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Opinion

  • Thousands of Hoosier children live in some type of foster care setting. In time, many will be reunited with their biological parents. Some, however, never will. Adoption can give these children lasting new families.

    At the same time, there are women in Perry County today struggling with unplanned or crisis pregnancies. Sadly, some will turn to abortion. Adoption, however, offers them an alternative. Too few consider it, however. It’s our responsibility to change that.

  • While Indiana’s secretary of state and her opponent in November’s election spar over the use of $8.2 million to improve the security of voting, what Hoosiers and Americans everywhere really need is a system that bolsters both convenience and security.

    Secretary of State Connie Lawson last week announced plans to use $7.5 million in federal funding and about $700,000 in state money for election infrastructure, third-party testing, email encryption and training for state and county officials.

  • The funeral for my grandmother, Gertrude Rogier, was Wednesday. She was 102 and she enjoyed a long, eventful and full life. She had lived in her own home until a couple of years ago and while her vision and hearing were diminished by age, her mind remained bright with stories of the past.

  • While Indiana’s secretary of state and her opponent in November’s election spar over the use of $8.2 million to improve the security of voting, what Hoosiers and Americans everywhere really need is a system that bolsters both convenience and security.

    Secretary of State Connie Lawson last week announced plans to use $7.5 million in federal funding and about $700,000 in state money for election infrastructure, third-party testing, email encryption and training for state and county officials.

  • Suppose you are driving down the highway and see a police car’s flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. You look down at the speedometer and notice you are speeding. So you pull over to the side of the road.

    The policeman then approaches the window of your car with his citation pad and pen in his hand. But before he can write you a ticket, you roll down the window and tell him he is fired. That preemptive strike keeps you from having to pay a fine.

  • Indiana is one of 15 states that doesn’t require school attendance until age 7.

    The state’s top education official would like to change that.

    State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick would like to see kindergarten become mandatory in Indiana, and plans to advocate for that during the 2018 General Assembly.

    She has her work cut out for her. In previous years, bills that would have required children to attend kindergarten have stalled in the Republican-led legislature.

  • In a case that has lasted more than a year, an Indiana man’s claims he does not have to pay state income tax due to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is imprudent.

    Rodney Tyms-Bey’s case is now before Indiana’s Appellate Court. He faces felony tax evasion charges and owes Indiana back taxes upwards of $1,000. His defense attorney claims the law opened up a whole new world of legal defense.

    According to the Indy Star, Tyms-Bey filed this claim the day the law took effect, July 1, 2015.

  •  

    The things I’ve learned from helping typeset and ready this year’s Santa Letters are difficult to put into words that would be focused merely on the section itself, so I’m going to try to sum it up through reflection.

  • How tight is Perry County’s budget?

    At the recent annual budget hearings Brad Franzman, President of the Perry County Parks & Recreation Department’s board of directors proposed a raise for the county recreation director.

    Instead, the county council suggested doing away with that position and outsourcing the mowing of the county’s parks, “not understanding that’s not all our director does,” said Franzman.

  • The holiday blues may sound more like a belated addition to the repertoire of Christmas music that dominated the airwaves last month than a mental-health challenge, but they can be painful nonetheless.

    After a month or more of planning, visiting, shopping, decorating and otherwise preparing for Christmas and the New Year, it can be hard to settle back into the average rhythms of day-to-day life. To make matters worse, the short days of winter aren’t going anywhere just yet, and lack of sunlight can compound the depression experienced by so many this time of year.

  • Many publications are now naming their Man, Woman or Person of the Year, and to us the clear winner of the award has to be Pope Francis for the positive influence he has had on the world – and not just its 1.2 billion Catholics.

    Since becoming pope 21½ months ago, besides trying to make positive reforms in his church he has played a key role in world affairs. The latest example of that came 12 days ago when it was revealed that he had been instrumental in getting the United States and Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations between them.

  • The first definition of the noun ideal in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is “a standard of perfection, beauty or excellence. Although it has fallen short now and again, this nation was built upon a number of ideals that makes many of us proud to have been born and raised here.

    One of those ideals is our sense of justice. Evidence was presented last week – in the form of 525 pages of executive summary – that many actions have been taken in our name that violate our deep-seated ideas of justice.

  • Law enforcement is never an easy line of work but we suspect local police officers have found their jobs a little harder in recent weeks in the wake of protests in Ferguson, Mo., and more recently in New York. Grand juries in both communities decided not to indict white police officers in the deaths of black men.

    The impact of resulting protests and riots has been felt here at home.

    “I feel like everyone who wears a badge is under a magnifying glass,” one officer said recently.

  • An active and healthy downtown community should be bustling and sometimes noisy. But a city’s or town’s downtown can sometimes be too noisy. Tell City leaders will have to deal with noise and search for balance in 2015.

    Tell City’s Pour Haus restaurant and pub, judging from the size of the crowds it has drawn since its late-summer opening, enjoyed a successful 2014. However, Tell City needs a noise ordinance to provide guidance for businesses such as the Pour Haus – and others.

  • This month’s congressional elections gave Republicans control of the Senate to go with control of the House that they already enjoyed. But they still must contend with a Democratic president.

    All of which brings up a question similar to the one Rodney King once famously asked: Can they all get along?

  • Author James A. Autry famously said, “I believe it is the nature of people to be heroes, given the chance.”

    Tomorrow is Veterans Day, the day we honor our military heroes. We recognize the men and women, living and deceased, who have given of their time and talents, risking their well-being, life and limb to preserve our freedom and way of life. It’s no small favor.

  • Will you vote in tomorrow’s election?

    Many of us will. In fact, well over 1,000 people have already cast ballots in early voting.

    Others of us will turn out tomorrow to choose from the men and women who want to represent us in a several important posts, including county sheriff, prosecutor, auditor, clerk, coroner, state senator and state representative and Congress.

    Those are important positions as they impact the direction of local, state and federal government.

  • Some photos that were meant to be private were recently hacked off several celebrities’ cell phones and published on the Internet, causing the celebrities embarrassment and a feeling that their privacy had been violated.

    Now some companies that make the operating systems for such phones are ready to market them with encryption that would make such privacy breaches virtually impossible. But FBI Director James Comey said Oct. 16 that he is against such encryption.

  • It’s unlikely Marion “Al” Chapman will stand trial on charges of theft or official misconduct. As the News reported last month, Chapman signed a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of misconduct in return for theft charges being dismissed.

    If Judge Lucy G. Coffinet accepts the agreement when Chapman is due to be sentenced this month, the former superintendent of Cannelton City Schools will receive a suspended prison sentence and probation. In other words, he won’t serve any additional jail time.

  • Last Tuesday’s state-candidates forum included a question about ways the legislature can promote shopping, buying and eating locally. Responses included setting an example by committing to local buying, more aggressive marketing efforts, passing legislation that makes it easier for producers and merchants to sell their products at farmers markets, and closing corporate loopholes to shift the tax burden off of families and individuals, thereby increasing disposable income.