• The smog of Beijing couldn’t conceal this

    There’s nothing like trying to use a foreign toilet to make you realize just how spoiled you are. Dispatch from China: My oldest daughter and I have hiked the Great Wall, braved the smog of Beijing, walked the ice at the Summer Palace, and stood …

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  • Letter to the editor

    Schools should consider constables  Dear editor: On Jan. 16, 2013, President Obama signed 23 Executive Orders and outlined his proposals to help keep our school children safe. Executive Orders give a sitting president quite a bit of power, especially since the United States Supreme Court …

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  • A sea change in firearms debate

    In August 1925, The New York Times estimated 50,000-60,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan marched in a parade in our nation’s capital. It was a huge public display of the once-secret group. H.L. Mencken called it “a full mile of Klansmen and their ladies.” …

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  • Unearthing a good story

    It’s present day, but our convention speaker is taking us back to 1963. He has spent a good portion of his time criticizing us for being lazy reporters who hand in spoon-fed jargon to their editors and have lost the ability to track down a …

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  • Some heroes rescue children; some tell their stories

    Not all heroes wear a cape and mask. Some live quiet lives and if we passed them on the street we’d never recognize them. Take Irena Sendlerowa, although you might have heard her name as “Irena Sendler.” During World War II, Sendler went into the …

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  • Knee-deep in a tattoo boom

    We may have witnessed a generational sea change the other night at the Golden Globe Awards. Talking about when creator, writer and breakthrough star of HBO’s “Girls,” Lena Dunham, teetered up to the stage on what appeared to be hockey skates sporting a minor array …

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  • Aloha, Hawaii

    Now that most of my Facebook/Elvis friends whom I see often at annual events held in honor of the musician have made it home from Hawaii after a week-long celebration honoring the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s “Aloha From Hawaii” satellite concert special, I’m ready …

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  • Disfarmer photos were highly prized

    Michael Disfarmer, born in Indiana in 1882, was brought to Arkansas by his parents, who became rice farmers near Stuttgart. Shortly after his father died, Disfarmer moved, with his mother, to Heber Springs. Here, the self-taught photographer became partners with a local studio photographer. In …

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  • The 1970s stereo console

    Editor note: A prior version of this column was distributed by Cagle Cartoons in April, 2007. It is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood” available at amazon.com.   It sat in my parents’ dining room for 30 years or …

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  • Rusty 1, Donetta 0

    The one and only rule of letting my daughter have a dog was that he was not allowed in the house. She’s barely had him a month and already he’s made his way inside. Rusty’s home has been a large cardboard box on the back …

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  • Letters to the editor

    Hospice helps with life, not death Dear editor: Funny how a certain word can conjure up a whole host of feelings, and sounds, and smells. For most of my life, the word “hospice” evoked no feelings at all, except maybe a vague sense that it …

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  • Writer slapped brands on many genres

    Sure, I had heard of writer Frederick Faust, but was never sure where I heard the name or what he had written. As a lover of Western books and lore from the time I was a lad, I was much more familiar with the name …

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