Operation Christmas Child thanks Tullahoma


I am writing to thank Tullahoma residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Tullahoma and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts in 2019. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending 10,569,405 shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—Tullahoma volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Tullahoma are closed until Nov. 16 – 23, 2020, information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 615-962-7145.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.


Dana Williams

Operation Christmas Child, Boone, N.C.

Cawley’s story on jail was spot on


Elena Cawley wrote an excellent explanation of the local facets of a national problem. Nature abhors a vacuum, and empty cells fill rapidly. If we build it, they will be sent. Ms. Cawley clearly shows that increasing the capacity takes resources that perhaps we could have spent on ways to prevent the need for a 400 bed jail. I have to wonder whether whether we could find more helpful interventions than filling half the jail beds with people who are awaiting trial for misdemeanors (for which they may or may not be convicted) and are now out of the work force.

"Only once Coffee County began to make policy changes system-wide to reduce overcrowding in its jails—by increasing the frequency of hearings and reducing court delays—was it able to bring the jail population down to 320 people.” Here, Ms Cawley shows us the positive side. Our County leader did begin to make those changes; many counties do not.

I think it would be worth the County’s time to research what more could be done to decrease our incarceration needs. Perhaps experts at UT for elsewhere could help with the cost/benefit analyses of different approaches.

I subscribe to the NY Times and the Washington Post. Ms. Cawley’s piece would not be out of place in their local coverage pages.

Thank you for a well-written piece on an important topic.


Thomas G. Carlton, MD


Hearts in Ice


I wonder how many of our elected officials have ever been friends with a Muslim, an Hispanic, an African American or an LGBTQ?

Do you believe in prayer? It has been proven that sending happy, positive, loving thoughts to someone can be equally uplifting to them.

Our elected officials need to try this. It seems to me they come to work thinking mostly bad thoughts about each other. It is like their hearts are encased in ice.

I think our prayers can help melt that ice. In these divisive times, I’m praying for a flood in Washington.


David Clark


Stopping the slaughter


On January 27th, the world will observe the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hitler's largest death camp. It's an opportune occasion to reflect on how each of us can help end oppression.

A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers? How could it get millions of ordinary citizens to go along? Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? And, is it just about killing humans, or does it extend to other sentient beings?

Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer provided a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” His message was that, even in our own country, we are willing to subjugate our own compassion and affection for animals to those of our society. We have allowed social norms to supersede our own.

It follows that the only way to end our own participation in oppression is for each of us to reclaim our own moral values. Our very first step should be to drop animals from our menus.


Tate Nicatello


Banning refugees would be bigoted move


In reading the Coffee County legislative body (no names given) has said no to the relocation of refugees in our county has made me so sad and upset. All these refugees have been vetted extensively, what are they afraid of?  Is this decision influenced by our very bigoted District Attorney, Craig Northcutt, who makes no secret about how he feels about certain groups of people?

In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for civil rights without violence said: Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”  

I hope everyone that feels this is wrong will speak up and condemn this decision. This country was built on diversity, let’s not abandon our values!


Lou Lasselle 


The Truth


The House of Representatives has passed the Articles of Impeachment against President Donald John Trump. These articles have been delivered to the United States Senate for a trail. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts will be the presiding judge, and he will administer the oath to the U.S. Senators to have a fair and impartial trial.

The House of Representatives mangers will present their evidence and information to the Senate to remove President Trump from office.  The Senate’s job is to listen to the evidence presented. The Senate should decide whether additional information or witnesses should be considered. 

It is now time for the truth to come forward. This trial is a defining moment. The American people will be waiting and watching for the truth and justice from our Senators. Americans demand our Senators to be honest, fair, and impartial.  We want the truth. We have been divided long enough. The conclusion of this trial cannot leave us with unanswered questions. The trial must leave us with the truth.


Bobby Fanning



Letters to the Editor is excellent public forum


I read Duane Sherrill’s column this morning and am in agreement about using the Letters to the Editor opportunity. I wanted to add a few more comments. I know that “The News” is a community paper and as such is a vehicle for community news, but there is room for opinion. Putting your opinions in the paper allows for a peer review of sorts. Lurking in the dark halls of social media lends itself to cowardice. Now there is no need to start a “Students Against Pat (SAP) movement - That’s my opinion.

Growing up in Nashville there were two papers, The Tennessean and the Banner. Sort of a precursor to MSNBC and Fox, I suppose. This provided forums and prejudices for about all that were anywhere near the middle, and I believe healthy. Committing pen to paper makes one think (usually), and learn a little about oneself, and puts the brakes on impulse. Last, I respect those who write to thank folks for a successful fundraiser, or those who risk ridicule from SAD/SAP like clones. 


Patrick Lynch


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