The problem isn’t ‘stepping on toes’

Gov. Pat McCrory seems to think that every time people in Raleigh have questions about one of his proposals, it is because he is courageously “stepping on toes” of people in entrenched institutions who refuse to consider doing things differently.McCrory used the line in a recent speech in Charlotte — where he seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in recent weeks — talking about the lukewarm reception for his proposal to turn over the state’...

2 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

For teachers, a slide of job satisfaction

In the classroom, nothing beats a good teacher. Abundant research affirms teacher quality as the most significant in-school predictor of student achievement. Teachers know they have the power to leave a profound imprint on the minds of students; for many, this core belief shapes their choice of teaching as an occupation.Yet scores of teachers are withdrawing emotionally from their work. A pair of recent surveys paints a portrait of alarmingly low levels of engagement and satisfacti...

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‘Thanks’ an incomplete expression of gratitude

“Thanks for your service.”Maybe we have done a better job of showing appreciation to the members of the armed forces who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan than we did for those who served in Vietnam. Some opponents of that war made many Vietnam veterans feel that coming home was like leaving one war only to be thrown into another.But today’s “Thank you for your service,” is not substantially better, as far as some at Afghanistan-Iraq veterans a...

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FCC could challenge state network laws

In February, Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler declared that the North Carolina General Assembly had no authority to determine telecommunications policy in North Carolina.Well, okay, Wheeler didn’t single North Carolina out for particular scorn. But he did say that in the coming months, the FCC might decide to challenge state laws, like the one the North Carolina legislature enacted in 2011, that govern the ability of cities and counties to create their own broadban...

5 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

Country must rein in over-spending

This week, I heard from countless constituents concerned with Washington’s out-of-control spending and unsurmountable debt. I’d like to share a letter I received from a constituent in Concord:“My wife and I are most concerned about the huge and growing debt the U.S. has accrued. I urge you and Congress to do what is necessary to cut government spending as necessary to get rid of the deficit. Ronald Reagan said it best when he said the problem with U.S. Government ...

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NC should open comeback to all

The folks currently running things in North Carolina keep touting what they describe as the Carolina Comeback, unemployed workers flocking to all the jobs they say have been created by the policies of the General Assembly and the McCrory Administration.The Carolina Comebackers credit everything from tax cuts for the wealthy to weakening environmental regulations as responsible for the alleged boom in the state economy.What they cite most often are the draconian cuts to u...

6 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

America suffering from political apathy

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines apathy as a state of indifference or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion.Many years ago in a North American country known as the United States of America, there lived a nation of citizens that displayed tremendous interest in the state of their country’s well-being. The citizens worked tirelessly to correct any local, national or international issue that threatened them either as individuals or col...

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Upping overtime threshold will hurt workers

President Obama has announced that, through executive order, he will be changing the rules regarding which employees have to be given overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week. Under current regulations, all hourly employees who work more than 40 hours must be paid “time-and-a-half” for overtime hours. In addition to that, salaried workers who are paid less than $455 per week also must be paid for overtime hours.With the stroke of a pen the president is chang...

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Sugar rush takes its toll on a busy mom

We’ve begun the season loved and hated by sugar junkies all over the country. We move with ease from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving pies to Christmas Cookies to Valentine’s chocolate to Easter jelly beans and chocolate bunnies … and on and on it goes.All the sugar flowing through by veins recently reminded me of my former addiction to Dairy Queen.I was an exhausted mother of two young boys struggling to find my pre-pregnancy body somewhere beneath the ...

7 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

Airport seeks to build on storied past

Did you know that during the Civil War when a portion of General Sherman’s Army was making its march from Columbia to Raleigh, their route carried them over the land that would eventually serve a critical role in our nation’s defense? Did you know that this land is the same land now known as the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport?

7 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

Social Security expedites disability benefits

The World Health Organization held the first World Health Assembly in 1948, and, beginning in 1950, every year on April 7 the world comes together to observe World Health Day. Each year, World Health Day focuses on a particular subject of interest to global health.At Social Security, we focus on people’s health every day. Specifically, we provide benefits for people with disabilities. To help expedite the disability process, we recently announced the addition of 25 new Compas...

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Causes of ‘dirty laundry’ beyond county’s control

The April 1 headline, “Study ranks Scotland low for quality of life,” has sparked an interesting debate on the editorial page with letters to the editor “County’s dirty laundry should not be magnified” on April 4, and “Newspapers should spotlight areas that need improvement” on April 5th. In my opinion, newspapers have not only the privilege of reporting, but the responsibility to “spotlight areas that need improvement.” At the same time, ...

8 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

Award recipients make Scotland a better place

In the later part of 2013, I was approached by Howard Whitehurst about the Chamber of Commerce being the lead organization for the Governor’s Award program for Scotland County. For many years, Howard has completely run this program with the help of a committee. The chamber staff would make copies for him, but that was all the support he had. As he worked with the governor’s office on this, he realized that Scotland County is the only county in the state that didn’t have a su...

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River legend takes another victim

This is part two of a story that began in the April 2 edition of The Laurinburg Exchange — editorAs we continue with the story of Ol’ Whiskers, the biggest, meanest catfish east of the Mississippi, Bubba and I find ourselves hid behind a tree on the banks of the Pee Dee River. We had spotted something huge in the water headed right toward us.

8 days 10 hours ago | | | Email

O.K. for highways, but not for health care

North Carolina’s political leaders talking about the benefits to the state of receiving a massive infusion of federal dollars to expand a state program, the jobs it will create and the people’s lives it will help — it has become a familiar story.They clamor for the federal money even there’s no guarantee the funding will keep flowing at the same level or even that it won’t stop altogether. They brush aside claims from the far Right that federal money i...

9 days 10 hours ago | | | Email


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