Guest Columns

Jason Wright: Teen is a living tribute to her older brothers

Jason Wright

July 31, 2015

Aubri Whatcott sits in the front row in a classroom packed with more than 100 eighth- and ninth-graders at West Point Junior High School in West Point, Utah. She and her classmates are in the middle of my novel, “The Seventeen Second Miracle.” And thanks to the sly planning of their teacher, Michelle Denson, I’ve surprised them by showing up to answer questions in person rather than via Skype.

George A. Bowers Sr.: Let’s love and value all each human being

George Bowers Sr.

July 31, 2015

One year ago this month, rioting and violence erupted in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of a young black man by a white police officer. In the weeks that followed, our televisions were lit up with the fires and the protests that overtook the besieged city. Over time, the forensic evidence indicated that the policeman acted within expected parameters since his assailant had assaulted him and intended to do him further harm.

Cody Fitchett: Make cheesecake in a cake pan

Cody Fitchett

July 28, 2015

Good morning everyone in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. It is bright and sunny here in the town of Hyde Park… Oh wait a minute, I am on summer vacation and writing this blog from Fort Valley!

Laura de Medici-Bentley: It’s never too late to go back to school

Laura de Medici-Bentley

July 27, 2015

My big accomplishment this week was signing up for online classes again. I have been pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree “on-and-off” for the past couple of years with the University of Phoenix. My education journey has been a rocky one, mainly because of my indecisiveness. I started off as an Elementary Education major, and then I wanted a “broader” major, so I switched to Communications. After a year of teaching, I decided that a Psychology major would be most beneficial.

Jason Wright: Learning to soar again

Jason Wright

July 24, 2015

On Dec. 22, 2001, Nathan Ogden stood at the top of a steep ski slope in beautiful Bend, Oregon. The morning mountain air smelled like Christmas.

George Bowers Sr.: Patience pays off

George Bowers Sr.

July 24, 2015

The rains continue here in the Shenandoah Valley and our gardens overflow with abundance. It may be a little difficult getting in and out of the mud, but the produce certainly is a blessing to all of our summertime tables.

Tom Crosby: 2015 Jeep Renegade jumps into small SUV market

Tom Crosby

July 22, 2015

Jeep is entering 100 global markets this year with its all-new 2015 small Renegade SUV, already a United States award winner for interior design and off-road capability. With four models outfitted with two or four wheel drive, the Italian-built Renegade was designed to appeal to young drivers craving off-road adventure and comfortable urban commuting. Choices are Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk with base prices ranging from $17,995 to $25,995, making Renegades one of the most economical small SUVs with decent mileage.

Cody Fitchett: Bake your cake a day ahead

Cody Fitchett

July 21, 2015

HYDE PARK, NEW YORK — T- minus three days until I come home for summer vacation. I am literally counting down the days until I get my three-week summer break.

Jason Wright: Finding your ‘home’

Jason Wright

July 17, 2015

In some circles, being called a “homebody” might be an insult. But to Shenandoah County native Jay Harris, one of the finest men I know, it’s the nicest thing you could possibly say. No one appreciates the value of “home” more than Jay.

Cody Fitchett: Class takes the cake

Cody Fitchett

July 14, 2015

Good morning everyone — only two weeks until I come home for summer vacation and I can not wait. I love school here at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the beautiful small town of Hyde Park, New York, but I am ready to come home and see my friends and family.

Peter Brookes: Georgia snow on a bobwhite hunt

Peter Brookes

July 8, 2015

“It’s snowing,” he said.

I mumbled, “What?,” looking down to blow away the rising smoke from my 20-gauge over and under, pocketing the empties and reaching for two more bright yellow shells of 7 shot.

George A. Bowers Sr.: Americans must seek God

George Bowers Sr.

July 2, 2015

On May 30, 1765, the Virginia House of Burgesses adopted Patrick Henry’s four resolutions protesting the insidious Stamp Act of England. This was the initial spark that lit up the colonial landscape and eventually ignited the American Revolution eleven years later. Most Americans look back on those days with respect and admiration, grateful for what our forefathers did to confront injustice and oppression. Most of us deeply appreciate the great personal sacrifices they made to secure the abundant liberties that we enjoy in the United States this Independence Day.