Wandering away from home

“I want to hear the story about you following the dog when you were little.”It’s story time and once again one of the grandkids want to hear about one of my misadventures when I was about their age. To tell the truth, I don’t think I actually remember it. But I was told the story so many time by my parents growing up that it has become a memory. The story go like this.I was around three years old. It was a late Saturday afternoon back down on the ...

1 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

The enduring American dilemma

It is my conviction that the recent unrest surrounding the shooting of the unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., is a reminder of the enduring American dilemma — finding for the black man “a place consistent with the national heritage of freedom and equality.”Since the Civil War, which was in its waning months 150 years ago today, America has been wrestling with its enduring dilemma of what to do with the black man as if the black man was the problem? That problem, i...

1 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Reforms that benefit agriculture

On Aug. 20, the House of Representatives and the Senate, constituting the 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly, adjourned sine die. Unless the yovernor calls for a special session, the General Assembly will not meet again until next year with the start of the 2015 Regular Session.In light of this, I wanted to take some time to review the General Assembly’s accomplishments over the past two years in more detail than usual. This week’s newsletter will kick off a f...

1 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Business thefts really do hurt many

There have been two major business thefts in Clinton this month, and the ramifications of those thefts resemble the ripple effect left by a stone skipped across water.Such thefts touch the business owners first, but the ripple can be felt near and wide, particularly in communities such as Clinton and Sampson County, where so many rely upon a business owners generosity to do everything from building educational and wellness facilities to providing school supplies for children and fu...

5 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Greater works than these

I will be placed under arrest on Sept. 10.Don’t worry, I’m not a criminal. I, along with scores of other Sampson residents, will be participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Lock-Up Fundraiser. Participants are arrested and required to serve time of an hour out of their work day or post bail ahead of time. The bail is made up of the contributions that the participants solicit from their friends, neighbors, and colleagues.The MDA raise...

5 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Prepare students with tools they need

Tomorrow dawns a new day for children across Sampson County as students from ages 4 through 18 return to classrooms in our two public school systems for another year. Private school students took their first steps into a new year a little while back now and are already deep into their studies.This new school year offers new beginnings for each one of them, no matter their academic record, no matter their past history and no matter their previous attitude toward school or life itsel...

8 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

A benevolent dictator?

“What we need,” said Dale, “is a benevolent dictator.”“Yeah,” I replied. “But I don’t remember reading about too many kind-hearted dictators in the history books.”

8 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Numbers don’t tell SCC’s success story

Enrollment numbers might be down a little bit at Sampson Community College this fall, but that certainly should not — and in our view does not — diminish its great impact in this community nor define it as an educational institution.It’s merely one of the many enrollment swings one sees, particularly at the community college level, and it is often a direct correlation to what is going on with both the economy and the unemployment rate.When there is an e...

11 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Youth touched, helped me

Editor:It is very important to me, and I believe it would help a lot of people, especially the elderl,y to have this information. That’s why I chose to write to your readers today.Several months ago, I needed a ramp so that I could use my walker to learn how to walk without falling in my front yard.Around the month of May, I contacted the Department of Aging. Mrs. Lori Faircloth, the director, related to me that they would be happy to help but advised me...

11 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

The husband hunters

Fall arrives as always in September. When I was a child in Virginia, it’s warning chill began even before the last crops of summer were harvested, and the leaves began turning gold and russet.What it really meant in those days of my youth was “Company.” And that made the dread of going back to school, wearing tight shoes and dresses with starched collars and giant hair bows, tolerable. It was the last of our small respite before hot, muggy classrooms smelling of o...

12 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

The world is flat (Part 2)

“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”That is a quote by Albert Einstein from the book, “The World is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman. (By the way, library cards are still free.) As I wrote in a previous column, in the book he discusses how computers, the internet, the information age, and the changing political landscape is affecting the whole world. While the emphasis is on how China and India are emerging as global economic forces, he deals with how a...

15 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Starting the greatest school year ever

With our caring and effective teachers assembling tomorrow, mindful of the enormous influence they have on improving educational outcomes for all students, and with our school administrators’ assurance that our “kids are going to get a top-notch educational experience,” we are just a week away from starting the greatest school year ever.

15 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Depression is real and serious health concern

Life brings with it a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It is expected there are times when we will be happy or sad, angry or giddy, worried or carefree.There will even be times we feel down.Imagine being unable to shake that feeling of despair and hopelessness.For someone suffering from depression — and one in every six people will at some point — that veil of darkness can last days or weeks. It can be so consuming as to affect daily activities suc...

15 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Much work still to do

Now that the General Assembly has concluded the vast majority of its business for the year, our office will be switching over to a bi-weekly schedule. While we will continue to work during the interim, most of our efforts will be focused on preparing for the 2015 Long Session.I want to remind you that, during this period, I and my staff will still be available to take calls, respond to emails, and provide information and assistance to anyone who needs it. Never hesitate to contact ...

16 days 6 hours ago | | | Email

Putting it all on the line

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day. They do it to defend and protect, ensuring that when we lay our heads down at night we can feel safe and secure.The phrase, itself, has been used often, even on these pages. Perhaps it’s a phrase that many might see as cliche. But after experiencing those words put into action this week, we can say unequivocally that the phrase holds far more meaning than one might imagine.After a report led us to the ...

18 days 6 hours ago | | | Email


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