A Day Away: The Great Locomotive Chase

By Mike Steely Civilian James Andrews was born in what is now West Virginia. He became a merchant in Kentucky and was recruited by the Union Army. He operated along the Tennessee-Kentucky border as an agent, trader, and intelligence spy. It was 1862 and the Union and Confederate forces were battling it out in Chattanooga, […]

Didn’t Your Parents Raise You Better?

By Joe Rector She arrived after several other customers on that Sunday. The vet’s office didn’t open until 5:00 p.m., and all of us were there to pick up our pets. This young woman jumped out of her car, and as soon as the door opened, she rushed to the counter without any regard to […]

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Nine

The Greatest Campaigner of Them All: Senator Estes Kefauver, Part Nine

By Ray Hill Tennessee’s Estes Kefauver had won more primaries and votes than any other contender for the 1952 Democratic presidential nomination, yet he journeyed to Chicago uncertain of the outcome. One thing was certainly clear: he was bitterly opposed by President Harry Truman and most of the party professionals. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Eleanor Roosevelt once observed that intellectuals function in the realm of ideas, whereas average folks concentrate on events of the day and the rest focus on people.  Life magazine once challenged our minds, but was replaced by Newsweek.  Popular demand soon led to People Magazine and then to one called Self.  […]

Soldier names at Cumberland Gap

By Mike Steely If Knoxville was the goal to capturing East Tennessee during the Civil War, then the Cumberland Gap was the doorway. The historic pass was occupied four times, twice by each side. While no major battle took place, there were many skirmishes around the area with the aim to take or protect the […]

The List

By Ralphine Major It all started with the heart.  Many Focus readers may remember my first column, “The Real McCoy,” which ran on February 7, 2011.  Dr. Kyle McCoy is the cardiologist who treated our mother after her heart attack.  “Life is a Gift,” my tribute to the late Criminal Defense Attorney Zane Daniel, was […]

Les Miserables

By Rosie Moore I wrote a column two weeks ago titled “I Dreamed a Dream” and I almost gave this article the same name, simply because the title came from that famous movie, “Les Miserables.” It was brought to my attention because quite a few of the ice skaters at the Olympics skated to that […]

Will Vols’ struggles mean end for Cuonzo Martin?

By Alex Norman The Southeastern Conference might be the gold standard in football, but in men’s basketball it is lower than bronze. With the exception of Florida, do you feel confident in any of these teams come NCAA tournament time? The Gators will be a number one seed, and Kentucky, with their roster 5-star recruits […]

There’s still time on the clock for Cuonzo and the Vols

By Steve Williams No question about it, it’s been an up-and-down basketball season for Tennessee. What started with high expectations has been surprisingly frustrating. Instead of looking forward to seeing where the Vols would land in the bracket on Sunday Selection Day, many of us are now wondering if their name will even be called. […]