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HAAG: Rep. Jason Saine is pushing for new taxes

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NIC HAAG Guest Columnist It turns out our very own representative to the General Assembly has been pushing a bill, HB 279, that would require folks running fantasy sports leagues, of any size, to pay a fee to the state to the tune of $2,500 to $10,000, plus a share…

Political ads remain key tool

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Despite being vastly outspent by the campaign and supporters of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump won the 2016 election. Some are suggesting that the outcome has transformed the practice of American politics in fundamental ways — and that the television ad, in particular, has outlived its usefulness.…

Preserve craft beer

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist I love beer, especially craft beer, and from the look of things about 5 p.m. most days so do many other North Carolinians. But as I enjoy my IPAs, I’m concerned that the big beer companies will someday crush small breweries, just as they did…

OUR VIEW — Officers carrying Narcan save lives

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Lincolnton Police Department officers now have another tool in their arsenal that may one day save someone’s life. Narcan is a drug that stops the effects of an overdose of heroin or other opioid-based narcotics. Should officers come into contact with someone suffering from a potentially fatal overdose, they will…

HB2 isn’t worth it — 3-13-17

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STEVE FORD Guest Columnist The fight over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 – the law that notoriously stamps the state’s seal of approval on discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender people – has devolved into a form of trench warfare. Republican legislators and social conservatives who support the law remain…

Cooper budget signals left’s defeat

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Roy Cooper has just submitted his first budget proposal as governor of North Carolina. It is a political document — and I don’t mean that as an insult. Cooper is a Democrat facing Republican supermajorities in a state legislature that has more power than he does.…

Editor’s Note: A love of reading

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MICHAEL GEBELEIN Managing Editor There’s arguably no single skill more important to being successful in today’s world than the ability to read. And, more than just a simple ability, a cultivated love of reading can do wonders in helping a young person grow to become a compassionate individual and a…

Reynolds Price, small towns and people estuaries

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist Since 2000, North Carolina has grown from about 9.5 million people to well over 10 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Most of that growth is in our urban areas while many rural areas and small towns are losing people. These facts would not please…

Phil’s been grouchy

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist Reporters look for what is new, and that’s what the legislative press corps did that day years back when the budget was approved in just hours. It wasn’t news that legislative Democrats had just crammed another budget through the Assembly. They’d been doing that for…

Cooper picks the wrong battle

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Gov. Roy Cooper’s pick to head North Carolina’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, former state Rep. Larry Hall, received unanimous approval last week from the Senate committee tasked to confirm him. Of course he did. Hall was until recently the minority leader in the North…