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West Lincoln medical facility could be positive

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You’d think a proposal to spend $5 million to build a medical facility for an underserved population would be met with cheers and applause, not scorn and derision. Lincolnton Main Street, LLC first filed a rezoning request with Lincoln County in 2015 to rezone three acres at Highway 27 and…

Only progressives need apply

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ILYA SHAPIRO DEVIN WATKINS Guest Columnists William Felkner was a student at Rhode Island College, a state school, studying social work. The school’s faculty explained that as a profession “we do take sides” and are “devoted to the value of social and economic justice.” Accordingly, the professors required the students…

Spotlight turns to state courts

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist One key consequence of the 2016 elections in North Carolina was that the state’s court system drew a great deal of attention. You can expect that attention to continue, and perhaps to lead to constructive change, during the coming year. Four election stories had the effect…

Books for New Year’s reading

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist So, have you got something about reading more books on your list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, I have some help. Four different books, at least one of which will be right for you. A best-selling inspirational cookbook-memoir by North Carolina’s most celebrated woman these…

GOP needs plan to replace Obamacare

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The disaster that has been the Affordable Care Act will some reach its end. President Barack Obama’s signature legislation has, by all measures, been an enormous failure. Premiums are increasing, insurers are leaving the law’s marketplace and consumers, the very people the law was supposedly written to protect, are bearing…

We made our own democracy

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The terms “fascist” or “communist” are thrown around far too often, used primarily to describe something that really could be better termed “undemocratic.” Which word people use depends wholly upon where they fall on the ideological spectrum. But even then, “undemocratic” has different meanings for different people. Many critics of…

Why shouldn’t Denver incorporate?

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NIC HAAG Guest Columnist The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Denver incorporating is the new taxes I would have to pay. Another fear is the amount of new laws and ordinances that could be put forward by the new layer of government. Looking around…

Respond wisely to next recession

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist If I could predict the onset of America’s next recession with precision, I wouldn’t tell you about it. I’d become a money manager and make a pile by timing the market. But I can’t, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll simply observe that based on historical precedent,…

Thanks, Gov. McCrory

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist When historians assess Pat McCrory’s term, I don’t think he will be remembered as nearly as successful as North Carolina’s previous two Republican governors, Jim Martin and Jim Holshouser. McCrory was never able to overcome his lack of background in state government and politics, and he…

Republican actions on HB 2 won’t help win elections

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist When it comes to House Bill 2, legislative Republicans are absolutely hapless. Republicans conceived HB 2, the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, last March, hoping to use it as a wedge issue against gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper and other Democrats. It backfired. When…