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Once again, our nation is mourning.  News of an unspeakable horror is flooding the headlines, and the hearts of millions of Americans across the country are aching for precious lives lost in Florida last week.    

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This morning, I ascended from the valley to an elevation of 1,800 feet, all while controlling and regulating the sound of laughing, singing and playing.  I was navigating 25,000 pounds of rolling stock in the pitch dark, in a torrential downpour where fog reduced visibility to near zero.

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Throughout the month of November, I cleaned, decorated and planned.  Menus were discussed at length, guests were confirmed, and Thanksgiving was upon us.

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I was born in Maine where trick-or-treating required eight layers of clothing, and the climate in Northern Ireland where I was raised required the same attire. In Florida, everything changed. Trick-or-treating in 90-degree weather is not fun, and I was forced to break the heart of my Elmo-lo…

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I will admit, when I first heard about the changes coming to the Independent, I was hesitant to accept them. I am a creature of habit, and I have never been a fan of change of any kind.

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Over a year and a half ago we began the Independent journey, and the support we have received from the community has been tremendous. 

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Too often these days, should we choose to travel to Chattanooga from the Sequatchie Valley via Interstate 24, the trip becomes an unbearable excursion.

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In 2006, Bullying Prevention Month was first introduced during the month of October as a national campaign to educate and raise awareness about bullying.

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As a child, Halloween brought me such joy, and I loved the search for the perfect pumpkin upon which to carve my masterpiece.  I would eagerly light the candle in my pumpkin each evening, and count down the days until I could go trick-or-treating. 

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This morning, as this issue of The Independent makes its way to press, headlines are once again flooding the media waves in an all-too-familiar way.  There has been yet another heartbreaking and senseless mass shooting.

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In light of the actions of NFL athletes across the country this past Sunday, a terrifying episode that took place just a few miles up the road from Marion County, has sadly gone largely unnoticed. 

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Amidst the ongoing media frenzy surrounding the NFL, I was inclined to avoid this topic.  In my opinion however, I would be remiss if I ignored it.

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It has been a long-standing tradition in Marion County, and in a great number of neighboring communities, to open football games with a prayer, along with dozens of other sporting and public events.

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Following the recent devastation across the south as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, first responders and volunteers across the country have flocked to hard-hit areas to help.

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Last week, in conjunction with a national campaign, County Mayor David Jackson signed a Proclamation declaring September to be Suicide Prevention Awareness Month here in Marion County.

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Last week, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey along the Texas coast, a call for help echoed across the country.

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This Friday night, football fans across the region will flock to Marion County High School to witness a historical rivalry game between the Warriors and the Pirates, representing one of the oldest rivalries in the State of Tennessee.

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With stories of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey dominating the media, I can’t help but think back to my days of living in Florida.  Living right on the water proved to be a nerve-wracking experience, especially during Hurricane Season.

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Last week, the nation watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey barreled towards the Texas coast, growing with intensity with each passing hour.

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The buzz about next Monday's solar eclipse just continues to escalate daily.  What a teachable moment for our youngsters and adults alike. The last FULL solar eclipse was last seen here in the United States in 1979!

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My father is a man’s man, and I’m quite certain that at times I terrified him, but he certainly tried to engage with me when he could. 

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As a responsible dog owner, I am extremely concerned about the effects of the City of Jasper’s Proposed Ordinance aimed at “Pit Bull Type” dogs.

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In the United States, we have many holidays centered around being Americans such as Flag Day, Independence Day, birthdays for presidents and noted leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

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This is in response to the Town of Jasper’s proposed Ordinance #376 restricting Pit Bull breed dogs inside the city limits:  The Ordinance states: To own a Pit Bull breed dog inside the city limits, the owner must have insurance and the dog has to be registered with the city recorder. Other …

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After attending the South Pittsburg City meeting last Tuesday night and being alarmed at Mayor Virgil Holder’s description of our city’s finances, I decided to look into the public records and educate myself on the details of the city’s financial health.  This information is available on the…

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The cold, clouds and skiff of snow earlier this week may make it hard to believe, but it’s Sunshine Week across the nation.

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We live in a world where bullying behavior seems to be the norm, and it can be very difficult for teachers, parents and children to overcome.

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While the residents of Marion County prepare to host and attend Super Bowl parties this coming weekend, our law enforcement will be hard at work keeping us safe.

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On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.  That is a fact, and one that many refuse to accept.

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier’….” – Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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During this last week of school, we extend our sympathies to teachers across the county. 

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2016 is coming to a close, and it has certainly been a year to remember; a year that will undoubtedly be forever etched into our minds and hearts.

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The Sequatchie Valley has endured yet another season of heartache. Beset with loss suffered from fire and precipitation at the same time seems like a cruel mix, yet it brought together those of us that care for the Southeast.

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When children lose their lives while innocently riding home on a school bus, we all bury a large part of our souls along with theirs. 

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This Friday night, two of our high school football teams will take the field at home in the TSSAA semi-finals, one game away from the state championship BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville. 

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After a contentious political battle, the election is finally over, and Donald Trump will soon be the President of the United States.

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During the weather report on television on Monday night, the newscaster said this was the, “Driest Year in the history of Chattanooga.”

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This year’s World Series offers Americans a new opportunity to experience the magical geometry of baseball, beginning with 60 feet and 6 inches and ending with 27 outs. 

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Too often, should we choose to travel to Chattanooga from the Sequatchie Valley via Interstate 24, the trip becomes an unbearable excursion.

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Lately, our news has been filled with political debate, ridicule and antagonism.  Sadly, the country seems to have forgotten the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. 

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Free community college available to ANY Tennessee high school graduate certainly leads to bulging enrollment numbers, but there are too many intangibles to count that affect our Valley positively as a result of this state policy.  The Tennessee Promise, as the scholarship program is official…

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Due to a leak in a crucial pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama, the Tri-State area is now faced with a localized gas crisis.

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Amazingly, 14 weeks have passed since our debut issue of The Independent newspaper, and we would like to simply say, thank you.

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