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Today's Opinions

  • New maps and old land mysteries

    It's hard to find the time I once had to rummage through old courthouse records. When I first came to the paper in the late 1990s, I would venture off some afternoons and sift through dusty boxes and yellowing tomes filled with old wills, court orders and criminal proceedings.

    While decades old, the records  are open to the public and while recent real-estate transfers, criminal and civil proceedings and probate cases can be searched on computers in the various offices, the really interesting things are in back rooms and closets.

  • Schools appear safe from consolidation

    We’re happy to see Perry County’s schools are unlikely to be affected by an effort to consolidate Indiana’s schools, and suggest such attempts elsewhere be put off for at least a year.

    As we reported at the beginning of this year, the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform produced a 46-page report urging a number of changes, including the consolidation of school systems to achieve student populations of at least 2,000.

  • Hopes for a happier 2009

    There are two events on my annual calendar that get me in a serious mood for housecleaning. The first is a neighborhood party I throw each June that brings a few dozen people to my backyard. I know them all well, but I hate the idea of visitors seeing a dirty house.

    The second round of cleaning comes with New Year’s Eve and for the past several years, I’ve spent the final hours of the old year scrubbing floors, dusting nooks and crannies and wiping down windows in a rite of winter grime-fighting that sometimes lasts from dawn to dusk.

  • You can help United Way’s mission

    What a tumultuous time we’ve gone through in the last few months: violent storms, unstable gas prices, dramatic stock-market changes, a national home-mortgage crisis and hundreds of job layoffs.

    It has been a scary time for many folks in our area and it may not get better for a while. But there is one thing I know from having lived in Perry County for the last 25 years: when times get hard, Perry Countians step up to help their neighbors in need.

  • Memories of Christmas morning

    Christmas is upon us again and it's a time to rejoice on what this day really stands for. Sometimes the real meaning of Christmas gets lost in all the holiday shopping and the memories of past years.

    Some memories are wonderful and others are heartbreaking. Yet, we still celebrate this most exciting holiday with all the joy possible.

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

    Editor's Note: In the months before the Christmas of 1897, an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun, asking if there really was a Santa Claus. Edward P. Mitchell gave the assignment to Francis P. Church, whose reply to Virginia appeared in the Sept. 21, 1897, edition of the Sun. Virginia's letter and Church's reply, as it appeared in the Sun, are reprinted below. Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died May 13, 1971.

    Is there a Santa Claus?

  • Happy travels this week, Santa

    Santa Claus

    North Pole

    Dear Santa:

    I hope all is well with you and Mrs. C. I've been reading all year about shrinking Arctic glaciers and melting polar ice, but I hope you're holding your own at the top of the world. Maybe we'll start treating our planet a little kinder than we have.

    I hope our new president will help lead us in a greener direction. I'm sure you'd approve.

  • Christmas wishes and tough times

    Memories of childhood make me thankful for the poor times we were living in. I did not know at the time we were poor. We had lots of love in our house and family. I was brought up to know and understand that God takes care of those who take care of themselves.

    I was taught to understand that as long as we have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and clothes on our backs, we were rich. My grandparents would relive the Depression every time they had the opportunity, so we would always understand life could be worse than it was at that moment.