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Columns

  • You decide: Should we borrow for roads and buildings repair?

    By Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    “Debt” has acquired the status of a bad four-letter word. We worry about public debt, especially the $18 trillion national debt. We also worry about our private debt, realizing, for example, that large household debt was one of the factors leading to the Great Recession.

  • ONDBEAT: And the winner is ... anyone tuned to anything non-Oscars

    The only people in the universe who couldn’t find out anything about this year’s 87th Academy Awards were the (lucky) few who don’t own a functioning boob tube.

    Because judging by the play-by-play, who-wore-what on the red carpet, this event is The Most Fabulous Celebrity Kiss-Up-Fest To Air On Big Brother Screens Everywhere.

  • Movie magic delivers reality checks
  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

     

    Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly, we had less activity than normal because of the weather in the Raleigh area, we had no vote sessions in the House of Representatives and few votes in the Senate, and we were able to put more work behind the scenes into some of the bills we hope to file and pass.

  • New senator makes splash with hand-washing comment

    More than 20 years in journalism, much of it spent as a public safety reporter, has given me a pretty strong constitution. I’ve come upon horrific crime scenes and gory accidents and found myself in truly repulsive environments more times than I care to remember (and will probably never forget). After a few years, I managed to develop a more clinical approach — plus gallows humor — to cope. Today, I’m confident in my odds of winning an old-fashioned juvenile game of “What’s grosser than gross?” based solely on personal experience.

  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act aims to improve students’ futures

    By Nancy Lamb

    Guest Columnist

     

    As parents, educators and community leaders, now is the time. Want to improve our schools? Want to help our children? In the next few weeks, the Congress is going to consider the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This is the federal government’s single largest funding pool for K-12 education. The bill represents the best opportunity to address not only poverty, but also to close the achievement gap and improve our schools for kids, educators and the community.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

     

    Last week in the General Assembly in Raleigh, we honored the 105th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the 100th anniversary of the Order of the Arrow, the scouting honor society; had many discussions on the gas tax issue and saw the Senate pass a bill stabilizing the gas tax; and heard the presentation of the all-important revenue forecast for 2015-17.

  • Lessons from our great coach will last beyond a lifetime

    The Tar Heel Family knew this day would come soon, but it hurt anyway. Dean Smith, the longtime men’s basketball coach of my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, died Saturday night at 83. It was only slightly less shocking than the news that dementia was robbing our great coach of his sharp memory.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

  • Highlights from Congress

    By Congressman David Rouzer

    Guest Columnist

    As we move into the second month of the 114th Congress, I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick summary highlighting what we accomplished during the past few weeks.

    In order to better serve you, we opened three main offices across the 7th Congressional District. These offices are located in Bolivia, Wilmington and Smithfield. I think you will find our staff is exceptional and can assist you with a variety of issues — everything from veterans’ affairs casework to helping with passports.