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Today's Opinions

  • Clearing up the First Amendment

    There is often confusion about what the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution actually protects.

    Among other protections, it prohibits the government from making laws that infringe on freedom of speech or freedom of the press. The government can’t tell you what to say or not say, nor can it tell a newspaper what to publish.

    However, this does not apply to a private company or group, nor to an online forum or a reader comments section. It only applies if the government is doing the prohibiting.

  • Coyote killing program a waste of money

    Editor’s note: This week’s guest editorial is by Kathy Dowell of Galax, who has been an outspoken critic of Grayson County’s coyote bounty program, and a “killing contest” that rewards the hunter who turns in the most dead coyotes. After the program recently ran out of its first $5,000 allocation, county supervisors put $5,000 more into it. With that money gone now, too, one supervisor has donated his own money to the fund and the county is asking citizens to donate prize money, too.

  • Meat industry has been playing us for fools

    With April Fools’ Day just around the corner, it appears that the meat, egg, and dairy industries have been playing us for fools all year-round.
    Their more remarkable hoaxes include “California’s happy cows,” “free-range chickens,” “humane slaughter.” All lies.
    Less fun is the stuff they never talk about. Like the hundreds of millions of chickens crammed seven into a cage designed for one, unable to move or spread their wings.

  • Delp family thanks community for help

    The Trenton Delp family would like to sincerely thank everyone for their heroic attempts at saving their children, first and foremost the first responders, firefighters, police and anyone else who offered to help that day.
    We sincerely appreciate it.
    Secondly, Twin County Regional Hospital staff — you are amazing and we will never forget your hard work in trying to save our babies. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the doctors, nurses and staff who helped us that day. Words cannot express our heartfelt thanks.

  • Rescue squads working to improve

    In areas across the commonwealth, volunteer rescue agencies are struggling against the perfect storm: a rise in calls for service and a fall in recruitment.

    Due to financial strains and federal regulations, it’s even harder now than it was several years ago for rescue squads to find volunteers. Though people are willing to sign up, some just don’t have the money or the time to complete the necessary training for certification.

  • Women, poor and minorities underrepresented

    “No taxation without representation” was our Founding Fathers’ protest cry.
    The British government refused to correct the injustices and the protests became more violent and destructive, culminating in our Revolutionary War.
    Fast forward to Ferguson, Mo. The population is predominantly African-American while the leadership is largely white; a distinct injustice which is undoubtedly the main underlying cause of the protests.

  • America just a memory because of immigrants

    Young Americans and babies of today will never have or know America, as this government continues turning away and severing ties of any sanity with our American society.
    When Castro emptied our his prisons and put some of the most evil, dangerous criminals in the world on boats and sent them in the direction of Florida — and this government sucked this evil in like a vacuum.
    Miami until then was a good decent place for Americans to live, to visit and to retire, but this evil changed all that forever.

  • Tragedy takes emotional toll on first responders

    Editor’s note: On March 5, a Galax fire claimed the lives of three children, one at the scene and two who passed away later. Police and firefighters made valiant attempts to rescue the children, without any protective gear, but were overcome by flames and smoke. We share the sentiment expressed in Rick Clark’s moving statement, and commend them for their bravery and sacrifice. We wish them well as they cope with the aftermath of this tragedy.

    By Rick Clark, chief of the Galax Police Department