days, and after all, she is one month shy of being 102 years old.

  • Statistics may be important but humor counts too

    Let’s begin with a quiz.

    Based on the 2010 Census, what incorporated Hardin County community had the largest percentage increase in population?

    While you think about your answer, I’ll take a minute to point out a special four-week contest based on your knowledge of Hardin County history and trivia.

    Coming off the extraordinary response to the newspaper’s Bingo Fever contest in June, the circulation staff was looking to try another fun, engaging way to interact with readers.

  • Walking in another's skin

    In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch tells his daughter: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

    In the past several weeks, I had a chance to do a little walking around in another’s skin. A co-worker and I have been working on a series of stories about poverty in Hardin County.

    I talked to homeless people, others living in low-income housing and just trying to keep their heads above water.

  • Looking for personal magic thanks to a movie moment

    It’s been quite a summer for movies: I was hijacked to Bangkok by "Hangover II," thankful for the bad bosses I haven’t had in "Horrible Bosses," reminded that women can be just as flat-out stupid-crazy as men in "Bridesmaids" and glad I’m not anyone but me in "The Changeup."

    But my favorite film of the summer is one that catapulted me back in time to another era, a golden age. 

  • Shared experiences define us

    We all are a product of experiences. I was reminded of that this week on Facebook.

    Message after message have been posted describing kindly school janitors, inspiring teachers, shopping experiences and cruising parking lots as teenagers. The sharing continues today as folks fondly recall bygone days.

    Between Tuesday night and the completion of this column Saturday afternoon, 8,340 posts have been filed under a heading called “You’re so Hardin County if...”

  • Smokin' hot is in eye of beholder

    “Lord, I want to thank you for my smoking’ hot wife…”

    No, I didn’t say it! (My wife warned me if I prayed that publicly it might be my last prayer.)

    Those are the words of the Rev. Joe Nelms, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lebanon, Tenn., praying at NASCAR’s Federated 300 Nationwide Series Race in Nashville recently. Pastor Nelms became an instant star on the internet with comments about his prayer ranging from “the greatest prayer ever” to “blasphemous.” 

    It is neither.

  • Unification talk raises issue about county’s role

    It’s good to consider new ways of doing business. Rather than accept things as they are, let’s consider how they could be — or even how they should be.

    An extensive study of consolidated government in other cities and a year’s worth of research, interviews and consideration has led Hardin County United to recommend that unification of government be considered locally.

  • Empty rooms filled with sweet memories

     “All that had been used to make it a dwelling place, by my folks on back, by Grover and me… all the memories of all the lives that had made it and held it together, all would come apart and be gone as if it never was.”

    ---from Sold, a short story by Wendell Berry

     

    The rooms were empty by the time I arrived. Except for a few heaps of trash here and there and some stuff no one wanted, it was finished, done.

  • Life lessons are taught by example, not by words

    Stooped from ailments of old age such as arthritis and the impact of years walking rooflines as a carpenter, Uncle Shelby moved with head bowed seemingly in a constant state of contemplation or perhaps even prayer.
    Growing up, we lived next door to one of my grandfather’s older brothers. Each summer, he tended a successful vegetable garden in the unforgiving red clay so common in Hardin County.