• Time to taper Halloween celebrations in schools

    Principal Orlando Taylor believed he was doing the right thing last week when he sent a letter home announcing to parents that Halloween celebrations will be banned this year at Inglewood Elementary School. But Taylor underestimated how many parents in Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania are emotionally …

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  • Columbus, friend of Santa, discovers Halloween

    Well, I tried. With the holiday season approaching and more things coming across the news, I was determined not to say a single thing this season and just let people bask in their delusions. And personally I think I did a pretty good job. After …

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  • Anybody else hate bifocals?

    This summer, shortly after turning 53, I finally “upgraded” to bifocal eyeglasses, and I must admit that I am underwhelmed. I was in denial about needing glasses at all until high school. Until about the time Fonzie made it cool to wear eyeglasses in one …

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  • Paid journalists pay off

    I am a nationally syndicated op-ed columnist. My column runs, I’m told, in nearly 90 newspapers each week and it just turned two years old. You might assume this means I went to journalism school, started at a paper and worked my way up. You …

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  • Remembering the excitement of trip to town in days of old

    On Saturday, Oct. 12, as my wife Debra and I cruised down the main street of Batesville, Arkansas, it was as if we had stepped back in time. The parking spaces were full. We saw friends and family walking down the streets laughing, talking and …

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  • Some of the perils of nasty ‘netiquette’

    Editor note: This is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” available at amazon.com.   Boy, is technology making us ruder. I read with great delight a Wall Street Journal story about a couple …

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  • White River pearl boom plundered mussel beds

    The White and Black river regions of Arkansas experienced a pearl “boom” during the first three decades of the last century. Farmers left their crops unharvested; bankers, lawyers and merchants closed their doors; and hundreds of families relocated to shanties and tents along the rivers …

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  • Making a difference in people’s lives

    As a publisher of a weekly newspaper, you find yourself doing a lot of different things. Both news and advertising become part of the daily routine. One day you’re crunching numbers for the budget, the next day you’re calling on a new business that has …

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  • Calling for the death of this rumor

    I know of newspapers that kept their communities informed about clean water and shelter during terrible storms and disasters. I know of newspapers that exposed crooks, lost a lot of advertising from the crooks’ buddies and still put out a paper every week. I know …

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  • Stop whining and try working

    It’s always refreshing to see another country do something stupid, especially when our own is in the middle of a mess such as this government shutdown. It’s nice to know there are idiots running things at other places on the globe and not just here …

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  • Community newspapers: Showing the importance of a good story

    I learned about the importance of telling a good story — something your publications try to do each and every day — from a Tennessean who was a dear friend of mine. His name was Alex Haley and he became famous for telling stories, in …

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  • The cornerstone of democracy

    We’ve been calling it the end of an era for a long time now. It’s supposed to be the end of newspapers, according to naysayers who have been predicting their ultimate demise for years. But the facts prove the newspaper industry is growing and transforming …

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