Susan Steen: Don’t allow biases to blend with facts

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin “While I’m trying to make my corner of the world better, I’m looking for truthful information. I have found that the United Nations Reports for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Human Rights Watch are places where I can find verified […]

Susan Steen: Keep smiling when you floss teeth daily

“Once you know something, you can’t unknow it. That’s the burden of information.” – Neal Shusterman, “Unwind” Which teeth do you want to keep? I was reading B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits a few years ago, and one scene has continued to stay with me. He was trying to make flossing his teeth a new habit and had asked his dentist (I think […]

Steve Haley: A small town P.T. Barnum

In the best tradition of Fibber McGee’s closet, my parents kept a kitchen cabinet drawer  for miscellaneous items. If you looked inside, you would find any number of things that had no permanent home. There were rubber bands that both stretched and those that didn’t.  There were marbles, paper clips, spare keys to long-ago sold cars, tools for small repairs, […]


Steve Haley: A penny for your thoughts and your candy

Todd County, Ky. was sparsely populated with only about 10,000 citizens during my childhood. Consequently, no major grocery supermarkets were located there. County residents patronized small, independently owned corner stores. We referred to them as “mom-and-pops.” In the 1960s and ’70s, there were only a few of these “mom and pops”  in my hometown of Guthrie. Each of these little […]

Cheryl Lewis: The grave cannot steal love, never could

Her birthday is coming up and it’s time to celebrate her life. I’ve been doing that for quite a while. Ever since I was 15, my friend Becky Smith Meister has been a special part of my best world. I can picture the day we met like it was yesterday. I was new to her church and just an awkward […]

Cheryl Lewis: Sometimes ya just gotta have what ya gotta have

My local quest for homemade chocolate meringue pie continues. Near our cabin in northeast Alabama, there used to be a little hole-in-the-wall café that served the chocolate pie of my dreams. Smooth as silk (but tastier) with flaky pastry crust, it was the absolute pinnacle of my month when I could get a slice. That was often easier said than […]

NATIONAL NEWSPAPER WEEK: Americans depend on newspapers to stay informed about their communities

Nearly 220 million American adults turn to their local newspapers regularly for news and information they need to stay informed, feel more connected to their neighbors and improve their lives and communities. That readership number is based on a recent national study by independent research firm Coda Ventures for the America’s Newspapers organization. Most likely, the number of readers is […]

Cheryl Lewis: ‘Oh, do you know the banana bread man?’

Some stories are best told by pictures, but if I just show you the Banana Bread man and a few of his loaves, you won’t realize what an absolute blessing he is to so many. His is a story of numbers: Al Kent has lived in Lebanon for 44 years and was married to his wife, Nancy, for 63. They […]

Susan Steen: Dance every time chaos plays the music

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Watts Change is not easy for a lot of people. Most of us, I think, like the known and the consistent. Change is inevitable, of course, and with change can come chaos. Getting a new dog creates […]

Cheryl Lewis: Libraries provide way more than books

I’ve always been a library junkie. I love it all: the quiet, the rows upon rows of books, the adventures and knowledge within.  There’s never an excuse to pass a day in boredom if there’s a library nearby. It’s a great place to write letters, do homework, people watch or keep a diary. Best of all, of course: it’s a […]

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