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  • Newsom-DeSantis debate was over before it started

    Last Thursday night's debate between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was over before the Klieg lights went up. The facts of California’s decline are evident to everyone but the most disingenuous. As the old saying goes, “Facts is facts,” and on the facts, DeSantis had the debate won by Wednesday. All that was left was the theater: Would Newsom win on debate tactics, quips and good looks? He would not.
  • In defense of the ancient plumb bob; Second District primary taking shape
    Today's Word of the Day is groma. I was happily ignorant of the word until my son – who is a schoolteacher – said to me (paraphrasing): "You used to be a surveyor, do you know what this is?" Colin had drawn a rudimentary picture of a groma.
  • A sad day for Ohio's Second District
    I first met Brad Wenstrup in 2012, along with his former staff member Brian Shrive, who is now an attorney with the Clermont County Prosecutor's Office. I enjoyed speaking with both men. In our first meeting, Dr. Wenstrup talked about the core values associated with leadership, saying, "The Army has an acronym for 'leadership:' Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage (LDRSHIP)."
  • The Shell Answer Man revisited
    The day before Halloween 2023 was a Monday. It was a real Monday all the way around.
  • A great week for Whiteoak High School, et al.
    This has been an impressive week for Whiteoak High School. Longtime baseball coach Chris Veidt was selected to the 2024 class of the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and cross-country runner Landen Eyre won the Southeast District Division III Cross Country Championships at the University of Rio Grande for the second straight year.
  • How I spent my Day of Rage on Friday the 13th
    Throughout Thursday, Oct. 12 and Friday, Oct. 13, almost every national news report included something about avoiding crowds on Oct. 13. I try avoid crowds every day, so it's an easy assignment for me. Except on Friday the 13th.
  • Deadline Oct. 6 to opt out of electricity aggregation program
    I have had AEP service for more than four decades at my home and business. I am not upset with my AEP billing or service. Had I discarded what at first glance I thought was junk mail, I would have unwittingly changed billing services. No thanks. I'll keep my billing – and more importantly my customer service – with AEP Ohio.
  • 'Best countries' report ignores reality
    There's a right way and a wrong way to enter foreign countries. Some are more tolerant than others. I suspect if U.S. News and World surveyed the estimated 10 to 20 million illegals in the U.S., they would agree, this is the greatest nation on earth. Let's act like it – and let's be grateful that it is. If we can keep it.
  • Beach bar balladeer's music, stories live on
    One of my favorite Jimmy Buffett quotes is “If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached.” And now it has a new leader of the band. For the rest of us, his music and stories live on.
  • UPDATED: A sad day in Kansas – and America
    The First Amendment is not in Kansas anymore. It died in the Jayhawk State this week. Newspaper co-owner dies after police raid.
  • Godspeed, Bob Hodson: 1927-2023
    Bob will always exemplify the can-do spirit of American entrepreneurship and community leadership. He did so much for Highland County. More than most of us will ever know. Godspeed, my friend. You will be missed. Thank you for every word of encouragement.
  • Laughter really is good medicine
    Yes, laughter is the best medicine. While this column may lack depth (what do you want for nothing, a rubber biscuit?), I'll close with this: Here's to four more years for Turd Ferguson; we all need the jocularity. Thanks, Joe, and the Cackler. Good health to the POTUS.
  • The brave and noble 56
    On Independence Day, July 4, let us not forget to think about the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence and the prices many paid for their respective commitments to forming a new nation.
  • The good, the not-so-good, and the ugly
    Since at least March 2013, Hillsboro city officials have been made aware that the city's lodging (motel) tax was improperly levied. Since 2013, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins has told anyone who would listen that this tax should not have been levied.  So has The Highland County Press.
  • Smokin' J's BBQ is worth a drive to Winchester
    There happens to be a little hole-in-the-wall joint in Adams County – in Winchester, to be precise – that does barbecue as well as anyone else in our neck of the woods. It's called Smokin' J's BBQ, located on S.R. 136 near the center of Winchester. In fact, Smokin' J's BBQ is on par with the famous Jack's Bar-B-Que at 416 Broadway in Nashville. Yes, the Ryan clan has been to both.
  • Washington High School: Commencement etiquette exemplified
    A tip of the cap (or mortarboard) goes to Washington Schools Superintendent Tom Bailey, Board of Education members Jennifer Lynch, Mark Chrisman, Kenneth Upthegrove, Zach Camp and Dennis Garrison and the faculty and administration. The new graduates will come to appreciate all you've done through the years. I'm guessing their parents also appreciated a formal and dignified commencement ceremony for the class of 2023 – a great example of how it should be done.
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