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What they sought was freedom

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist In what had once been a land of opportunity and progress, the state had grown large and oppressive. Its leaders lost their way. Its people nearly lost their freedom. How oppressive had the state become? No matter how you chose to make your living, government officials…

Our View: City Council should reconsider speech ordinance

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Lincolnton’s City Council is wading into dangerous territory by considering an ordinance to require permits for people who want to address the public on city sidewalks. The proposal is the result of the city wanting to limit the activities of street preachers who regularly attend events in Lincolnton and evangelize,…

The Wilmington Ten and the Women’s March on Washington

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist “The case of the Wilmington Ten amounts to one of the most egregious instances of injustice and political repression from the post-World War II black freedom struggle. It took legions of people working over the course of the 1970s to right the wrong.” These opening words…

In high schools, what’s the right amount of football?

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FERREL GUILLORY Guest Columnist The approach of Super Bowl LI and a long essay in The New Yorker magazine — with the print-edition headline, “Can Football Be Saved?’’ — brought to mind again that searing image of Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kueckly sobbing and heaving as his body coped with…

Safer? A veteran perspective on Trump’s border wall

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ADAM SVOLTO MICHAEL RAFETTO Guest Columnist Six days into his presidency, President Donald Trump ordered construction of the border wall that he so often referenced during his campaign. His stated purpose was to “ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States.” While no one would argue that safety…

Our View: LPD officer helps keep children safe

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There are few crimes more serious than crimes against children. Lincoln County is lucky to have a law enforcement officer leading the charge against would-be predators. Lincolnton Police Department Detective Brent Heavner, who was profiled in a front-page story in Friday’s edition, has arrested nearly 50 suspects on charges that…

Education as ‘carnage’ in a stir-’em-up inaugural

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FERREL GUILLORY Guest Columnist Over the two decades that I have taught a course on Southern politics to UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates, I have regularly assigned All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren’s celebrated novel published in 1946 and drawn from his observations of Huey Long, the populist governor of Louisiana…

Devolve transportation to the states

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist With all the furor and protests accompanying the launch of the Donald Trump administration, you might assume there’s little room for bipartisan cooperation in Washington. That assumption is mistaken. The new president says he’d like to enact a 10-year, half-trillion-dollar program of infrastructure investment. Congressional Democrats…

Devolve transportation to the states

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Congressional Democrats spent much of the final years of Barack Obama’s presidential administration lamenting Republican obstructionism and the unwillingness of Congress to work with Obama on any substantive legislation or appointees. That criticism reached a shrill pitch with Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court seat vacated when…

Gray hair, paunches and a long-ago campaign

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist When most political campaigns are over, the staff and volunteers strike their tents and head home. That is particularly true when their candidate loses, because they will not be rewarded with any government jobs or appointments. Which makes the 1972 gubernatorial campaign of Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles…