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The five day Special Legislative Session that addressed the increase in the gas tax to fund an Infrastructure Rebuilding Program for the state was a remarkable success. I still marvel at the adroitness, efficiency and expediency in which the governor accomplished this monumental initiative. …

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My mother was named Sophia. She was born in Philadelphia in 1927. She and dad married in 1944 and they spent most of her life in Miami, Florida. In the early 70s when dad retired, they moved to Fort Payne, Alabama, and lived out the rest of their lives and died on the top of Lookout Mountain…

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Being a mother is the greatest accomplishment I have done in my life. My Georgia Mae and Magnolia Jean are the light of my life. They are the reason I get up in the morning.

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During the publication of this edition I will be in Manchester, New Hampshire graduating with a Master of Arts in English from Southern New Hampshire University as a student member of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

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Mama was the disciplinarian in our house, at least for me. I’m not sure about when my siblings were growing up because they were already drawing their social-security by the time I came along. Okay, I’m teasing and exaggerating, but they were several years older than me, so I don’t remember …

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Folks, taking care of prisoners is not a popular political issue. However, every so often Alabama politicians pragmatically have to acquiesce to the mandates of federal judges and grant our transgressing citizens their rights as determined by the courts.

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My sister, Nicole, is 14 months older than I am. Although I’m 26 years old, I still look up to her with the same admiration I did when we were growing up. We were not allowed to fight when we lived under Mom and Dad’s roof, so we genuinely got along, unlike most sisters that close in age. Wh…

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It is a foregone conclusion that a Republican will take out our anomaly liberal democratic senator, Doug Jones, next year. The question is which Republican will be the nominee and capture the seat.

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The month of April has flown by and before you know it May will be here. With May comes graduations and summer vacations. Mothers and fathers around the state are mentally preparing themselves to see their babies walk across that stage and graduate.

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Recently, I had the joy of touring one of the best tasting countries in the world, with a wonderful group of people known as The Recycled Teenagers. Hopefully, you read about us a couple of weeks ago. I want to tell you about some of the wonderful things we saw, but first I want to write abo…

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There are very few things that have remained the same during my 13 years at the Times-Journal. I have worked with many elected officials and only a few have stayed in their position during my tenure.

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On a Sunday evening, in January of 2015, fourteen-year-old John Smith had a couple of his school friends over to spend the night. The next morning, on their way to shoot basketball at an area recreation center near St. Louis, the boys spotted a frozen lake. They decided to walk out of the ic…

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Some of you may know that I struggle with seasonal depression. The struggle is worse in the winter months, but that’s OK because each winter brings me a new opportunity to stand up to and try to conquer my depression. I did well this past winter in spite of the sudden loss of my dog, Murphy,…

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Jean and I have had the joy of spending the past two-weeks touring southern Italy, with a group known as “Opelika’s Recycled Teenagers.” In ten days, we traveled over one thousand miles together, by motor-coach, across some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. According to the Fit-B…

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There is no question that Governor Kay Ivey’s Infrastructure/Gas Tax Program was the cornerstone issue of this legislative session. This monumental legislation will be a tremendous enhancement for Alabama’s economic development for decades to come. Gov. Ivey and the legislative leadership de…

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Our 2019 DeKalb’s Top 20 Leaders have been announced. This year, we have another diverse group of people from all over DeKalb County that have moved this community forward through their leadership.

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As a teenager, I had an after-school and Saturday job working in my brother’s paint and body shop. A camper sales business, owned by a man whom we called “Quail,” was located next door to our shop. Quail became a good friend of ours, but we enjoyed “messing with him.” His real name was Mr. P…

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One of the obvious political changes in Alabama government over the last decades with the Republican takeover of the Legislature has been the reluctance to raise new revenue to fund state government. Many of the current Republican legislators came to Montgomery in 2010 with a no new tax pled…

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It’s the end of March, summer is just around the corner, and people all around me are gearing up. From dieting to look their best in swimsuits to planning their summer vacations.

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I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather this past weekend and get a few things done around the house. I cleaned up a little, bought some groceries and household items, but I still felt like I was wasting the rare, sunny weather. So, I got ready and decided to find an outdoor activ…

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I’ve lost more wedding rings than the Kent State Golden Flashes have lost football games. Well, not really. They’ve lost over 500, but I have lost several. I wore my first one until the backside of it broke in two. Since then, I’ve lost count as to how many I’ve had. I lost one playing churc…

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Last Monday morning, I went to see the Today Show live, or at least a portion of it. It was not my first time to see the program in person, but it was my first time at that location.

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Every time I sit down to talk with my grandfather, he always seems to express the same sentiment. He assures me he is so very thankful for the lives his children and grandchildren lead.

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Gov. Kay Ivey made infrastructure improvement in the state her cornerstone issue for this year, and more importantly for her term as governor. Within less than three months in office she and the Legislature have successfully accomplished this mission.

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The love for a pet comes in an array of emotions from happiness to anxiety and some days aggravation.

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Last week, as you no doubt know, killer tornadoes ripped through our state, once again. The EF-4 twisters ripped through a rural community, outside of Beauregard, killing twenty-three people there and wounding one-hundred. The storms went on to destroy property in Smiths Station, Eufaula, an…

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Last Saturday evening, a large group of us gathered together for an enjoyable evening at Providence Baptist Church, in Beauregard. Beauregard is a bedroom community of Opelika/Auburn. The occasion was an annual fellowship of Alabama Baptist District-Four Disaster Relief teams. Some call us “…

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My love for coffee began at an early age. My grandparents love to drink Nescafe coffee. Every morning, my grandfather would have a cup of coffee with his breakfast, and my grandmother would offer me my very own cup of “coffee,” that consisted of 90 percent milk and 10 percent coffee. Never t…

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The Governor has been inaugurated and the Legislature has had its organizational session. The quadrennium has begun. Therefore, it is time for our state officials to get to work.

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This weekend brought a devastating revelation to DeKalb County. A child was reported missing Friday and later discovered deceased Saturday.

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On the behalf of the Times-Journal, I would like to wish Mrs. Betty Jo Whitaker a happy belated birthday. Betty Jo turned 82 Wednesday and celebrated her special day with her family.

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If you are a regular reader of mine, you know about our dogs Cocoa and Ginger. They are also known as Sixty-Five and Fifteen. I nicknamed them according to their weight. Neither of them seems to mind these nicknames, but as I think about it, I sure hope nobody decides that’s a good idea and …

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Valentine’s Day 2002, was on a Thursday, just like this year. I don’t think Jean has had a Valentine’s Day date with me since then.

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It is a busy time for the staff at the Times-Journal. We are working at full speed on our 2019 Progress Edition. This year’s theme is “Building our Future.” Everything we do in our community helps build the future for generations to come.

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Working with the public for ten years sheds light on a topic not discussed regularly, the under-appreciation of blue-collar workers. These members of the working class fly under the radar the majority of the time. They often work long hours under all types of weather conditions and more ofte…

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The Alabama Education Association (AEA) was the most powerful and influential political organization in Alabama for close to three decades. The late Dr. Paul Hubbert was the builder and king of this powerful organization. He became known as the King of Goat Hill. He reigned omnipotently over…

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Ever said, “I would walk to the end of the earth for you?” Really? There are a few slight problems with that statement. Where is the end of the earth? Unless I am mistaken, the earth is round; therefore, it has no ends, unless you count space. That being the case, it is impossible to walk to…

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I made my first big-girl purchase back in December when I got my Toyota 4 Runner. I love my car, but the payments are killing me. Since I have a new bill added to the stack of monthly payments, I have been trying to cut back wherever I can.

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I was driving up I-65, south of Montgomery, when I saw one for the first time. I had seen more billboards than fire-ant mounds by the sides of the highway. Most read, “Call me Alabama,” but others said, “You know who to call,” or “One call, that’s all.” This particular billboard was differen…

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One of my favorite things about living in the state of Alabama is our southernism, particularly the quirky sayings that are attributed to our unique customs. I know, bless my heart.

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This Tuesday, Senator Steve Livingston and House Majority Leader Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter will host a State of the State Address at the Fort Payne City Auditorium at 5:30 p.m.

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I moved to Alabama in the summer of 1996. I can say with regrets that nothing had prepared me for the smothering Alabama June weather. The humidity in our region was unbearable as a newcomer. My father, Meliton Rico and I made our home in the Northeastern part of Alabama. I was raised most o…

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As the new quadrennium crests in Alabama government, everybody looks toward a new beginning. There is a new fresh four years ahead for the newly elected leaders. They are overwhelmingly Republican. The Governor is Republican and all of the accompanying constitutional officeholders are member…

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There are many qualities that we Southerners claim for our own that set us apart from much of the country. Things and ways we are taught in our upbringing that define our character and the way we treat people. One of the most important of these is respect. Respect for our elders, respect for…