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Opinion

  • 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:

  • Editor's Note: This column by Virginia Barton was published in the Seaford Star in Delaware and is reprinted here with permission.

    Barton relates a reunion between her and husband, Chuck, with the children of the late Justin and Helen Etienne of Mount Pleasant. Chuck and Justin served in the Marine Corps during World War II.

    Bonding. Just what is it all about? Last week, Chuck and I celebrated 61 years of marriage. Without a doubt, a good marriage involves a great deal of bonding. It involves trust, faith, caring and sharing, love and hope, and much more.

  • I'm not one to be labeled an activist for animals. I'm less apt to marvel at the beauty of a wild deer than wonder if it's been grazing in my soybean field. And a baby white-faced calf frolicking in a green pasture brings to mind future steaks or a paycheck for my farmer brothers rather than the wonder of new life.

    No, I'll never forgo steak or leather but I don't want to see any animal suffer, whether being cared for as a pet or raised for market and the dinner table.

  • With the United Way signs disappearing, Thanksgiving gatherings a fond memory and our minds now turning toward Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you there is still time to give to the United Way of Perry County's annual fund drive.

    The annual campaign, co-chaired this year by Don Gill of Best Chairs and Rita Mahoney of Old National Bank, was officially completed Nov. 1 but donations may be made through the end of the year.

  • While New Year's is still a month away, we at The News are already working on plans for a memorable 2008. And what a year it should be, with Tell City's sesquicentennial celebration in August and various community projects getting under way or wrapping up.

  • Recent headlines in this newspaper reporting large seizures of methamphetamine, marijuana and cash prove the war on drugs - and the drug trade - are far from being won. Despite statewide decreases in the number of drug labs dismantled by police, there are still criminals willing to manufacture meth or cultivate plots of marijuana.

  • I do my very best to avoid department stores at Christmas time, and since Christmas shopping now begins even before Thanksgiving, I have been sticking to the grocery-store aisles for weeks.

    I would rather be just about anyplace than standing in line Friday morning, waiting to run through a store just to grab a few bargains. Some stores opened as early as 4 a.m. Friday and while I'm up that early at least six of seven days each week, I refuse to join the race, no matter how big the bargains.

  • Now that Thanksgiving has passed and we have all given thanks for what we have, the Christmas season is in full swing. From now until New Year's we will all celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

    Presents will be exchanged and many meals will be served to show our appreciation. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have as much as others. This is where you come in.

  • The disappearance of Ricky Thomas in the late fall 1997 was one of the first big stories I covered after coming to The News that summer. Ten years later, the mystery surrounding the Bristow teen's disappearance remains. What happened to the 13-year-old boy last seen about 1 p.m. Nov. 6 on Oak Ridge Road? If alive, Thomas would be 23 years old today.

  • To those of our readers who have struggled along with us as we worked to migrate from one Web-site system to another Oct. 23, we extend an apology and a note of thanks.

  • The definition of armistice is the cessation of hostilities. The most significant armistice to all Americans was signed at 5 a.m. Nov. 11, 1918, ending World War I after four years of conflict.

    This armistice was an order for all firing to cease and the laying down of all arms. All over the world there were many demonstrations, blowing of whistles and impromptu parades. Many businesses closed their doors as the world rejoiced for the ending of "the war to end all wars."