Columns

A lot of time is spent in the police department looking for missing persons. Some of the people go off on their own and don't want to be found. Some will get mad and run away from home. Then there is the young couple who left home to get away from Mom and Pop. Regardless, a lot of hours are …

  • By Otis Raybon
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As I sit and write this column I am, like you, heartbroken for the families of the children, coaches and teachers killed in the Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting this week.

With Atlanta in the running for the new Amazon “HQ2” there is a lot of talk about the pitch being offered to the company to lure them to Georgia. The discussions on the topic have the value of all the incentives well above $1 billion. The discussions are also heavy with the topics of infrast…

  • By Erinde Mesquita, Hospitality House for Women
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What constitutes an epidemic? When something is widespread, when a disease or issue is extremely prevalent, when one in three teenagers experiences dating abuse — that is an epidemic. As Floyd County’s only domestic violence shelter and agency, Hospitality House for Women works everyday with…

I haven’t had a good garden of my own in many years, but I always get obsessed with seeds in February. The catalogs promise such gorgeous results for a relatively small investment. How can you resist?

 “I know just how you feel” … during my years as a hospital chaplain I often heard that well-intended effort to identify with a person in crisis. More than once, the angry reply came back, “you have no idea how I feel.” The fact is that, no matter how much we may want to enter another person…

February is now known as Black History Month since many young intellects used their influence to institutionalize the shifts from a week to a month and from Negro history to black history, so as we celebrate a people who have said — and will continue to say — “YES WE CAN,” let us remember th…

I’m still thinking about coal being dug in Floyd County during World War I. I doubt without the war we would have never known about coal in Floyd County. As it was, we heard about it but as soon as the shortage was over, we put it out of our memories and went back to sleep. I guess that’s wh…

More than a decade ago, I was severely wounded by the church, nearly to the point of abandoning her altogether. It seems that too often hardly a week goes by that I don’t encounter a friend or colleague who has been profoundly wounded by the church.

A liar, a thief, and an addict. Those are some of the words I could use to describe my brother Matt. Sad, but true. He’s stolen and lied to me too many times for me to stay oblivious to those facts. But what I’ve finally figured out, is that he isn’t lying and stealing from me to hurt, or an…

Tough winter, isn’t it? Seems to me they are all tough nowadays, but it may be that I’m just getting tender. Anyway, most of the things I like to do aren’t done in the winter.

Life expectancy in the USA has reached an all time record high. There are lots of reasons for this increase in longevity, such as technology and better health care, but I don’t want these later years to just be “okay,” I want them to be the best ever. These are the ‘encore’ years.

I don’t have kids. The Good Lord knows why he has kept that from happening — most likely because I’m the most immature and irresponsible person on the planet and my children would eat takeout buffalo wings and pork rinds for dinner every night. They’d also be sent home from school for cussing.

  • By Ben Amis
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Two weeks ago, in my home state of Kentucky, two students were killed and 18 wounded in a school shooting at Marshall County High School. It was the nation’s 11th school shooting of 2018. 11 school shootings in 23 days. That’s one school shooting every other day in this country. And no one c…

I love history. It doesn’t matter if it’s U.S., world or local. You see, I think history is about to be eliminated from our schools. I’m afraid it will follow shorthand and cursive writing to the old folk’s graveyard. Everything these days is for the NOW, folks are focused in on the present …

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4: 7-9).

We share a log house in the woods with a pair of Eastern Phoebes. It was theirs before it was ours. The house was little more than a shell when the female built her cup-shaped nest on a beam in the basement. That year they shared the cabin with a Carolina Wren family that occupied a box of n…

February is Black History month. The Tuskegee Airmen. George Washington Carver. Jesse Owens. Rosa Parks. Mary McLeod Bethune. Iconic figures in the African-American community. However, I’d like to give some attention to the contributions of African-Americans to Rome, Georgia.

  • Greyson Oswalt-Smith
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I cannot express enough my admiration, hope, and love for our educators. Their patience, knowledge, and nurturing nature is one that is necessary for the profession. A profession that pronounces the prosperity or destruction of our society.

This phenomenal change is worth noting. Many pages back I stated that my concern for America is not Democrat or Republican, but blatant indecency and moral decay in every aspect of our lives, and we are standing on the sidelines as if we are spectators. We usually have the debate about which…

The kitchen comes alive every morning during the week about 7 a.m., with renewed conversations, the warming of cold bodies with coffee, the putting on of aprons and flashing smiles. The volunteers start unloading the truck full of donated foods from local schools, restaurants and catering co…

One of the challenges of Christianity, perhaps the greatest challenge, is truly believing that we are called to live lives in imitation of Jesus. His death on the cross was the ultimate “consequence” of a lifetime of showing us precisely what it means to be a holy, faithful, God-centered hum…

In 1962, John Elwin Sheffield, Jr., my uncle, ran for lieutenant governor. That summer, Daddy, Uncle Tom and Uncle John criss-crossed the state of Georgia putting up campaign posters. The campaign continued with a televised debate on WSB. The moderator was the late Ray Moore, of WSB-TV in At…

I’m surprised I’ve made it this long without a reference to the hit Broadway show, “Hamilton: An American Musical,” showing up in my column. If you have not listened to the soundtrack about 1,000 times, you clearly need a smart teenager in your life. I think I can recite it in my sleep, thou…

The news is abuzz with the announcement that Atlanta is a chosen finalist for the site of Amazon’s highly publicized “HQ2.” The company reportedly plans to spend around $5 billion constructing a new campus to house some 50,000 jobs. The economic prospects for the region have politicians, esp…

The great Wynton Marsalis once questioned the audience at an Atlanta concert: “How many jazz lovers are out there? How many jazz likers? I would suggest that there are quite a number of jazz lovers in Rome.

Did anyone notice the leaning over and scrumming manner in which Paul Ryan talked about his reaction to Trump’s label for the Haitians, and some African people? When asked by the reporter what did he think about the statement made by Trump, he said with his head bowed, “I thought not helpful…

I seldom write anything with or about politics in the column. Now on the internet I carry on a pretty lively conversation with the Liberal Left. Their beliefs are theirs, just like mine are mine. Most of us are entrenched into our own thoughts and beliefs. But to be honest, I’ve often wonder…

I had a great idea for a movie recently. It was about a football team that came out of nowhere, and through hard work and perseverance, ended up playing for the national championship. The first scene starts with four outstanding players who spurned an opportunity to turn professional, decidi…

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