By Jan Boston Sellers
Those of us who are reluctant flyers have even more reason not to feel totally comfortable crawling into an airliner after a 777 vanished off the face of the earth. The Boeing 777, with a wing span three quarters the size of a football field, has not been seen since it left the Kuala Lumpur airport almost two weeks ago bound for Beijing. As of press time, authorities in 25 countries are still searching for the Malaysian jet and its plane load of passengers.
Investigators first thought the plane had exploded, but are now thinking it was an act of terrorism. They are saying the plane was “deliberately diverted” even though no group has taken credit for the hijacking it. It just seems surreal that in this day and time, with all the technology, cameras, cell phones and satellites, that anything could virtually vanish — particularly something as large as this jet.
What authorities do know for certain is some of the plane’s navigation system and information sharing data was intentionally turned off. What they don’t know for sure, however, is who did it or why. Investigators are saying it had to be someone with aviation knowledge: a pilot, co-pilot, or perhaps, a flight engineer, who was reportedly among the passengers.
Regardless of why the plane was taken, my heart goes out to the families and friends of the 239 passengers, ranging in age from 2-79, aboard the Malaysian flight. At least one of those on board is a 51-year-old American man. I am, as you are, hoping for an outcome which includes all passengers being returned safely to their loved ones.
Numerous local events are going on in the community over the next couple of weeks:
The Avalon Center’s sixth annual Parade of Beauties and Chinese Auction is tonight, March 21, at the Palace Theatre. This yearly event is a womanless pageant. Avalon Director Carmen Wyatt said, “Come and enjoy an unforgettable night as we celebrate 30 years of service to this area.” Wyatt said all proceeds will benefit the services and programs of the Avalon Center, a non-profit agency serving victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Tickets are $13 and are available at the Palace Theatre's website at www.palacetheatre-crossville.com or by calling the box office at 931-484-6133.
The Cumberland County Health Department and the Crossville Police Department have scheduled a Drive through Drug Drop for Friday, March 21, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the new health department on 1503 South Main St. If you have unused prescription medications, vitamins or any other pharmaceuticals you wish to dispose of safely, you may drop them off during the four-hour time frame. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Health Department at 484-6196 or the Crossville Police Department at 484-7231.
A former Detroit Tigers Great, Lou Whitaker, will be at the Crossville Outlet Center Saturday, signing autographs from noon until 2 p.m. His appearance is in conjunction with the 2014 Spring Training Sports Memorabilia Show sponsored by Picture Perfect/This Old Glove. Whitaker was the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year and a 1984 World Series Champion. If you need additional information on this event, call 210-5599.
Tickets are still available for the annual TAD Center Fundraising Fashion Show to be held at Forte’s on the Square Monday, March 31, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The show will feature the latest in fashion and accessories from Gigi’s Boutique and The Screen Door, a fabulous lunch and an opportunity to bid on silent auction items. Stop by Gigi’s or The Screen Door to pick up tickets. They are $20, and all proceeds will benefit the TAD Center.