Caution: Children Crossing

By Ralphine Major She wasn’t really a school cop, but from a distance, she looked like one. Dressed in uniform, she wore a white starched shirt, pressed trousers, bill cap, and white gloves. Her look was finished off with makeup and earrings. For years, I saw her every morning standing on the corner of […]

Publisher’s Positions

Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley Welcome Jimmy Duncan! The Knoxville Focus is extraordinarily proud to welcome former congressman Jimmy Duncan as a regular columnist.  We already have, in my opinion, the best line-up of columnists of any local newspaper and Jimmy’s column will be something for our readers to look forward to every week.  For thirty years, […]

Everything looks easy from a distance

Everything looks easy from a distance

By John J. Duncan Jr. Everything looks easy from a distance My friend, Ray Hill, who writes a great political history column for this newspaper, told me several years ago that I won the lottery with my parents. I had never thought of it in that way, but I really liked what he said, […]

The 1964 Senate Races in Tennessee, IV

The 1964 Senate Races in Tennessee, IV

By Ray Hill Once a reliably Democratic state, Tennessee was a battleground state in the 1964 election.  Congressman Joe L. Evins of Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District was designated President Lyndon B. Johnson’s campaign manager for the Volunteer State.  At the time, there was hardly any congressional district in the state more Democratic than that of […]

The Best Medicine

By Dr. Jim Ferguson “The first reaction to truth is hatred.” Tertullian (c 200 AD)   Why do humans seem to preferentially dwell on what they lack rather than what they have? Recently, I’ve been thinking about positivity and the contrasting negativity, notably seen in the media and politics. Maybe I’m just isolated in Knoxville, […]

Do They Have To Tell Me What I Am Being Arrested For?

By Jedidiah McKeehan Occasionally I will talk with a potential client on the phone and they will tell me they would like to hire me to represent them in regard to their criminal charges. One of my first questions is, “What are your charges?” More often than you would think, the potential client will tell […]

Plenty to see at Rock Island

By Mike Steely If you’ve never been to Rock Island State Park, you’ve missed a very different park that has just about everything you’d expect plus some very special sites. Rock Island is located between Cookeville and McMinnville in the mountains along the Caney Fork and Collins Rivers. It’s best reached west of Knoxville off […]


Never having to live through a pandemic By Ralphine Major It is one of the simple guidelines in our new, normal world—stay home.  Doing so has provided plenty of time for families to reflect.  Even amid the pandemic that has affected thousands of lives, a glance back often brings back some degree of our “old” […]

Getting ready for winter

By Joe Rector My son Dallas has a lot of his grandmother’s DNA flowing through his veins. For the second year, he’s put out pepper plants in five-gallon buckets (he doesn’t have much yard at his condo). He’s babied those plants, and they’ve yielded hundreds of banana and jalapeno peppers. Dallas has concocted his own […]

Tennessee Adjusts to the New Normal

By Mark Nagi The 2019 college football season feels like it was another lifetime ago.  So much had changed since the Vols went into the victory formation at the TaxSlayer Bowl. Over the past week or so we’ve seen college football conferences drop like flies.  Led by the Big Ten and the Pac-12, some conferences […]