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Opinion

  • The release of a damning report detailing decades of abuse of young people in Ireland's church-operated reform schools didn't make the headlines it should have last week, at least not in the United States.

    Call it old news.

  • All newspapers worry about hanging on to their readers. Publishers, editors and circulation managers fret about studies that show today's young readers don't take as much interest in newspapers as their parents and grandparents.

    That's not good news and may be a result of increased competition from online news as well as newspapers not providing content geared to young readers. What it means is that newspapers need to do more to get young people connected with their hometown newspapers.

  • The economic travails that we are experiencing began with the collapse of the housing market. Sub-prime, low-interest loans to people who lacked sufficient income to make their monthly payments began this tumble into oblivion.

    Follow along. The origin of the sub-prime market collapse goes back to 1977, when Carter signed into law the Community Reinvestment Act. It was passed by a Congress even more profoundly liberal than today's.

  • Memorial Day is approaching and we hope Perry Countians will commit a portion of the long weekend to recalling the heroism of the men and women who gave their lives in service to our land.

    Unfortunately, Memorial Day risks being crowded out by so many other activities: graduations, vacations, even auto racing. We know the first summer holiday is a busy time for everyone, but we encourage individuals and families to honor fallen and living veterans.

  • Congratulations high-school graduates: The big day you've been waiting for so long has arrived.

    In just a few days, you'll take those anticipated steps onto a stage and claim that diploma. You'll also take a giant step toward adulthood.

    Amid the congratulations and cards, weekend barbecues and cookouts, take time over the next few days to thank the people who have made the big day possible.

  • The previews for the new "Star Trek" film claim that this "is not your father's 'Star Trek' " and I have to agree, slightly. But that doesn't mean that old fans should avoid this immensely entertaining film. It is technically a reboot of the series, but there are enough little jokes and throwbacks to appease the older fans while embracing the new. Maybe hardcore fans will denounce it, but people like me (who have only a slight interest in the series) will love the comedy and constant action.

  • Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. is probably rolling over in his grave at the news of Sen. Arlen Specter's switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party - and conservative Republicans' reaction to it.

    Lodge, like Specter, was a moderate Republican from a northeastern state. He won election to the U.S. Senate three times from Massachusetts before losing a re-election bid in 1952 to John F. Kennedy. That was a close loss that many blamed on Lodge's spending most of his time managing Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential campaign instead of working on his own campaign.

  • The Indiana legislature, and more recently an Indianapolis law firm, the attorney for the Hoosier State Press Association and the director of the Indiana High School Press Association made short work of dismissing the First Amendment in regard to a law concerning school-construction referenda.

  • "Settle down, boys" were close to being among the sternest words Father Theodore Heck could muster to a group of fidgety kids in a late 1970s religion class.

    As an all-knowing 10- or 12-year-old, I judged the monk to be an old man already. He was in his 70s, a former professor and seminary rector who had adopted our small country flock in New Boston after "retirement."

  • The Hoosier National Forest volunteer program welcomes efforts from individuals and groups that wish to assist in the stewardship of their public lands. One of the most popular and long running volunteer projects has been Take Pride In America Day.

    Approximately 200 volunteers helped in May 2008 on a variety of projects including tree planting, trail and pond maintenance, painting the Hickory Ridge fire tower and picnic table construction.

    Since 1987, more than 40,000 volunteer hours have generated work valued at approximately $470,000.

  • It's finally arrived. Spring. While it's technically been with us for more than a month, the weather is finally providing the warmer temperatures and bright-blue skies we've needed to bring us out of the winter blues.

    And with this beautiful weather come blooming trees and flowers and, of course, growing grass needing mowed. Perry County has an abundance of natural beauty, both out in the county and in our own communities and it can only stay beautiful with some help.

  • Several people offered comments on a recent column on jobs I could have been doing had I not been working at a newspaper.

    Most shared their own vocational journeys and the ups and downs many of us have experienced in finding our places in the world.

    One man told me he often wonders what kind of life he would have enjoyed had he entered college. The guy has a good-paying "factory" job but was a wiz at math and science in high school and admits he would have had other opportunities with a college degree.

  • Because April is Autism Awareness month, I would like to share a personal experience related to autism.

    This school year, I have had the privilege of teaching a child with autism, and it has been a profound year of discovery and growth for both of us. 

    My student's mother encouraged me to share our story.

    When I discovered that I would be teaching a child with autism, I began to do some research on the Internet to learn more about the autistic child and techniques for reaching and teaching these children. 

  • Hats off to members of this year's graduating class of Leadership Perry County. The 10-person group has been working over the past eight months to learn more about our community and to hone their own personal leadership traits.

    They continue a tradition going back more than 10 years and will join other graduates of the program dedicated to making Perry County a better place to live.

  • I would like to comment on the Thursday April 9 article (Editor) Vince Luecke wrote, reporting that my brother, Kenny Cronin, blasted and verbally assaulted Magistrate Werner. The definition of magistrate is: lower court judge; a judge in a lower court whose jurisdiction is limited to the trial of misdemeanors and the conduct of preliminary hearings on more serious charges.

  • First off, "Observe and Report" is not "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."  Both movies may be about shopping-mall security guards, but that is where any major comparisons end.  

  • To those who decided breaking vehicle and business windows and slashing tires are entertaining activities, we offer two words of encouragement.

    Man up.

    We don’t know that the vandal or vandals whose senseless destruction we reported Thursday was or were male, but the odds are pretty good. For those who missed that story, police reported a number of businesses and cars in Troy and along Main Street in Tell City were vandalized. Authorities aren’t sure if a similar incident in Hawesville, Ky., is related.  

  • In case you haven’t seen the headlines, newspapers are in the midst of a rough patch. Community publications like The News are faring better than large dailies. In fact, most big papers have cut back on staff, reduced coverage and shrank both the number and size of their pages. Some have even shut their doors altogether or switched to publishing online only.

  • Enhancing one’s performance is more a part of our culture than most of us realize. We drink caffeine in the morning and take No-Doze at night in an effort to stay razor sharp regardless of the hour of the day.

    Entertainers have been known to use recreational drugs to push their performances to extraordinary levels. College students sometimes take prescription drugs to increase learning capacity and get better grades.

  • Area church picnics will be coming up soon, and a bill currently working its way through the Indiana General Assembly could partially decide how much money they make.

    SB 414 has passed the senate and passed 8-0 in the House Public Policy Committee. It should go to the full house of representatives for a vote soon.

    Dennie Oxley, who represents part of Perry County, is one of the cosponsors of the bill, which would remove some of the restrictions now limiting parish festivals.