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“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Each year as summer dawns, when children begin counting the days until shoes become something they just have to keep track of and not wear, I continue a tradition started on June 2, 1999. That was the date the first issue of The Smoky Mountain News was published.

By Bruce Hare • Guest Columnist

In response to your article (“Tug of War over the Chattooga River,” May 31 Smoky Mountain News), I would like to thank you for reporting on an issue that is important to me and I think your coverage was balanced and fair.

When the jury came back with a not guilty verdict in the case against Michelle Gibson, many across the country let out a collective sigh of relief. Gibson had been charged with second-degree murder after her 8-year-old son died from heat exhaustion in a car while she worked a double shift at a Sylva nursing home.

Jennings Randolph does not leap from the pages of history. Perhaps he should. His likeness is not found on any T-shirts, but perhaps it should be, especially of those graduating from high school.

No, Jennings Randolph was not a founding father, but a 20th century figure. He was a long-time member of Congress from West Virginia, first as a member of the House of Representatives and later a senator. He did something in 1941 that he continued to do methodically for 30 years until he was successful. His photo might be depicted as an example of persistence and/or commitment.

I have found that not being able to hear in a crowded room is a constant frustration. Usually, when people talk to me in an earnest fashion, I take the path of least resistance and pretend to understand. That is what happened last week in the lobby of the physical therapy building at Harris Regional Hospital.

A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote speech for an area high school’s graduation ceremony. At first, I thought one of my so-called friends must be playing a joke on me. Why would anyone want a local newspaper columnist/college English teacher to address a group of graduating high school seniors? What would I be expected to say? “Esteemed graduates, you face many problems and challenges in the world you are about to enter — skyrocketing health care costs, our dependence on foreign oil, the scourge of terrorism — but when all is said and done, if you do not finally get a grip on comma usage, I swear I will track down every last one of you and write nasty little comments with a red pen on everything you ever write from now on. If you do not learn the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’ I will haunt you from beyond the grave. Now go forward and prosper, but do not let your participles dangle.”

I don’t bash public schools. My wife’s a teacher, my children have gotten a great education at these schools, and we’ve been able to solve every major problem that ever arose with a teacher.

Back last fall, about the time the Jackson County Library controversy mutated into an issue with all of the appeal of a dead mule in doorway of the Town Hall, I decided to give up my role as “gadfly.” I was bitterly opposed to the proposed site (Jackson Plaza), but eventually I began to feel that I was a single whining voice in the wilderness. The rest of Jackson County either approved of the site, or worse, simply didn’t give a damn.

By Joanne Meyer • Guest Columnist

A soft, spring breeze wafted through the open window, sending a sheer, cafe curtain dancing across the strings of a mandolin leaning upright against the back of a chair. The sound the instrument produced had a startling but enchanting allure. It spoke to me in a voice I had not heard in a long time.

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This Must Be the Place

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    A tribute to the Lord of Scaly Mountain While it is difficult to write objectively yet critically about someone whom you know personally or about a book whose subject matter and/or authors are familiar, sometimes necessity is more than the mother of invention and you have to do things you normally or ethically…
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