As I watched the ball drop for the new year in Market Square in Knoxville, surrounded by people who were way too drunk to be out and about in public, I could not help but think I was glad 2016 finally came to an end.

While I believe elections, especially at the presidential level, bring out the worst in people, this year — or now last year — was much worse than normal. On top of that, and maybe I just paid more attention, but there seemed to be more deaths of well-known people.

On the local level we had the passing of Lenoir City Councilman Harry Wampler and Lenoir City Judge Terry Vann, both of whom I found to be great men who did their community a great service. Nationally, there was a plethora of deaths, including Willy Wonka himself, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher and on New Year’s Eve, William Christopher. MASH was a great show and Christopher’s character Father Mulcahy was top notch.

I may be getting a little sidetracked. The point I am trying to make is good riddance to 2016.

With 2017 comes new possibilities. There is something about starting over with a new year.

I have never been one to believe in a new year’s resolution. Typically, the resolutions from people entail something as simple as getting in better shape or being a better person. Unfortunately, for most, the “getting in better shape” resolution goes as far as maybe a month or two and then it is back to their ways before the hollow attempt of a promise to themselves. And being a better person should not be something a person strives to be only at a certain time of the year.

But if you do have a resolution, I urge you to stick to it. Be a better person in whatever way that may be. Get in better shape, whether that means physically fit or just enough so you can avoid getting winded doing simple things. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong and see people better themselves in one way or another.

Again, I feel I am getting sidetracked.

Regardless of how I feel about resolutions, I still feel relieved to have another shot at bettering myself in some way or another. I do hope to plan big things for this year.

Let us all have a good year, folks. Happy new year. Here is hoping 2017 is so much better than 2016.

Jeremy Nash is a reporter and staff writer for the News-Herald. Contact him at 865-986-6581 or by email at