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Opinion

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The holiday season is here and along with it comes one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year.

  • In their upcoming session Indiana legislators will consider a bill to further restrict beginning drivers' licenses, including putting restrictions on their cell-phone use while driving.

    We're not sure if the restrictions will do away with some of the problems caused by young drivers or merely postpone them, but we think the cell-phone restrictions would be good rules for drivers of all ages.

    Among other things, Senate Bill 16 would:

    • Prohibit drivers younger than 18 from using hand-held or hands-free cell phones while driving.

  • After a simple life on the farm, I'm finally moving to town and can't wait to enjoy the fast, exciting adventures of the big city.

    Well, sort of.

    Over the next week or two, I'll be hauling the contents of my house a tad over a mile to the metropolis of New Boston. I recently bought a house there and while it's nothing fancy, it more than meets my bachelor needs.

  • Perry County is lucky to have several organizations that can help citizens find help when they need it. If it's some extra food you need, there are several public pantries across the county ready to help. If your home was destroyed by fire or a natural disaster, the American Red Cross can help you find shelter. If your home is cold because you don't have enough money to pay the gas bill, Lincoln Hills Development Corp. has grants ready to help pay for it.

  • I used to devise all kinds of ways to count down the days to Christmas. I was that eager to wrap up a semester at school and welcome Santa and his presents under the tree.

    The longing began in church, usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, with the lighting of the first Advent candle. A wreath with four candles was placed in the front of our church at New Boston and each week another candle was lit, leading up to the weekend before Christmas. Advent, from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” is the four-week period before the nativity of Jesus.

  • The Perry County News is to be commended on its willingness to bring life issues to the attention of its readers. A Nov. 17 editorial reported a group of bishops saying that opposing abortion is of first importance among the life issues.

    One might rightfully ask: How does this group of bishops have the authority to make this evaluation? Suppose someone else were to think that capital punishment is of first importance? Indeed.

  • A moment hasn't gone by for family members of Indiana National Guard soldiers based at the Tell City armory when they didn't think about their loved ones deployed to Iraq.

    Wondering if they're safe from enemy fire; wondering when, and if, they will see their soldiers' smiling faces, and children asking when their mom or dad is coming home.

    But all of the worrying has come to an end. They're home. Indiana's citizen-soldiers — fathers, mothers, sons and daughters — are now safe and sound on United States soil.

  • The trampling death of a man inside a Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving should give us all pause on what the holidays are all about, or at least what they shouldn't be about.

    Perry County is a long ways off from the Valley Stream, N.Y., Wal-Mart where temporary worker Jdimytai Damour was trampled by an oncoming 5 a.m. rush of shoppers. Damour was killed as he tried opening the store's doors. Some shoppers tried to help him but many others stepped over his body en route to bargains.

  • Many banks are getting a boost through the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Plan, in which the U.S. Treasury is investing $250 billion in banks that are approved by their primary regulators and the U.S. Treasury to participate.

    In addition to helping banks, the American consumer also will realize a significant benefit from the program.   

  • Hope was mentioned now and again as you campaigned for the office you will assume in January. We have some hopes we’d like to see you fulfill once there.

    This is not simply a wish list. Failure to pursue honorable courses of action threatens this nation in ways most of us don’t care to imagine. We don’t care to forecast, for example, what might become of our country if our largest banks and other companies tuck our hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money into their pockets and walk away, leaving many of us without homes and jobs.

  • I wasn’t always kind to Thanksgiving. For the first two-thirds of my 41 years, I under-appreciated the holiday. As a child, the event seemed best suited for grownups, who like to chat around the kitchen table eating turkey and pumpkin pie.  

    For me back then, Thanksgiving was a welcome four-day weekend away from school and the signal that Christmas was near.

  • Editor’s Note: This text of President George Washington’s Oct. 3, 1789, national Thanksgiving proclamation was printed in The Providence Gazette and Country Journal and is printed with original spellings, capitalization and punctuation.

    It was submitted by Freewill Baptist Church in Cannelton to commemorate Thursday’s observance of the holiday.

  • When the Donna Fenn Literacy Fund was founded in 2005, her husband and family wanted to establish a way to honor her commitment to early childhood literacy.

    An endowment was created for the benefit of the school where she taught, William Tell Elementary, with a mission to promote literacy-skills development.