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I lost a friend the other day. It was an odd friendship, as he was about 20 years older than me, born and raised in the Northeast, far away from my Mississippi Southern roots. Culturally we were opposites, but still we hit it off from the moment that we met. We didn’t see each other very oft…

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1. Stop encouraging people to vote.  If they aren’t smart enough to figure out how important exercising their right to vote is, then why do we want them deciding who will govern us?

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My adventures in trying to work with technology are well known in our office … and with me, “technology” includes the fax machine, copiers, the microwave and, of course, computers. I’m that guy in the office who becomes paralyzed when one of these machines that I’ve been using forever has a …

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I imagine most people have a cardboard box tucked somewhere in a closet filled with useless, wonderful mementos.

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Someone shared the following definition of a veteran on Facebook. “A veteran — whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve — is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America,’ for an amount of ‘up to and includi…

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The July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky is the central piece of evidence in the Democratic drive to remove the president from office. “That call was a smoking gun,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after House Democrats voted to formalize their impeachment…

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Last Saturday, downtown Laurel was a picture-perfect setting. It was a brisk mid-morning, a breeze whipping the vibrant, autumn-colored trees’ leaves as artists from around the South stood or sat in front of easels capturing likenesses of their favorite scenes.

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So, I found out that the good folks at SuperTalk have a pretty mean sense of humor. Tuesday morning was my first “Jim Talking” appearance, and before we went on the air, host Todd Ellzey was pretty much begging me to not mention Alex Hodge. I was thinking to myself, “That’s an odd request on…

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Across 4th Street on the opposite side of Highway 49 from USM in Hattiesburg sat a watering hole known as the North End Zone.

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I want to talk to the young adults, teenagers and pre-teens of the world, so if you have one of those in your home, please give this paper to them to read. If they don’t want to read it for themselves, please read it to them. It is important that they hear the words that I am about to say.  …

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The quid pro quo debates fluttering around Washington may sound familiar. The Wall Street Journal headline Aug. 3, 2016: “U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed” followed by the sub headline, “Obama administration insists there was no quid pro quo, but critics charge payment amounted…

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Anyone who’s been in the workforce for more than a couple of years has likely given two weeks’ notice at a job before leaving to take on another opportunity. It’s the right thing to do, for your employer and yourself. It’s considered a courtesy to the employer who has to hire someone else an…

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With all due respect to Mr. Jason Jones, who took me to task for last week’s column entitled “Corruption Questions,” he doesn’t seem to know the difference between a “news story” and an “opinion column.” Mr. Jones, who is Joey Davis’ father-in-law, was upset that I asked, in my column, the s…

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The left’s enthusiasm for Third-World immigrants isn’t only because they vote 8-2 for the Democrats, it’s that Latin American peasants seem uniquely amenable to idiotic socialist schemes.

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President Trump had a brief press conference Sunday morning announcing a covert nighttime raid by U.S. special forces in Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Broadcast and cable networks aired the President’s remarks … mostly. The national press sort of headl…

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Just because Sheriff Alex Hodge is riding off into the sunset to spend his days wrangling up porta-potties and dumpsters, it doesn’t mean that Jones County’s corruption problem is now over. Not only is the root of the problem still alive and well — the rich and powerful using money and influ…

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Next time you’re in a small group of people who aren’t staring at their cellphones and actually want to talk, ask if they believe in ghosts. It’s sure to start a spirited conversation (see what I did there?) this Halloween.

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Whether we like it or not, our personal information lives on state government computers. If you are a government employee with the state health insurance plan or if you are on Medicaid, your personal health information may be on those computers. If you pay taxes in Mississippi, your income i…

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I am not having a good day. As I sit here typing this article, my glasses are fogged up because of the sweat of my eyeballs from my morning walk through hell. I gave too much of myself today. I know this now. I broke my No. 1 rule: Don’t work harder on someone’s recovery than they are willin…

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Editor’s note: Jack Hammett has joined the staff of the Leader-Call as a general assignment news reporter. He is still thawing out from his last home in Minnesota, but the sunny Southern skies welcome him back home.

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I already knew that the people of Jones County are awesome, but you all have proved it once again. We started running ads for our Salvation Army Food Drive just one week ago, and by Wednesday, we had already filled up our front window, allowing me to take our first load of canned goods and o…

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Disclaimer: I am not in any way suggesting that football games and fatalities are even close to the same level of importance. I’m simply referring to the reporting of them and the results of reporting them, just to offer some insight and perspective. 

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Although it does not feel like it based on the hot temperatures outside, fall is finally here. With it comes hunting season, Friday night football and harvest. It’s a time of year when our farmers begin gathering the crops they’ve so diligently planted in the prior months.

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House members returned to Washington this week to continue working toward impeaching President Trump. The 24/7 news cycle is cluttered with speculation about whistleblowers, leaks, and spies. A dozen 2020 candidates are lining up on a CNN stage to debate, and no one is talking about Michael …

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Anyone who is a semi-regular reader of this newspaper had already made up his or her mind in the so-called Misdemeanor of the Century, the Sheriff vs. The Sennes, long before the final court rulings were reported this week.

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At 4:56 a.m. on Monday, reader and old running buddy Phillip Wedgeworth made me aware that it was National Newspaper Week. Actually, I wasn’t out of bed at 4:56 a.m., but that is when Phillip sent me an email with an editorial cartoon highlighting the importance of the Fourth Estate. The car…

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Chuck Knoblauch played 12 seasons in the major leagues, with the Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals. 

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The U.S. Constitution enumerates three co-equal branches of government. The legislative branch makes laws. The executive branch carries out those laws. The judicial branch adjudicates the constitutionality of laws. What could be simpler than a government operating on the basis of laws?

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I have been taught all of my life to love people. My parents demonstrated it and God commands it. But some of you out there make it very difficult, especially some of you on Facebook. Social media has made it really easy for people to say things to other human beings without any regard for h…

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I know a lot of you are as dumbfounded as I am over what has happened to this once-great country of ours. There is just no denying it. Half of our fellow citizens have gone completely bat-guano crazy and seem hell-bent on destroying a nation that was, for 243 years, undoubtedly, the envy of …

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What if aliens (the extraterrestrial type, not the illegal border-crossing type) received information that some wacky Earthlings were planning to storm Area 51 and discover some of the secrets of their existence? 

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“No one is above the law,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she announced the Democratic effort to impeach President Donald Trump over the Ukraine matter. The phrase has become a Democratic mantra in the new impeachment push. But it could, in the end, serve to highlight the weakness of the…

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Nine days after Donald J. Trump won the presidency, the New York Times featured a column by Zephyr Teachout, an associate professor at the Fordham School of law and author of “Corruption in America,” titled: “Trump’s Foreign Business Ties May Violate the Constitution.” That was Nov. 17, 2016…

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The transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is yet another illustration of the rule: Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.

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Last year, I was contacted by the family of the original founder of The Animal Rescue League. The ARL was in a desperate state and on the verge of having to close its doors forever. We ran a series of feature stories and the community responded with an outpouring of support and the iconic no…

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The United Nations General Assembly began Monday, and leaders from around the world are meeting with each other and speaking to the General Assembly. This is sort of a big deal. President Trump has already met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as well as India’s Prime Minister Na…

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Editor’s note: Dr. Rhonda Smith has written occasional columns for the Leader-Call over the past two years. We are pleased to welcome her as a regular contributor. Her columns will appear every other Tuesday on Page A4.

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If you’re just itching to have a spirited conversation with friends or total strangers, sit down and say what you think is wrong (or right) with public education and, if you want to make an afternoon of it, offer your proposal for school security (a column or editorial for another day).