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Opinion Letters

To the people of Highlands, as your former Chief of Police, I am writing to you to ask for your help.

On April 18, 2015, Officer Todd Ensley passed away. He served the people of Highlands as Captain of Detectives for 25 years, before being terminated due to medical reasons. The same medical problems which later took his life.

Officer Ensley’s family called Highlands Police Department and requested that the Honor Guard from Highlands Police Department be at the funeral, and was told that this request would have to go before the board. Officer Ensley’s family contacted me and asked if I could do anything to help in this matter. The next morning I drove to Highlands and met with the mayor and the town manager. I was given a list of directives to follow in order for Highlands Police Department to supply a Honor Guard for Officer Ensley’s funeral. I told the mayor and the town manager, as I was leaving that what they had requested would be done in the next five minutes. But, by the time I drove back to Franklin, the Chief of Highlands Police Department had called the funeral home and advised that due to one officer being on vacation, and another being in school, a Honor Guard from Highlands Police Department couldn’t be present at the funeral.

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If nothing else, the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton had been accepting money from foreign countries during her term as Secretary of State underscores the need for a more honest way to finance our political campaigns. Reportedly, she was giving special privileges to donor countries in return for cash. If true, that stinks.

We now read that she expects to take in over $2 billion from PACs for her presidential campaign.

Keep in mind the fact that politicians of all persuasions raise their campaign money this way and frankly, it can easily be construed as bribery.

I’ve written about this before but we do need campaign finance reform and the Hillary scandal (and yes, it’s a scandal) makes it abundantly clear that America needs to reform our political campaign fund raising system.

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It’s a matter of faith. Bottom line. As I sat and watched the emotional destruction illuminated on the parents face I felt my own heart leap in my chest. Their world crashed, their hopes, their dreams, and their very life as they knew it ended with those words. The responsibility of telling parents that their child is dead is not something I would wish on anyone. What devastating news to hear, what devastating news to have to report. As a parent myself I feel for both parents, the months and years ahead stretch on to eternity. It is an indescribable pain that only numbs the heart through the years, one never forgets, only learns ways to cope with the loss.

As a Child Life Specialist and Counselor I see firsthand how not only children but parents and nurses and doctors deal with terminal illness. Everyone deals with it differently. Some become angry at God, some lose their hope and faith, some disconnect to their emotions entirely, seeking healing in the bottom of a bottle of whiskey or the bottom of a prescription bottle of pills to help them cope. Some accept the pain and find peace in the fact that Heaven gained an angel where their child will never have to feel pain again but will be waiting for their loved ones to cross over to the other side when their time comes.

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To the Republican chairman: Why not get the story right, the only motive was to go to a Republican Convention now that I was registered Republican.

Where you got your information about what happened that day is wrong and untrue. You say I was a frequent visitor to your headquarters and was a champion for your Republican candidates is not true. I was a messenger to your headquaters to invite Mr. Davis to a dinner meeting of one of our veterans’ organizations. They had one Democrat and one Republican there. I instructed them, no politics at dinner. We were interested in their lives and background. We enjoyed both of them.

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