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It was some time in the first quarter of last year that I sat in Alex Hodge’s living room and listened to his plan. He told me that he was going to battle with the Board of Supervisors to get the $8.6 million budget he was asking for.

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From the moment that the election results from the Republican primary showed that Macon Davis was less than 2 percentage points away from unseating Alex Hodge as the sheriff of Jones County, Hodge has spent nearly every second of every waking hour trying to hold on to power. It is like nothi…

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Anyone can log onto Facebook and create a profile that allows that person to be a critic or fan of anything. In a click, anyone can give opinions on everything from the color of a dress, to an earthquake in China to divisive political races — and most anyone in the world can see it and respo…

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By now, you know the history. After I declared my candidacy against Thad Cochran in 2014, the GOP Establishment did everything in its power to ruin me.  

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Here are the ages that the top presidential candidates will be on Inauguration Day, 2021: Bernie Sanders, 79; Joe Biden, 78; Donald Trump, 74; and Elizabeth Warren, 71.

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Israel popped up in the news last week. First-term congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) sought visas to visit Israel, but Israel blocked their entry. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the two Muslim congresswomen’s support of Palestinians and the movement B.D.S…

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We can only imagine how awkward the request from Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves came across to conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel when Reeves asked for his endorsement for governor.

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Well, it is clear that the poor showing of Alex Hodge in the Aug. 6 Republican primary has caused a complete meltdown at the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.  

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Sheriff Alex Hodge has gone to social media and recorded a veritable mini-series of excuses, self-serving explanations and accusations over the last week or so. The theme of each one is basically the same — blame the Leader-Call for his fall from favor with the people who have voted him in o…

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There was a character on Saturday Night Live whose catchphrase was, “Simmer down now!” That’s what we want to say to all of the people with this sky-is-falling mentality when it comes to politicians. You see it at the national, state and local level. Heck, it may have made its way to middle-…

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An immensely important transformation is sweeping the United States, and the Jones County Sheriff’s Department and Laurel P.D. are spearheading the effort in our state. I’m referring to the formation of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) that consist of collaboration between mental health profe…

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My wife and I moved Laurel around the 1st of July but I have been here since the mid June. I pick up one of your papers every now and then and I have read a lot about the sheriff. I don’t know the whole story but I once lived in a community where the local newspaper spent a lot of time vilif…

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In the most unique elections in some time in Jones County, conspiracy theories have abounded between Sheriff Alex Hodge’s fan club and both the residents of this county and this newspaper. Our 13-month feud over photos of dog food and receipts has exposed some wounds Hodge likely would rathe…

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I am writing this letter to ask if you might consider writing more good news? With all the horrible things that happen in todays society, it’s nice to see or hear of things or people who give back to the community. For instance, when Katrina devastated the coast I saw many people pull togeth…

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Judge Judith Sheindlin, the mega-millionaire television judge who rules daytime TV, often says to those before her: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory.”

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What are the consequences of infringing “the right of the people to keep and bear arms?” Could the consequences be worse than the problem we’re trying to solve? 

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We were saddened to see the reaction of so many when the results for Tuesday’s elections came out. In most races, even those going to runoffs, the chatter stayed at a minimum.

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The Democratic debates have been hard on Never Trumpers. The small but vocal group of Republicans and former Republicans who oppose President Trump has watched in horror as Democrats veered leftward, embracing “Medicare for All,” virtually open borders, sky-high taxes and other positions no …

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As I lay in bed on Tuesday night watching the election results dribble in, my mind kept thinking about Katherine Sinclair. It was the tragedy surrounding Ms. Sinclair’s death that has awoken a sleeping giant, the voters of Jones County, to the extent, nature and danger of the corruption that…

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In many parts of this country — and this state, in particular — there was a time when White supremacy ruled. En masse, they followed the same drummer that the White race was more superior to the Black race. The racial invectives, how Blacks were portrayed, how they were treated — chattel sla…

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As hard as this may be to believe for some of you, I wanted to write about something other than the sheriff this week. Desperately. Anything but that … I’m actually buried in football stuff, trying to help finish up and proofread our Kickoff magazine that’s coming out in less than two weeks. 

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The voters spoke clearly Tuesday night in Jones County that they are in no mood for anyone who wants to push for higher taxes. The largest of those with hands out was Sheriff Alex Hodge, who has requested a more than $3 million more per year to run the department. That increase would lead to…

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Russian friends have graciously shown me churches, palaces, gardens and parks, and museums from Moscow region to St. Petersburg. Via these excursions I’ve learned a lot of Russian history as well as a lot about Russian culture, society and people. My Russian friends view two- and three-hundr…

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There are a handful of Facebook groups, consisting mainly of the same couple dozen people, who constantly post about the misinformation about the sheriff being printed in the “Leader-Liar” (an oh-so-clever nickname for which there’s no basis because none of them can cite a single lie we’ve w…

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What a week to turn 56 years old. As some of you (hopefully most of you) know, we rolled, bagged and threw an extra 15,000 copies of Tuesday’s edition of the Leader-Call and my newly turned 56-year-old body still has the aches, pains and bruises to show for it.

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Sheriff Alex Hodge spoke with a stenographer from a free weekly shopper/advertiser earlier this week, and he took down the words of the county’s top law enforcement official/lay preacher and businessman as if they were spoken from the mountaintop: “We treat everybody equally, we treat everyb…

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Everywhere I go in Jones County, politics — one race in particular — is the primary conversation. Just the other night, I walked in a local eatery to pick up a call-in order for a pair of hungry teenagers who had been helping distribute thousands of free Election Guide newspapers to the mass…

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Recent actions in New York City against the police are sickening. In two separate videos that have, of course, “gone viral,” thugs mock police, dump water over their heads and hit one in the head with a bucket.

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A matter has appeared in Mississippi politics that is quite perplexing. Some Mississippi Republicans are embracing the idea of increasing fuel excise taxes for roads and bridges. And even some misguided conservatives are agreeing with the tax increase as long as an offsetting income tax redu…

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Most residents are aware that Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge and the Leader-Call have been at loggerheads for the last year. The reason for that, like the fuse that starts most feuds, is downright silly. More on that in a minute …

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Every time you pass a Burroughs Diesel truck, it should remind you of the special treatment that the rich, powerful and connected receive in Jones County. And every time you pass a B Clean porta-potty or dumpster, it should remind you that certain politicians are using their political office…

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Imagine for a moment your family’s budget, for the likely very few of you who have a family budget. The bread-winners make really good bread — lots of it — but their spending habits go right along with it.

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One of the best, most well-performed, thought-provoking movies ever made is “Dead Man Walking.” In one of its many memorable scenes, a prison guard at Angola asks Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) how she could be there cozying up to a cold-hearted killer on death row. 

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On Monday, I was trying to make my way from my home in North Laurel to the Leader-Call office in downtown Laurel. This is a drive that should be a painlessly straight shot down University to 7th Avenue, a quick cutover to 5th Avenue, and I’m at the back door of the office in 5 to 7 minutes.

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Many readers and commenters on the latest story involving Sheriff Alex Hodge’s raid on the property of an elderly couple in southern Jones County are missing the point of this entire story.

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Until fleeing the state of New York for the greener pastures of the Deep South, I never understood the power of a watermelon.

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Below is the story of the shepherd boy and the wolf, written by Aesop. We feel it appropriate in this day and age if instead of reading the word “wolf” you insert the word “racist” or “racism.” 

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Sunday we celebrated the Lord’s Supper in our church. Two weeks ago, I celebrated the Lord’s Supper with fellow believers in a Baptist Church in Russia. Both celebrations were in remembrance of the same Jesus until He returns. All believers around the world share the same citizenship in heav…

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The federal government and many states (including Alabama and Florida) have recently passed legislation legalizing the farming of hemp in hopes of tapping into a potentially multibillion-dollar industry. 

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“I promised that if we were given papers and process and warrants, that we would serve those, and we’ve done that,” Sheriff Alex Hodge said nine days ago. Six days after that statement, two more felony suspects had their cases kicked out of court for Sixth Amendment violations.

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A recent text conversation between my teenager and me makes me wonder if we have made amazing advancements in communication or if we have regressed to the days of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.

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Once again, Donald Trump is getting slammed by the mainstream media. It’s been happening non-stop since he descended an escalator in Trump Tower back in June 2015. Four full years of neverending criticism, the latest coming because Trump had the gaul to tell four radical, American-hating, ra…

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I will be glad when this election is over! People are hateful, inconsiderate, ungrateful, mischievous, wicked, hurtful, degrading, and just plain ole mean! Friends that you thought were friends show how they feel about you during times like this. I hate to lose friends over an election but i…