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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.

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In the classic 1980s children’s show “School House Rocks,” kids are told through song that three is the magic number.

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About twice per year, we like to remind the kind, nice, taxpaying folks of this community the inherent danger we all face with an absolutely out-of-control, irresponsible spending binge in Washington, D.C. Forget illegal immigration or social policies, the greatest threat to our union — as w…

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We appreciate Tony Stiles and the sacrifice that he suffered for our county. He is a true, selfless hero. We so admire Stiles that we made him our “Person of the Year” in 2012. We also want to make it very clear that this newspaper, nor anyone affiliated with this newspaper, ever brought up …

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The Jones County Board of Supervisors and Laurel City Council both signed resolutions of support for an Interstate 14 expansion project that would bring the “Forts to Ports” highway to Jones County.

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We were disheartened to say the least at the turnout at the annual Laurel Mardi Gras parade on Saturday evening. One local business owner took to social media decrying that it was Saturday afternoon and he had no idea the parade was even happening. Others chalked up the poor turnout to the e…

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Alex Hodge, part-time sheriff and part-time business owner, could be in violation of state ethics laws with the blurred lines between B-Clean and his employment with Jones County.

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As President Donald Trump sits in Vietnam trying to broker a peace deal with the North Koreans, the Democrat Party is putting on display what we should expect for the next two years ... well, let’s make that six years.

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Living in Mississippi comes with a few certainties: Heat in the summer, hurricane possibilities for six months and the scourge of tornadoes. On Saturday, a tornado zeroed in on Columbus and wreaked havoc.

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Our hearts always go out to the victims of senseless violence. But when there’s a personal connection to one of the victims, hearts grows heavier and our sense of rage intensifies. And the question we’re always left with is the same: Why?

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The story of a beating of an openly gay black actor by men chanting racist invectives and tying a rope around the man’s neck is falling apart. The actor, Jussie Smollett, and his representatives are standing by the story, but the police are no longer treating him as a victim.

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If you are among the people criticizing President Trump because your income tax refund is smaller this year, then chalk that up to yet another of the many reasons that he should be president and you shouldn’t. 

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Complaining about the state of politics is as old as politics itself, especially on a local level. There are a million critics out there, but only a select few who will actually put their hat into the ring to do something about it.

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How many of us would venture down South Magnolia Street for an iconic PDI burger and gaze across the street at the mammoth brick building sitting in disrepair? Many likely remember when a thriving industry was contained within its walls, only to have it shuttered for years.

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With no press or fanfare, the latest attempt by a Mississippi senator to increase penalties for aggravated animal cruelty died in committee. 

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Most, if not all of us remember the story of the boy who cried wolf to alert the villagers that his flock was in danger, only to find there was no wolf lurking. Eventually, the villagers stopped listening to the boy who cried wolf. And, eventually, the wolf did show up and decimated the flock.

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In national politics, there is an overwhelming thirst for something different in Washington, D.C. Cries of “DRAIN THE SWAMP!!” resonate from both sides of the aisle. (Let’s not forget that it was the swampiest of them all, Nancy Pelosi, who first said “drain the swamp” when her party took ov…

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 As the City of Laurel and the police department continue to grapple with the sudden death of Chief Tyrone Stewart early Monday morning, the hurt eventually will subside, but his legacy never will.

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Something wakes you from a deep sleep. In your sleepy haze, you think you smell something odd and, as you wake, you realize your bedroom is engulfed in thick smoke and you are finding it hard to breathe. Or, you are in your car after you lost control, flipped three times and now find yoursel…

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They become so commonplace in the weeks leading up to Christmas that we almost stop noticing them amid the chaos. They’re the Salvation Army bell-ringers, strategically stationed at the entrances of our busiest shopping centers and stores.

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OK, in the pantheon of world problems, the New Orleans Saints getting hosed in their attempt to reach the Super Bowl really is not at the top of the list. Crippling national debt, a terrible cultural divide, dysfunctional federal government and social media tearing the country apart are real…