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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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They call themselves “The Squad,” but they should be better known as CREEPS — Committee to Re-Elect the President.

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In America today, there might not be a more despicable human being than accused pedophile and sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. If he is proven guilty and ever is brought to true justice — that is if his power and influence don’t win again — he should rot in the deepest bowels of the deepest prison.

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In April 2017, Vice President Mike Pence was roundly ridiculed for saying that he would not be alone with any woman except his wife.

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So far in 2019, a total of 19 children have lost their lives in hot-car deaths in the USA. The children ranged in age from infant to 4. 

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When Sheriff Alex Hodge turned down a request by the grassroots group Citizens Against Corruption to participate in a debate we weren’t too surprised. The three-term sheriff who is seeking a fourth term did not want to answer tough questions from an outside source.

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Many of you, especially those adept at Facebook, might have heard the name “John Johnson.” He or she is a Facebook ghost and a frequent and fierce critic of Sheriff Alex Hodge. He or she also is not affiliated with this newspaper.

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Sheriff candidates Joe Berlin, Macon Davis and Paul Sumrall pulled few punches during a recent roundtable discussion. We would much rather have had a complete field of candidates for a debate, but Alex Hodge turned down the offer made by the political action group Citizens Against Corruption.

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This following was handed out to all candidates when they went to the Jones County Circuit Clerk’s office to get qualifying papers to run for office. Please read it closely and make your own determinations. No need for us to editorialize.

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Walk into the office of the Laurel Leader-Call, look to the right and notice the number of awards adorning the wall. From the earliest days of The ReView of Jones County through this past weekend’s Mississippi Press Association awards, the plaques and framed certificates show a history of ne…

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We chuckled at the national news media making a big deal of presidential polling that showed every Democrat in the race, if the election were today, would defeat Donald Trump.

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Presidential elections get the most headlines. Other national political elections — senators and House members — get some good pub, too, especially if a candidate for a national office is from our backyard. State elections affect our lives, too, but no election season is more important to th…

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Remember last year’s senatorial election in Mississippi? On one side was Republican swamp-dweller Cindy Hyde-Smith. In the other corner was the conservative brawler from Ellisville Chris McDaniel. Mike Espy ran as a Democrat, but most of the attention was on McDaniel and Hyde-Smith.

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Any man can become a father, the age-old saying goes, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Sunday will honor those who go the extra mile to be tough and fair, kind and loving. Sunday will honor the ones who stuck around during the tough times — and every father knows there are tough times. S…

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We were a bit surprised that Greg Burroughs decided to sue the City of Laurel and members of the Laurel Police Department. We thought he would be happy with the not guilty verdict on manslaughter charges in the death of his girlfriend and he would spend his time, or his attorneys’ time, focu…

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One of our greatest fuels is knowing that there are good people out there who have our back. The readers of this newspaper, those who have endured this almost indescribable ride we have all shared, are what drives us. Here is why you have stuck by us.

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Several stories in the past few issues of the Leader-Call show the bravery and heroism of ordinary people sent into extraordinary circumstances. We hope you have read them all and appreciate the sacrifices.

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We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the death of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who was a major political player for our state for almost a half-century, first in the House of Representatives, then in the U.S. Senate, where he became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

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Chris McDaniel is a ridiculously popular public official in Jones County. His stances on freedom, liberty and limited intrusion from government forces is in lockstep with many, many conservative Mississippians. He wants to end the politics as usual, whether it be in Washington, D.C., Jackson…

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Turn on any television station or check the mail and you likely will be inundated with “Happy Memorial Day” sales. While we are all in favor of commerce and do love to get good deals, the messaging around that is terribly flawed.

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Laurel is home to a jewel that is the Veterans Memorial Museum. We are a patriotic community that flies the red, white and blue and holds our military servicemen and women in reverence. The sacrifices our military have given for this nation are immeasurable.

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The excruciating wait came to an end for the West Jones Mustangs Thursday night at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The school had finally captured a state championship in one of the three big sports — football, baseball and basketball.

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The war on law enforcement continues, and that’s a sad commentary for the times we live in.

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Another school shooting caused the death of a Colorado student by two troubled young people, a hero classmate who gave his life trying to stop the carnage. The usual calls for stiffer gun control laws followed. 

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When putting together a household budget, expenditures need to be prioritized. As Dave Ramsey would say: “Food, clothing and shelter.” Priorities.

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The appearance at the courthouse of Sheriff Alex Hodge and more than a dozen members of his staff was a rare treat for us. We see some of his deputies and investigators in court all of the time. For those regulars, it must have been like “Take Your Boss To Work” day.

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If you’re defending Sheriff Alex Hodge and accusing us of bias after seeing Saturday’s paper, then you are the one who’s biased … no, make that delusional.

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Sheriff Alex Hodge has been too busy running a Facebook television show and cashing in on his lucrative side business to concern himself with the welfare of the residents of Jones County.

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Our inboxes are loaded with news items (and all sorts of advertisements and political propaganda disguised as news items) every day. Much of what we receive isn’t relevant to our community newspaper, but every once in a while, something interesting pops up that isn’t local but needs to be shared.

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It happens every school year, sometimes more than once. A student dies. Classmates mourn. Beautiful tributes are written. Sincere condolences are clumsily offered to the parents and grandparents. No one knows what to say. But they all know what not to say — the cause of death.

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For many months now, the people who watch Sheriff Alex Hodge’s weekly “SO Live” show on Facebook have been hearing him say how transparent the Jones County Sheriff’s Office is. 

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Much will be talked about involving the county budget, especially in what is shaping up to be a contentious election season. The Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Alex Hodge have been at loggerheads, with Hodge wanting more money — a big tax increase for every resident — for his department an…

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It’s rare for a candidate to be in a position to do a public service. But Mike James has done just that, so we salute him. James, who is running for District 4 Supervisor, revealed himself as someone who has plans to raise your taxes. We commend him for letting people know that. After all, v…

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It is impossible to calculate or quantify the good that Howard Industries has done for our community. Half of the partnership that started the business a half-century ago passed away last week, leaving a void that will be impossible to fill.

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Soon, our elected officials will tax us for the air we breathe. We will be taxed per shower taken. We will be taxed on the plastic bag we use to pick up our dog’s business. We will be taxed for disposal of said plastic bag. And, it appears, Washington, D.C., is pushing toward a hike to the f…

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Hopefully you have seen our big ad (on Page 8 today) about the May 11 Laurel Rotary Club Magnolia Street Derby. The Leader-Call is ecstatic to be one of the top sponsors for the event it had such a fantastic run in its first year, it is back for an encore presentation — and hopefully for yea…

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A reporter recently asked new Laurel police Chief Tommy Cox whether he would continue to deal with media requests or follow the path of another law enforcement leader and hire a “public relations professional” to deal with the throngs of media requests that flow in daily.

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We often marvel at how law enforcement and first-responders could ever get accustomed to what they see on a daily basis. Many situations they find themselves in would sicken most of us. Yet they continue to answer those calls.

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On Tuesday, TV star Jussie Smollet was set free with little to no penalty, nor remorse, even though there was overwhelming evidence that he perpetrated a loathsome hate-crime hoax in order to bring more fame to himself and more division to this nation. It is quite clear that Smollet used his…

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Think of a coup d’ etat and one should conjure images of a violent overthrowing of a government. Coups are rare — successful coups are even rarer. It takes a deep-rooted, dedicated effort and planning to overthrow the elected government. Most of those violent overthrows occur in third-world …

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Seniors… wow, time is ticking toward the end of high school. In about two months, those of you who walk across the stage ending one chapter in your lives and beginning another, the story of admissions-fixing is still headline news.

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Those who have never attended the annual Art of Healing would probably be surprised to find out what kind of event it is. It’s not a stuffy, wine-and-cheese, little-finger-out-when-you-sip-the-tea, black-tie affair. It’s casual. Fun even. 

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When Leader-Call chief reporter and editor Mark Thornton walks into the Jones County Board of Supervisors meeting twice per month or arrives at the Laurel City Council, there likely are some muted grumbles — especially from those making the decisions.