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Opinion

  • The Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 235 last week. If adopted, the law would allow counties to create new voting centers which would let residents cast their ballots at one location, regardless of which precinct they live in.

  • The elderly man hunched over from age, shuffling down the sidewalk. The older lady in the wheelchair with oxygen feeding through her nostrils.

    Those are the faces of heart disease in America, aren't they?

    Look at the face on this column mug. A healthy-looking 40-year-old woman. That's also the face of heart disease and a heart-attack survivor.

  • Each year, the Indiana Department of Education, schools and newspapers across the state work together to publish education report cards for our local communities.

    The annual performance reports are one part of a continuing effort to encourage Hoosiers to become more knowledgeable about their schools and for schools to become more accountable to the public they serve.

    The reports include the most recent data available on test scores, attendance and graduation rates, school safety, teacher salaries, expenditures and more.

  • I suspect I'm not alone in occasionally pondering what Perry County may look like one or two decades from now.

    A recent meeting of the Perry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, reported on the front page of Thursday's News, sparked my imagination yet again with discussion of how the county's location in the state and its good highways give it advantages in attracting tourists.

  • By midyear, close to 35 million American families should have a little extra cash to spend, thanks to a quickly negotiated plan of tax rebates our government's leaders hope will stimulate a teetering U.S. economy.

  • What is it with drugs, anyway?

    Yet another meth lab has turned up in Tell City. Thinking about the presence of drugs and drug use in a small community such as ours, and how many other small and large communities throughout the United States are facing the same issues, is truly mind-boggling.

    Billions and billions of dollars of public money have been spent in the war on drugs over the past several decades, and yet, illegal drug use continues to be one of the biggest cash businesses in the United States. The question is, why?

  • An editorial published in the Jan. 14 News incorrectly reported payments to Cannelton firefighters as monthly. Regular members of the city's volunteer fire department receive $800 per year, plus $200 for clothing and fuel.

  • Although the Indiana General Assembly has been working since Jan. 8, most Statehouse observers feel the session doesn't begin until the governor delivers his annual State of the State speech.

    Gov. Mitch Daniels outlined his goals for 2008 in a half-hour speech in the Indiana House chamber Jan. 15 that focused on his plans to provide additional property-tax relief.

    The next day, the governor testified on his tax relief program (House Bill 1001) before the House Ways and Means Committee, the legislative panel that serves as the starting point on discussions.

  • Tell City's sesquicentennial is fast approaching and as you may have noticed at the bottom of today's front page, we've begun a countdown to the weeklong celebration's Aug. 2 opening day.

  • At his first council meeting as Cannelton's mayor, Morris "Smokey" Graves faced opposition to his decision to eliminate two positions from that city's fire department. The meeting seemed more like a one-man show than democracy when the mayor announced that assistant- and deputy-chief positions, held by Charlie Little and Johnny Young respectively, were being eliminated to streamline the fire department.

  • In my day, my mother smoked, drank a little and worked up to the day I was born.

    Our house had an outhouse, an outside pump, a coal stove, four rooms and was climate controlled. (It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter.)

    I slept in a crib until I was literally too big for it. It was brightly painted with lead-based paints.

    There were no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets.

    I rode in cars without the aid of car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags, and when we went to town the whole family rode in the back of the pickup truck.

  • Winter has left me sleepy. Maybe the shortage of sunlight is to blame for my missing energy. Or perhaps it's simply the cold that makes me want to stay under the covers some mornings.

    Even the alluring aroma of coffee from the machine I program before bed fails to rouse my sleepy spirits. I'm not like this the rest of the year. I could fault old age. But I blame winter.

    I have been daydreaming of spring, flowers, T-shirts and green grass. But I know winter has to run its course first. Until then, I'll cope with the long nights and cold.

  • We applaud new Tell City Mayor Barbara Ewing's decision to retain all the city's current department heads, just as we did former Mayor Gayle Strassell's decision to do so four years ago when she was inaugurated.

    Many of the department heads have served under Democrat Bill Goffinet, Republican Strassell and now Democrat Ewing. One, city recreation director Maurice Harpenau, also served under Democrat Walter Hagedorn.

  • Looking for ways to save money in 2008? With financial markets on edge, the cost of just about everything climbing and recession worries making headlines, who couldn't use a few extra dollars at the end of each month? Here are a few ideas to ponder in the new year.

  • With the new year just a few hours away, it's an appropriate time to tip our hats to the men and women working their final day in elected office. They deserve our thanks for jobs well done and while they'll be leaving the public limelight, their years of dedication will benefit us all for years to come.

  • It's a good thing Santa generally makes his visits at night. A lot of us would be in trouble if the old man came knocking while we were awake and brought hard questions instead of a bag filled with gifts.

    I'd be rather poorly prepared to find Santa at my door, with those all-knowing nods of the chin and probing eyes. I'd probably pretend not to be home and ignore the knocks and jingle bells.

  • 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?

  • Each year, weeks before Thanksgiving, the large department stores in cities and suburbs put up their Christmas decorations. Then, slowly, but surely, Christmas decorations begin to appear in neighborhoods.

    This year, when the decorations began lighting up our street at night, I asked a few friends about some of their family Christmas traditions and customs. In response to a question about hanging up Christmas stockings, I was told this was sometimes done only on Christmas Eve.

  • I've grown so accustomed to biting my tongue around politicians, I'm fortunate to have kept the ability to speak. I spend as much time in public meetings as any elected official and it's certainly difficult at times to not speak my mind. Keeping my views out of stories hasn't been a problem but not being able to add my 2 cents can be challenging.

  • We don't normally use this space to recommend movies, but we've found a film every consumer should see. It's a 20-minute production starring Annie Leonard and some cartoon images.

    Leonard, coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, shows us in "The Story of Stuff" how the production-consumption-disposal system that is so much a part of each of our lives works, and how it hurts us.

    How it works: