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A look back at the DeKalb tornado

By Kenny Mitchell


This was a day I will never forget. Though I had not yet fallen in love with the town that I now call my hometown, the devastation caused in May of 1999 will forever be emblazoned on my memory.

I chased this storm all the way from Paris. There was a brief stop in Avery, as I checked on my wife and kids and made sure that they were okay before jumping right back on the highway behind the monster.

The debris cloud was visible from the backside as I pulled into Bowie County and got closer to DeKalb. Just a minute or two behind the actual twister, I was one of the first ones to walk down through the streets of downtown, with power lines down everywhere and a carnage that I have only seen one other time in my life up close.

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Front pew pot stirring

When I was a young boy that thought I knew it all, you know like 18 or 19, my mawmaw was pretty well versed in sitting me down and trying to talk some sense into me. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

One of the things she tried the hardest to get into my quick tempered brain was the fact that if you read the Bible, love Jesus with all your heart, and try to live the way He tells us to, we are gonna have problems.

That is just a matter of fact. Loretta Lynn had it fairly right when she sang, “he didn’t promise us a rose garden.”

Well, mawmaw also told me that most of the time when us church goin folk are having problems, it very well could be other church goin folk that are stirring the pot. It was at this point that she always interjected that it wasn’t them that was actually doing the devilment, but the devil himself working through them.

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Staying positive in a world of negativity

Recently here at the Tribune we had a situation that didn’t really surprise me, but it puzzles me, and maybe even makes me a little mad.
We did a story on a local theft and we put the pictures of those arrested on the front page and lo and behold, our newspaper sales for that week were much higher than normal. Compared to the next week’s paper where we featured local kids doing great things, the paper with the crime story on the front sold three times as many papers.
That kinda bothers me.
We spend most of our time and efforts here promoting the good stuff, telling the stories of the positive, and getting as many pictures of our local kids in the paper as possible, but we sell more papers when there is a story about arrests made.

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Lives matter, time is short and Jesus saves

by Pam Kumpe
Most of you know by now that I love the homeless and love street ministry. Most of you don’t 
know that the man you read about who died across the street from the Salvation Army on 
Saturday evening was a friend of mine. 
When I heard, I was undone, because I feel horrible, like I failed him spiritually—not sure, not 
knowing, if my friend, Josh, was saved. If he was a follower of Christ.
Sure, last week, I watched two homeless friends drag cardboard boxes down the street like they 
were carrying paneling fit for a king. Their smiles had welcomed me to their unshapen 
I happened to have a couple of bedding pads (plastic ones made out of hundreds of little white 
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Out of Order

Hey, remember when back in the Old Testament, the Israelites had escaped from the tyranny and slavery of Egypt and Pharoah but they were still not convinced that God was in control, so they set up some fake gods to worship?
Do you ever think folks today might do that same thing?
It has come to my attention lately that there are some folks that think they either are, or should be, in control themselves and they think they can fool people into thinking they are doing good for the common man, when in fact, they are just setting themselves up as a golden calf.
It kinda irks me, to say the least, when people portray themselves as one thing, when in reality they have a hidden agenda that benefits just them and a select few of their cronies.

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Too much senseless death

A new mindset is needed to curb underage drinking


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Animal abuse: A criminal offense

After two reported horrendous examples of animal cruelty of the worst kind, it is high time that we became a voice for those without a voice; our animals.

Back in April, more than a dozen adult dogs, along with puppies and wild hogs, were seized from a home in western Bowie County. These animals were emaciated, living in squalor and basically uncared for at all. I saw the carnage with my own eyes and it was one of the most horrible and unnecessary instances of animal cruelty I had ever witnessed. It was a crime scene.

Then in September came the discovery of 24 dead dogs at a home in Maud. Again the animals died simply because they were not fed. There was no food or water anywhere to be seen and you can only imagine how many days these animals went without before they died from starvation.

I wonder how many days the owners of all of these dogs went without food and water?

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Christmas is in Heaven too

It would be very easy to write a few hundred words this week on Christmas and how wonderful it makes everyone feel, but would that be a true statement?

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Legacies never die

It is never easy to lose someone you care about deeply. Someone that you called a friend, someone that you know to be a benefit and a blessing to those around them, or someone who has impacted your life.

When these kind of people leave our lives, we are left with a void. There is a sense of astonishment brought on by an overwhelming urge to ask why. Why is it that really good people have to leave us suddenly and without warning, and in our minds, before their time.

The last two days in my hometown have left a community reeling. I know this morning that there are many, like myself, that are once again looking to Heaven and asking God…why?

Shelly Hill and Cavin Fannin were special people. To me, they were special because they did special things, gave of themselves, and did a lot for those around them, without asking for or caring about a single word of recognition.

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I watched somebody die today

I watched somebody die today.
I watched helplessly as the light drained out of their eyes, and their blood stained my clothes and my hands. It was the most confused feeling that I had ever felt as I was scared, sad, angry and confused all at the same time.
How could this be happening was my only thought as people rushed around me and I just sat there in the floor holding this woman that I had never met as she died. I was pretty sure she must have family close by and they had to be looking for her, but the chaos was so great that it would be next to impossible to find anyone. Everybody was shouting and screaming, the police sirens were so loud and in the back of my mind I was constantly wondering if it was over.
How could this be happening? We were just watching a movie. I mean, I looked over the aisle and my popcorn was still sitting in the little armrest of my seat.


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