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My first day of school — and first bully

Most of you may think I was into just about everything when I was 5 years old. Maybe I was, but I didn’t think at the time that what I was doing was bad or mean-natured. I was just a child who had a lot of time on my hands, and I did get into some things that I should not have.The time period that comes to mind would be that of early fall 1959. I was about to enter the first grade. Back during that time period in the rural South, there was no kindergarten . I cannot say that ...

3 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

OUR VIEW Our loony laws

When pilfering pine needles can carry a higher penalty than driving away in a stolen car, it’s not hard to see that some of North Carolina’s criminal laws are out of whack.Larceny of pine straw is a Class H felony. As for stealing a car — well, we don’t have a state statute specific to motor vehicle theft. It’s covered by the larceny law, and as with other personal property, the value determines the severity of the charge. Stealing a car worth less tha...

3 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Tax credit claims are poorly scripted

RALEIGH — When liberals debate tax policy, it can be hard to keep track of their current positions. They keep changing.Right now, for example, Democratic politicians and left-wing activists are castigating Republicans in the General Assembly for proposing a reduction or elimination of North Carolina’s tax credit for film and television production. They say that the tax break, with a state fiscal impact of $61 million a year, is critical to luring and retaining businesse...

4 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

LETTER: Sales tax hike raises gas bills

To the editor:Last weekend, my column “Our unaccountable, tax-and-spend government” touched on the unbelievable number of taxes that we pay. With that said, I would like to talk about the new tax that the North Carolina Utilities Commission has allowed Piedmont Natural Gas to burden the people with.In all their wisdom, the Utilities Commission has allowed North Carolina the ability to use new tax legislation to nail users with a 7 percent tax...

4 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Our out-of-state voter surge

“Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.So what? What difference does it make to us that almost half of North Carolina voters were born somewhere else?To begin to show the importance of such a large number of non-North Carolina natives participating in the state’s election process, DataNet gives us a sh...

5 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Ol’ Charley done found religion

Last week, we left ol’ Charley Perkins as mad as a setting hen ‘cause he thought someone had poisoned his bear. Charley wasn’t never much of a religious man anyway, no-sirree. Why, he never would go to Sunday school, church or revival meeting. In fact, if’n you didn’t watch him, he’d cheat you blind.He’d go to weigh out a customer a mess of fish, looking them straight in the eye, and I’ll be dog-gone if’en Charley wouldn’t...

6 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

OUR VIEW: A better Ledbetter Lake

“Voluntary tax” sounds like as much of an oxymoron as “dry lake.” But in Richmond County, the first seemingly contradictory phrase could be the solution for the second.Ledbetter Lake property owners want the drained reservoir north of Rockingham replenished, and doing so requires repairs to cracks in an aging dam that could cost as much as $2.3 million. To fund the fix, they’ve asked county commissioners to borrow the money, then recoup it from homeown...

6 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

4-H youth gearing up for showmanship circuit

4-H youth are busy preparing for the start of the 2014 4-H Farm Credit Showmanship Circuit season. They have been training and clipping their animals for the past month. Many of them get their animals as soon as school lets out for the summer.The entire circuit is proudly sponsored by Carolina Farm Credit and Cape Fear Farm Credit. This funding is used to operate the circuit. The county shows are in both Farm Credit territories, which makes it a great partnership. The first show wi...

6 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Rep. Hudson wrong on health care

To the editor:I would like to thank the Democrats who shoved Social Security and Medicare down our throats years ago. I also thank the ones who took over from a Republican administration that took a country that was running a surplus and led it into a recession, leaving us with a projected $1.2 trillion budget deficit.I saw a report the other day where we added more than 200,000 jobs for the fifth straight month and it was 52 straight months we had added...

6 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

LETTER: Cars, cards are easy theft targets

To the editor:A lack of regulations in North Carolina make it so easy to steal some property.I call attention to the Friday, July 18, Richmond County Daily Journal headline: “Pair charged with selling stolen cars.”A man and woman are charged with selling three vehicles with a total value of $14,000 for $1,178 at a local scrap yard.It is so easy to do. North Carolina obviously has no enforceable law requiring a salvage ya...

6 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Make border security the top priority

As many of you know, we currently have a crisis along our southern border. While the White House continues to claim that border security is at its strongest in history, tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have illegally made their way into the United States this year.The administration’s slow reaction to this problem and failure of leadership has led to this humanitarian crisis. To add insult to injury, as tens of thousands of minors stream across the border, the presid...

7 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Our unaccountable, tax-and-spend government

Obama thinks that he is as slick as a clay road in the rain. His only problem: Any man or woman with eyes can see right through the mud that he calls transparency.Twisted words with no foundation in truth has now become an everyday practice within his administration. Watch this hand but don’t pay any attention to the hand behind his back — that’s what he wants this entire nation to do. I have news for him: His house of cards is falling apart, from within....

10 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Close the curtain on state budget soap opera

These are fascinating times in Raleigh for political junkies and folks in the public policy world, as House and Senate leaders of the same political party trade budget offers back and forth and Gov. Pat McCrory weighs in with strong words and photo ops and veto threats. But there is a devastating subplot for public schools just below the surface of all the legislative intrigue.Most of the current public dispute is about teacher pay, teacher assistants and Medicaid.The or...

10 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Memories of eating my way across four states

It’s odd, I guess, that Garden & Gun magazine would grace my reading table. I don’t have a garden — only three tomato vines that provide appetizers for local deer — and I’m not into guns. Actually, the magazine is about Southern lifestyle at its best, and I like that.The one for August/September is the annual Southern food issue, and subscribers are inclined to forget about the usual fare for now and, instead, enjoy generous helpings from excellent wri...

10 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Secret autopsies leave public in the dark

For the second time in a month, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled against openness and punted important issues back to the Legislature for change.On Tuesday, the court ruled that autopsy records are exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act because they are medical records.Why does this matter to the public?It matters because the next time police shoot an innocent man, don’t expect the public to have access to the autopsy report g...

11 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

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