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A boat made for the Pee Dee

For some reason or other I’ve always loved being around water. Why when I retired I held a State Water and Wastewater License.My first recollection of liking water was when I was 5 years old. Every evening I would follow my Grandma down in the cow pasture to head the cows up to the barn for milking. I’d carry a short cane pole and a worm or two and fish in the spring while Ma was getting in the cows. She’d always come by the spring and say, “Boy, you caught ...

2 days ago | | | Email

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce

Happy “Back to School” week! Since I do not have children, this week is just another work week for me, but I know for so many of you, this is the week to go back to the hustle and bustle of getting the kids out of bed in time for everyone to get ready, eat breakfast and get out of the house and to school on time, while you try to make sure you get to your job on time as well. It takes a while to get back into the groove and make sure the timing works and no one is tardy for their ...

2 days ago | | | Email

Identity thieves target kids, adults

I’m sorry to report that child identity fraud is alive and well in 2014. If anything, the problem may be worsening as identity thieves devise new methods to steal — and use — children’s personal information. Most commonly, they’ll harvest kids’ dormant Social Security numbers and use them to illegally obtain jobs or open fraudulent bank and credit accounts, mortgages or car loans.Many victims don’t realize there’s a problem until they...

3 days ago | | | Email

What are the gains, gaps in our economy?

Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort, and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.Any economic forecast must begin with the national economy for the simple reason that, regardless of where you live in the country, roughly two-thirds of what happens to commerce is determined by the ups and downs of the national economy. H...

3 days ago | | | Email

A non-lawyer on the Supreme Court?

President Obama plans to appoint National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg to the United States Supreme Court.Not really, of course.Totenberg may know more than most lawyers about the Supreme Court from her experience as an award-winning legal affairs correspondent for NPR.But she is not a lawyer, and you have to be a lawyer to be on the court.Don’t you?No. The Constitution sets forth no such requirement. Article Two provides sim...

3 days ago | | | Email

Foolish choice on Medicaid expansion

When you consider all the bad choices made by the General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory in the last two years — and there have been too many to mention — the one that may make the least sense was the decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and therefore provide health coverage for more than 400,000 low income adults who are currently uninsured.That point was reinforced dramatically recently by a national report that quantified how much federal ...

6 days ago | | | Email

World ignored signs of ISIS power

Winston Churchill once said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Over the past several months, the world has watched with great concern the events unfolding around the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The escalating tensions stemming from these events threaten to destabilize the world at large and serve as a chilling reminder that evil does indeed exist.

6 days ago | | | Email

School prep should include immunizations

Back-to-School season is here. It’s time for parents to gather supplies and back packs. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines.“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health — and that of classmates and the community,” said Alisa Freeman, RN, BSN, Family Planning and Immunization...

6 days ago | | | Email

NC doesn’t need gimmicks to attract jobs

Gov. Pat McCrory and some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly say they need more “tools” for economic development in North Carolina — by which they mean targeted tax breaks and corporate subsidies. They often point to South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and other states in our neighborhood that, they say, are more aggressive in using economic incentives to recruit or retain businesses.I disagree with incentive advocates on policy grounds. Govern...

7 days ago | | | Email

Budget allocates millions for seniors

As our schools are set to begin the new school year, students are both nervous and excited. Parents are encouraging their children and helping them get ready, backpacks are filled with school supplies and teachers are getting classrooms and lesson plans prepared. Administrators are finalizing many details and last but not least support personnel are getting school facilities clean and in order. Everyone is full of anticipation as we welcome another school year.-

7 days ago | | | Email

Scotland Health meeting financial challenges

In simple terms, what does an overall community and an individual patient expect from its hospital system? Doesn’t a community expect that its hospital system provide the best and most appropriate care that it can afford? Doesn’t a patient expect to be able to be treated when needed, to be made well when able in a safe environment and lastly, to be treated kindly? So, how is Scotland Health Care System, your community’s system, doing against these expectations?Our...

8 days ago | | | Email

Spreading the Scotland County story

Last week, I was in Cincinnati for a conference for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. I had an amazing time, met people from across the world, and learned an overwhelming amount of information. There were speakers who are famous authors, television personalities, and even a comedian-turned-host for a Food Network Show call “Eat Street,” James Cunningham. It was four days spent hearing intelligent people share their knowledge with all of us who were there to be a s...

9 days ago | | | Email

Manufacturing jobs have changed

After months of hushed planning and work behind closed doors, Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday announced the arrival of a Quebec company to Scotland County, along with a $62 million investment and nearly 200 jobs that will bring a collective payroll of $3.2 million.It’s news that we like to report. But McCrory and state Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker’s assessment that rural North Carolina’s financial future lies in manufacturing still remains to be proven.M...

9 days ago | | | Email

Bubba’s ill-fated trip to the beach

Several years ago my friend Bubba and I decided we would take our wives on a weekend trip to the beach. Now if you have been keeping up with my column, you know that going anywhere with Bubba is an adventure. Bubba was working second shift at a local mill and we decided to pull out for the beach when he got off from work on a Friday night. Bubba wanted us to drive his car, so it was midnight before we got loaded up and headed for the beach.

9 days ago | | | Email

Remembering baseballs’ No. 42

“He is number 42,” I said.On a baseball outing with my daughter’s family the other night, I was trying to find the name of a player on the Durham Bulls baseball team while the Bulls were playing a doubleheader against the Buffalo Bison.The player list in the game program did not show a number 42. Then I noticed another player wearing number 42, and then another. Every player was wearing number 42.Why?I should have remembered “...

10 days ago | | | Email

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