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A four-letter word North Carolinians should embrace

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist I know it has four letters, but I’ve still never understood why “toll” is such a bad word in North Carolina. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I vividly remember being woken up routinely on trips to the beach by rumble strips ahead of toll…

Our holiday longing for home

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist “There is something about the holidays,” says Chapel Hill minister Bob Dunham, “that stirs memories and longing for home. “Even if they are better in memory than they were in reality.” He explained that student homesickness is not just about freshmen. Longing for home affects everybody.…

Election experiment to begin

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist North Carolina is about to run a political experiment. You and other potential voters will determine its outcome. The state has traditionally held May primaries for governor, Congress, legislature, and other offices below that of president. Actually, North Carolina has traditionally held our presidential primaries in…

The role of campaign contributors in state politics

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If there were any North Carolinians out there who still doubted that campaign contributors get special treatment from some politicians, they surely have been disabused of that notion by a series of recent revelations. The latest head-shaker came Tuesday, courtesy of Patrick Gannon of the N.C. Insider news service. Gannon…

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…