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Columns

  • You decide: What explains the rising costs for college?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    It’s the beginning of a new academic year on college campuses. It’s my 40th as a faculty member at North Carolina State University. I see the eager, young students venturing onto the campus for the first time and tell myself that was me a long, long time ago!

    Of course, new students face many challenges, including deciding on a major, adjusting to the rigors of college courses and balancing “study time” with “fun time.”

  • News itself often more sensational than reports

    My beloved beleaguered Cleveland Browns — who only won their last game last season to go 1-15 — are undefeated in the preseason, having beaten the New York Giants on Monday night. My beloved Cleveland Indians played just a few blocks away, beating the Boston Red Sox, and remain atop the American League Central division.

    In June, my beloved Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t repeat as NBA champs, but they retained the Eastern Conference title for a third straight year.

  • Get ready for the total solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21

    By Will Snyder

    Guest Columnist

    On Monday, Aug. 21, all eyes will look to the sky across the United States as the sun and moon perform an enchanting dance. Slowly, the sun seems to be consumed by darkness. Onlookers will gasp in awe as more and more of the sun seems to disappear until, finally, the sun ceases to shine.

  • Matters of the heart weigh heavily on the mind

    It’s Sunday evening, and I’m watching the “Harry Potter” movie marathon on Freeform (they seem to air one at least once a month, but I’m not complaining) to take my mind off recent troubles near and far.

  • You decide: Should everyone have a basic income?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, recently caused a stir by throwing his support behind the idea of a guaranteed basic income. Just speaking to my neighbors, colleagues at work and friends at the gym, I’ve noticed he certainly has set off some passionate conversation about the merits or demerits of the idea.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last Thursday, Aug. 3, was the day the North Carolina House and Senate were called into special session twice. We were expecting to vote on overrides to four bills vetoed by the governor, but we found the override votes were delayed because of members not attending and we handled several other bills in one long day.

  • Food trucks at the county complex an undervalued idea

    At the last county board of commissioners meeting, July 17, unnoticed in the regular course of events but approved as part of the consent agenda, members made a food truck program at the government complex permanent after a year-long trial period.

    In July 2016, food trucks were temporarily approved to set up from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serve customers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on traffic court days, normally two Fridays a month. Since the trial period went trouble-free, the board approved the food truck program to continue on a permanent basis.

  • Columnists offer expertise this journalist can’t

    Journalists have been known to describe themselves as knowing a little bit about a lot of things while being experts at nothing.

    I’ve accumulated filing cabinets full of story clippings from the course of my career since my time in J-School at UNC-Chapel Hill, but I’m still no closer to being an ace on any topic other than my own life and experiences. I’m not sure it qualifies me to offer meaningful advice to many people through my weekly columns.

  • You decide: Why can’t we get the economy just right?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My wife is a great cook, and she makes fabulous varieties of soups. My favorite is her lentil soup. It’s both tasty and healthy!

    Sometimes my wife and I disagree over the temperature of the soup. Remember the Goldilocks’ saying about the soup not being too hot or too cold, but instead being just right? Well, my wife and I don’t see eye-to-eye over what is the “just right” temperature for soup, since she likes it hotter than me.

  • Opioid epidemic and spread of addiction crisis are akin to terrorism

    By Rocky Atkinson

    Guest Columnist

    We all worry hardcore terrorism may one day be normal in the U.S. Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security has, thus far, kept it at bay. But are we really as safe as we think?