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The art of public speaking exists on a spectrum; either be as ‘dynamic’ as possible or scream. There is significant overlap, but I do not remember any public speaker or teacher, either in primary school or undergrad, intentionally raising their voice to prove a point. They were firm, but bei…

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I can’t remember the exact date, but I do know it was in the summer of my ninth year. I believe his name was Bill and hers was Ann, but I can’t remember their last name. I have never forgotten the time they spent with us, seeing their car for the first time, and especially getting to take a …

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Well folks, the final census figures are in from last year’s 2020 nose count. The census is taken every 10 years to determine the lines and boundaries of congressional and legislative districts. However, the census reveals a lot more information about us as a state and nation than just how m…

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Today marks a couple of really important occasions here in DeKalb County, so want to I take this opportunity to warmly welcome any guests visiting our little corner of the world.

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It is hard for me to believe that 20 years have passed since that Tuesday morning in September. When you are 20-years old, 20 years is a lifetime, but once you have become a senior adult, that same amount of time seems like the blink of an eye. That day is as fresh in my mind as if it had be…

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Grandparents Day is almost here. If you’re a grandparent, you may want to use this day as an opportunity to think about how you can help provide for your grandchildren’s future.

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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Sand Mountain Heifer Development Program recently completed its sixth consecutive year at the end of June. This demonstration project takes place annually at the Auburn University Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center (SMREC) in Crossville, Al…

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This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks on our nation. It was a day in your life where you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first heard of the attacks on the New York World Trade Center and Pentagon. It changed our world.

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This past week, the Robert E. Lee Confederate monument, the largest monument in the South, was removed from its peak in Charlottesville, Va. This is considered to be either a victory for the liberal agenda, or a defeat for the conservatives. Either way, it is something to behold, a monument …

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I don’t fish as much as I once did, but I have fished for most of my life. I’ve caught all kinds of fish, as well turtles, lizards, frogs, tadpoles before they became frogs, and even a few snakes. I have enjoyed catching any kind of fish, but my favorite is the large-mouth bass. Strangely, a…

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Former President Donald Trump paid a visit to the Heart of Dixie last week. Obviously, this is Trump country.

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We don’t just view the world with our eyes, though it is certainly possible. Everyone alive, regardless of age, has a worldview, be they Christian, atheist, Jewish or Muslim. While we may all have some form of a foundation, it’s what we do with it that ultimately matters. This is called a he…

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This week’s Zoom meeting with an update on COVID-19 revealed the pressures we’re under as we continue to struggle against this plague.

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My daughter and I drove to Jack’s yesterday to treat ourselves to morning biscuits. Since Hardees closed across the street, there’s typically a long line at the drive-thru just before eight. Not fun.

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Allow me to again open my political notebook for more summer political happenings in the Heart of Dixie.

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One of my “too many” hobbies is woodworking. Lately, I’ve been building benches. Most of them are three-to-four-feet long, but last week I received an unusual request. A lady wanted to know if I could build a twelve-footer for her, with a back, and armrests on each end. My first thought was …

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The scenes out of Afghanistan this week were horrifying beyond words as we watched citizens of that war-town country panic and cling to U.S. military aircraft as the Taliban took control of the country.

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The science of Economics is what I call a gray science. There are so many factors that affect economic outcomes that it is difficult to accurately control or to predict what will happen if you take a particular action. It is like an especially crazy game of Whack-A-Mole wherein you finally e…

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This long hot and wet summer is coming to a close, and Labor Day is on the horizon. Labor Day weekend will not only mark the beginning of college football season, but also the traditional start of the 2022 political season.

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My wife and I walk our dog every morning along the Parkway that borders Desoto State Park. We always carry a couple of plastic bags to pick up trash, and it’s a rare morning that we don’t pick up at least one piece of litter – usually more. The most common litter is empty beer cans/bottles, …

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Well, Jean and I have almost completely given up something that we have done habitually for most of our lives. Now wait just a minute before you let your imaginations go crazy and conjure up all kind of wild notions. It’s nothing like some of the things some of you may be thinking. We didn’t…

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The field may be set for the race to fill the Seat of our iconic senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby. When Senator Shelby announced that he would not seek a seventh six-year term in the United States Senate earlier this year, many of us expected a stampede of candidates to throw their hats i…

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It’s incredibly discouraging to retreat when it seemed like our nation was well on its way to reducing COVID-19 to a footnote in history books instead of a recurring topic in your community newspaper.

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I have never pictured myself as much of a writer, that is until my third year of college. Up until my final semester of college, I have been a regularly contributing member of my alma mater’s newspaper. My family and I moved to Alabama, from Chattanooga, when I was three, in January 2000.

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Words. I love words. I love to work with them, and I love to play with them. The use of words, both orally and written, are a major part of many of the things I do. Sometimes, finding the right words can be a challenge.

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I just wanted to say how impressed I was by the rapid and effective decision made by the new Fort Payne School Superintendent, Brian Jett, and the School Board to require masks to be worn in city schools. At a time when politics seemed to be driving too many health decisions, this one was dr…

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With all students returning to school and parents fall back into routine, as the CED Mental Health Dekalb Prevention Specialist I, Iesha Mcelrath, would like to send a friendly reminder that the DeKalb County school system has a Zero Tolerance policy regarding Tobacco and substance possessio…

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I was saddened to learn that our local hospital administrator, Patrick Trammell, plans to step down later this month as CEO.

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For over a year I have been touting the fact that the 2022 election year in the Heart of Dixie was going to be the busiest and most monumental in history. Folks, it looks like it is not going to be as eventful as anticipated. Yes, everything is on the ballot, but the power of incumbency is t…

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Over the last year-and-one-half, my family has not traveled much or far. Lately, we’ve traveled some and near. We’ve done what I call mini vacations.

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Our staff was pleasantly surprised last Wednesday after a visit from Kristie Poe, local Relay for Life volunteer.

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Kay Ivey is doing a good job as governor. She is a strong and decisive leader, who has done more than steady the ship of state. She is getting things done. She is making her mark as a good governor.

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One of my favorites seasons of the year has arrived. When I was a student, I loved summer because it meant a break from school. I had summer jobs, plus I had to help with Mama’s 100-acre garden, but I always managed to squeeze in some time for fishing and swimming. The older I get, the less …

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Many of us take for granted the importance and the allure this place holds to millions of people who flock to DeKalb County just to share a little in what we are privileged to live with each day. Now, thanks to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, more of what we hav…

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I was raised in poverty. Our house was a shack. We had a six-foot diameter hole in the ceiling of the living room that was covered only by a blanket. Mother was severely underweight, giving her children her food as there was not enough to eat.