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Gracious! We’re ending 2018 on a bitter note, no different from the cacophony we’ve heard continually since the 2016 election. 

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Two cautionary tales have emerged over the past week from a Hollywood A-lister and a quarterback destined for professional athletic stardom. 

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We must say we were a bit tickled — and honored — when Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee made a point during Tuesday’s City Council meeting to laud the Leader-Call for its headline in Saturday’s paper about the final holdup of the Beacon Street Corridor project. Just to put into perspective on how l…

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I don’t have a son — at least, not that I know of (I apologize for the obligatory clichéd joke of every fun-loving man in the world). And, barring some Abraham-esque miracle (or a mental lapse in Vegas), I never will. 

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This really should have been my Thanksgiving column. You can blame two seemingly neverending afflictions on the delay — shingles and the sheriff, both of which can be described as lingering scourges of corruption and pestilence.

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The death of George H.W. Bush marks the end of an era. He is the last president from the Greatest Generation. And he was perhaps one of the most qualified presidents in history, serving as a heroic fighter pilot in World War II, a baseball player at Yale, a businessman, then in Congress, as …

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For those of us who were ecstatic the night Donald Trump was elected president, who watch election night videos over and over again, it used to be easy to defend him against the charge that he is just a BS-ing con man who would say anything to get elected.

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I have been familiar with the traditional endeavor to light Mason Park for the Christmas Season for several years, although not involved as regularly as I would like to have been. While still below the average collective age of recent volunteer groups, I am not as far behind as I once was.

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Most of what’s written or said relating sports to the real world is preachy, full of platitudes. Though it’s 100 percent accurate and applicable to draw parallels between the games we play and the life skills we use in work environments and relationships, those statements are usually made fr…

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OXFORD — It’s true that George H.W. Bush was the last president from The Greatest Generation. This week, commentators have pointed out that when Bill Clinton defeated Bush for a second term, Clinton’s youth was a big plus.

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever witnessed anyone who has let power go to his or her head as much as the current Jones County sheriff. I know the sheriff had been participating in “No Shave November,” but now that the calendar has switched over to December, he should simply go with a Hitler musta…

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STARKVILLE — In 2018, Mississippi voters elected two U.S. senators. The two elections saw about $27.6 million expended with $11 million of that coming from partisan outside groups — and armed with that money, Mississippians witnessed the near destruction of the reputations of at least two of…

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I took some time over the Thanksgiving break to review 2018 to date and noticed a climatic cycle in news. Nearly every week Americans were threatened with a crisis coming out of the White House … or, at least Washington … or, maybe just national news media! 

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Do you remember when Donald Trump descended the escalator more than three years ago announcing his run for president? We do. This newspaper became big — dare we say YUGE — supporters of the president because he talked frankly about the grandeur of being an American. He wrapped himself in the…

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I’m writing this on Wednesday Nov. 14, and because I have had a column about fishing with my Mom waiting in the old column queue for quite some time now, this one won’t run until Saturday  Nov. 24. So, happy belated Thanksgiving.

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Our sheriff is fond of saying he is “just dealing with facts,” as if that distinguishes him from us at the paper or anyone else who dares to cross him. Well, I have some damning facts, all of which are documented. I’ll share a few.

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Tuesday afternoon after our editorial was written on the status of the iconic lighting of Mason Park each Christmas, one of the organizers came into the office declaring a hopeful victory. A group of mostly young people, buoyed by local businesses, pledged their help in varying capacities.

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In December 2016, the Laurel Leader-Call publicized a desperate plea from organizers of the iconic Mason Park Christmas light display. Organizers of one of the most unique sights in Mississippi were pleading for volunteers to help with a process that is laborious for an army, let alone a sma…

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Mississippi is in the national news again primarily due to one senate candidate making inflammatory remarks and the other candidate denying charges of being paid $750,000 to lobby Washington for an African despot. Fellow Mississippians, hold your noses and vote against the worse candidate. R…

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OXFORD — Longtime readers (for whom I am grateful) may recall Thanksgiving columns have often been homilies on how choosing an attitude of gratitude lessens stress, enhances enjoyment of life. (Too, longtime readers may not recall any such thing — what with op-eds having the same lifespan as…

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My intent was to write a scathing column about an ongoing issue that’s been affecting the paper for a while now. It’s long overdue. But since I’m so far behind with it already, it can wait another week, and I can continue my clichéd, traditional Thanksgiving column and make some of our criti…

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Let us first say that we love each and every one of you who pick up this newspaper three days per week. You are the lifeblood of this operation and without you, there would be no us.

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A few weeks back, I decided to surprise my mother with a trip to Florida to see her. She turned 75 this year and I was long overdue for a visit. When Mom found out I was coming, she started planning a deep-sea fishing trip.  

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The final words my father spoke to me in 1992 as I descended the escalators at New York’s Penn Station were, “You are stuck there for one semester. At Christmas, if you hate it, we can talk about it. But don’t go calling in two weeks saying you want to come home.”

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STARKVILLE — As it happened on Nov. 6, the pollsters on both sides were uncannily accurate in their predictions that Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy would run a close first and second in the open primary and leave Republican challenger Chris McDaniel…

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Many times over the years, we have come to the defense of people who have been put in the cyberworld’s version of the public pillory for a misstatement, a misstep or an obviously out-of-context statement.

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Early Monday morning, a worker at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art was taking down the banners welcoming visitors to the DaVinci Machines exhibit. The removal was a sad end for one of the most popular exhibitions ever to come to the museum at 5th Avenue and 7th Street.

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OXFORD — For weeks if not months, there is media and coffee club speculation about the hearts and minds of American voters. Then election day comes, and we find out. The answer in Mississippi was, “We’re pretty much where we were two years ago, four years ago, six years ago …”

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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has written a book, “Them: Why We Hate Each Other — And How To Heal.” Sasse explores the many reasons we hate each other, and suggests three points we can do to heal our divisions.

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What a week. Tuesday was election day and, even though it wasn’t a complete disaster for the nation, we certainly gave away some of the momentum that we had going on under the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency.    

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With flu season under way and November marking National Diabetes Awareness Month, we would like to remind parents and doctors that the misdiagnosis of diabetes as the flu, a stomach virus or another infection can be deadly — especially in the very young. 

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Many studies over the years have determined that the No. 1 fear for most people is public speaking. No argument here. But in 25 years of covering events for community newspapers, I’ve wished that even more people would fear it.

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When egomaniacal Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge led what amounts to an invasion of property in the Johnson Community in July to arrest two senior citizens, it was a gross abuse of his power. He ordered a lieutenant and two deputies to round up a war hero and his wife, handcuff them, subject…

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In a 2012 floor debate on a bill upping the alcohol content in beer in the Mississippi House of Representatives, the always-entertaining Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville, while trying to convince conservative colleagues to vote for the bill, uttered the following gem: “If you Baptist and …

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Finding a decent radio station in South Mississippi — at least a dozen or so years ago — proved to be the most challenging part of my frequent trips to see family in Mobile.

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Few people would argue with the beauty of a California sunset. The bright lights of Times Square are tough to compete with. But there is one thing that can top the allure of California or Manhattan: your pocketbook. 

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OXFORD — Several candidates this election season chirped about immigration. In Mississippi, this was strange because while legions of foreigners may be coming to America, they’re not coming here.

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Jones County has a unique opportunity come Tuesday night — there is a chance that 2 percent of the U.S. Senate would be Jones County natives.

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There are a lot of people who have a whole lot more pets than we do, but I don’t know of many who have a more complex ecosystem under one roof than we do.

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The charges against Board of Supervisors President Jerome Wyatt were a surprise — only because we were told by a credible source a couple of weeks ago that another supervisor was being investigated by state Auditor Shad White’s office. Other people who are in positions of authority said they…