By Jan Boston Sellers
NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Pope Francis with his off the charts approval ratings (in excess of 88 percent, a score most politicians crave). The birth of Prince George. A failed health care website. Boston Marathon bombings. Anthony Weiner. 2013 was characterized by some good, and some not so good, news. Chances are 2014 will bring more of the same. Here’s hoping the good far outweighs the bad.
Cumberland County school students are most likely feeling that 2014 has gotten off to a great start as their holiday break was extended with extra days off school earlier this week due to the frigid temperatures and snow that landed on the Plateau Sunday night. However, even though most of the students were celebrating their bonus days off, the temperatures were some of the coldest we have endured in almost two decades resulting in closed businesses, frozen pipes, hazardous roads and power outages. Stone Memorial High School’s doors were opened as an emergency shelter to house those who were without heat or power.
At press time, thankfully, the temperatures have risen more than 40 degrees from earlier this week almost making us feel as if 50 degrees is a heat wave. Weather forecasters are calling for what one television meteorologist referred to as a “cleansing rain” Saturday to wash away the remains of the snow and road chemicals left after this week’s snow.
If the winter weather has already gotten you down, there are a few things to look forward to over the next few weeks. If you like television and movies, you may want to check out the Golden Globes Sunday night. The annual nod to the actors and actresses is a precursor to the prestigious Oscars and will be hosted by former Saturday night funny girls Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. They get under way at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Sports fans are anxiously awaiting the year’s biggest ball game (although if I live to be 100, I am not sure I will ever see a better game than this year’s College Football Championship game between the Florida State Seminoles and Auburn Tigers) billed as the Super Bowl. Scheduled for February 2 in East Rutherford, NJ, the game may as well have been included in the Winter Olympics. Organizers are already saying the game may have to be played on alternate dates if the weather doesn’t cooperate. As of right now, the NFL is still hosting its play-off games (let’s go, Broncos) and we don’t yet know who will play in the 2014 game.
And speaking of the Winter Olympics, NBC will air the opening ceremonies on Thursday, Feb. 6, live from Sochi, Russia. I love the Olympics and am particularly looking forward to some of the games included in the line-up, such as alpine skiing and figure skating.
The stars come out in full force come Sunday, March 2, as Hollywood’s A Listers converge for the annual Oscars. The award show features nominees from the year’s best movies and features a red carpet fraught with designer clothes, shoes and jewelry.
Locally, there are still lots of elementary and high school basketball games to be played. The CCHS Lady Jets, at press time, were still undefeated and ranked among the Top Ten in the state. Over at Stone Memorial High School, the Panther boys are 12-3 heading into the new calendar year. The Panthers won the prestigious Renasant Bank Christmas Tournament in Maryville over the holiday break. Panthers Justin Simmons, Luke Matthews, Gage Spence and Tyler Yoder were named to the All Tournament Team. The CCHS basketball squads will travel to Rhea County tonight to take on the Golden Eagles, while the SMHS teams will host White County this evening. The two local schools will play the first of their two matchups versus each other on Friday, Jan. 17, at Cumberland County High School. Good luck to all the teams and their coaches on a successful climax to their seasons!
Cumberland Countians had a huge presence at the University of Tennessee-Tusculum game at Thompson Bowling Saturday. Mason Fox, a Tusculum Pioneer, played in the game. Ryan Shanks, a current UT student, was drumming in the Vols Pep Band along with alumni trombone player and local pharmacist Jim Bell. Kristy Sherrer Nixon, daughter of Chronicle Publisher Pauline Sherrer Lyon, and her children were featured on the in-house jumbo tron.
Cumberland County native and actress Julie Emery was featured in this week’s episode of NCIS. Speaking of talent, if you would like to try out for America’s Got Talent, you can do so in Nashville on Jan. 28. Check the AGT website for location and times.