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Take it from someone who has been working in downtown Laurel for a quarter of a century, first as a busboy and now as a paperboy, I am absolutely stunned by the number of tourists pouring into our city each week. Ben and Erin Napier and their TV show “Home Town” have turned Laurel into some …

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This column was first published in 2007, but with the arrival of spring and so many tourists coming to see the place where the hit show “Home Town” is filmed, consider it a community service.

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Inflation is ravaging the American economy. The Southern border might as well have a huge neon VACANCY sign shining over it. The Middle East is in crisis. Gas prices are spiking with seemingly no one in charge of fixing it.

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My wife recently asked me a question as we watched some “news” report. She asked, “What’s that got to do with reality today?”

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Don’t pay any attention to the old man with the blank stare and pearly white teeth. He is not a leader. He is not our leader. Joe Biden might be standing at the podium, but he is anything but here.

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In 2020, when a new virus known as COVID-19 first started to show itself, President Trump did an interview with Bob Woodward for yet another book on all that was negative about Trump. 

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Please, go back to work! Those who were working before the pandemic, who lost or left jobs because of the pandemic, and who are able should go back to work. America needs everyone to go to work. 

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Have you ever watched a press conference after a star professional athlete signs a humongous contract? Tom Smith is sitting with his agent, acting humble, knowing that he will make $30 million per year. He thanks his parents and God, then, inevitably, will answer a question with: “It wasn’t …

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The incredible success of the HGTV show “Home Town” has transformed our community. Laurel hit the lottery when the world got to see what was happening here. Ben and Erin Napier are the faces of the show and the movement, but they’d be the first to credit others who came before them and inves…

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Last week, I wrote a column asking the question, “Are Americans stupid?” The answer was that they aren’t really stupid in the classical sense of the word, but they certainly are ignorant and easily swayed by leftist propaganda. However, I think that the people who are running the NBA, NFL an…

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On April 16, I wrote a column titled “Contemplating the new Constitution.” I wrote my views on the differences I imagined we can anticipate from the perception of how some Americans see this nation and how they may take us in a direction some of us might not care for. I detailed my own opini…

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Surely you have heard the detractors of this newspaper call us names. They’ll say: “Laurel Leader-Liar,” claiming that we make up our stories and print whatever we want whenever we want to print it. It is a defense from an entity that has no defense. If all else fails, just call the oppositi…

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The neighborhood sat still Tuesday morning. A steady breeze that was forecast to become severe winds was just starting to churn. A cacophony of music rang through the trees from any number of birds.

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Things don’t always go as planned. That’s a fact. Just when we think we know which way the path of our life will go — then BAM! An unexpected curveball hits us out of nowhere. Sometimes it’s our fault; other times, we are strictly at the mercy of other people who may or may not have our best…

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Let’s talk about tourism as an economic driver. The Mississippi Development Authority, the state agency tasked with promoting Mississippi, recently released a set of data points related to the impact tourism has on the state’s economy — from tax revenues to private-sector job creation. It’s …

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While deleting photos from my phone Thursday morning, I stumbled into a few treasures. In that vast sea of images were four screenshots of texts my dad sent to me. They were all there together, and I have no idea why or how I made screenshots of them. Let’s just call it a happy accident.

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In the fourth installment of the Leader-Call’s series on the most recent graduating class of drug court — which will be published Tuesday — Nicole McKee will be featured. She went from years of abuse through addiction and has come out on the other side. She now drives an ambulance, having tr…

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There’s a saying that pretty much sums up where we’re at in our beloved United States: “When push comes to shove …”

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I think the question that I pose in the headline of this column is a fair one. Are Americans stupid? Based on the evidence that smacks us right in the face on a daily basis, you would think the answer is, “Yes, definitely dumb as rocks.”

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Living in the Free State of Jones, folks around here aren’t used to getting lectured to. Going back generations, before the War Between the States, the people of what is Jones County followed the tune of their own drummer. We never have cared much for an overreaching government in any form.

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For almost eight years, my smiling face has appeared in the same spot every Thursday. Mark Thornton and Jim Cegielski are anchors for Saturday opinion pages. That is how it always has been since I joined this group.

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Today (Tuesday) will mark the second year I can’t call my high school friend to wish her a happy birthday. April 27 she would have turned 29. 

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It seems such a short time ago that we watched Ben and Erin Napier and a big swath of the Laurel community looking as nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs waiting for the pilot episode of a new show called “Home Town.” 

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President Joe Biden will make his first appearance before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday — his 99th day in office. He’ll certainly mention some of his administration’s accomplishments so far, but most expect him to lay out his plans and goals for his first term in office. 

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It was about two decades ago, while Murph and I were working in the sports department at The Vicksburg Post, that I got my first up-close look at one of the things that’s wrong with the “big boys” of journalism.

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If not for the politically charged climate we’re in right now, the Ohio officer who shot and killed a teenager a fraction of a second before she stabbed another teen would be hailed as a hero, and rightfully so. 

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On Tuesday, a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd that took place on May 25 of last year. Chauvin got what he deserved. Anyone who thinks it is OK to kneel on another hu…

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So, if someone called you an American, what would that mean to you? Would you think you were “woke?”

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On Saturday, March 6, 2021, the Northeast Jones Tiger Pride Band Booster Club sponsored the “2nd Annual Concert of Cars” antique car, truck, and motorcycle fundraiser at the Sawmill Square Mall northwest parking lot. The weather was picture-perfect for this outdoor event, and with almost eig…

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I’m writing to encourage you and your readers to understand and support passage of the PRO Act, which should be in front of the U. S. Senate within the next days. We all know the reality in Mississippi is that our two U. S. Senators will never vote for this measure because their party leader…

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Anyone who thought Derek Chauvin should have been found not guilty in the death of George Floyd, please raise your hand.

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The conviction of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd was a just verdict. No one who saw the video of the officer’s knee on the neck of the handcuffed suspect for nine-plus minutes could disagree. 

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For more than a year, supply and distribution chains in America have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and the related workforce shutdowns. Initially last spring, government mandates driven by the virus and by CDC recommendations forced many people other than those deemed “essential worker…

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By the time today’s edition is sent to the printer, closing arguments will have been made and, possibly, a verdict reached in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. He is accused of killing George Floyd last summer by kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

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It’s mid-morning on a Friday. Already, I’ve checked my Instagram messages, scrolled through my Twitter feed and perused snaps on Snapchat. I even Googled a music video on YouTube.

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If you watch the news much or keep up with current events, it might appear that our society is falling apart at the seams. Our nation is divided on many issues, and standing back looking in, it does not seem to be getting better any time soon. We argue about politics, religion, race, gender,…

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So, I’ve been doing some light reading as a way to escape the realities of the imminent demise of this once-great country. It’s an academic-oriented book about pandemic fighting. There are plenty of references to the part politics play, of course. Here are some excerpts of interest:

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At the 2019 Mississippi Press Association editorial awards presentation, the Leader-Call won first, second and third place in headline writing. The presenter commented, “That must be quite a headline-writing competition.” 

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So what do you think the “New Constitution” might look like after our Democrat friends shred this nasty old rag we’ve been saddled with by all those “old white guys”? Any ideas? Got a clue?

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According to legend, the Roman emperor Nero sat around playing the fiddle while Rome burned to the ground. Apparently, Republicans are fans of the 1st century feckless leader as they, too, are doing little or nothing to stop the destruction of the United States.   

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Over the years, we have enjoyed a good working relationship with Jones County District Attorney Tony Buckley and his staff. There have been a couple of bumps along the road — no reason to rehash specifics here — but we maintained a professional relationship through the rough patches. 

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On a wall in the kitchen next to a door leading to the basement/family room sat our “house phone.” Before we went push button, the yellow phone had a rotary dial and a cord that stretched about 100 feet into the basement so my sister could talk to her boyfriends in private.

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President Biden is continuing his scorched-earth policies to reverse everything President Trump accomplished. Remember Trump’s record-setting economic boom? How about Trump’s three new justices on the Supreme Court? And, what about our closed Southern border and wall? 

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Recently, the Mississippi legislature wrapped up its regular session. Lawmakers passed a balanced budget with a full savings account (or “rainy day fund”), along with modest, up-to-three percent salary increases for state employees and a $1,000 teacher pay raise — all without raising your ta…