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Columns

  • Slow drivers keep right, or else

    The next time you’re driving down a highway in Virginia, late for an appointment, and you find traffic knotted behind somebody dawdling in the passing lane, ask yourself how much that inconvenience is worth.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe thought left-lane squatters should face a fine of $100 if they won’t move into the travel lanes; the initial legislative proposal from Del. Israel O’Quinn (who represents Galax and Grayson County) called for fines of $250.

  • Keep up the fight for training center's future

    Ever since its closing was announced five years ago, everyone from parents and county leaders to advocacy groups and state legislators have been fighting to prevent the closing of the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in 2018.

    This valiant effort continues, even after years of discouraging results and their pleas falling on mostly deaf ears in Richmond.

  • Reflecting on WCC’s past year

    Dr. Dean Sprinkle is president of Wytheville Community College

    With the start of a new year, it’s timely to reflect on the prior year at Wytheville Community College. I have had the privilege of serving as WCC’s president for the past year and a half, and I have been overwhelmed and humbled by how the college faculty, staff, students and communities have welcomed me and my wife, Janie.

  • Beyond Obamacare

    By Rep. Morgan Griffith

    Every day brings new word of the damage Obamacare has inflicted on our healthcare system. As long as this law is on the books, it will diminish the quality, affordability, and choice of healthcare for everyday Americans.

    In the seven years since Obamacare became law, the promises made by its creators have been broken.

    President Obama told us that we could keep our doctors. You can’t always. President Obama told us we could keep our insurance if we liked it. You can’t.

  • 2016 EDITORIAL AWARDS

    Finding the funny in a year like 2016 was no easy task.

    We lost pop culture icons, endured putrid politics and, locally, suffered through some horrible events.

    The year-end awards editorial is usually a roast of those people and news stories that made us chuckle — Seriously, all those previous award editorials were supposed to be funny. No, really! — but it was a daunting effort this year.

  • Success takes more than leadership; it takes teamwork

    The most memorable part of 2016 (now matter how hard we try to forget) was the highly publicized and at many times, controversial, presidential election. While the results brought about equal parts celebration and panic, we can’t deny that politics on a local level in Grayson County did a better job of bringing people together — even in times of opposition and tragedy.

  • Winners don’t whine. They accept defeat with grace

    It’s been nine years since my daughter played her last varsity field hockey game. That means it’s been nearly a decade since I delivered my final stop-complaining-you-lost speech to her and whichever of her teammates were griping from my backseat.

    The girls won plenty of games. And when they did, there was no happier or more gracious crew. But when they lost, the vanquished players inevitably erupted in a Greek chorus of excuse-making.

    The other team cheated.

    The refs were biased.

    Their best player had cramps.

  • Millions could benefit from Health Insurance Marketplace

    By Jon D. Applebaum, CEO of Twin County Regional Healthcare

    Here’s some good news: When it comes to health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, millions of Americans benefit from federal financial assistance each year, and you may, too.

    Since its inception in 2013, the Affordable Care Act has helped approximately 20 million Americans gain affordable health insurance, 12.7 million of whom have enrolled in marketplace plans.

  • Give from the heart this holiday season

    One of the warmest feelings this time of year is sitting down for dinner with family and friends and celebrating the season.

    But, not everyone has the means to provide a hearty Christmas dinner. Unemployment, disability, sickness and the infirmities of age are the Grinches that so often rob this time of cheer.

    That’s where some true holiday heroes come in.

  • America must begin building

    The notion that a builder (President-elect Donald Trump) could combine with spenders (Democrats and a smattering of Republicans) on a massive infrastructure push has seized Washington’s imagination.

    “Here’s how President-elect Trump could unify a bitterly divided America,” announced James B. Stewart in a New York Times column. By providing “well-paying jobs to many of the millions of disaffected workers who voted for him, and lift the economy, stock market and tax rolls.”