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In the grand scheme of national affairs, or even those of Alabama, the PTA meeting at Vaughn Road Elementary in Montgomery on Oct. 9 didn't make news of any sort. Fox News was not there, nor even a local TV station or newspaper reporter. Read more

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We haven’t heard much recently about funding shortfalls in Social Security and Medicaid although little has been done to shore up the essential government programs since the last round of warnings. Read more

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As I have pointed out on other occasions, through the years I gather stuff and save it just to see what it might or might not reveal about the condition and future of our great republic. Read more

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In my column about not meeting Harper Lee I suggested that if I had, one of the things we might have talked about was the odd boundary line between her county, Monroe, and mine, Clarke, down in South Alabama. Read more

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As we get down to the lick log in the 2018 June primary, there are few if any surprises in any of the major state races. Polling indicates that all of the contests are about where they were three or four months ago when the races began. Read more

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The Randolph County Voters List for 2018 is in this issue of The Leader. As the largest list in recent years, it may reflect an increased interest in voting since there has not been a substantial population increase. The voters list is important to potential voters for several reasons. Read more

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Folks, we are less than three weeks away from our June 5 primary. Besides the governor's race, all of our secondary constitutional races are on the ballot. Read more

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Last week we made you aware that five of the nine seats on our State Supreme Court are up for election this year. In addition, our Court of Civil Appeals and Criminal Appeals have several members up for election. Read more

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The legislature has approved four constitutional amendments for voters to decide on the November 2018 ballot.One amendment provides that any legislative seat becoming vacant after October 1 of the year before a regu-lar election will remain vacant.Another makes changes in the University of A… Read more

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The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) studies issues affecting the state and issues periodic reports. The latest one released last week looks at Alabama’s slow population growth when compared with other states. Major reasons are Alabama’s high death rate and low rate of inte… Read more

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When talk turns to politics in Alabama, it usually leads to the governor's race. In Alabama politics the governor's office is the brass ring. It is talked about more than anything else around coffee clubs and kitchen tables from Sand Mountain to the Wiregrass. It is comparable to college foo… Read more

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey last week created a council to study school safety. She said it should consider all ideas, including securing schools, intervening with students who are identified as posing risks of violence, and updating and standardizing emergency operation plans for schools. She ask… Read more

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The latest go-to place to go on the Florida Panhandle is Scenic Highway 30-A. Right in the middle of what tourist development branders have branded "The Emerald Coast," resorts along this stretch of road attract thousands of visitors each year. It was there, on that road, that the Redneck Ri… Read more

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In addition to being the final week of Standard Time (Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, so remember to set your watches and clocks ahead by one hour Saturday night) this week, March 4-10, is National Consumer Protection Week. Read more

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As the June primaries for our statewide races get closer, there is a lot of media attention and stories being written about the power being wielded by special interests, PACs and big money. They focus on the large amount of cash and influence being bet on the candidates for governor and the … Read more

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I have written about the legendary capitol reporters who once covered Goat Hill. There was Bob Ingram of the Montgomery Advertiser, Al Fox of the Birmingham News, Hugh Sparrow of the Birmingham News, Rex Thomas of the Associated Press, Don Martin of UPI and Clarke Stallworth of the Birmingha… Read more

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Alabama House Bill 47 would raise the age from 19 to 21 for anyone in Alabama looking to purchase, use, or possess tobacco products in Alabama. This proposed legislation includes any tobacco, tobacco product or alternative nicotine product. Read more

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Rarely have as many different emergency situations erupted at once in our small town. With three separate fires and an attempted bank burglary and arson occur­ring simultaneously in the early hours of Saturday, there naturally is suspicion that all are related, the fires per­haps an attempt … Read more

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As the 2018 state elections begin, let's take one last look at the 2017 special election to fill the remaining three years of Jeff Sessions' six-year term which, by the way, comes up in two years in 2020. Read more

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When Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. traveled to Germany in 1993 to convince Mercedes-Benz officials to locate their first U.S. automobile plant in Alabama, he was criticized in many quarters for providing so many financial incentives to the company. His efforts paid off, though, and Mercedes officials … Read more

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Awhile back, during Dr. Robert Bentley's tenure as governor, I wrote a column titled, "They May as Well Move the Capitol to Tuscaloosa." Never before in Alabama history has a city had a sitting governor and the state's senior U.S. senator hail from that particular place. Even with the depart… Read more

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Roy Blount, Jr. (the funniest man alive) in Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor (the funniest book ever put together) tells a story he got from Loyal Jones. (Stealing is OK as long as you give credit to the one you stole it from, which, you will note, is what I am doing right here.) It goes … Read more

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In a complaint filed Friday in the circuit court of Hale County against 49 Alabama sheriffs, the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice are seeking information about how much each sheriff has personally profited by taking money int… Read more

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A few months back the Jefferson County Republican Party honored our senior U.S. senator, Richard Shelby at The Club in Birmingham. The view from atop Red Mountain from this elegant club is spectacular, especially at night from the ballroom. The glass enclosure allows you to see the grandeur … Read more

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With the Christmas scams behind us we usually have until the heart of tax-filing season when the next major push comes to fraudulently separate us from our money. That takes the form of scammers pretending to be the IRS, and these scams are starting earlier each year. Read more

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When I was a lad, it was our custom that after we had Christmas morning "Santa" at our home in Grove Hill, my father would load us up for the three-hour drive to Slapout. There his mother, my Grandma Minnie, would be waiting, along with assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. Read more

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Whether or not the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has done all it can to aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria will be debated for years to come, but in the meantime the people of the island continue to suffer. Read more

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As some of you gentle readers might know, a few years back I wrote a book titled The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera. It is an account of what happened along the coast, from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach, in the years between the end of World War II and now. In it I chronicle a cl… Read more

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We still have the culmination of the race for the seat of Jeff Sessions set to be determined in less than five weeks on December 12. Roy Moore, as the Republican nominee, is the favorite. However, the Democrat Doug Jones could make it a closer race than first thought. He has raised some mone… Read more

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Too often we don’t think about flu vaccinationis until we have the flu. Then we wish we had heeded the advice to get a shot, but it’s too late. Read more

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With all the changes and uncertainty surrounding Alabama government in recent months, including political appointments, high level resignations, special elections, runoff elections and a host of new candidates tossing their names into the 2018 election circus, Read more

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With the second annual Barktoberfest coinciding with Halloween weekend, it’s a reminder that some warnings are in order before the trick-or-treating begins. Read more

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There have been quite a few political happenings in the Heart of Dixie during October. Birmingham has elected a new mayor. Randall Woodfin defeated two-term mayor William Bell. Read more

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Following by a week Koch Foods’ announcement that it will build a $4.45-million feed mill in Roanoke comes the announcement that the county will receive $1.1 million from the state to pay for industrial access roads to the new feed mill and to Wadley Crushed Stone. Read more