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Broke Wife, Big City… Wolverine vs. The Really Hyper Bunnies, By Aprill Brandon
Here’s a million dollar idea for all you budding entrepreneurial wanna-be types: Invent a self-defense class for parents of small children. Now, to be clear, I don’t mean for situations where you need to protect your children. Pretty much every parent I know is capable of murdering someone with a rattle if they catch that person even looking at their... read more.
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Know! What a Healthy Dating Relationship Is, and What It Is Not
2/28/2017 - It is always important to focus attention on abuse in young people’s relationships and provide information to help prevent it. In a previous Know! tip, The Not-So-Innocent Side of Teen Romance, we discussed the prevalence of physical, emotional and verbal dating abuse that takes place among youth, as well as the long-lasting problems... read more.
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A day without a woman? By Susan Olling
A local commentator, whose opinions I respect, raised a good question about what went on 08 Mar: who were women in this country trying to educate?   Any answers out there?  If you want to hear his excellent comments, follow this link and go to 08 Mar: http://wtop.com/core-values-chris-core/. I read various articles about a day without a woman... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… The seven-year glitch, By Aprill Brandon
It was our seventh wedding anniversary. Which is the baby wipe anniversary, I believe. Or perhaps the Swiffer anniversary. Either way, we had no money for gifts after Googling local preschool prices. But it didn’t matter. The sun was shining. I was wearing a skirt AND non-pregnancy underwear. And my mother-in-law was in town, happily volunteering to... read more.
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A bit of this and a bit of that….. By Susan Olling
I love a good clear out.  Not necessarily a whole room, but clearing stuff, even out of a drawer, is always therapeutic.  I found a bag on the top shelf of a closet recently.  The bag contained a copy of the Washington Post.  The Wednesday, September 12, 2001 edition.  Needing a break, I spent some time going through this piece of ancient history.  There was... read more.
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The Learning Network… Will Social Media Help or Hurt Your College and Career Goals? Student Opinion By Caroline Crosson Gilpin - Feb. 24, 2017 - Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become an integral part of teenage culture. Yet the snarky comment or inappropriate picture we share with our friends just might not project the image we want the rest of the world to see, especially as we get older. How careful are you online? In this... read more.
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Know! The Not-So-Innocent Side of Teen Romance
2/14/2017 - The month of February is known as a time of “love,” where secret-admirers and Valentines of all ages express their affection for one another through candy hearts, red roses and love letters. In sharp contrast, however, February has also become known as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month to focus attention on abuse in young people... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Commissioners Update for February
February has passed by very quickly, and with weather comparative to what we have in March; some nice days, some rain, some snow. Well, after all, this is the Great Miami Valley, and if you don’t like the weather now, just wait 5 minutes and it will change! The year has started out pretty well for the county. We continue to move forward on some projects... read more.
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The Opioid Solution, By Mike Stegall
I heard an incredible statistic last week, one that makes you really stop and think.  It stated that the United States has 4% of the world’s population, but 80% of the world’s opioid use!  That is just mind-numbingly awful.  I also saw where Dayton, Ohio is the #1 city in America from drug deaths per capita.  That is just 35 miles south of us here in Darke County.  This problem is not exclusive to just us... read more.
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A Crisis of Self-Doubt, By Kate Burch
A little-noted recent event was the call by Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, for a “post West world order.”  He made his remarks, also including denunciations of the current “post truth” state of international relations, at the Munich Security Conference.  Does the failure of our media to remark or object imply their agreement? The intellectual and... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… White lies I told my children this week* By Aprill Brandon
*or possibly just today. The sun doesn’t like it when you wake up before he does. Mommy can’t play cars with you until she drinks ALL her coffee. It’s the law. I’ll come help you find the green car in five minutes. No, it hasn’t been five minutes yet. I still have three minutes. Maybe I’ll let you go play in the snow after breakfast. Nope, we’re all out of yogurt... read more.
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Know! To Role Model RESPECT for the Rx
2/7/2017 - Why focus on prescription drugs? Research shows that more deaths are now occurring each year from accidental drug overdoses than from car accidents. Someone in the U.S. dies every 15 minutes from an accidental overdose. Nearly half of the drug overdose deaths are due to prescription drugs. Parents are powerful influencers when... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Confessions of a “Threenage” Drama King, By Aprill Brandon
He’s moody. He’s disrespectful. He hates everything I do. Yup, my little boy is growing up. I can’t believe he’s a teenager already. Oh wait. Sorry. That was a typo. I meant to type threenager. He’s three. THREE. I always thought people were exaggerating when they talked about the Terrible Twos. My angel was just that when he was two. An angel. He... read more.
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NPR Ed… Not All Fun And Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools To Rethink Recess, Sophia Boyd - February 1, 2017 - What's the best time for students to have recess? Before lunch, or after? What happens if it rains? If students are misbehaving, is it a good idea to punish them by making them sit out recess? Those are just a few of the issues addressed in new guidelines designed to help schools have good recess. The recommendations... read more.
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Musings on Social Media, By Jim Surber
“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They are the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” Millions of people read this quote on their Facebook news feed, attributed to Donald Trump in a 1998 interview in People magazine. It was, no doubt, received with... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… But where’s my gold star? By Aprill Brandon
The one thing I probably hear the most since having children? (Besides “whoa, you look tired”). “You are so lucky you get to stay home with your kids.” There are different versions of this, of course. All with fun varying degrees of passive-aggressiveness. “I’d love to spend all day in my pajamas doing nothing.” “I hope you appreciate it. I die a little... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Am I a lazy mom? By Aprill Brandon
You know those brief moments in time when, as a parent, you finally feel like you have it all together? All the balls are in the air and you feel oddly confident you can keep them there? Maybe even have a whole extra second to use one of your hands to gulp down a glass of wine because you are a parenting goddess and you’ve earned it, dammit. This... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! January 23-29 is National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week
1/18/2017 - When it comes to alcohol and other drugs, there are opinions and then there are facts. It’s hard enough for adults to distinguish between the two; it is even more challenging for youth, who get much of their information from the internet, TV, movies, music or from friends. With that in mind, parents and other caregivers are encouraged to... read more.
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Hey Everyone! Whew. It’s been a busy week
Let's start with Betsy DeVos' Senate confirmation hearing — all three hours and change. We finally know a little more about Donald Trump's pick to be the next education secretary. At the hearing, DeVos faced questions on a range of issues, from private school vouchers and charter school oversight to guns in schools. "The answer is local... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Why I went to the women’s march, By Aprill Brandon
I’ve been trying to write this godforsaken article for hours now. So much of my social media feed is cluttered with people demanding to know why women across this country felt the need to protest and, as someone who participated, I felt it was my duty to explain. To respond. To…ugh…get a dialogue going. I started a bunch of sentences. About how... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! To Get YOUR Cell Phone Use in Check
1/10/2017 - Teens spend an average of nine hours a day on their smartphones. Yes - you say - you’ve heard it before, you know it’s unhealthy for them for a number of reasons, and you have rules in place to reduce their screen time. Very good; you’ve got your child’s phone use in check, but how about yours? According to Common Sense... read more.
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Yes!  I Want to Know, By Kate Burch
Governor Kasich, who more and more is exposed as a practitioner of the kind of cronyism and authoritarian rule we have seen in Washington these past eight years, is refusing to support or enforce a 2015 law providing for transparency in the prices of health care services and procedures. The law would provide that when a patient requests an estimate of the total cost of a non-emergency... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… How much no is too much no? By Aprill Brandon
Is there anything more surreal than being a parent? I can’t tell you how many times I have been in the midst of some hardcore parenting and thought to myself “is this real life?” Pretty much every day of my life is the ultimate performance in the theater of the absurd. Take, for instance, when I’m arguing with my almost 3-year-old about something... read more.
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No place to be on Jan 20, By Susan Olling
Every four years, January 20 is a day on the National Mall just like the 04 Jul.  There are a few differences, but the result’s the same:  the Mall is no place to be. Before continuing, I would like to say a few things related to the upcoming festivities.  The local fish wrapper didn’t and still doesn’t have much positive to say about the upcoming administration change.  Mind you... read more.
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Washington Post… Why surging high school graduation rates might be a mirage, By Jay Mathews - U.S. high school graduation rates are soaring. President Obama announced in October that the 2014-2015 rate was up to 83 percent in a fifth straight record-setting year. The D.C. public schools’ increase was the greatest anywhere, from 53 percent to 69 percent. Sadly, as impressive as these numbers seem, there is no research indicating they... read more.
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Unqualified???? By Kate Burch
Many on the Left are outraged by the election of a hugely successful businessman as our new President.
Some decry his lack of experience in government, implying that unfamiliarity with the arcana of Washington renders him ineffective as the chief executive of our country. Others—those who believe that it is fundamentally unfair that some... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! To Set Family Goals for the New Year
1/5/2017 - January rolls in like a breath of fresh air. The calendar is reset and, in many regards, it is a chance to begin anew and an opportunity to do things “better” moving forward. The new year is also an ideal occasion for parents and children to come together to set fresh goals as both a family unit and as individuals. As you consider... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Surviving winter, By Aprill Brandon
Well, Christmas is over. Meaning life is basically over. Nothing to look forward to now except a bleak, never-ending winter and easily getting all my cardio in with the Herculean exertion it takes to stuff two squirmy tiny humans into snow suits and winter coats and mittens and hats and snow boots that were designed by engineers who have... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! How to Even the Playing Field for Your Child
12/28/2016 - The NFL and its advertisers are gearing up for the Super Bowl, set to kickoff Sunday, Feb. 5. About 111.9 million viewers tuned in for last year’s Super Bowl, making it the third highest watched U.S. broadcast in history. The upcoming Super Bowl is expected to catch just as much attention for the commercials as much as the... read more.
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Greenville Schools: Looking Back… Looking Ahead, By Bob Robinson
“I got memories,” he said. “I went to school there.” He rode up on his bicycle while I was taking pictures of East school. Nice guy, late twenties or early thirties. “Don’t know if I really want anything from there, but I got my memories.” He was referring to the announced auction sign in front of the school. The resident wanted to know if the high... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I’m a Fitbit person now, By Aprill Brandon
Guys, it’s been nice knowing you. You’re all swell, really. But eventually all good things must come to an end. So, while I enjoyed our time together, it’s a new year and time for me to move on. Time for me to leave you in the dust as I walk exactly…*checks wrist* …6,101 steps away from you. I’m a Fitbit person now. Yes, dear readers, thanks to my husband... read more.
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Sticks and Stones, By Kate Burch
Living or working on today’s college campus must be, for one who is not a member of a protected group, something like navigating a mine field.  One may, while totally lacking malevolent intent, commit a “microaggression” or otherwise be guilty of insulting or disparaging, or even “harassing” another by simply offering a compliment or remarking... read more.
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Social Media: A Good Thing or a Bad Thing? By Jonathan Holman, Edison DCC Comp 1 Student - Social media is one of the most argued subjects of today. From parents, teachers, and reporters, to kids, students, and entertainers. It seems as though everyone has a strong opinion on the subject in one way or another. But this is all recent. The concept of social media has been around for centuries. It wasn’t until now that people are starting to question its methods... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! To Interact with Tact with these Smartphone Tips!
12/14/2016 - Is your son or daughter among the many youth begging for a smartphone this holiday season? And are you among the many parents considering the buy? Smartphones certainly have their advantages. The number one reason parents cite for purchasing their child’s first cellphone is that it provides location tracking and makes it easier to communicate... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… Making a Difference in the World, Jim Kildow, Edison Student Volunteer - I have put in over 60 hours at the afterschool program. As a result I like to consider myself fairly knowledgeable about the mechanics of the program – how it works, why it works, and what needs fixing. Originally I had assumed this option for the final was provided only as an easy way to get more tutors for the program. By the end of my first day... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… The Program a Positive Reinforcement to the Students, By Samantha Buchy, Edison Student Volunteer - The after school program was a great addition to our schools, and our students. This program was designed to open a free after school program for students, which provided tutoring and companionship for these young students. The workers help the students with homework or understanding new lessons. I feel like... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… This Program has Rededicated my Commitment to Learning, By Courtney Toops, Edison Student Volunteer - The program in my opinion was effective throughout the weeks. I think the children began to have fun learning, made new friends, learned respect. Some of the students are less than eager to leave when being told they are being picked up. The age group is appropriate as well, since K-4th... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… This may change their future, By Seth Phillippi, Edison Student Volunteer - I believe I have made a good choice in choosing to do the after school program. This is one of the best ways I can spend my free time. I enjoy coming and helping the kids. I am thinking about helping out even after the semester is over. I think the after school program has a good benefit from being in communication class. I have used my own critical thinking during... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… A Valuable Experience I’ll need later in Life, By Makenzie Stucky, Edison student volunteer - I feel as if I have gained valuable skills that will benefit me later in life through helping with this program. As I plan to be a teacher I believe that this experience has been very valuable to me because it has shown me some of the things I will have to deal with when I do become a teacher. I think it was extra valuable because... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… Helping kids become better students, By Bryce Filbrun, Edison Student Volunteer - I have gained a lot from participating in the after school program. By participating in the program, I have gained a lot of respect for my parents. I have learned that my parents have raised me in a way that I respect my schooling and my grades. I have learned how to be more patient. When working with the little kids, you have to be... read more.
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After School Program at Edison… An experience I’ll remember forever, By Kinsey Goins, Edison Student Volunteer - The After School Program was a very unique, fulfilling, and satisfying experience. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like the program since I didn't know any of the kids, or have any previous experience working in that type of environment. All of the Edison core values were used over the course of my participation in the program... read more.
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State Rep. Jim Buchy … To the Residents of the 84th House District, Farewell
As the year and my term of office wind down, I want to take a minute to thank you for the privilege of serving in the Ohio House of Representatives for 24 years. There is no better place in which to live than west-central Ohio. We have the best families, schools, and places to work. A very high percentage of our families have a strong belief in God and are active in... read more.
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Tips to make the holidays happy and bright—and safe
 (Dec.22, 2016) — According to the song, this is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also one of the busiest—and most dangerous. With last-minute gifts to buy, social events to attend and family and friends to visit, there are a lot of distractions that may keep you from having that wonderful time. So the American Red Cross is offering 12 health and... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Merry Christmas
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David... read more.
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Edison State Community College… Giving back to the community, By Shayna Emrick, Edison Student Volunteer - I have chosen to do the After School Program at Edison. It is very valuable to me. I have always valued knowledge and school, so this program is an excellent way to get me involved with the community more. Also, there are benefits from every side. The volunteer benefits from the satisfaction of giving back to the community and making... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Dear Virginia, where the hell is Santa Claus? By Aprill Brandon
There’s a famous (at least for me) story from my childhood where I looked at my mom one day and just bluntly said “Santa Claus isn’t real, is he?” “No, he’s not, sweetie,” my mom replied. And that was that. But the famous (infamous) part came next. Because I went to school the following day and felt it was my duty to kindly inform several of my fellow 2nd... read more.
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Representative Jim Buchy… Celebrating the Christmas Spirit
‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, gifts, and enjoying the company of our loved ones as we sit by the fire. But most importantly, Christmas is a time to join together to celebrate Christ’s birth. In the hustle and bustle of shopping and decorating Christmas trees, we often forget the true meaning of the holiday and the faith upon which our nation was built... read more.
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Empowering After School Program… Some are great; some are little rascals, By Cade McGlinch, Edison Volunteer - The After School Program is a program to help students with their homework after school.  I learned many things from various kids during the program.  I also thought that there were a few things that could have gone better.  Some kids were great; on the other hand, some kids were little rascals.  One of the things that I learned from... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! To Safeguard Your Home for the Holidays
12/8/2016 - You happily agreed to host this year’s holiday gathering. You have the house beautifully decorated, the dinner table is set, and your many guests are arriving. You have everything in place and your celebration appears to be nicely unfolding, as planned. But what about the young lady who just disappeared into the upstairs bathroom, where... read more.
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Empowering After School Program… Tiny smiles when something ‘clicks’, By Madisyn Pieper, Edison Volunteer - I completed over 24 hours of volunteering for the After School Program. During that time I had some great conversations and moments with the children. In reflection I wish that I could have given more time to the program but it was hard to find time while being a full time college student with two jobs. In my personal opinion I believe... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I don’t know if I can do this, By Aprill Brandon
Raising babies is wonderful work. It’s also hard. But mostly, it’s extremely isolating. Which is why last week, when it all just became too much, I decided to scream my frustration out into the void. What with this being 2016, the void meant I took to my Facebook page and furiously scribbled out the following: “Today I cried into my son’s peanut butter sandwich. There’s no punchline. I was crying so hard... read more.
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Empowering After School Program… The experience has been an eye-opener, By Mac Kirk, Edison Volunteer -- Choosing the After School Program for my communications final gave me great trepidation. I understood that participating in a community service activity would be beneficial on my resume, but then there were the little people. I had zero experience with children and it gave me anxiety to think about the prospect. Growing up, I dealt with one older brother. I have no first cousins... read more.
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After School Program benefits students, teachers and parents, By Macy Godown, Edison Volunteer - The value of The After School Program is significant. Students who may not have gone home and done their homework in previous years are now getting home in the evenings with all their work already completed. This is not only beneficial to the students, but also to the teachers who now have students completing their work and to the... read more.
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Edison students speak out about After School Program, By Bob Robinson
“This program was a phenomenal experience. It helped me grow as a person; some days I didn't want to be there or had a bad day and I would have to put all that aside because some of the kids could be having a rough day and I’d need to be there for them.” “In my personal opinion I believe that the After School Program could make the difference for a child who... read more.
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Quack, Quack, By Kate Burch
The word, “canard” in French, means “a duck.”  In English, the word means a baseless rumor.  Since Donald Trump’s election, we have heard much quacking from those who object to his being the President-elect.  These people say that they fear that Muslims, people of color, and people with sexual proclivities that are out of the mainstream are going... read more.
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My Christmas Wishes, By Bob Robinson
I had just received a letter from Jim Neely wishing my friends and family a Merry Christmas from Vietnam. I knew that was impossible; I was dreaming… my Texas A&M buddy lost his life Aug. 23, 1968. I pictured dad with his cigar, sitting back in his armchair, a half smile on his face. Every once in a while I’d pause from tearing open presents and glance... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! Positive Relationships Build Character
12/1/2016 - One of the greatest gifts you can give your children cannot be bought online or in-store. While it is not likely to be on their holiday wish list, this gift is likely to bring your children greater happiness with lifelong benefits. We are talking about the gift of positive relationships and character development. Search Institute began a multi-year... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… What we really want for Christmas, By Aprill Brandon
Christmas is great, isn’t it? Magical when you’re a kid. A celebration of the beautiful life and beautiful lives you’ve created when you’re a grandparent. And a red and green tinged tsunami that destroys your home, your finances and your sanity when you’re a parent. Ah, yes, ‘tis truly the most wonderful time of the year. Of course, don’t get me wrong. I still love Christmas. The endless excuses to drink booze... read more.
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It’s time once again for ‘A Christmas Carol’, By Susan Olling
Charles Dickens, the author of more than one Victorian-era novel, penned a “Ghostly (sic) little book” in 1843.  It’s been adapted for radio, television, movies, and theater.   Some characters appeared in Sherlock Holmes stories in the late twentieth century. ‘Tis the season for us to enjoy A Christmas Carol.  Mr. Dickens’s first public reading of A Christmas... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Darke County has a lot to be thankful for
November is now over and hopefully, all of the leftover turkey is gone too. Thanksgiving is always a special time for families and friends to get together and give thanks for all the blessings we have received. This year, Darke County has a lot to be thankful for, and we hope all of you do too! The year 2016 has turned out to be very good... read more.
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Safer Schools Ohio… National Bullying Prevention
To ensure safe and supportive learning environments for Ohio’s students, Ohio Revised Code 3313.666 requires all school districts that receive federal funding have a policy prohibiting student-to-student incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying in Ohio schools. Ohio’s Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) model policy... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… My online life is a hot mess, By Aprill Brandon
You know, it used to be back in my day (oh yes, I’m officially old enough to use that phrase unironically now) that you were only in charge of keeping one life in order. Or at least keeping it from turning into a major dumpster fire. All you had to do was keep a roof over your head (with only small-to-medium leaks tops), food in your fridge (30 plus containers of old takeout completely qualifying)... read more.
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The Food Police Just Don’t Get It, By Susan Olling
We have two rules when it comes to food.  First, everything in moderation.  Second, all numbers go out the window during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and vacations, too).  Mind you, we’ll still get on the exercise bike, and I’ll also take my daily walk. Unfortunately, this festive time of year brings out the food police with their lists of holiday... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Thanksgiving 2016, By Aprill Brandon
Hey, have I mentioned how much I love Thanksgiving? Because I do. Oh, so much. And not just because it’s a holiday where it’s acceptable to drink all day. This year in particular I’m looking forward to because it’s the first Thanksgiving where our whole family is complete. Both kids are now officially out of my uterus and I plan on having no other... read more.
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Start Talking! Know! To Focus on Positive Prevention Strategies
11/9/2016 - As a parent or other caring adult, when we look to prevent or change particular behaviors in children, we sometimes do so by attempting to instill fear (scare tactics). When it comes to anti-substance use scare tactics, messages delivered may go something like this: • See that mock crash, if you drink and drive, you will crash and... read more.
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NPR… Hi all. What a week!
The Trump presidency, and the massive change it brings, is a huge new story for all of us at NPR. In the coming weeks and months it’ll be our job to make sense of it all. Our role as journalists has never been more important: to report the facts and put developments in context. For the nation’s schools – and teachers, students... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! To Recognize and Respond to Bullying
10/25/2016 - Bullying touches the lives of at least one out of every four children in the U.S. In this year alone, approximately 13 million youth, from preschool to high school, will experience it. Yet, many parents do not even know their child is a victim. One study revealed that as many as 64 percent of youth who were bullied did not tell a... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… In defense of Thanksgiving, By Aprill Brandon
Guys, I love analogies. I love analogies like how bad writers love a good cheap gimmick. Which is why I want to begin this particular column about my love of Thanksgiving with the following cheap gimmicky analogy: You guys have turned Thanksgiving into the classic middle child of the major holidays. At one time it was a big deal in America. But now, jammed in-between Halloween... read more.
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Isn't it about time? By George Starks
I've never been one to get deep into the political scene but I have noticed lately that I am paying more attention to the news. How many of you noticed how the liberal media was trying to drag Hillary Clinton across the finish line? CBS was holding out in hopes Clinton would turn Pennsylvania and Michigan blue while the western media had already projected Donald... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Honoring Ohio's Veterans
Veterans Day is a time to pay special tribute to the courageous military men and women who have answered the call to defend the principles of freedom, liberty and democracy. Originally established as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the end of the First World War, the day was later changed to Veterans Day to honor all American service members. Among... read more.
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A Sigh of Relief, By Kate Burch
To my mind, Democrat-party leadership in general, and the actions of the Obama administration in particular, have meant erosion of our most fundamental rights as American citizens: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The womb has become a parlous place under Democrats.  Frank encouragement of elective abortion is a national... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! the Facts and Respect the Meds
10/26/2016 - Did you know teen medicine abuse is on the rise?According to the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), there was a 33 percent increase in American teens abusing prescription drugs over a five-year period. Prescription meds now rank in the top three most popular drugs of choice among youth, just after marijuana... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… This part is hard, By Aprill Brandon
Now before I say what I’m getting ready to say, let me say first that I realize I am hardly the first person to ever say this. Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, or hell, maybe even millions of other people have not only said this, but they probably said it much more eloquently and with far less booger jokes than I ever could. But after the week I had, I feel one more time is absolutely... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Still Plenty of Work To Do As The 131st General Assembly Winds Down - This fall, the Ohio Legislature moves into “lame duck session”: the period between the election of our new legislators and the beginning of the next General Assembly, when they will be sworn into office. However, there is still plenty of work to be done for the people of Ohio between now and then. We must continue to fight the opioid epidemic, reform... read more.
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Baseball, Hogs, Politics & Rashes, By Susan Olling
This may be a bit of a meandering installment.  But it’s not a bad thing to put observations in writing. Mr. History is very happy.  The Cubs won the World Series.  We watched the standings all season.  I, quite frankly, was impressed each Sunday to see the North Side team’s record:  the best in baseball.  Mr. History can’t carry a tune, but he... read more.
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Checklist for road tripping with small children, By Aprill Brandon
1. Run to the store to buy juice boxes, goldfish crackers, raisins, assorted cheaply made toys designed to be hurled into the backseat at the first sign of a tantrum. 2. Eat all the leftovers in the fridge, even the questionable ones, over the three days leading up to the trip. The ancient pizza, the fossilized Chinese food, the milk on the verge of going bad, the giant vat of bean soup everyone hates... read more.
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Representative Buchy… The EpiPen: How Big Government Hurts the Drug Market
In recent weeks, much concern has been raised about the EpiPen, an epinephrine auto injector produced by the pharmaceutical company, Mylan. Epinephrine is an inexpensive means of counteracting potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. If administered quickly, epinephrine saves lives. However, despite the low cost of epinephrine, the EpiPen has... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Has Ohio Conquered The Third Frontier?
Transforming Ohio's Economy for the 21st Century: What's Possible? Initially authorized by Ohio voters in 2002 with a $1.6 billion state investment and reauthorized in 2010 with an additional $700 million, the Ohio Third Frontier continues to foster an "innovation ecosystem" that allows companies to transition great ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace... read more.
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The predictable scandal and the schizophrenic box of chocolates, By Mike Stegall
As this election season goes on, it seems to me that this is getting more and more clear that our nation is so torn between the two major candidates that it is actually tearing at the very fabric of our nation.  I do not remember any election where friends have fought and argued more about candidates they will support than this year.  I have a good friend... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Deer Season in Ohio
For motorists, a deer hunter is the best defense between you and an auto insurance claim. In Ohio, hunters are a critical part of managing the deer population and this deer season will be no exception. Archery season in Ohio for deer hunters began on September 24th and will run through February 5th, while deer gun season will begin on November 28th and end... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I’m running away from home, By Aprill Brandon
If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I saw myself doing in the future, arguing for 23 minutes with a toddler about appropriate places to poop would have been fairly low on the list (which, by the way, the bathtub, Momma’s bed and the dairy aisle at the grocery store all equal Not Appropriate for any of you toddlers out there reading this). Winning the Pulitzer Prize, divorcing... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Ensuring Responsible Driving, Saving Lives
Drunk driving remains one of the top reasons for traffic fatalities in the nation and within our state. In 2013, 28.7 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol, an alarming number that shows just how far reaching this issue is. It is clear that as a society we must find a better way to reduce drunk driving on our roadways. For that... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Rawhide bones double as binkies, right? By Aprill Brandon
Everyone tells you. Everyone. But of course you don’t believe them. You didn’t believe them about breastfeeding hurting so bad it made you want to shoot yourself in the face. Why would you believe them about this? But it turns out they’re right. (On both accounts. I can’t be around any weapons until my nipples are mine again. I like my face too much). And when it comes to having kids... read more.
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Know! Family Support for Prevention
9/30/2016 - Research Institute has identified 40 developmental assets for adolescents; a specific set of skills, experiences, relationships and behaviors that help young people flourish and mature into successful and contributing adults. Studies of more than five million children of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds consistently show... read more.
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Buchy… Increasing the Monetary Limit for Small Claims Courts
Small businesses make up a large pillar of our western Ohio economy. For that reason, I am always supportive of all proposed measures that will help our local small businesses to grow and prosper far into the future. One of these most recent pieces of legislation was House Bill 387, which doubles the monetary jurisdiction of a small claims court from $3,000... read more.
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Who Profits? By Kate Burch
The recent closing of ITT Tech was the latest of a series of successful assaults on for-profit colleges by the Obama administration.  Our benevolent leaders claim, of course, that they are simply trying to protect students from predators in the marketplace who will charge high tuition rates, leave the students with piles of debt, and provide less chance... read more.
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A bit of sarcasm, By Susan Olling
Be warned, this writer is a firm believer in the use of sarcasm on occasion.  If sarcasm isn’t your cup of tea, you don’t have to continue reading. Thirty-six hours before the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, the POTUS signed a continuing resolution (CR) from the gang in the big, domed building.  What does this mean?  Your federal government will be... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Death is the ultimate guilt trip, By Aprill Brandon
Aprill “Danger” Brandon, age 35, a lifelong resident of stunted adolescence, died Thursday in her Boston home (technically Somerville but whatever, close enough). The cause of death was a brain aneurysm brought on by being forced to watch what authorities suspect was too many “Little Einsteins” episodes. The first documented case of “brain suicide,” as the doctors are referring to it... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… “Aviation Day” and the official “Clayton Murphy Day”
September 22nd is the official first day of Autumn. Autumn means cooler weather, High School football is going strong, and it won’t be long until leaves are falling, crops are coming off, bonfires, and preparation for the 3 big holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are getting underway. This year has really flown by, and in some... read more.
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There Is No Such Thing as Greed, By Jana Kolling
A lot of things separate our political parties, but the most noticeable is economics.  One side believes the government is the answer, the other thinks businesses can do better.  Public versus private.  And to prove their point, the left will always point to corporate greed.  This is how they try to persuade voters that they care about them, and will protect them from... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Prevention is Key in Combating Ohio's Growing Drug Addiction Epidemic -- It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Today in Ohio, we are spending an increasing amount of state and local resources on the tragic problem of heroin addiction. Sadly, much of our efforts are being devoted to those who are already wrestling with the problem of addiction. For many Ohioans, addiction begins when legitimately prescribed narcotics... read more.
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The Giant, Sucking Maw, By Kate Burch
As one who was involved in the successful grassroots effort to achieve repeal of Ohio’s Estate Tax in 2012, it is with consternation that I read about Hillary Clinton’s plan, if elected, to raise the federal “death tax” even more than she promised previously—to a maximum of 65% on assets above $500 million.  She would tax all estates over $10 million at 50%, and estates over $50 million at 55%... read more.
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State Representative Buchy… The Future of Ohio Agriculture
Last month, thousands of Ohioans from across the state flocked to their annual county fairs and the Ohio State Fair to showcase the best in agriculture. These events provide a wonderful opportunity for our youth to be involved in Ohio’s strongest industry, and to gain valuable experience for their futures. From our county fairs all the way to Columbus... read more.
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NPR… Frustration. Burnout. Attrition. It's Time To Address The National Teacher Shortage, Eric Westervelt - The good news: There's an uptick in the hiring of new teachers since the pink-slip frenzy in the wake of the Great Recession. The bad news: The new hiring hasn't made up for the teacher shortfall. Attrition is high, and enrollment in teacher preparation programs has fallen some 35 percent over the past five years — a decrease... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! The Middle School Challenges and Changes
9/8/2016 - The first day of middle school has come and gone. While your child’s initial fears of navigating the hallways, using the combination lock and finding someone to sit with at lunch may be officially behind her, it doesn’t mean she’s got a peaceful, easy feeling about the rest of her middle school experience. And as a parent, you must know... read more.
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The Star Beacon (Recommended by Sam Custer, OSU Extension)… Sharing the road safely, By David Marrison -- Sep 11, 2016 -- With harvest season approaching, it is important to remember large farm vehicles like these will soon be not only out in the fields but on the roadways. As we approach the fall season, there will be an increase of farm equipment traveling on the roads. Road safety is especially important as farmers and motorists share the road during harvest season. This is a good time... read more.
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