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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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