Weddings and Rituals

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Rituals give structure to life, and while we should not become slaves to our customs, we shouldn’t needlessly discard them. Just as children need boundaries, patterns of living make us feel comfortable. And while rebels are sometimes lauded – from a safe distance – a civil society is made possible by […]

Knoxville Focus for August 10, 2015

School Board Defers Non-Renewal Policy, Adopts New Superintendent Evaluation Tool By Sally Absher sallyabsher@knoxfocus.com The Knox County Board of Education decided last week to postpone further discussion and action on changes to Board Policy GBG, which would give the board the final say on non-renewals and allow non-tenured teachers to appeal a non-renewal decision and […]

The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part One

  By Ray Hill The pages of Tennessee’s history is littered with colorful characters, but the life of Luke Lea is one right out of a novel; handsome, urbane, highly intelligent and successful, Lea climbed to the heights of financial and political accomplishment.  Lea would become one of the first publishing magnates and would be […]

The Chalk Board, August 3, 2015

By Sally Absher Emerald Academy Begins Week Two While most Knox County School students begin their final week of summer vacation today, 126 kindergarten and first grade students at Emerald Academy are beginning the second week of school. Knoxville’s charter school welcomed the inaugural group of students on July 27.  The school, approved by the […]

‘Knox County Schools Makes Strong Academic Gains’

By Sally Absher On July 29, Knox County Schools issued a press release pertaining to the district academic achievement results for the 2014-15 school year reported by the Tennessee Department of Education. The data includes aggregate grade 3-8 scores on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) and End of Course (EOC) exams for school systems […]

God, Country, Home

By Ralphine Major “And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And […]

How we used to do it

By Joe Rector This world doesn’t look too familiar to some of us older folks. From music to technology, the dramatic changes leave us puzzled and asking, “Huh?” Even relationships between boys and girls are different. In another century, teens who liked each other began dating. This is how we used to do it. Boys […]

Wanderlust

By Dr. Jim Ferguson Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. Travel certainly does this because so much is unpredictable, even with planning. My dad was a travel planner, a Francophile and an oenophile (your words of the week). He loved to meticulously plan his trips to the French wine country. I’m […]

Percy Priest, The Unlikely Congressman

By Ray Hill   Percy Priest was an unlikely candidate for Congress and faced daunting odds to get to the House of Representatives in the first place.  Yet once there, he remained there until the day he died. Percy Priest was once described by William “Fishbait” Miller, Doorkeeper of the U. S. House of Representatives, […]

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