A Day Away: Watching Fireflies

By Mike Steely If you are lucky enough to get tickets to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park’s June  Synchronous Fireflies event you may find several surprises. Like most things in the Great Smoky Mountains the waiting lines are long, the expectations high, but the price is right. If you can get tickets! My wife […]

World Cup Fever Hits Knoxville

By Alex Norman I’m going to admit that I’m writing this article on the eve of the World Cup, so for all I know Knoxville will show complete indifference to one of the biggest sporting events in the universe… But when you look at the way that the sport has grown in recent years, the […]

What the Ed Reformers Don’t Want You to Know About Charter Schools

By Sally Absher Last week The Focus reported on the Emerald Academy Charter application. At present there are 101 active public charter schools in Tennessee (k-12.state.tn.us/SDE). Many people think Charter Schools are the magic bullet that will transform our underperforming schools, particularly in urban districts, into miracles of achievement and success. But Diane Ravitch, historian […]

Rising Above the Storm

By Ralphine Major It played out like a carefully orchestrated event with each participant making their entrance on cue. A look to the sky saw rain clouds announcing that a storm was approaching. Before long, it came. The wind and rain marched in sounding much like the ocean rushing to shore. I looked out to […]

Focus on the Law: Wrongful Death

By Sharon Frankenberg, Attorney at Law With the recent twentieth anniversary of the stabbing deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the distinction between charges of murder and claims for wrongful death are again being discussed.  In a televised trial in 1995, OJ Simpson stood charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown […]

Edward Hull Crump: The Boss, Part II

By Ray Hill Following his ouster as Mayor of Memphis, E. H. Crump ran for and was elected Shelby County Trustee.  His removal from the mayor’s office was a humiliation Crump never forgot and he certainly never forgave anyone he considered to have played a part in his removal.  Crump attributed his removal from office […]


By Dr. Jim Ferguson “What kind of dog is that?” asked Mrs. S as I greeted her at my front door.  She was seeing me for a concierge medical visit and was obviously puzzled by my dog, Jack.  I explained to her that Jack is a Mountain Feist, but he is actually a “rescue.” In […]

Words from Nana

By Rosie Moore My grandchildren and great-grandchildren call me Nana. I called my grandmother Nana. It runs on the family. My Nana had a lot of sayings, some of them made up, I think, and lot that are true today. Here are some of them: This one was her favorite and still popular today: “Don’t […]

Lessons for Grandparents

By Joe Rector My daughter Lacey and her family moved this week. After a few years in a wonderful little house in Bellevue, just outside Nashville, they bought a house in Hendersonville. It offers much more space so that they don’t trip over each other or struggle to find space to put things. It also […]

Reflections of Summer

By Ralphine Major It is a time of hayfields and honeysuckles, birds singing, warm breezes blowing, and sunrays beaming down.  It is a time for gathering summer crops like home-grown tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, cantalopes, and watermelons.  It is a time of Vacation Bible School, summer camps, and cookouts.  After a long winter and with spring […]