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Rate increases show ACA is broken

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If anyone needed any more evidence that the Affordable Care Act is a failed policy, the news in the past weeks that premiums through Blue Cross Blue Shield, the only insurer offering policies on the marketplace in North Carolina, are increasing by an average of almost 25 percent is another…

Taking a knee and remembering Dean Smith and Charlie Scott

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist Do you grit your teeth when an athlete or performer takes a knee during the National Anthem before a game begins? We have mixed feelings, don’t we? Like UNC-Chapel Hill basketball coach Roy Williams, who was angry when he first heard about San Francisco 49ers quarterback…

Reader’s Forum

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Support for Jenkins My husband and I are voting for Dr. Elaine Jenkins for Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Through her experience and leadership in Lincoln County Schools and many community boards and organizations, Elaine Jenkins has a proven record of successful leadership. I have known Dr. Elaine Jenkins for…

McCrory makes his Carolina Comeback

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolinians have long known that the electoral contest between Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper would be expensive, contentious, and competitive. It’s the top gubernatorial race in the country. And it’s the top political priority for many activists and interest groups here in North Carolina. Now,…

Disaster relief built into budget

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist Sometimes I wonder if televised debates don’t do more harm than good, confusing the public when candidates make arguments woven from issues taken out of context. After the Hurricane Matthew floods, North Carolinians were clearly susceptible to rumors that government help would not come. In…

Reader’s Forum

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Support for Edmunds As your sheriff, part of my job is to learn about the men and women who serve as our judges and justices. One of the best, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds, is running for re-election this year. I know Justice Edmunds. He’s an asset to…

Clinton has bigger ground game than Trump

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist The debates are over. Tens of millions of TV ads have been aired. Arenas have hosted large political rallies. Now the ground game — the shoe leather part of of the campaign — takes on added importance, with the early voting period having begun last week.…

Recovering after Hurricane Matthew

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Recovery efforts in much of this region are moving ahead. And the process has been remarkably smooth, for the most part. FEMA officials are here, assessing damage from Hurricane Matthew and helping people get back on their feet as quickly as possible. They have already approved $2.5 million in aid.…

Obamacare must be fixed

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It was, at least, no surprise. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the only company that offers health care policies in all 100 counties in the state, has announced an average 24.3 percent cost increase for premiums on policies under the individual plans through the Affordable Care Act.…

A political tactic that’s losing steam

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist Whether as Democrats while this was a one-party state or Republicans since the GOP’s 1972 resurgence, North Carolina conservatives have repeatedly used a reliable political tactic: Point at their opponents and holler, “Liberal! Liberal! Liberal!” Or, for emphasis, “Ultra liberal!” And, in a really tight…