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Two years ago in Dallas I met an 85-year-old woman and her 65-year-old son. Both were very hungry with almost no food in their fridge or in their cupboards. After they had paid their bills, their meager monthly income from Social Security was dwindling. For lunch the mother wanted boiled cab…

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Years ago a wily businessman I knew told me that politics is about the masses versus the classes. He was describing how the perceived “have-nots” belong to the masses while the power structure is categorized in the “class” distinction. I can reflect the reality of watching candidates lure su…

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Bill Morris’ memoirs, “A Legendary Life”, is a heart rendering, informative narrative written in a contemporized atmosphere that tells a story of all things “Rural South” ending with classic success mixed with melancholy. Noel, as we called him around the Itawamba County Times in the 1950s, …

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Almost everybody would think that the United States of America is the place where the majority rules. But is that really the case and was that actually the intention of the people who wrote our Constitution? What most people don’t realize is that until the United States of America came toget…

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Grandma Kitty pulled her shiny case knife from the pocket of her blue apron. She reached down far to the bottom of the cane pole and cut it. “This will make a good one,” she said, as she handed it to a three-year-old me. Then she cut one for herself. As we walked to her favorite spot along F…

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Regardless of how the elections come out in November or next year in fact, this age-old description is more apt than unique. A person I know was talking about his life’s observations the other day. According to him he has watched his native domain resist equal opportunities based on race, ec…

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Solving society’s complex problems are above my pay grade. However, opinions are cheap and everyone has one or more which they believe are good. The circle(s) in which I navigate seem obsessed with ‘immigration’ talk. A friend sent me a link entitled, “When high school teenagers were recruit…

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Every year, drug-resistant bacteria and fungi known as “superbugs” infect 2 million Americans — and kill up to 162,000 of those patients. Sadly, that toll could soon skyrocket. Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi build resistance to medical treatments over time. Each time someone uses an …

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A convoy of police cars, lights flashing, sirens blaring roared by where I was the other morning. Usually about all that commotion arouses is a bewildered question “wonder what’s going on?” An acquaintance whose demeanor is low key and congenial disappeared from the area where I was enjoying…

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R-MS), in coordination with U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), introduced the VA-DOD Shared Medical Facilities Act of 2019, which authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to enter into agreements with …

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Fifteen years ago I was invited to be a participant in the “Executive Seminar for Southern Legislators” held at the University of North Carolina. I recall an academic ‘demographer’s’ lecture on the changing ‘face’ of our nation. Such research relates to who we are, what we are and what we’ll…

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Consumers hoping a couple of recent policy proposals might lower prices for their prescription drugs may be out of luck, at least for now. Earlier this year the Trump administration had proposed a rule that would have required prescription drug manufacturers to disclose list prices for drugs…

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I often wonder what happened to math in America. I know I had my own trouble with it when I was in school. They always wanted you to follow some method of reaching the answer and show how you reached the answer. Even if you got the right answer, if you didn’t go at it the right way you were …

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After the formal declaration of American independence in July of 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that the occasion should be “solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from t…

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This train is going down a nostalgia track. If you don’t want to ride, get off at the end of the paragraph because the conductor will be taking tickets. Some of the old ‘coogars’ I associate with lament about uncertainty and speculate that a financial downturn is on the horizon. They forecas…

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I have often wondered what makes an enduring television show. One of my all-time favorite shows was “The Waltons.” Growing up, that show reflected most closely the South of my parents and grandparents. I related to John and Olivia, John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Ben, Erin, Jim-Bob and Elizabet…

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The late Congressman Jamie Whitten said, “If we allow our roads to deteriorate, our bridges to dilapidate and our rivers and harbors to silt, we can have all the money in the world and still be bankrupt.” I heard him make that statement so many times that I could have quoted it as well as he…

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Today most folks don’t give a second thought if they get their clothes dirty to go and change into another outfit. Of late, I have found myself babying a electric dryer as I have been trying to get parts to keep it working, so I am a little more cautious about how many clothes I have to wash…

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Ever wonder where a columnist gets ideas from which they write stories for publications like the one you’re reading? I can’t speak for any others since I’ve never seen a revelation but I suspect we’d all be surprised to learn this truth. I read quite a few other folks’ ‘pieces’ and sometimes…

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Two boys in Illinois took a shortcut across an orchard, and did not become aware of the presence of a vicious dog until it was too late to reach either fence. One boy was spry enough to escape the attack by climbing a tree, but the other started around the tree, with the dog in hot pursuit, …

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The other day I was sitting at a table in an establishment with several conversationalists when a person walked in wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again Trump’ Cap of which he has every right to do. I defend his right to express himself and hold any political view he wants. Of course, I wa…

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Mississippi State Auditor Shad White has made several cases across Mississippi. He has had success in finding money that has been taken from Mississippi Taxpayers. Everyone has been very happy with his work. This week a report was released that I have been asking for over the last 8 years. I…

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I like old things — really old things. I like to read stories about real life Indiana Jones characters. I’m a History Channel and Discovery Channel junkie. I don’t usually take what someone says as fact — I study, ponder and study some more. I wasn’t always that way.

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Recently Peggy, an Indiana woman and reader of this column, sent me a lengthy email about her 94-year-old mother who is rapidly spending down her minimal savings to pay for prescription drugs. Peggy didn’t hold out much hope that prices would come down before it was too late for her mom. But…

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The lead paragraph of the story in this region’s largest locally circulated newspaper read, “I was traveling in Mississippi Highway Patrol Unit 71 with Patrolman Noel Kirk on U. S. 78 from Heckman’s Store near the ‘Big Cut’ Hill toward Tremont. We were looking for two youths who had been a p…

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As a journalist, I quickly became aware that readers are fascinated about crime. While evolving as a working reporter, I enjoyed the adrenalin rush of being ‘on top of a story’ that subscribers to the newspapers I worked for would relish in the next edition. Early in my career, I determined …

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Solicitations for Medicare Advantage plans once again have been arriving in the mail, promising the best bargain since sliced bread. A case in point is one from Emblem Health, a managed care company in my area that says it considers me what they call a “candidate” for their “special needs pl…

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When Paul B. Johnson, Jr., known commonly as ‘Little Paul’, made his inaugural speech as our state’s new governor in 1964, its theme captured my idealism when he announced that (and I paraphrase) “Ignorance and prejudice will not rule Mississippi while I’m Governor.” This came after his raci…

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Nearly two weeks ago, I stood in front of the City Council and a packed audience in Council Chambers and said, “It is my great honor and privilege to stand before you today and report that by every measurable indicator of success, the state of the city is strong.”

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Usually I don’t comment on things I see on Facebook. However, last week I saw a posting from my friend, Jay Hughes, about a ‘homeless man’ caught attempting to get in the RV the legislator lives in while attending the legislative sessions in Jackson. He also uses it to ‘gallivant’ around the…

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This past weekend Linda, my wife, and I had a pleasant surprise when our daughter, Amy Clark Stone and our granddaughter Suzanne Stone stopped by for a quick visit.

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David Mitchell is a man with a mission. He is determined to stitch together a movement that will finally smash the power of the pharmaceutical industry and bring pocketbook relief to millions of Americans who need expensive drugs. Mitchell, a 68-year-old former Washington, D.C., communicatio…

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The late writer/humorist Lewis Grizzard profiled his grandmother by contrasting her skepticism about the reality of our astronauts’ moon walk and her unwavering belief of the authenticity of TV’s wrestling. Grizzard’s grandmother exhibited traits of the Appalachian Plateau Region much like w…

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This was the third week of the session. The pace of things is about to change gears. The next few weeks will be busy with committee meetings and discussing bills. The calendar will be filled with new offerings each day. Although most work is happening in committees, several pieces of legisla…

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If I were running for a county political office in Mississippi this year, I’d consider running as an Independent. Why? The rhetoric has become so vile that in a non-minority majority district too many “God-fearing, patriotic Mississippians” have adopted such a loathing for the name “Democrat…

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Beginning Jan. 8, 2019, the Mississippi Legislature will be in session. This year the House of Representatives will go to work on several issues. The main concern, as always, will be the budget. Heading into the 2019 Session, the budget seems to be in good shape. Over the last 7 years, we ha…

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One of the foremost singer, songwriters from Mississippi, Paul Thorn, stopped by The Courier office the other day and hardly a note was mentioned about music.

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Bullying is a term we’ve heard a lot lately. Media reports it has caused number of teenage suicides. That was some time before we had accusations on the national level about high ranking elected officials. Bully as a form of intimidation or exclusion festers like a rotten apple in the middle…

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The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has projects underway to preserve and maintain highways and bridges in northeast Mississippi, said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District.

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History and death are eventualities over which, once certain factors are unleashed, become everlasting. Intersection of these forms a basis for this column. Principal is the late Sam E. Lumpkin of Tupelo. Genesis for this writing comes from the fourth generation heir’s task of disposing of t…

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As we watch television classics, there are many character actors that have made their marks and found niches that have allowed them to keep in front of the American public for years and years. One of those actors was introduced to the American television family in the 1960s. Initially, like …

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Political slogans sometimes are what we remember after a candidate is elected. Unfortunately these monikers do not always reflect the policy pursued by the folks who ‘tote’ the catchy phrases. I’ve been thinking about some recent ‘pitches’. “Drain the swap” caught the attention of a lot of v…

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My friend, David Cole, the respected former president of Itawamba Community College and possessor of other distinctions, gifted me a book last week by Kathleen Wickman, an Ole Miss journalism professor. It is entitled, “We believed we were immortal.” It’s her compilation from a dozen media p…

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Making decisions about Medicare coverage has never been easy. Over the years the task has become more complicated as Congress has moved to privatize the system. Open enrollment, the time for evaluating your coverage and making changes if you can, opens Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7 this ye…

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Having good insurance doesn’t always mean that you won’t be caught with a huge surprise medical bill you didn’t expect and won’t know where to turn. But politics and self-interest on the part of insurers and health care providers have gotten in the way of a workable solution. Such bills resu…

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On Sept. 12, Mick Jagger and Jerry Lee Lewis visited Sun Studio in Memphis. The visit wasn’t just to explore musical history.

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Whatever happened to the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” in political media advertising? When I was an ‘an up and coming’ consultant, we had to be cautious to adhere to a policy of expecting our opponent(s) to be able to garner as much media coverage as our clients. This was during the 60-day …

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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi hunters will be on the front lines of the battle to protect deer from spreading a deadly disease throughout their herds. Last February, a 4-year-old buck in Issaquena County tested positive for chronic wasting disease -- or CWD. This contagious, terminal dise…

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I don’t go to the doctor very often. But after much prodding from my wife, Linda, and friends I went, probably a day too late, with my little spider bite.

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