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Affordable food or riots and unrest? By Jim Surber
The images and accounts of recent riots in the United Kingdom have been disturbing and confounding. Disturbing by the fear and destruction they have caused and confounding as to their root cause. It has always appeared that the causes of such events were as random as the specific nature and the participants in the events themselves. We must accept the fact that technologies such as social networking now play a large... read more
Secretary of State Husted... With the Start of School, everyone can Make a Difference
It seems like it was only yesterday, but nearly 35 years ago when I was a junior high student in Montpelier, Ohio, my school bus driver taught me one of the most valuable life-lessons I ever learned about compassion and using our gifts to help others. There was a girl who rode our bus, who took special education classes and walked and talked a little differently than most kids. But I remember she was always smiling and never... read more
Commissioners Corner... Local dollars down nearly $500K
The month of August always indicates the start of many things.  School openings are just around the corner, families are taking that last vacation, and of course, The Great Darke County Fair.  As this is written, the fair is in full swing, and by most observations, it looks like the fair may set new attendance records again this year.  If you haven’t been to the fair yet... read more
Family Events... Are you raising a future president of the USA? By Marybeth Hicks
Remember when your parents asked you what you were going to be when you grew up? Nearly every child in America at one time or another answered, “I’m going to be President of the United States!” I was thinking about this recently because I wonder if kids do that anymore — that is, dream of being the president or of running for office. Some surveys I’ve seen indicate they’d rather be sports stars or celebrities... read more
Aphids arrived in Darke County last week, By Justin Petrosino, OSU Extension
I hope everyone is enjoying the Great Darke County Fair. I have had my share of fun grilling at the Pork Producers grill and eating enough fried foods elsewhere to make any heart skip a beat! Today let’s take a fair break to talk about economic thresholds. Economic thresholds are a level of a pest infestation that a farmer, consultant or crop production specialist should recommend an application of a... read more
Senate Bill 5 again? By Bob Rhoades
Earlier this year, I wrote a lot about Senate Bill 5.  I said that it was unfair and a witch-hunt by Gov. Kasich to bust public employee representation all across the state.  I also said that it looked to me like a lot of good, well-meaning Republican members of the House and Senate should think for themselves and not follow the Governor down his yellow brick road because it didn’t look like there was a rainbow... read more
Family Events... Transitions mean adjustments for the whole family, By Marybeth Hicks
8/18/11 - The other day a friend posted on her Facebook page, “Only one week till I send my first child off to kindergarten — I’m crying already!”  I have a confession. When I sent my eldest child to school, I didn’t cry. It might have been because she had already been attending preschool at the same parish school, so I knew she’d be comfortable and make an easy transition. Or it might have been... read more
Mandel... Why Ohio’s Outlook has Improved as Federal Credit Rating is Downgraded
While global financial markets are marred by uncertainty, Ohioans’ hard-earned tax dollars are being prudently invested and safeguarded. To highlight the contrast between Ohio’s fiscal management with that of the federal government, look no further than the recent actions of Standard & Poor’s. In analyzing the fiscal management of each, the firm decided last month to upgrade Ohio’s outlook (from... read more
Family Events... Studies say learning to lie is a sign of intelligence, By Marybeth Hicks
8/11/11 - I’ll never understand why children try to lie their way out of things. They’re terrible liars. Case in point: I once asked my son if he put the dog out to do his morning business. My son said “yes,” so it seemed odd the dog was scratching at the back door. I opened the door to offer the pup a second chance, thinking maybe his little canine kidneys were working overtime, only to discover fresh, white... read more
State Senator Bill Beagle... Ohio’s Credit Rating Boost Bucks the National Trend
COLUMBUS – Throughout the month of July, newspapers across the country were riddled with the grim and daunting details surrounding the debate over our nation’s budget and its debt ceiling. Agreement between chambers and political divides in Washington were few and far between, and any sort of good news proved even more seldom. However, amid all the fear and concern over the future of our... read more
State Rep. Jim Buchy... Removing the Chains and Shackles of Taxes in the Budget
Balancing an $8 billion budget was a difficult process, but balancing it without tax increases was something many doubters did not believe could happen.  When the budget became law it actually included changes to tax policy that lower taxes and provide opportunities for Ohio’s citizens to pay their back taxes without penalty. Tax increases stifle the growth of business and put a damper on any chance of... read more
Family Events... Wouldn’t trade places for anything... By Marybeth Hicks
8/5/11 - A few years ago while I was promoting my parenting book, Bringing Up Geeks, I was approached by the producers of the reality show Wife Swap with an offer to participate in their show. If you aren’t a reality show fan, you may jump to the same conclusion I did — but rest assured the premise of Wife Swap does not involve airing an illicit affair on national TV! The show’s concept was to trade places... read more
State Representative Jim Buchy... Ohio’s Balanced Budget
Over the past few weeks I have been witnessing our lawmakers in Washington barter over raising our nation’s debt ceiling.  This country has over $14 trillion in debt and it will continue growing. Governor Kasich and my colleagues in the state government have passed a budget that will ensure Ohio has good credit in the future.  In fact, as a result of the strong economic policies supported in this General... read more
From Auditor of State Dave Yost... “Essential Air Service” to Ely, NV and Points in Between:
Why Part of the FAA is Shut Down For Now - August 5, 2011 - You may have never heard of Ely, Nevada, population 4,255. But the federal government writes a check for $3,700 every time one of its residents steps on to a half-empty airplane at its tiny airport. The federal subsidy for Ely – and other little airports like it – are the argument behind the partial FAA shutdown. The Republicans and Democrats... read more
Letter to the Editor... Darke County Jobs, By Mike Stegall
Speaking as a citizen and not an elected official, I have been amused and irritated lately by some of the comments going around about the lack of jobs in Darke County.  I find it amusing that apparently all the new businesses in the county that have been highlighted in the papers and blogs are being overlooked, and irritated that some people just don’t want to see the positives in what we have... read more
Oh what a feeling, when we’re posturing on the ceiling
I apologize to Lionel Richie for this title, but for the last few weeks we’ve witnessed an impending train wreck, caused by many irresponsible people, that has been building to its inevitable collision for over a decade. The latest political game of “chicken” over raising the debt ceiling would be downright funny, if what depended upon it wasn’t so serious. Much of what is occurring in Congress may be incomprehensible, but... read more
I’m gonna sit right down and text myself a letter, by Jim Surber
A revision of the title of this 1935 song came to mind last week as I read an account of the entertainment industry abandoning hand-drawn animation in favor of computer-generated images. As one who hasn’t paid much attention to this medium for many years, it got me to thinking about the most obvious form of personal “art,” – handwriting. I remembered the time spent in the first six grades of school, when ballpoint pens... read more
Commissioners Corner… Still waiting on final state dollars
The rain has shut off, the temperature is in the nineties, and humidity is there as well, so it must be summer here in Darke County.  Although it has been hot, this seems to be a typical summer for our area.  The crops are looking better after a slow start to planting season, and the sporadic rain showers are helping everything to grow a little bit in this weather.  This may... read more
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