The Rat Park

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Hardly a day goes by without some story, tragedy or crime related to drugs. Statistics tell us that we are in the middle of a drug epidemic and Tennessee is an epicenter. In our state the per capita usage of opioids, like hydrocodone and oxycodone, and the use of benzodiazepines like […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part Two

Senator Howard Baker, Part Two

By Ray Hill After having lost a close race for the United States Senate in 1964, Howard H. Baker, Jr. resolved to run again in 1966.  Senator Ross Bass would have to defend his seat after only two years, as he was completing the term of the late Estes Kefauver.  The winner of the 1966 […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson Families are living organisms, analogous to human beings. Humans are comprised of integrated organs; correspondingly, each member of a family plays a vital role in the whole. There is an African proverb which says, “It takes a village” to raise a child. The proverb emphasizes the village, a community which is […]

Liens: What They Are, What They Do

By Jedidiah McKeehan The Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word, “lien,” is: a legal claim that someone or something has on the property of another person until a debt has been paid back. Sometimes the dictionary doesn’t do a great job describing legal issues or phrases, but it did pretty well in this instance. In […]

A Tribute to Autumn

By Rosie Moore Why does Fall/Autumn have two names? Autumn, a Latin word, first appears in English in the late 14th century. In the 17th century Fall came into use and meant the act of taking in crops. By the 19th century fall became an “Americanism” primarily used in the U.S. and frowned upon by […]

Unforgettable Moments in a Young Family’s Life

By Ralphine Major This column is a milestone—No. 300! In writing each week for the Focus, I have been so blessed to reconnect with “old” friends and meet new ones. A review of pending topics for my true, human-interest stories turned up another segment on the first dentist from Gibbs High School and his […]

Kicked to the Curb

By Joe Rector Isn’t it wonderful to land that first full time job? The security that comes with a steady paycheck and affordable insurance is life-changing. We start off planning to be the best employees in the organization and want to stay with the company until retirement. Somehow, that doesn’t happen as much these days. […]

We’ve already got our money’s worth on this season

By Steve Williams This had become a season to remember on Rocky Top before it was even half over. The remarkable rally past Florida had many UT fans calling the 38-28 victory the greatest comeback in Tennessee football history. For some folks it may very well be. For others, like me, who were around to […]

Pro Achievement vs. No Achievement

Pro Achievement vs. No Achievement

By Steve Hunley With the division on the Knox County Board of Education widening, fingers are being pointed at Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas for an email to members about the resolution sponsored by Amber Rountree.  Rountree’s resolution seeks a waiver from the State of Tennessee to keep standardized testing from counting in teacher evaluations and […]

Senator Howard Baker, Part One

Senator Howard Baker, Part One

By Ray Hill During the last decade, Tennessee has become more solidly Republican with the GOP occupying the governorship, both seats in the United States Senate, seven out of nine Congressional seats and a majority in the General Assembly.  Not so long ago, Tennessee was a reliably Democratic state.  The father of Tennessee’s modern Republican […]