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What do about 95 percent of Tennessee's businesses have in common? They employ 50 or fewer employees. You might even own, or work for, one of these businesses. Small businesses are truly the backbone of our state's economy and have an incalculable impact on our communities. Unfortunately, many of these businesses are the ones hurting the most right now.

Are you keeping your heart healthy?  While New Year’s resolutions may have already come and gone, it is never too late to make healthy changes.  In February, we are reminded to focus on heart health with all of the beautiful hearts displayed for Valentine’s Day.

“Cash is king” the cliché says but what do you need to know about storing currency at home and the associated risks?  What I mean here is keeping physical currency on hand in a Mason jar, mattress or home safe.  Over the course of modern history, certain events have led people to believe they need to get their cash out of the bank and keep it “safe” at home.  However, home is the least safe place.  Let’s discuss why.

Back in 2005, while working at another T.V. station in another lifetime, I was tasked, along with a news photographer and a producer, to travel around the state of Tennessee to do an hour special on vacation destinations. The very first thing I pitched was we had to go to Graceland. Everything else was secondary in this special but Graceland had to be number one.

State Representative Scott Cepicky frequently asks a compelling question: Why can’t Tennessee be the number one state in the nation for public education? Great question. Why can’t we be number one in education in the nation?

Business speaker Jim Rohn said, “Of the two great eternities that exert a pull on your life – one is called the past, the other is called the future – make sure the greatest pull on your life is the pull of the future. Because you can’t go back.” Paul, the apostle, said it this way. “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize…” And let’s face it; Paul had a lot to try to forget.

School Districts in Tennessee could be heading over a financial cliff if the Tennessee General Assembly does not take swift action during the Special Session called by Governor Lee. The state must address the BEP (Basic Education Program) formula, which funds our schools. Three critical events are occurring in most school districts due to the pandemic: unstable student enrollment, increased and unforeseen costs in public education, and uncertainty of local tax revenue. 

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On Wednesday, Jan. 6, three words were etched into the door of the United States Capitol building.

My mother was an extraordinary person. I suppose any son who was fortunate enough to have a loving, nurturing mother would consider his mother to be exceptional. Mine was blessed with a sharp mind along with loads of common sense – a rare combination.

As children and young adults, our Christmas lists are long and full of meaningless “things” that we believe will enrich our lives. Approaching middle and later years of age, our lists become shorter and hold much more value along with things that cannot be bought in a store. 

Well, it seems like yesterday I was writing about the beginning of 2020. I’m serious. When I began to play my treasured Christmas music back in late November, I had a feeling I had just been listening to it a few months before. There just doesn’t seem to be as much time between annual holidays as there use to be.

It’s that “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, right? I know. It’s 2020, and you may be like me in that you are ready for a brighter 2021! Can I get an Amen?

Our friends at Chalkbeat (national), ardently pointed out teachers’ unions will likely influence a forthcoming Biden administration. Jill Biden even thanked teacher unions for their members’ support during the election. “Joe and I will never forget what you did for us,” stated Mrs. Biden.

I thought I had a touch of bronchitis on Nov. 12. My wife, Patricia, gave me some horseradish to smell on Friday, and I couldn’t smell it. The bronchitis was a little worse, so I went into a walk-in clinic where they gave me a rapid COVID-19 test – it came back positive.

After the week started out cold, we are going to see a nice warming trend from Wednesday through Friday with high temperatures climbing into the 50s.