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Columns

  • Commission nomination controversial

    You have to wonder what Pine Creek District Supervisor Bob Martin was thinking when he nominated Billy Mitchell to serve on the Planning Commission last month.

    Mitchell, a former county administrator, was convicted 17 years ago for embezzling more than $400,000 from the Carroll and served time in federal prison.

    Martin has gone on record with his belief that Mitchell has been paying his dues and deserves a second chance.

  • Vaccinate for everyone's sake

    Doing everything you can to avoid spreading disease is among the most basic requirements of membership in a civil society. It has been for millennia.

    Trying to prevent the transmission of pathogens explains the laws in Leviticus, the development of modern sewer systems and the use of quarantine to stem epidemics.

    Throughout history, a person’s duty to prevent the spread of disease to his neighbors has been so fundamental that it has been largely uncontroversial. Then came modern America, which is in the middle of an entirely preventable measles outbreak.

  • State taking crimes against animals seriously

    Last week, The Gazette published yet another heartbreaking story from someone whose family pet fell prey to an unknown suspect who thought nothing about bringing harm to another living being.

    Daisy Mae, a boxer/lab mix, was on her owners’ property while they were at work when someone came into the yard, aimed a gun at her heart and pulled the trigger, killing her.

  • Those who wish to stay at training center should have that option

    Last week marked a milestone in an ongoing fight to save the Southwest Virginia Training Center — one of five state facilities for the developmentally and intellectually disabled.

    Del. Jeff Campbell filed House Bill 1614, which seeks to prohibit the closure of the Hillsville facility, along with the Southeastern Virginia Training Center in Chesapeake. So far, the bill has made its way to the House of Delegates’ Committee on Appropriations.

  • Boucher: first step in ending gridlock

    Rick Boucher, former Democratic congressman from Virginia’s 9th District, is co-chair of the Virginia Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government, appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. In Congress, he represented the Twin Counties and Southwest Virginia for more than two decades.

    The gerrymandering of state legislative and congressional districts is a bipartisan offense. Members of the Virginia Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government are proposing a bipartisan solution.

  • Rural mail will suffer with more plant closures

    John Edgecombe Jr. is president of the National Newspaper Association and publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, Neb.

    A friend of mine from South Dakota noted that the U.S. Postal Service delivered a lump of coal to many small towns last Christmas when it proceeded to eliminate overnight mail in most of the nation in 2015.

    That was a good description. USPS will slow delivery by one day for first class and periodicals mail. Many members of Congress have asked it to hold off. But USPS is plowing ahead.

  • 2014 EDITORIAL AWARDS

    Looking back, 2014 was full of things we’d love to forget — ice bucket challenges, “Let It Go,” Kim Kardashian’s butt, rioting, Ebola and shirtless Vladimir Putin.

    Other low points: Kim Jong Un tried to keep a movie out of theaters and local officials wanted The Gazette to put an end to the Readers’ Hotline.

    Neither plan worked.

  • Trafficking in human lives

    Attorney General Mark R. Herring recently announced a statewide campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking in Virginia.

    Human trafficking, also referred to as modern slavery, is a practice in which people are forced or tricked into hard labor, prostitution or pornography in exchange for little to no money.

  • Grayson should amend school attendance policy

    By Timothy C. Donley, Mouth of Wilson

    It has come to my attention that the Grayson County school attendance policy is so unreasonably strict that parents who exercise their rights and responsibilities to keep an ill child at home for a few days over the course of the school year may be brought to court, accused of truancy violations.

    The school administration does not trust parents to decide for themselves if an ill child needs medical attention or not, nor are school principals trusted to decide if an absence may be truly excused or not.

  • Bassett thanked for past Christmas parties

    I was Made in America by a Factory Man.

    Starting this letter is difficult.  I have so much to say and I want to be sure that I can convey my gratitude both completely and accurately. So, I’ll just start with the obvious: Mr. John D. Bassett III, thank you.

    Thank you for the Christmas parties and the stockings. I felt so lucky and included to be able to go into that loading dock with my parents and meet everyone that they worked with.

    One caveat however, I always knew that was Ronnie McGrady in that Santa costume.