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Office should review political contracts

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Two recent media reports have cast a spotlight on the potential “pay to play” problem with government contractors who are also donors to political campaigns. Liberal pols and activists were obviously hoping the stories would do great political damage to their respective subjects, Gov. Pat McCrory…

What would the McCrory of 2008 think of

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CHRIS FITZSIMON Syndicated Columnist A couple of weeks before the 2008 gubernatorial election, then candidate Pat McCrory released what his campaign described as a detailed reform plan to end the “culture of corruption” he said was a major problem under the previous Democratic administrations in Raleigh. The plan included a…

Body cameras only work with accountability

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The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office in early 2016 will add 213 body cameras as standard equipment. Problem is, it will not add public access to what those cameras see. Even as local enforcement increases the footage officers will record of their interactions with the public, those images will be for…

State should lighten burden

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Over the past five years, North Carolina has become a more attractive place to work, live, invest, and do business. The state tax burden is lower — by hundreds of millions of dollars a year — and restructured in a way that reduces the double-taxation of…

A lesson from a 5-year-old about lock-down drills

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist As I drove my 5-year-old daughter to kindergarten on a recent morning, I reminded her that we were going out of town for a few days at Thanksgiving to visit family in Ohio. Her first response: “I don’t want to miss a day of school.” I…

Reader’s Forum — Airport will pay off

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Airport will pay off Over the last few months there have been letters in your paper expressing concerns about the City of Lincolnton’s participation with the county in the operation of the Lincolnton-Lincoln County airport. In my opinion, the benefit the city gets from this joint venture with the county…

GUEST VIEW — Transparency in state government

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How open and honest is state government in North Carolina? Not very, according to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity. The center’s 2015 State Integrity Investigation gave our state a D grade. In part, that’s because there’s a pretty significant gulf between what the law requires and…

Syrian refugees don’t pose a serious security threat

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ALEX NOWRASTEH Guest Columnist Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onward, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States and none was successfully carried out. That is one terrorism-planning conviction for a refugee for every 286,543 of them who have been…

OUR VIEW — Adoptive parents give a great gift

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One of the greatest gifts a person can be given is a parent’s love. Many of us grew up in loving, happy homes with parents who cared for us and helped raise us to be the people we’ve become. That’s not always the case, though. Some children, for one reason…

Celebrating connections to winners of the North Carolina Awards

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist Finally, something to brag about, I thought as I made my way to the annual dinner for the presentation of this year’s North Carolina Awards. These awards recognize contributions in the fields of fine art, literature, public service and science. I am always amazed to learn…