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Broke Wife, Big City… My husband is my wingman, By Aprill Brandon
Of all the changes that happen when you have a baby (and there are A LOT, like the never-ending stream of mysterious wet spots that regularly appear on you, your baby and your home that you quickly learn to stop questioning in order to preserve your sanity), perhaps one of the biggest is the way it changes your relationship to your partner. Some of these are good changes read more.
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Obamacare and the Culture of Death, By Kate Burch
A recently-developed, highly accurate, blood test that screens for the presence of Down syndrome in the fetus is becoming more widely used.  It has great potential for good, in that it can help women avoid more invasive and dangerous procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling when there are risk factors for Down syndrome present.  It is also a good thing for read more.
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Representative Buchy… The State Budget Accomplishes Major Goals in Education
As school begins again across the state, I can say with confidence that the state legislature has taken a positive step with House Bill 64. With its passage in June, the state operating budget in Ohio achieved some major goals in Ohio’s pathway to eliminating the Common Core standards and improving education for Ohio’s students. The state budget included a read more.
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When bullying is based on race, Dr. Melissa Martin, Ph.D., LPCC-S       
Bullying is a form of aggression used to gain power and targeting peers based on racial differences is another misuse of power. Biracial and multiracial youth are more likely to be bullied than youth who identify with a single race, according to the National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment. Twice as many ethnic minority youth in read more.
Tri-County Board Adopts Position Opposing Marijuana Legalization in Ohio
At its September 16 meeting, the Tri-County Board formally adopted a position statement opposing efforts to legalize marijuana in Ohio. In doing so, the Board joins an expanding list of public and private organizations, including business owners, healthcare and behavioral health professionals and law enforcement groups to oppose efforts to legalize marijuana in Ohio. The full text of the position statement is read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… When stuff turns into a whole, like, thing, By Aprill Brandon
I should have known better. As soon as I walked in, I had a bad feeling. This was going to turn into a THING. It always does. “Hi. I just need to get new eyeglasses. I have my old prescription right here.” “OK, when was your last eye exam?” “Honestly, I just need new glasses. No need for an exam.” “Ma’am, I need to know the date of your last eye exam.” “Um…sigh…five years ago, I think.” read more.
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What Week Coming Up, Potentially, By Susan Olling
Those of us in the greater D.C. environs have been hearing that there will be traffic chaos with what appears to be a perfect storm of activity occurring in a week or so. First, the Pope’s visiting.  Then, there’s a concert.  Finally (yawn) the local MLB franchise is playing what’s being called the Beltway Series against the Baltimore Orioles.   At National’s Park.  Please note, the locals are already looking read more.
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The White House… Ahmed: We Stand with You
Yesterday, a 14-year-old student named Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing his engineering project (an electronic clock) to his high school. Officials mistook it for a bomb. When I was growing up, my friends and I were fortunate to know how to use soldiering irons, circuit boards, and even a bit of duct tape when nothing else worked read more.
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The White House… I went to community college (now I work at the White House)
I spent more than half of 2005 in Iraq. I was four years into my service in the Marine Corps, and as is the case with most of our young enlisted military members, I had enormous responsibilities for a twenty-two year-old. Grateful for the opportunity to serve, and thankful for the experiences the Marine Corps gave to me, I left active duty in 2006, excited at the prospect of new cities read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Legislation increases opportunities for people with felonies - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced the Fair Chance Act – bipartisan legislation to expand job opportunities and reduce recidivism by requiring federal contractors and federal agencies to “ban the box” on job applications. Reforming hiring practices has widespread support from both public and private institutions. Eighteen read more.
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And the stories keep coming, By Susan Olling
Some of my contributions have been a bit, well, tongue-in-cheek about tourists.  I’m stepping back from that to share some of my early volunteer experiences where I learned how much fun tourists can provide. My first volunteer experience started almost thirty years ago.  The Washington National Cathedral (AKA the Big Church), the seat of read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… This is why we don’t stick our hand in the toaster, By Aprill Brandon
The pitter-patter of little feet. This is what is promised to you when you become a parent. The sound that will fill your house, night and day. And it truly is one of the greatest sounds in the world. Unfortunately, this sound is accompanied by a whole orchestra of other sounds that are much less talked about, let alone celebrated. And in our house right now, that pitter-patter is followed by much read more.
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The Dark Night of the Animas, By Kate Burch
Around 1988, my husband and I took a road trip to the West.  In Colorado, we had the delightful experience of riding on the narrow-gauge railway from Durango to Silverton, an old mining town.  The train tracks for quite a while hugged a vertiginous cliff overlooking the Animas River, and we could, scarily, look down and watch kayakers on the rapidly moving waters.  It struck me at the time read more.
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State Representative Buchy… Raising Awareness of Krabbe Disease
Krabbe disease is an often fatal degenerative disease that destroys the protective coating on nerve cells in the brain and the nervous system.  This rare disease has effected several families locally including that of Madison Layton who passed away after battling the disease from birth to her second birthday. It is in Madison’s memory that the second week in read more.
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The White House… Lessons to learn from Iraq War
This week, critics of the Iran deal -- including Former Vice President Dick Cheney -- are gathering in Washington. It's a safe bet that they will call for abandoning our diplomatic deal with Iran and the world, and call for a dangerously simplistic vision of American "leadership" based on unilateral action that would ultimately leave us read more.
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Help kids manage emotions, By Dr. Melissa Martin
Television commercials shown during annual sports events are meant to evoke emotions. Feelings help fuel our decisions to buy. Babies and puppies promote warm and fuzzy feelings. Humorous commercials stir up laughter. Brave soldier commercials move us to tears. Emotions are powerful motivators for children, adolescents, and adults. An essential life lesson is learning to manage read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… On Labor Day, Renewing our Commitment to Ohio Workers
Labor Day is more than just a last hurrah of summer, a day for picnics and barbeques for many families. It’s also an important time for us to reflect on the labor movement’s proud history in Ohio, and to honor the workers who paved the way for the worker protections we too often take for granted. These workers built our strong middle class, and built our country. They laid down the railroad tracks read more.
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U.S. Senator Brown… Ensuring Taxpayer Dollars are Spent on Education, Not Corporate PR
As the summer comes to a close, students across Ohio are crisscrossing the state, heading back to campuses and settling into dorms. Set foot on any college quad, and the excitement is palpable — young people excited for their futures, which they hope will be even brighter thanks to higher education. We know that education is one of the surest paths to economic success. It’s one read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… My dad is in the cheese business, By Aprill Brandon
There I was. Just minding my own business. Looking like a hungover Cruella de Ville with my gallon-sized black coffee and my big dark sunglasses and my resting bitch face. Sitting at an outdoor table quietly attempting to write a beautiful and heartfelt rant on why I thought Blake Lively was the devil. When suddenly, the three of them plopped down at the next table. A blur of bobbing read more.
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Attorney General Mike DeWine… DeWine Announces Support for Child Credit Freeze Bill
HB 317 Would Help Parents Protect Children from Identity Theft (COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced support for Ohio House Bill 317, which would allow parents or guardians to “freeze” a child’s credit record to help stop identity thieves from opening accounts in the child’s name. The bill was introduced today by Representative Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) read more.
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More DC fodder… including an elevator exorcism, By Susan Olling
While tourists unwittingly provide lots of stories, they didn’t provide the only fodder for this installment. Metro, our little subway system, has had something newsworthy on a number of occasions this year.  The most recent something newsworthy occurred in early August.  A train derailed in a tunnel between two stations in the middle of downtown D.C.  Fortunately, the train was empty.  Unfortunately read more.
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The White House… One veteran's perspective on the Iran deal
I was in the first company of Marines to enter Baghdad in 2003. As a combat veteran, I know the cost of war. It is something I still carry with me today in the U.S. House of Representatives, where I have the privilege of representing the people of northeast Massachusetts. And I am reminded of it every time the questions of war read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Construction has begun at South Industrial Park Drive
August has certainly been friendly to Darke County. It seems we have had perfect weather most of the time, only a couple of really warm days, and rain when needed. The Great Darke County Fair could not have had any better weather! The Days were cool and mild, and the nights were perfect. With High School football starting read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Birth/Death Certificates-Removing Red tape
A constituent brought to my attention the need to make access to Ohio’s birth and death certificates easier and more affordable. In the past the local County Boards of Health and the State Health Department have had different policies on how to access these documents. Although allowing local Boards to operate as they see fit is an optimal way to govern, this read more.
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Revolt or revert? By Jim Surber
Six months ago, if someone had offered a wager that in late August the two leading presidential candidates would be Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders; I would have probably borrowed heavily to bet against it. Yes, the breakout stars of 2015 are two old white guys from the outer boroughs of New York. In the summer of America’s discontent, Sanders read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… What I Did On My Summer Vacation, By Aprill Brandon
We didn’t really have the money. Or it might be more accurate to say we had the money but we knew we should probably save it like real grown-ups do to put toward buying a house, or purchasing bookshelves that aren’t held together with duct tape or funneling it into an account to pay for our toddler son’s future therapy bills. But instead, we said screw it and blew it all on a spur-of-the-moment read more.
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Tourists, tourists, By Susan Olling
The National Mall and Memorial Parks provide excellent examples of tourists behaving, well, like tourists. Give them lots of room if you can.  I won’t even go into the indescribably bad fashion statements that are seen down there.  Some of the events below may have involved locals, but it doesn’t matter.  Comments from “regular” visitors about the disrespectful behavior of school groups were read more.
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New Newspeak, By Kate Burch
“1984,” George Orwell’s dystopian novel about a totalitarian state, Oceania, described the language of this country,  “Newspeak,” which was devised as a means of limiting freedom of thought, and squelching ideas that posed a threat to the regime, such as freedom, self-expression, and individuality.  This new language served to shape the thinking of the populace and create a political orthodoxy read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Ohioans Shouldn’t be Left in the Dark on Trade
Ohioans have seen first-hand what so-called free trade agreements have done to our state and our economy. Bad deals have closed factories, torn apart families, and devastated communities. Americans have every right to be skeptical of new trade deals, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — the largest trade deal ever negotiated. We have heard “just trust me” from politicians too many read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Fire Safety for Off-Campus Housing
This week I joined State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) to reintroduce legislation aimed at protecting renters in the event of a fire. The bill requires a separate means of egress for all dwelling areas above the second story of a residential rental property. When a fire breaks out, you have only moments to make a decision on how you will escape read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Mitochondrial Disease Awareness
September is Mitochondrial disease awareness month in memory of western Ohio’s own Corynna Strawser. Corynna dedicated her life to raising awareness for this rare and devastating disease and in her honor Senate Bill 300 was passed to allow us to carry on her fight. Mitochondrial disease, Mito for short, is an inherited chronic illness in which read more.
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Bullying in Ohio, By Melissa Martin, Child Therapist
How do agencies and organizations in Ohio prevent and intervene with bullying? Do they help or hinder? What is the bullying policy at your child’s school? What is a definition of bullying? “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time,” according read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… “Slummering” in Maine, By Aprill Brandon
Guys, I don’t want to alienate any of my readers, but I can officially say that I now “summer in Maine” like the rich people do. So please no longer make direct eye contact when addressing me, peasants. Ok, ok, busted. We’ll actually be slumming it in a small motel by the beach for barely three days, so technically I guess you could say we’ll be “slummering in Maine.” But you read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Agritourism is a Growing Trend in Ohio
When the Ohio winter ends and the warmer months come, you see many people moving outdoors for entertainment. A growing trend in Ohio is for Ohioans to take part in agritourism. Over the last 15 or so years, this industry has really taken off and we in the state legislature are doing our part to help it continue to be successful. Agritourism can be defined as the crossroads between agriculture and tourism. read more.
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Mr. History Wants… By Susan Olling
Some years ago, we went on a factory tour at the Harley-Davidson assembly plant in York, PA.  I thought that Mr. History’s  interest in this type of hog would go no further.  However, one of the toys on Mr. History’s wish list  is a top-of-line Harley.  This list also includes a 1930s fire truck, among other internal-combustion contraptions.  I always ask him where he plans to put all of these things read more.
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Greenville City Schools… Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year, GCSD Superintendent Douglas Fries
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year.  Our administration and staff are eager to begin another year with the students, parents, grandparents, and community members throughout our district.  We hope to have everyone work together to make this another successful instructional and enjoyable year for all. I trust each of you have had a relaxing and enjoyable summer with your family read more.
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Ohio Republican Party… ORP Update
Focusing on jobs and the taxpayers. That's a major difference between Ohio Republicans and Ohio Democrats.  A little over 4 years ago, under Democrat Ted Strickland, our state faced massive job lost, tax hikes, and an $8 billion budget hole. Now our Republican team has delivered $5 billion in tax cuts, a $2 billion surplus and economic growth. This week Ohio Republicans continued read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Protecting Ohio’s Drinking Water
Around this time last year, 500,000 Ohioans in the Toledo area were forced to go without safe drinking water. They were warned they couldn’t drink the tap water in their own homes. This is something no family should have to go through, and that should not be happening in our state. Cities and towns across Ohio need to have the best, most up-to-date information on how to keep their drinking read more.
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All Is Not Lost, By Kate Burch
At our house, we joke about morning prayers consisting, at least in part, of sitting with our coffee and the daily newspapers, saying repeatedly, “Oh, God!” Yesterday, especial fervency was provoked by some disheartening news about Voice of America.  Started in 1942 as a means of countering Nazi propaganda, VOA is a taxpayer-funded read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… The Case of the Missing Dino Nugget, By Aprill Brandon
It’s lunchtime. Again. I know. You can’t believe it’s lunchtime again. Wasn’t it just lunchtime yesterday? And the day before that? How many times does this kid need to eat? But so goes the life of the parent of a toddler. Only, the thing is, this lunchtime is different. This lunchtime, you’re already hour 16 into your new diet. That stupid, stupid new diet you Googled and pledged an oath read more.
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State Rep. Jim Buchy… Making Ohio More Business Friendly and Improving Our Economy
Over the last 5 years the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has made changes to help it evolve from a problem, to a leader in economic development and job growth in Ohio. The growth is due to the presence of all the ingredients of a strong economy including: sound business decisions, a focus on safety and hard workers. In recent years, the BWC has been responsible read more.
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U.S. Congressman John Boehner… A Commitment to Providing Excellent Constituent Services - Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released the following column reminding Ohio’s 8th District of the many services he provides to help constituents navigate federal agencies, cut through red-tape, and get the answers they need: “This year, the IRS dropped 8.8 million calls on taxpayers in the months read more.
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New interest in Jamestown, By Susan Olling
The recent news stories about four sets of remains found on the site of a church that dates to 1608 will probably bring even more visitors to one of the most interesting parks in the National Park Service System: Historic Jamestowne.  None of the American History courses I took, back in the mists of time, mentioned Jamestown, Virginia, the read more.
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Deliberate Harm, By Kate Burch
A couple of weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends posted a photo of two young children, one white, one black, walking in a wooded scene, with hands clasped.  The caption above the photo was, “This is where we need to be.”  I commented, “Really, most of us are there already.”  No response received. A couple of my black friends have decried the recent and current worsening perceptions read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I just want to pay my bill, By Aprill Brandon
I don’t know if you guys have been keeping up with the news lately, but according to the headlines I’ve been skimming on Twitter, robots are poised to take over all our jobs. Or something like that. I never actually click on the links because as the mother of a toddler, all I really have time to read are listicles about how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days. (Note to the editors of Huffington Post read more.
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The White House… 50 Years Ago
Every year, I head back to the birthplace of a new America -- Selma, Alabama -- where a determined struggle for voting rights transformed our democracy 50 years ago. On March 7, 1965, Hosea Williams and I led a band of silent witnesses, 600 nonviolent crusaders, intending to march 50 miles to Montgomery -- Alabama's capital -- to demonstrate the need for voting rights in America read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Tax Relief for Ohio’s Non-Profit Veterans and Fraternal Organizations -- Two years ago we provided a property tax exemption in Ohio law for veterans and fraternals but bureaucrats in the tax department failed to recognize space used by such organizations for the not-for-profit service of the organizational members. In this biennial budget which we passed in June we included a provision that further outlines the intention of the legislature to provide that exemption to the space read more.
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Commissioners Corner… Airport news to come; July notes
From wet and cool to hot and humid, July has certainly been a mixed bag of weather. The first half of the month was a continuation of June with rain and cool temperatures almost daily, and now the last week or so, it has been more like a Darke County July, hot and humid. It really is time for us to start getting summertime weather here, so I guess we can’t complain read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Fighting to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs
Just like Medicare – which celebrated its 50th Anniversary last week – prescription drugs have helped Americans live longer and healthier lives. But for too many Americans, the high cost of prescription drugs forces them to choose between taking their full dosage and putting food on the table or keeping their lights on. And drug costs are on the rise. A report released last month by the Medicare read more.
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Death By a Thousand Cuts, By Kate Burch
Last week, our dishwasher went on the fritz and, before the repair was accomplished, the water heater sprang a leak!  There’s nothing like washing dishes by hand in cold water and taking cold showers to make one appreciate modern conveniences.  When we went to look at water heaters, we were surprised at how much the prices had increased.  The salesman and the installer shook their heads read more.
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