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Imagine for a moment that you are a football coach. Thirty minutes before kickoff, you meet at midfield with the opposing coach and the “zebras” — sports slang for the officials. The zebras go over the ground rules and the coaches return to their respective locker rooms to get ready for the …

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A short history lesson will show that when the Laurel Leader-Call is involved with an informational election-year production, it is wise to show up and participate.

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Are the days of free expression coming to an end? Are we on the path to central planners who decide what we can see and what is banned as if we were in North Korea?

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We ended our Tuesday editorial decrying the decision of the City of Laurel Special Events Committee for canceling the Pine Cone Drop three months before it was set to take place by writing that Jones County needed some good news.

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Three months ago, in early August, scientists from Harvard as well as leading physicians from the state were characterizing Mississippi as the next great COVID-19 hotspot. The cases were spiraling out of control, hospitals were getting overwhelmed and highly charged adjectives were all the rage.

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Today (Saturday) marks the final day of National Newspaper Week, an annual celebration of the importance of newspapers to American society. If ever a time in America needed newspapers, it is now.

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Becky Stewart, the executive director of the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, summed up the challenges of fighting domestic abuse in the age of COVID-19. She said, “Around the globe, governments have implored residents to stay home to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. But for domest…

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Sergio Garcia is a name most golf enthusiasts will recognize. He has been a constant presence on the Professional Golf Association Tour for decades and is a former Masters winner.

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There’s an old saying: “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Thursday’s front-page photo of  Laurel police Chief Tommy Cox standing next to Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin during a press conference announcing an arrest in a slaying at a local motel speaks volumes about the state of local law enf…

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It should be no surprise that the weather forecast for Saturday is perfect. Of course it is. After a miserable-as-usual summer made even more miserable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the forecast is for perfect Loblolly weather.

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Five weeks from today (Tuesday), voters across the nation will vote for the next president of the United States. In one of the most contentious election cycles in a polarized country, it is hard to believe that there are many people who actually remain undecided.

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Like clockwork, when an announcement about an improvement project comes out of City Hall, a vocal segment of our population immediately responds on social media with the same chorus — What about fixing the potholes in the streets?

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In February 2016, we had a feature story and editorial with wise words and observations from Charles Pickering, the retired federal judge from Jones County. His dear friend and hunting buddy Supreme Court Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia had just died, and it immediately became a political issu…

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Less than two weeks from now would have been the annual Loblolly Festival. We are still saddened that the premier event in Laurel will not happen because of COVID-19 and the lack of interest from vendors.

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In the most classic example of absurdity run amok, consider the city of Minneapolis, Minn. After the tragic, horrific killing of George Floyd, who literally had his last breath choked out of him by a maniacal police officer, riots and looting ran rampant. The loudest voices protesting the ac…

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Let’s face it, no one likes to round a curve on a road in our area and see a bank of blue lights flashing ahead. There is an immediate thought of, “Oh, boy, what have I done? Do I have my insurance cards up to date? Oh, I hope I didn’t forget my driver’s license.”

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Two sheriff’s deputies are sitting in a patrol vehicle. A man comes up to the passenger-side window, appearing to just be walking along. In an instant, the same man pulls out a gun and starts firing, severely injuring the two law enforcement officials. 

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The national media have become the ultimate Monday morning quarterbacks. Most football fans know the phrase that’s used to describe the “experts” sitting in their chairs, drinking beer and eating nachos as they rip coaches and players for every play that goes wrong, adding commentary on what…

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Every worker, small-business owner and unemployed American should be outraged after watching the video of a mask-less Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done in a closed salon in California.

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The Mississippi Flag Commission on Wednesday will unveil the final flag design that will be considered on the Nov. 3 election ballot. The choice will be to accept the commission’s flag design or turn it down and start again next year.

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Mississippi’s annual Second Amendment Tax Holiday began Friday and will conclude on Sunday. We imagine that law-abiding, U.S. Constitution-loving Mississippians will flock to gun stores and pawn shops to purchase firearms. They will not do it to form some sort of militia, but to further prot…

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You have spoken, and we have quickly answered.

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People blame others for their own shortcomings because it’s easier than admitting failure. That sort of gaslighting is easy to identify when you’re standing on the outside of a situation, looking in — such is the case with Chicago. The city saw a spike of more than 100 percent in gun violenc…

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The notion of cutting taxes and adding services — especially in the throes of a pandemic — would come across to most people as laughable. After all, with all the lost revenue due to COVID-19 and three devastating tornadoes in April in Jones County, how could taxes actually be going down?

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A decade ago in the Middle Eastern country of Iraq, as the country was in the midst of horror and chaos and where bombings were an everyday occurrence, parliamentary elections went forth. Americans marveled at the courage of everyday Iraqis who braved being blown up by incendiary devices to …

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Nearly a year has passed since one of the most contentious election races in memory came to and end with Macon Davis dethroning Sheriff Alex Hodge in the latter’s quest for a fourth term. Davis advanced to the general election, where he was defeated by Joe Berlin.

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Watching the debate over what to do with the 2020 college football season has turned into a microcosm for the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole. Different medical professionals have different opinions and that is leading to different decisions.

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We hope you noticed Saturday’s Leader-Call on Page 12. Leader-Call Publisher Jim Cegielski presented framed pages from the successful Back the Blue campaign launched by your Home Town newspaper. The presentation was the culmination of the effort that saw advertisers throughout the Free State…

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Gov. Tate Reeves was going to catch flak no matter what he decided to do about starting school. Even though we have been critical of many things he has done in the past, we wholeheartedly agree with the way he handled this hot potato.

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In the middle of each month, the state releases its sales tax data for cities, towns and municipalities throughout the state. Starting in May, which reflected March’s sales tax numbers, Mississippians in every city and town were holding their collective breaths waiting for the crippling effe…

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On Thursday, Americans paid their final respects to Civil Rights hero John Lewis. Before we go any further, we urge the powers-that-be in Alabama to immediately change the name of the Edward Pettus Bridge in honor of John Lewis. His fight, especially on that bridge during the march to Selma,…

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Of the myriad comments to be thrust onto the Black Lives Mississippi Facebook page against the owner and staff of this newspaper, the one that made us laugh the most was the notion of collecting money to start another newspaper in Laurel.

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Thank you to all of the people who posted comments against us on the Black Lives Matter Mississippi Facebook page. The publicity should be good for business. Productive people who actually contribute to the well-being of our community and economy believe that if you’re against us, we’re prob…

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At this point, it’s impossible to have a reasonable public discussion about any divisive issue, especially on social media. Everything is black and white — literally — to the people who are dominating the conversations, and everyone has a platform. There’s never been so much noise.

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A meme floating around the internet shows a masked figure also wearing a blindfold so that “he can’t see what is going on.” The notion being that the real reason behind wearing masks is a far-reaching plot to keep Americans silenced.

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As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on any and all activities, it was heartwarming, to say the least, to see the amazing showing of support and generosity for South Central Regional Medical Center’s Art of Healing.

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If one believes the chit-chat on Facebook, we could be in for some turbulence in The Free State this weekend. There are all sorts of rumors that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are coming to town. Local law enforcement officials believe the information is credible, so they will have increased …

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School officials are in a really, really tough spot right now. 

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Two episodes — one here in Laurel — highlight perfectly how rushing to judgment, losing all sense of context and the inability to wait in the throes of instant reaction have fanned the flames of racial strife.

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Did we throw you a curveball this morning? This Editorial and our columns on Pages B2 and B3? Why would we do that?

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Constitutional freedoms are afforded to everyone in America (unless, of course, they’ve been removed for cause) and all people are created equal, according to our Declaration of Independence. But all people certainly aren’t equal when it comes to responsibility and judgment. It would serve s…

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Is Laurel City Councilman Stacy Comegys trying to find a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? 

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A bitter pillIt was inevitable that our state flag was going to change, one way or the other. But how it happened will forever be a source of bitterness for proponents of the design that’s been with us since 1894 and was affirmed by 64 percent of voters in 2001.Ideally, the people would have…

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Trade and sports organizations are continuing to come out against the State of Mississippi flag. There is little doubt that the symbol will be changed. It also is clear that the change will not come from the state Legislature.