Last Week, In Case You Missed It: February 5, 2011

What was it you missed if you didnt keep up with Oak Ridge Now this past week? Here’s a sample:

We added three, count ’em, three new regular features this week. Renowned and plain-speaking money management guy Dave Ramsey tackles inexpensive dates, and whether or not you should hire someone to mow your lawn. Teresa Strasser wonders why other pregnant ladies don’t seem to acknowledge her, and contemplates her new stretch marks. And my favorite new feature, The Unknown Soldiers, tells the stories of the men and women who serve our country and sometimes give their lives to protect our freedoms.

In our other regular features, Dear Margo weighed in on a husband providing comfort to his sisters-in-law and another who wants to catch up with an old friend (they’re “just friends”) from college on a business trip. Husbands – who needs ’em? In Lost in Suburbia, Tracy Beckerman writes about her squirrel-chasing dog: “Neither sleep nor hunger will tear him from his post unless of course he needs a nap or hears the sound of food accidentally dropping on the kitchen floor.”

Locally, Oak Ridge High School’s fine arts department put on their version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! Ann Allison says if you missed it, you missed a gem of a show.

In a week where most of Texas learned more about the phrase, “wintry mix”, lots of stuff went on in Austin and around the state. Wednesday many of us dealt with blackouts at home and at work. the Texas Department of Public Safety advised people that traveling to Mexico, in particular border areas, might be a bad idea. Um, duh. We learned that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services keep a database of kids that abuse other kids, and the effects it might have on said children and their potential foster and adoptive parents. Some family physicians are worried about plans for Medicaid payment reform as the state looks to slash Medicaid-related expenses. We looked back on the 150th anniversary of Texas’ decision to secede from the Union. Some Texas legislators want to force more folks to use the promising-but-really-buggy federal E-Verify system to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens. And in a preview of a longer interview with the Texas Tribune, Rob Eissler objects to giving school districts the task of enforcing immigration policies.

In local sports news, it was a good, if not cold, week: we profiled the start of the Lady War Eagle soccer season, and the ladies managed a 1-1 tie against College Park. The boys soccer team split a pair, beating Channelview, but dropped a game to College Park. The depleted boys basketball team took the lead with three seconds remaining to beat Atascocita. The Lady War Eagles took it on the chin earlier this season, the beat Conroe 62-54 to get back on track. Finally the York Lady Eagles concluded their season in style, with a massive 52-15 win over Knox.

Tom Purcell provides examples of presidential humor from late-night comedians. Wil Durst insists that, especially this week, denial is not just a river in Egypt. Bill O’Reilly wonders how President Obama really intends to “Win the Future.” John Stossel thinks that this federal budget balancing stuff is not all that difficult. Some people are rethinking excluding over-the-counter medication from Flexible Spending Account usage. We question the need for average folks to have the ability purchase a 30-round gun magazine. Finally, Michael Reagan, in a harrowing piece, talks about human trafficking going on in Texas today, and the work that Arrow Child & Family Ministries is doing to combat it.

And finally, we have more Super Bowl recipes, including a cheeseburger bowl dip and some cocoa-almond popcorn. All of that and our popular daily editorial cartoons this week in Oak Ridge Now.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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