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Mitch McConnell

Does he really feel like working?

Is Mitch McConnell too old to serve in the United States Senate?

The same question is being asked of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, President Joe Biden, and even former President Donald Trump. How old is too old?

Some people are old and sickly by the time they are 50 or even younger. Some people are robust and very active at age 80.

McConnell is 81, Feinstein is 90, Biden is 80 and Trump is 77.

My grandfather Hinkle ran a country grocery store until two weeks before he died at age 83. My grandmother was almost 80 before she finally closed the doors to the store.

They were still working, but in their last couple of years they seemed to be just holding on. My dad was enjoying fishing and hunting and his mind was clear up until his death at 85.

However, at age 55 he knew it was time to retire from his 37 years of underground coal mining.

There is wisdom in knowing when to make life transitions.

We all know there comes a time to retire. None of us wants anyone else forcing that on us, but common sense is imperative.

A person is not allowed to serve as president of the United States until they are 35 years old. We need to have a number on the other end as well, perhaps 80 or 82.

If someone is elected at 81, they still have four years, putting them at 85 when they have to step aside.

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No constitutional right to free knowledge


As a new resident to [East] Tennessee, I was sitting in Bud’s Coffee Shop in Oak Ridge, waiting for my order, as I stumbled across the Sept. 13 issue of The Courier News.

Flipping to the Opinion page, I began reading Mr. Kevin Powers’ polemic against library book selection processes.

I was rather astounded by three facets of this piece.

First, as a self-proclaimed educator, Mr. Powers wrote unprofessionally, both in style and content, lambasting and deriding parents concerned about the books available to their children and chiding that “intellectual freedom” is a “scary phrase for our friends on the right.”

Regardless of one’s opinion, dialogue should be kept respectful, especially if you are in the business of public service.

How one can insinuate that his opposition is stupid, while in the same article claiming “to stand up against ugliness,” and expect to convince any open-minded person, is a question to seriously ponder.

Second, Mr. Powers conflated “library overseers” with “right-wing extremist hate groups.” In reality, the desire to censor is a bipartisan trait, as I expect most non-partisans would readily admit.

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Norris Public Library to undergo renovations


The Norris Community Library will be closed for renovation Oct. 30-Nov. 13.

During this time, the library will be getting some new flooring, bookshelves, and a circulation desk. While the library is closed, no materials will be due or accrue fines/fees.

Our phone lines, email, online catalog, TN READs, public Wi-Fi, and website will remain available. Please hold any checked-out items until we open on Nov. 14.

Prior to Oct. 30, as items arrive and the library prepares for closure, some areas of the library will become unavailable.

For the most up-to-date information on the project, please follow us on any of our social media accounts.

During the renovation, the library portion of the building will be closed to the public. As such, if you need computer access, items printed or faxed, or proctor services, please visit any of the other three Anderson County libraries. The staff at each location will be happy to assist.

As part of the renovation preparation, the library is requesting volunteers to help with packing/moving of boxes and dismantling/assembling of shelves.

If you would like to volunteer or know someone interested in volunteering, please contact the Norris Library at 865-494-6800.

Please note that if you are or have a child who needs volunteer hours for NHS, PROMISE, etc., volunteer hours at the library can count towards those requirements.

The library is also in need of boxes to pack books.

If you have any medium-size boxes available, please drop them off at the library during our regular business hours.

This renovation process was made possible thanks to generous support from the estate of William (Bill) Warren Jolly Jr. and the Friends of the Norris Community Library.

Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.;;;

Norris Community


Kimberlee Byrge,


A guilty conscience needs no accuser

From the Mountains

Prison in the 1880s (The History Press)
The small Kentucky town of Campton, in Wolfe County, was bulging with visitors on July 25, 1885. Floyd Williams was to be hanged the following day for the murder of Pate Stricklin.

It was customary for doomed prisoners to be granted special requests within reason on the eve of their hanging. Floyd ate a large meal that he had requested and then smoked a cigar as he met with some reporters. They asked how he felt.

“I guess I feel as good as I have at any time in my life,” he replied. “Now that I learned to know Jesus I feel better than I ever have. I’m sorry for what I done. Everyone has to die. Some die young like me and some are lucky and live many years. Some babies die in their crib.

“It isn’t unexpected then that I will die. The only difference is that I have to die dangling from a rope. Some men die in bed. Some are shot and killed. Some die of consumption.”

The preceding night Floyd Williams met with Rev. J. R. Deering of Mt. Sterling. He got on his knees and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, asking God to forgive him for his sins. A change came over Williams. The following day when Floyd awoke he had a happy countenance for the first time in months.

Floyd’s newfound conversion led him to make a verbal confession of his crime. He felt the need to confess his sins.

“I’m ashamed to confess to the terrible crime I committed,” he began uneasily. “I know that if I don’t God will hold me responsible. God will not let me get away with denying what I’ve done. The shadow of death is falling over me and eternity waits. I have to come clean about what I done.”

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