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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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Broke Wife, Big City… Today I will be a good mom, By Aprill Brandon
Today I will be a good mom. Today, when my 9-week-old baby wakes up screaming at 4 a.m., I will not roll out of bed cursing under my breath like a sailor with Tourette’s. I will not wake up looking like a swamp demon because I was too tired the night before to take off my makeup. And I most definitely will not rant to her as she poops all over my hand about how I bet Duchess... read more.
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Buchy... John Glenn Inspires Generations to Dream Big
I still remember the day that John Glenn made that historic flight to orbit the earth. I was twenty two at the time and was glued to my television, watching America make history. It was unbelievable and something no one thought was possible. John Glenn was more than an astronaut that day, he was a household name. John Glenn, born and raised in... read more.
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Fun at the Great Darke County Fair, By Bob Robinson
The 160th Great Darke County Fair is now in the history books. I hope all of you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m slowing down this year… only made it seven out of the nine days, but I covered a lot of ground, I think. I saw a lot of “my” kids from Greenville Schools and Edison State… kids I worked with years ago and kids I worked with last year... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… When the bedtime ritual gets out of hand, By Aprill Brandon
The one great thing about humans? We can get used to almost anything. The one terrible thing about humans? We can get used to almost anything. And nowhere does this become more evident than when you become a parent. Even the most absurd daily rituals become normalized if you do them enough times. Which is how you find yourself doing things like spending 45 minutes making... read more.
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Darke County Republican Party affirms support for Trump/Pence
GREENVILLE, OHIO­ On Tuesday, September 6, the Darke County Republican Party announced its full support for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. “We have watched, with growing dismay and concern, as many of our top Party leaders have abandoned the Trump ticket. For us, this divide in the party can seemingly only lead to negative... read more.
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College Life, Part 2… More Advice for the Uninformed College Freshmen, By Will McCabe
For two of my high school friends who graduated a year after me, I gave them as a graduation gift a booklet full of information I’ve gathered about how to “survive” their first year of college. Some of these tips I’ve given already in a prior article, and now I want to share some more. In case you haven’t read the previous piece I’ve written (I highly recommend you... read more.
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Playing the Courts? By Jim Surber
I suppose with our astounding and rapidly progressing technology it was bound to happen. With all the amazing things that computers are capable of doing, creative thinking is finding new, unforeseen problems to solve and create, as well as investment opportunities. If you have ever entertained the idea of trying to extract money from people or corporations... read more.
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It’s Hurricane Season, By Susan Olling
We’ve been listening, or muting, a bunch of excited weather guessers.  Yes, a hurricane’s moving up the coast.  Welcome, Hurricane Hermine. Ever since humans started living along the southeastern coast of this continent, hurricanes have been a part of the weather.  The Carib tribe coined a word for these storms, huracan, that the... read more.
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A Messy Revolution, By Kate Burch
Now that we have seen the spectacle of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner relapsing into his addiction to the sexual perversion of exhibitionism, thereby totally destroying his marriage and his career, and possibly seriously traumatizing his young son, it is high time that we honestly assess and seriously work to turn back the damage done to our people by the reign of the terribles... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Have you hugged your nurse today? By Aprill Brandon
She couldn’t have been much more than 100 pounds. Just super petite. Tiny even. This was made even more apparent when compared to my extremely rotund and bloated figure. So when she said “lean your head against my chest and squeeze my hands when the pain hits,” I laughed. And then laughed again. And then the laughter walked right up to the border of hysterical... read more.
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Start Talking… Know! The Big Sibling Effect!
8/25/2016 -- There is a unique and special connection between siblings that cannot be denied nor duplicated. They are both tormentors and protectors; a source of teasing one moment, the greatest ally the next. Siblings are also likely to be one and other’s longest-lasting relationship. Four out of five Americans get to experience the growing years with a brother or sister, and in most... read more.
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Senate President Keith Faber… Safe Driving Awareness Month
Life is full of distractions. Driving can offer a rare moment of escape from the buzzing of our smart phones and the demands of the day. By making the inside of our vehicles a refuge instead of a workspace, we send the message to our children that distractions are a choice, not a necessity. Too many Ohioans have learned from experience that picking up the... read more.
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College Life, Part 1… Some Much-Needed Advice for College Freshman, By Will McCabe
Don’t worry young adults, this isn’t going to be some patronizing, beat-you-over-the-head tips that say things you’ve heard several times over. Like you, I started my freshman year two years ago with several questions I didn’t even know I had, as well as misconceptions that I quickly found out were false. Sometimes while parents, adults, and high school teachers mean well, they often scare you into thinking... read more.
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NPR Education… Parsing The 'Free' In Free Community College, Anya Kamenetz
August 25, 2016 -- Let's say you have invites to two parties that advertise "free drinks!" At the first party, there's simply an open bar. At the second party, though, you have to bring in your tax return, fill out a long form, and register to receive a cocktail grant in a given amount based on your annual income. Once those funds are drained, you can then become eligible for vouchers to pay... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Congrats to Murphy; another great fair!
August has come and gone. Hot, humid weather, followed by flash rain storms and in some places flooding, the start of High School football, schools going back in session, and of course, the 9 day run of the Great Darke County Fair. Sounds like a typical August in the Miami Valley and in Darke County! First of all, the Darke County... read more.
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Great Darke County Fair… Checking out the livestock, By Bob Robinson
One of the things I wanted to be sure to do was check out the livestock options this year (maybe next year I can get to the produce… sorry). At the top of my list were the piglets in the hog barn. I’d been told about that… I don’t remember the exact numbers but at six weeks, I think the piglets weighed about 20 lbs. At six months they weighed... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Rolling Out Online Voter Registration
This past spring the General Assembly was hard at work writing a bill to create an online voter registration system.  This legislation was extremely important for our state and ultimately Senate Bill 63, was passed by both chambers and signed by Governor Kasich. Senate Bill 63 establishes a system where Ohioans have the opportunity to register to vote... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Who did I just give birth to? By Aprill Brandon
Numbers are a funny thing, ain’t they? It all starts with two individual Ones wanting to become a single Two. And then you Two build a whole world together. And then when you decide, probably drunkenly, to go from a family of two to a family of three, that entire world you built is set on fire and bombed and then drop-kicked into a black hole by an 8-pound human. Everything changes... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… A Salute to Our Local Public Safety Workers
America, it seems, has become more divided over the past few years than at any other point in recent memory. Unfortunately, in that process, distrust toward law enforcement has reached an all time high, creating an undeniable tension that plagues communities across the country. When we turn on the television and see horrific events unfold before our eyes... read more.
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Great Darke County Fair… Blending past memories with the present, By Kathy Magoto
I had not been to the Great Darke County Fair for several years, so it was as though I was looking through different eyes when I passed through the gates.  Undoubtedly each of us experiences the fair differently, depending on our age, interests, etc.  The fair awakens all our senses; sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, making the experience surreal... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… All that’s missing is the white picket fence, By Aprill Brandon
It was a particularly bad day to give birth to a baby. Or, depending on how you view it, I suppose, it was a particularly good day to give birth to a baby. Which is why every pregnant woman in the world decided to do it that morning. In my hospital, no less. A birth explosion is how one nurse delightfully described it. At one point, I’m pretty sure non-pregnant women just started walking... read more.
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Great Darke County Fair… Rain or no rain, it’s opening day, By Jan Boyer
Threat of rain.... cancel a fun evening at the Great Darke County Fair?  No way would many dyed in the wool fair goers think of it!  What are a few drops of rain or even a downpour compared to opening day at the Fair? As a few drops of water hit my glasses while I was walking toward the main gate at the Fairgrounds, I knew I would probably not make it to... read more.
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Having Fun and Staying Safe at the Great Darke County Fair
Darke County, OH 45331 August 19, 2016   The tents are going up, animals are getting baths and you can smell the funnel cakes; nine days and nights of rides, exhibitions, grandstand entertainment, 4-H shows and food, providing those who attend a marvelous time at the great Darke County Fair!  To insure that you continue to have a... read more.
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Am I Worthy? By Will McCabe
The word “worthy” is thrown around a lot, and while it may seem fascinating to think about, such as with being “worthy” to lift Thor’s hammer or “worthy” to pull a sword from a stone, this concept of “worthiness” causes problems in real life. For most, if not all of us, we encounter moments of our life when we screw up. It’s during these moments in which we realize our imperfections and believe we must be worse... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Chores, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A+K: I feel like a complete failure. I tried to implement new chores for my kids this summer, but here we are in August, and they still struggle with the most basic of tasks.  When will this ever click? Sincerely, Chapped over Chores. Dear Chapped: Those precious chore charts we made in June have long been tossed.  The apps we downloaded to track their domestic progress after the paper... read more.
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The Moral Preeners vs. Nearly Everyone Else, By Kate Burch
I read this morning that Syrian refugees who end up in Virginia are being resettled in that state’s poorest communities, action that will certainly strain already overstretched resources and probably cause at least concern and possibly harm to the residents of those areas.  This seems to me a very good example of what is a frequent pattern:  our... read more.
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About our first First Lady, Martha Washington, By Susan Olling
The first First Lady has been overlooked.  She was a fascinating person. Years before she was Lady Washington, wife of the President, she was Martha Dandridge of Chestnut Grove, a small plantation on the Pamunkey River in New Kent County, Virginia.  Born in 1731, she was the oldest of eight children and learned responsibility very early... read more.
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Empowering Darke County Youth… The priceless value of two quarters, By Bob Robinson
As tutoring wraps up for the summer, Empowering tutors can feel a sense of accomplishment over the students they have helped. Caregivers appreciated our efforts… just as important, the students seem to have appreciated our efforts. It is a great feeling seeing these kids progress; watching as they begin to understand some of their math problems, read more comfortably, grow in their vocabularies... read more.
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Our #1 Threat, By Will McCabe
The title is often posed as a question to politicians, and we are given answers such as “the national debt,” “global warming,” and “terrorism.” What if I told you that these are all small concerns in comparison to our biggest issue: apathy. Here’s an example so I can show you what I mean. A woman is in need to get across a river. The only one who is able to run her across is a known criminal named Brutus... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… School Shopping, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A+K: August has arrived, and I can't hardly contain my excitement for school to start.  The only thing holding me back is actually back-to-school shopping.  It is awful.  Any tips? Sincerely, Sick o' Shopping. Dear Shopper: Leave it to the commercial world to ruin the ONE sport we actually enjoy:  shopping.  Come August, we can't watch a simple CBS drama without being taunted with back-to-school... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Ohio’s Thriving Business Climate
It is no secret that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, especially right here in western Ohio. Our community is comprised of thousands of hardworking men and women who are focused on providing the best life possible for their family. It’s these dedicated individuals who make me proud to represent the best region in Ohio, but I’m also proud to stand up and pass legislation that will support... read more.
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Edison Student Commentary… Communications class adjourns, By Julie Roseberry
For those who do not understand: Bob Robinson was my Fundamentals of Communications instructor. We had a carry-in for our last day. I brought yogurt. Also, rhymes are better in your head, but ya gotta just roll with it sometimes. Robby Bobinson (aka Bob) always got my name wrong. He called me Sherrie and Julia. He was teased. A lot.  We... read more.
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Commissioners Corner… A busy month in Darke County
Can anyone believe that in a few short weeks the Great Darke County Fair will be starting? July, like the rest of the year, has flown by quickly. It seems that just a few weeks ago the farmers were planting their crops, and the kids were getting out of school. Now, harvest time is not far off, and school starts shortly. Where does the time go? One reason for things moving so fast... read more.
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State Senate President Keith Faber… Ohio's Sales Tax Holiday Returns
As the father of two school-age children, I know how expensive it can be to prepare students to return to the classroom for another school year. That is why I am pleased to remind families that we have renewed the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday again this year to give parents much-needed relief during the back-to-school shopping season. This three-day exemption from qualifying sales taxes is meant... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle … Helping Ohio's Job Creators Pay Off Unemployment Compensation Debt - Some bills we pass in the Ohio Senate generate front-page headlines and constituent emails by the hundreds, while others travel through the legislative process with little fanfare. Sometimes it’s legislation that flies under the radar that makes the greatest impact on the lives of ordinary Ohioans. Legislation we recently passed to erase Ohio’s unemployment... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Sleeping with Children Part II, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand - Dear A+K, How do my kids know when I'm completely fatigued? It's like they see how tired I am and then hide in a tent planning the 3am sabotage. What is going on here and how do I put on an energized face? Sincerely, Nocturnal Nemesis. Dear Nocturnal Nemesis, Sleep after having children should be redefined. Maybe we shouldn't even call it sleep. The... read more.
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“The Donald” By Truman Bashore
I watched the interview with Donald Trump on 60 Minutes Sunday with amusement.  The interview came from his three floor apartment at the Trump Tower.  It was difficult following his interview because he spoke from his gold laced chair.  The brightness was blinding. This is a man who wants to make “America Great Again” and doesn’t have the decency... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Medical Marijuana in Ohio: What’s Ahead?
During my time in the state legislature, I have fought tooth and nail to protect families all across our state. As you may know, Governor Kasich recently signed into law House Bill 523, which legalizes medicinal marijuana and establishes the Marijuana Control Program to regulate its use. In spite of my opposition to creating any means of legalizing marijuana, there... read more.
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ODE… State leaders urge schools to help fight drug abuse
7/7/2016 - State officials including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio legislative leaders recently sent letters to all school superintendents in Ohio to share tools and information with teachers, counselors and parents in an effort to fight the deadly opioid epidemic. Among other things, the letter... read more.
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An Excess of Caution, By Kate Burch
Recently General Mills, “in an excess of caution,” has voluntarily recalled, more than ten million pounds of flour, and also some baking mixes containing the targeted lots of flour, because of the possibility that the flour was contaminated with a particular strain of E. coli bacteria.  This bacteria causes acute gastrointestinal symptoms, sometimes... read more.
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Edison Student Commentary… “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” By Lincoln Rapp
Jonathan Kozol wrote this essay in an attempt to describe the challenges that illiterate people face every day and the effect illiteracy has on the country as a whole.  He writes that most illiterates do not vote.  Those that do, usually do not consider the character or policies of the candidate they choose and are easily swayed by the opinions of others... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Beach Vacays, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A&K - I am currently in the process of packing for our beach vacation, and I want it to be as magical as it is in my head.  I know this isn't very realistic, so please give some suggestions on how to NOT make it a disaster. Sincerely, Flip-Flopped in Ohio - Dear Flip: First, let's be clear:  getting there is half the battle.  Please refer to our earlier... read more.
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Keep Your Kids Drug-Free This Summer, by Sarah Smith, Director of Start Talking! Youth Drug Prevention Initiative - 7/7/2016 - Summer break is upon us, and for tweens and teens this means no homework, plenty of free time and less supervision. While a majority of youth will find healthy ways to keep busy, some, unfortunately, will use their unsupervised freedom to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Now that your kids are no longer in school, how... read more.
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Empowering Darke County Youth… Learning from our kids, By Bob Robinson
I have trouble remembering names. No matter how hard I try, I can spend 16 weeks working with 15 or 16 students in a classroom and, if I’m lucky – I mean really lucky – I’ll know 10 or 12 of them. Compound that with two, three or four classes, and I’ll know the names of maybe a third of students I’d seen twice a week for nearly four months. Sometimes a student will be the victim of some kind... read more.
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Senator Sherrod Brown… Allowing All Our Children to Reach Their Full Potential
Two years ago, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper challenge, with the goal of expanding opportunities for a group that is far too often left behind in this country — boys and young men of color. The President and his team have reached out to cities across the country, to find people committed to ensuring all Americans have access to... read more.
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Edison Student Commentary… Investigative Discovery: “The Vanishing Women”, By Heather Lee - “The Vanishing Women” is an investigative documentary about the disappearances and murders of six women in the small town of Chillicothe, Ohio. The first disappearance happened in May of 2014. The authorities and the town had no idea in early months of the disappearances that it would happen again and again and with no answers in sight. Four of the six... read more.
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Edison Student Commentary… The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society, By Savannah Hill
The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society is an essay that gives information on the dangers of having an illiterate society and the problems we face because of it. This essay attempts to describe the incalculable moral price paid by people individually and by the nation as a whole, as a result of illiterate Americans. The national Institute for Literacy estimated that 22 percent of adult Americans, about 42 million... read more.
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Acting Stupidly, By Kate Burch
Human beings very early learn and begin to implement behaviors that will help them to minimize risk and optimize safety.  Some examples:  infants who are just beginning to crawl possess depth perception and an awareness of danger of falling so that they will not venture onto a sheet of glass covering a depression; at eight or nine months... read more.
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Edison Student Commentary… The Brexit Vote, By Heather Lee
The historical vote took place on June 23rd and Britain voted to leave the European Union. Brexit mirrored the state of many economies all over the world, the U.S. included. People are frustrated with the status quo in politics. The reasons that the Brits’ voted to leave the EU are almost identical to the reasons people are supporting Donald Trump... read more.
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CNO… Not your ordinary community information service, By Bob Robinson, Managing Editor
County News Online is not your ordinary community information service. It isn’t about breaking news – we have no staff reporters. It isn’t about doing in-depth feature interviews… you can get those elsewhere. County News Online IS, however, about you! It’s about what you and our young people are doing… organizations serving our youth let us know what they’re doing so we can let you know... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Making Lifesaving Drugs More Affordable
Because of the Affordable Care Act, we’ve made progress in lowering the cost of prescription drugs. We’ve expanded coverage to nearly 20 million Americans and we’re on track to close the Medicare Part D “donut hole” by 2020. But too many Ohioans still struggle to afford essential medicines that treat diseases like cancer and arthritis. Every day, my office gets calls and letters from Ohioans... read more.
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Sicko, By Truman Bashore
I recently saw Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko, about healthcare here in America as opposed to the approach by such countries as the United Kingdom and France.  America is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t provide universal healthcare to “fifty million Americans.”  Moore further points out that our health care system ranks “37 out of 191 by... read more.
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Edison State Community College: Brexit… Similarities to the U.S.? By Savannah Hill
There are many remarkable parallels between the Brexit vote and our current presidential race. The Brexit is a referendum that will allow Britain to formally exit the European Union. A majority of Americans are completely unaware of Britain’s plan about leaving the European Union, but Americans should pay attention and understand, as it is motivated... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Laundry Woes, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A+K: With the 90 degree heat and 500 extracurricular activities, I am drowning in laundry this summer.  I seriously just can't keep up, and I suspect that you two can relate.  What are some helpful hints on staying ahead of the game or putting a positive spin on this situation? Sincerely, Losing it in the Laundry Room. Dear Losing it: Aahhh- the laundry... read more.
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An alternate holiday celebration, By Susan Olling
It’s not unusual for those of us who live in the D.C. environs to take local attractions for granted.  We visit them for three reasons: we just moved here, family or friends are in town, and when we’re about to move away from the area.  However, we can sometimes emerge during the height of the tourist season if there’s a good reason.  Recently, there was a very good reason. Some time ago... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Summer in District 84
I have always been proud to call the 84th House District my home, especially this time of year when the weather is heating up and our local fairs and festivals get underway. There is nowhere else in Ohio quite like it, and when our festivals and fairs are in full swing no one can compare. This year is no different with 13 festivals and parades planned throughout the summer months. We have had... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Growing Our Shrinking Middle Class
Today, Americans are working longer hours for less pay. Protections and benefits that were once guaranteed by the government or bargained for by unions have eroded. Workers are holding up their end of the bargain, but seeing little in return. And new numbers illustrate the reality Ohio workers face. Oxfam and the Economic Policy Institute released a new... read more.
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ODE Start Talking! Know! To BUST Summer Boredom
6/23/2016 - It’s late June, which for many families means that kids are sitting around the house complaining of summer boredom. Annoying? Yes. Potentially dangerous? You bet. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with teens experiencing a little boredom, too much time on their hands with “nothing to do” can lead to trouble, like experimenting... read more.
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Fourth of July… “I’m awesome,” says the young lady, By Bob Robinson
“Why are you here?” Critical thinking level one… “I don’t know.” Level two… “For the candy.” Critical thinking level three… “For the parade!” “Why are we having a parade?” Level one… “For the candy.” Level two… “For me!” Level three… “So I can get candy!” I love talking to kids! Then there was this “awesome” young lady… don’t believe it? Just ask her. “I’m awesome,” she said, then... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… County gets clean audit, 2016 looking good so far
June marks the halfway point of the year. 2016 has been pretty good to Darke County so far and we hope to continue the fortune into the second half of the year. We have had some weather issues with a few bad storms, but we seem to have come through them with little, or minimal, damage. The weather is getting warmer, and that leads to sudden storms, so keep an eye... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Celebrating Our Independence
Much has changed for our nation since gaining our independence in 1776, however one thing that hasn’t changed is the pride and patriotism that Americans have for living in the greatest country on Earth. Not only are we lucky enough to call the greatest country home, but we are also able to call Ohio home, a state where pride and patriotism are rooted... read more.
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Nothing new under the sun, By Jim Surber
I write this piece in response to a recent request from a reader. She asked that I write about a figure that has certainly received the lion’s share of national attention this year. It is impossible to relate anything new about Donald Trump, but I do believe that his rise, given past and current events, is not inexplicable. Mr. Trump’s rise in spite of his bombastic... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Road Trippin', By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A+K: We are gearing up for a road trip in the next few weeks, and I am already having nightmares. Any tips on making a 15-hour trip bearable? Sincerely, Rabid Roadster. Dear Rabid: First, fifteen hours?  We love your ambition, but...are you clinically insane?  We recommend staying within a six-hour radius, and even then, find some local amusement park that you can pretend... read more.
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Livestock Tampering laws help maintain responsible food production at fairs, By Dr. Tony Forshey, State Veterinarian, Ohio Department of Agriculture - Summer marks the beginning of fair season – a time when thousands of 4-H youth all across the state showcase the animal projects they have spent so much time perfecting. As these hard working kids gear up to show their animals, I  want to encourage all exhibitors to be aware of livestock... read more.
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Senate President Keith Faber… The Key to Growth: Ohio is Working!
At the height of the Great Recession, Ohio’s economy was in critical condition, barely clinging to life after the devastating loss of 350,000 private sector jobs. Under the leadership of our previous governor’s administration, we consistently earned bottom ten national rankings for our business climate. The tired old tax-and-spend strategy couldn’t stop the... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Conformity is not the Answer for Gay Marriage in Ohio
The United States Supreme Court made a landmark decision this past year to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. This ruling has led some leaders to introduce reactionary legislation that will either open Ohio’s doors to gay marriage or result in a tangled legal mess for Ohio’s taxpayers. I plan to maintain my position in opposition to forcing anyone to... read more.
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Memorial Day, Every Day? By Bob Robinson
“If you didn’t have to be here, would you still come?” I’ve asked that question now for the past four years. One young lady – a Wavette, she was a freshman then – wasn’t sure and I teased her about it. This year, a graduating senior, she was sure… “Yes!” she said, without hesitation. This year, in a leadership role, I had her ask her fellow Wavettes... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Read this. Or not. I don’t really care. By Aprill Brandon
As I sit here with my laptop, a million years pregnant, looking like Violet Beauregarde from Willie Wonka (only rounder and more obnoxious), I can’t help but wonder “what the hell am I doing?” Not meaning the pregnancy, of course. It’s much too late for that regret. She’s big enough to qualify for social security at this point. No, I mean this is likely my last post for awhile. One... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Scleroderma Awareness Month
Demeshia Trice is a survivor. Over the course of fifteen years, she's undergone four partial finger amputations. She has ulcers covering her whole body. She requires a caretaker to help her eat, bathe and perform routine daily tasks. Demeshia is living with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that devastates the lives of over 300,000 people around the nation. In... read more.
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Brexit, By Kate Burch
An aspect of Britain's vote to exit the EU that has been little noted is its affirmation of national identity. For decades, entertainers and other utopians have been clamoring for a world without borders.  We are supposed to think that America is only exceptional in the same way that “the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek... read more.
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An Edison student Narrative… The Good Old Days, By Cierra Kaufhold
Why can’t the world be like it once was? A world without hate, without “The walk away Joes,“ and ”Run around Sues”… A world where families meant something, love was forever, opening the front door to a stranger was okay, prices were low, people could be trusted, everyone was kind and understanding, people would offer a helping hand, people weren’t afraid to talk or leave their home... read more.
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Ignorance, By Truman Bashore
According to the website Online Etymology Dictionary (Harper, Douglas, 2001-2016) the origin of the word ignorance is “lacking wisdom or knowledge; unaware; not known of, pay no attention to, knowing nothing of good manners”.  In today’s political arena ignorance can be found in the argument for expanding oil drilling, the denial of climate change, and... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… The narrow view of fatherhood, By Aprill Brandon
One of the first things you learn as a new mom, besides how to dodge jets of baby urine like Neo in “The Matrix,” is how much society hates you. Oof, and man, do they hate you. And me. And anyone whose uterus used to have an occupant. It doesn’t matter if we work or stay at home, breast or bottle feed, wear yoga pants or fancy tailored lady trousers with actual working buttons... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Summer Break Shouldn’t Mean Going Hungry
For children across Ohio, summer break is beginning, and for many families that means vacations and summer camps and barbeques. But for too many, it also means stress over how to care for children while parents work, or how to feed children nutritious meals without the school lunches they count on throughout the rest of the year. Hundreds of thousands of Ohio students rely on the school... read more.
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Versailles Poultry Days… 2016 Poultry Days Parade a Hoot… As Always, By Bob Robinson
It’s a weird feeling not being involved in “journalism” any longer… weird but in a way, comforting. I can do what I enjoy without having to worry about reporting on it… under deadline, no less. That’s assuming I have the time. I’ve had to replace a lot of events I really enjoyed because of my educational pursuits. There simply isn’t enough... read more.
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State Senator Beagle… Celebrating Father's Day With Compassion and Connectivity
I recently attended my daughter’s graduation at Miami University, and while I was filled with pride celebrating her accomplishments, I could not help but to think about how fast these years have passed. As our children grow, these important moments seem to fly by one after the next. On that day I began to reflect on the joyous occasion of my first-born's... read more.
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Not So Fast, Mr. Ryan, By Kate Burch
House Speaker Paul Ryan has condemned, and even threatened to sue, Donald Trump over Mr. Trump’s promise to impose a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.  Mr. Ryan, and others on both sides of politics, have claimed that such a ban would be unconstitutional and in violation of our values and traditions as Americans. In truth, there... read more.
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State Representative Buchy… HB 301--Health Savings Accounts for State Employees
Currently, the Ohio House of Representatives is considering House Bill 301.  This legislation, sponsored by Representative Michael Henne and local Representative Stephen Huffman, would create an option for state employees to choose a Health Savings Account in lieu of a standard deductible health care plan. Under this option the individual chooses a high... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Potty Training Purgatory, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand
Dear A+K: I am currently in the thick of potty training my toddler, and I find myself divided.  On one hand, I am SO DONE with diapers and the stench that comes with them, but on the other, I am tired of slipping in pee and running the washer 24/7. Please discuss and help me rediscover the joys in this milestone! Sincerely, Fecal Fairy. Dear Fairy: Potty training is no joke, and we are here... read more.
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Mr. History and his Hog, By Susan Olling
Last year, I wrote about one of the toys on Mr. History’s wish list: a top-of-line Harley.  Mind you, he’s mentioned this particular item for twenty years.  I had apparently taken leave of my senses or my evil twin was in our house last spring when I told him if he wanted a Harley to get one. He bought a helmet and gloves and took the riding class last fall... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… We Must All Stand Together After Orlando
Yesterday, Ohioans woke up to tragic news about the shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub. Connie and I send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and communities of all those lost. We are grateful to the first responders whose bravery saved lives, and we continue to keep the law enforcement who are investigating and the medical personnel... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… 35 things I’ve learned in 35 years, By Aprill Brandon
When you’re nine months pregnant and busy chasing a sugar-addicted toddler around, certain things are bound to fall through the cracks. The family’s collective hygiene, for one (she types as she tries to remember how many days in a row her son has worn those Spiderman pajamas). Basic human decency, for another (she types while cringing as she remembers yelling “stop playing... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… It’s a trainwreck but do it anyway… and have fun! By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand -- Dear A+K: My daughter always wants to help out in the kitchen, but I find it so exhausting.  The mess just isn't worth it to me, which I know is missing the point.  Are there tips for a better cooking experience? Thanks-Burned Out in the Kitchen. Dear Burned Out: "Cooking with Kids" should actually be the title for a therapy group in community centers across the globe... read more.
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Buchy… Senate Bill 3—Avoiding the Crux of New Unfunded Mandates
Currently, the Ohio House of Representatives is considering Senate Bill 3.  This was introduced by Senators Faber and Hite to reduce bureaucracy, focus on locally driven teacher improvements, and reduce state testing. The purpose of this bill is to reduce state mandates on high performing schools. Western Ohio is home to many high performing schools that... read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Preliminary Budgets for 2017… hold the line
May has been a very busy month in the Commissioner’s office, as it has been around the County. Farmers have worked feverishly to get their plowing and planting done. It hasn’t been easy with the rain earlier in the month, but now as this is written, we could use a good shower to help those crops grow. May is always a time of renewal, and this... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Say No to HSUS, Defend Agriculture—Eat Traditional
In western Ohio, agriculture and the products we produce provide for the fine families we rear and the lives we live.  The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is trying to take our farming practices back decades and the eventual impact their efforts have on our bottom line could negatively impact our way of life.  I will continue to stand up against HSUS’ attempts to destroy our livelihoods... read more.
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Anomie v.2, By Kate Burch
Pioneering French sociologist Emile Durkheim used the word, “anomie” in his 1897 book, “Suicide” to describe a situation in which the society’s standards and values are rapidly changing, causing people to feel confused, alienated, and purposeless.  He further wrote that significant changes in the economic fortunes of a society and especially a situation in which people are unable... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Mirror, mirror, on the wall, By Aprill Brandon
I can’t remember exactly how old I was. It was probably around age 11. A lot of important revelations are made when you turn 11. Like realizing tater tots are the world’s most perfect food and how one eye roll is worth a thousand “whatever’s.” So it was probably around this time that I decided it was my nose. It was so obvious. Literally right there way out in front of my face... read more.
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It's about time, By George Starks
We live in a country that has been in a downward spiral for the last eight years. Obama and his administration has done its best to destroy our country. Wednesday, 11 states took a stand against stupidity and slapped Obama and Satan himself right in the mouth. Texas, Georgia, Alabama and a host of others said No to the transgender restroom law in... read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… A Day to Remember Our Fallen Heroes
Since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, 275 Ohio soldiers have lost their lives in action.  275 stories of bravery and determination came to an abrupt end in battlefields far from the comforts of home. 275 families were left to pick up the pieces and continue with their lives after receiving the news they dreaded most.  Why did these soldiers give their lives? Ohio... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Memorial Day
At the end of the Civil War, Union veterans came together to establish “Decoration Day,” to honor the bravery and preserve the memory of fallen soldiers. Today, we mark this observance with Memorial Day to remember all Americans — from the War of 1812 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is our duty... read more.
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State Senator Keith Faber… A Time to Remember the Sacrifice of our Fallen Soldiers
Memorial Day is about so much more than summer barbeques and bright, candy-filled parades. It is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. Established in the wake of massive Civil War casualties, Memorial Day was initially called Decoration Day. Every year on May 30th, after weeks of preparation, members of... read more.
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World War I Memorial, From Lana Johnston
Having just visited Washington DC with 300 Noblesville, Indiana kids, the lack of a WWI memorial was very evident.   WWI has become a forgotten war, yet shaped American’s future, and our role in the world.  Info on the building of a memorial is below if you would like to include in your publication.  Hopefully you are doing a Memorial Day... read more.
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The three hours that changed history, By Susan Olling
We read lots of history in our house.  Mr. History prefers the Civil War and twentieth century conflicts.  I have one foot is planted firmly in the eighteenth century but have been known to read history of more recent wars. My annual Memorial Day read is The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan.  This book is one of the best about the events of 06 Jun 1944, the first cross-channel invasion... read more.
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Senate President Keith Faber… Keeping Ohio's Government Open, Transparent and Easy to Access - Since the passage of Ohio’s first open records law in 1963, our state legislature has gone to great lengths to open the doors of public buildings to the taxpayers who want to take a closer look at the activities and decisions that affect their daily lives. From meeting minutes to official correspondence between elected officials, our records are your records... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… How New Overtime Rule Gives Back to Ohioans
Right now, Ohioans know they’re working more than ever before and for less pay. Since the 1970s, middle class wages have stagnated, while the number of hours spent on the job has gone up. The salary threshold to be eligible for overtime pay hasn’t even come close to keeping pace with inflation - leaving millions of families behind. Currently, only people... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… If children’s books actually realistic, By Aprill Brandon
Hello! My name is Aprill. I have a son. His name is Riker. He is 2-years-old. He is a wonderful boy! Riker likes to laugh and play. And he really loves to read! We read books all the time together. They all sound exactly like this. Because who doesn’t love short sentences! And lots of exclamation points! Mommy, that’s who! Or at least not after reading 27 books in a row... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Honoring Our Veterans with the Benefits They Deserve
Melissa Twine’s husband, Captain Philip Twine, was a logistics officer in the Air Forced when he was killed in the line of duty in 2002. In an instant, the Batavia native and fellow Air Force veteran became a single mother of four and the sole breadwinner for a family struggling with grief. She put her plans for a Master’s degree on hold to focus on raising and... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… High Quality H2O Always Needs a Bobby Boucher
Over the past few months we have learned a lot about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and I must say that I am appalled by the failure of their local government to do what’s right for the people of Flint. The reason we have laws is to reinforce the Ten Commandments.  Now is not the time to react in Ohio by passing laws that focus solely on lead concerns considering the... read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Controlling College Costs
Holding roundtables across our state is one of the most important things I do in the Senate — it gives me a chance to meet with and hear the stories of Ohioans of all backgrounds, and to gather new ideas. One of the early ideas that came out of these roundtables was the Ohio College Presidents Conference — an annual summit to bring together... read more.
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Cui Bono? By Kate Burch
The Food and Drug Administration, through its newly-released regulations on electronic cigarettes, sounded the death knell for the numerous start-up businesses that are developing and marketing the devices.  The regulations forbid marketing of an e-cigarette until the FDA has approved an application  that provides proof that the product: 1.) is safer than regular cigarettes; 2.) that it helps smokers... read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… A brief guide to modern parenting, By Aprill Brandon
First of all, you should really already have kids. That biological clock doesn’t tick forever, you know. I mean, wait until you’re financially stable and all that, of course. It’s completely irresponsible to have kids before you’re fully prepared. But if you wait too long, that’s just selfish. Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse, those women having babies in their 40s or those young 22-year-old... read more.
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Answering Life’s Biggest Questions… Surviving the full-blown reality of summer, By Abigail Fischer and Katie DeLand - Dear A+K: I know you guys are excited about summer break, but as a full-time SAHM, I am a little apprehensive.  The days get so long, and without structure, I lose my mind.  Any tips? Sincerely, Sun Weary - Dear Weary: Who are we kidding?  We enjoy not waking up for the bus and packing lunches for about six days, and then the... read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Capital Budget-Help for Good Local Projects
This year’s Capital Budget totaled $2.6 billion, of which $160 million was allocated toward state projects.  Often times the remaining funds go toward local projects which have raised a substantial amount of funds through their local governments and community fundraising.  In this capital budget, I am pleased that a number of important projects throughout the... read more.
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