On the third day of the new year, Dusty, a bay Morgan gelding, collapsed in the morning rain. His giant body was stuck — halfway in his stable, halfway out.
First, the good news.
I'm not sure how to trust city of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke anymore.
Some day, we will look back and realize how limited and incomplete our understanding of pain has been.
One week ago, I wrote that Tennessee Republicans had lost their moral center, no longer reflecting the values and virtues conservatism once held.
Long ago, in the 1950s, at a Catholic school in Dakar, Senegal, a little girl walked in and took her seat.
I first heard of business improvement districts (BIDs) a decade ago, when a friend, Dr. Randall Amster of Georgetown University, was protesting an attempt by Tempe, Arizona, to transform its downtown.
State Senator Bo Watson, R-Hixson, recently asked the Tennessee General Assembly's budget analysis office for a report detailing the extent of contracts between Nike and University of Tennessee schools.
We've been called the Boulder of the East.
This is why people are so, so angry.
Got a minute? Then go put your head in a trash can and look around.
Earlier this week, for a few glorious hours, I was like Kim Kardashian.
From the very beginning, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke promised open and transparent city government.
Were we to try and build a bridge yet ignore the laws of the physical world — gravity, tension, motion — then our bridge would undoubtedly collapse.
Late one night many, many years ago, the telephone rang inside the home of John and Eva Jim Franklin.
Days ago, as Americans raged against immigrant families being separated at our southern border, former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden did what many have done before: He compared Trump to Hitler.
Not long after the news broke that City Hall hoped to spend $4 million — roughly half from taxpayers, half from private donors — on mood-lighting the Walnut Street Bridge, I spoke with Antoine Ward, who teaches and coaches middle school football at East Lake Academy.
Single performance tickets go on sale soon for this season's Broadway at the Tivoli program, which includes eight performances of "The Book of Mormon" at the end of February 2019.
As he does most Wednesdays, JaMichael Heathington, a teacher and coach at Calvary Christian School, began the evening's Bible study — he mentors a group of high school basketball players — by asking for prayer requests.
A few weeks ago, the Urban Institute released an online database that measures inclusion in 274 of the largest U.S. cities, along with an accompanying report "Inclusion Recovery in U.S. Cities."
Among the Mother's Day bouquets and brunches, make sure you also give your mom a voter registration card.
Tuesday afternoon, the city's newly formed Interagency Council on Homelessness meets for the first time.
As with any major project, we should ask: How much of this new push for development on the Southside and South Broad Street is simply part of our constant craving for more?
Fifteen years ago this summer, my wife and I stopped eating meat.
Two moments from last week reminded me of the importance of powerful teaching, especially as the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program testing begins this week in Hamilton County elementary schools.
A few weeks ago, as Chattanooga Police Department Chief David Roddy spoke to city council members about a growing panhandling problem, he quoted research: 92 percent of panhandlers use their money to buy alcohol, drugs and sex.
In 2016, many, many people moved to Chattanooga. More than 11,000, to be exact.
Lent, which begins Wednesday, is perhaps the most underrated and overlooked spot on the calendar, perhaps the least popular of all religious holidays.
Twenty days ago, Gwen Green watched as Erlanger hospital nurses pushed her husband, Paul, into one operating room, and her son, Charles, into the other. Paul, beloved across the city for his long and fruitful work with Hope for the Inner City, has been suffering from an autoimmune disease called end-stage renal failure.
"So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself." — Martin Luther King Jr.
Three months ago, I could barely walk, pain like a live wire roaring through my back and leg.
In 2017, we were cool. Really cool.
Despite what advertisers and big-box stores tell us, Christmas is about small things.
Let's say you're arrested for a misdemeanor crime. Something small and nonviolent, like driving without a license. Shoplifting. Possession of a little marijuana.
Much of America hates Ajit Pai right now.
Two days before Thanksgiving, a delegation of local clergy — Christians, Jews, Muslims, a total of 21 in all — walked into U. S. Sen. Bob Corker's Chattanooga office for a scheduled meeting to talk about two things.
One year ago this week, Will Hunt's heart gave out.
Thank God for Butch Jones.
Between 1885 and 1906, four black men were lynched in Chattanooga.
There is a gap, a moment, a pause.
He could have turned his back.
Like any nonrenewable energy source, our current tourist economy will one day run dry. Past economies prove this death-rebirth life cycle; from indigenous and Cherokee to pre-industrial to 20th-century factories, none last forever.
Some years ago Dr. Herb Barks, the longtime Baylor School headmaster, had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
We're losing manners and the little rules by which we once played. A friend who's a Presbyterian minister points to Sunday mornings. Once quiet and reserved, Sunday mornings now are treated like normal days. Soccer tournaments are scheduled. Stores open early. Mowers and chain saws roar. These things would have never happened on a Sunday 10 years ago. (For the record: Often, they're my mowers. And our kids playing soccer.)
In loud, irrational times like these, do you need a reminder of what a graceful statesman looks like? A politician who's humble and wise? A man you actually admire?
Back in Iraq, they hide bombs inside trash, and trash is everywhere. On the roadside. In ditches. Outside homes.
How free are we in America?
What holds the keys and tumblers to this world? Is it cruelty? Chaos? When the pain of life howls outside our door, is there anything there in the dark night to explain it?
Not long after his son, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, was mortally shot at the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center on July 16, 2015, Tracy Smith was ready to die himself. The grief was simply too much.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., can't forget the June 14 shooting.
Ask William Russell about his dad, Larry, and he won't tell you about the Pinewood Derby races Larry organized in Hixson, or all the car shows they visited, or vacations in the Gulf.
Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center is one of the holiest places in Chattanooga.
This spring, when the newly resurrected Howard School baseball team began its 2017 season, some guys had never played before.
The most influential contribution we can make to American society isn't strong policy or bulletproof arguments or impeachment procedures.
One of the most famous women on Earth is now one of the most pregnant.
These two sides of Chattanooga — outdoors and technology — will only increase in appeal. Each week, people move to Chattanooga for our outdoor scene. And technology? Please. It's only just begun.
On Feb. 14, one of the most radiant, gallantly promising ideas landed on the desk of Hamilton County Schools Interim Superintendent Kirk Kelly and his staff.
Hamilton County faces what seems like an economic and ethical crossroads.
Usually, I'm asking the questions, but here, 60-year-old Mendonsa turns the tables. Our interview lasts over an hour, and Mendonsa, the earringed and bearded executive director of Widows Harvest Ministries, says many things, but it's this question — posed to me and perhaps you, too — that echoes long after lunch ends.
Wednesday afternoon's baseball game at Howard School wasn't cold. Sure, it was barely 40 degrees, with a bitter wind, but please. That's nothing when, just four days earlier, you worked a 14-hour day, through two sleet storms and one snowfall, to make sure your baseball field was game-ready.
Not long ago, I heard of a Chattanooga man who bought season tickets to the Fox Theater in Atlanta. Why? One reason. When a touring "Hamilton" comes to town — 2019? 2020? — he'll already have tickets.
Twenty years ago, when Chattanooga voters to the polls to elect a mayor and city council, there were 32 names on the ballot.
Two Sundays ago, within hours of reading about the Howard team, so many of you responded. Phone calls. Emails. New and used gear. Sweat labor. Strangers began showing up at practice, bringing shovels and rakes, ready to work. One reader emailed the MLB commissioner. But most of all? You sent money.
Last Sunday, this column focused on the magnificent Howard baseball team.
It was last minute. On a school night. And not a single North Shore parking space to be found. Seriously. Not one.
Sales of George Orwell's classic '1984' spiked last week after the White House spoke of 'alternative facts,' echoing Orwell's prediction of a totalitarian repression of truth through 'newspeak.'
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was once again arrested in Alabama, and sentenced to four days in the Birmingham Jail. As the hours passed, the white guards and wardens stood outside his cell, doing a little mocking, gawking and talking.
There have been too many funerals like this in our city. Mostly black folks in the pews. The body in the coffin too young. Prayers from the pastor about new life and resurrection, yet nothing but death out in the streets. And the cause of it all? Gang violence.
Want a more peaceful year? More calm and less chaos in 2017 than 2016?
Besides the wise men, grungy shepherds and laboring Mary and Joseph, animals, too, were at the stable that night in Bethlehem.
One night this fall, we were watching TV when my daughter heard a noise outside.
In 1950, Dr. Louis Miller, a heart surgeon from New York City who immigrated from Lithuania as a boy and became a lifelong vegetarian after working on the floor of a meatpacking factory, was sentenced to prison.
If your child's bus driver was driving recklessly and erratically, what would you do?
Many of you voted for Trump. For a proudly racist fringe, doing so was a joy. Yet others? You were disgusted by him. Repulsed.
It was just after Valentine's Day. Kat, 34, and Krista, 29, had tried for years to get pregnant. Back in the fall, the doctors had good news: the fertility treatments worked. Really worked. Krista was carrying twins!
Need a reason to be against the death penalty?
A century or so ago, American football was quite different. Touchdowns counted 5 points. Field goals, 4. There was no such thing as a forward pass. Or helmets. Games were 70 minutes long. A first down came after five yards, not 10.
One year ago this week, prison officials working for the state of Georgia — backed with the blessing of prison chaplains, wardens, politicians and parole board members — executed Kelly Gissendaner.
Protest has always been part of who we are. Dumping tea. Greeting tax collectors with tar and feathers. Declarations of rebellion. There is no America without American protest.
For the last 10 years or so, students have reunited in early September over a meal. Sometimes it's just two or three. Sometimes the table is packed.
Cameron Bean lives. How else can you explain what happened last Saturday, when a small town of runners woke up before dawn to descend upon the North Shore, all because of Cameron?
[Note to readers: this column is meant to be read aloud, preferably in the presence of someone who makes your blood boil. During the next few months, such a person shouldn't be so hard to find.]
I keep thinking of that 5-year-old, the one who dialed 911 after witnessing his mother and father shot to death by a intruder. Do you remember that murderous story? From January?
If a new Medal of Honor museum is built, it should be done hesitatingly, mournfully and without celebration.
Last week I was walking through the backyard, looked up and noticed a stream of bees entering and exiting near the roofline of our log cabin, about 15 feet in the air. We'd had carpenter bees before, around the same spot, and I figured they'd returned.
High school football practice begins this week. For months, they've been lifting off-season weights, running, reviewing film, working up to the best season of their lives.
This was supposed to be the age of shared humanity.
The Second Amendment is killing us.
What concerns me lately about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — besides his eat-the-world ego, consistent cruelty and overall dictatorial tendencies — is the effect he's having on me.
Friday afternoon, in the same church where 11 months ago hundreds, if not a thousand-strong crowd, gathered to eulogize the five soldiers killed on July 16, a young black woman named Bianca Ernestine Horton was laid to rest.
This Memorial Day, as we remember victims of war, we should also remember victims of our own internal, civil war.
You do not seem yourself, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.
Michael Gerson was on the side of the road when I called. The Washington Post columnist, driving back from a speaking engagement at the College of William and Mary, had a flat tire, which seemed apt: I was calling to talk about the future of American foreign policy, which also seems deflated.
Last night, just like the night before, and nights before that, Kat Cooper woke up from the same dream.
Chattanooga will never stop gang violence.
When city leaders and planners recast and re-branded Chattanooga as Gig City, they did so in an attempt to attract a certain type of people with a certain way of seeing the world and their role in it.
Many days, I tremble to read the Bible. It's no picnic, no easy street. There are lion's dens and crucifixions, miracles and lepers. A whirlwind God appears as a burning bush then demands me to forgive and love my enemies while warning me it's easier to fit through a needle's eye than sneak into heaven with my mutual funds.
In the mid-1990s, Darrius Higgins may have been the most dangerous man in Chattanooga.
It is difficult to put into words the Keystone Cops-ian farce that is TNReady.
On a pleasant fall afternoon in 2011, Charles Adamson, a local builder, dropped by his ex-wife's Cleveland, Tenn., home to pick up their daughter Lauren for an afternoon together.
Last week, Chris Brooks, a local activist loved by the poor and despised by the rich, left Chattanooga for good, moving to a leased apartment in New York City.
VRI is taking a lot of shots right now, but don't read this as one of them.
Think you know history? Our history?
alison, ms edited
Why did the Unity Group boycott Monday's MLK Day parade, the very parade it has sponsored for more than four decades?
For a moment, let's imagine the pool cue didn't rupture the teen's colon, didn't tear into his bladder. Let's imagine it did less damage. That means the 15-year-old freshman basketball player would have never been taken that December night to the Sevierville hospital.
Stop calling it hazing.
Is this what the '60s felt like?