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Streamlining Indiana government a step worth taking

A proposal by Statehouse Republicans to merge hundreds of townships in Indiana in an effort to save money and improve services is getting a serious look during this year’s legislative session. Under the plan announced last...

Weed laws are about to get dumber

I’m gonna guess Jeff Sessions has never smoked marijuana. Not sure why I feel that way. Maybe it’s his hair. Or suit. Or entire personality. I’m also going to assume he has no idea what it does to people. He...

Don't forget to breathe

The treadmills at my health club were all in use when I walked in today. I had to wait for half an hour before there was a free one. Funny, I never had to wait for one in September, October, November or December, but starting...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to Dimples Wilson of Springport who stopped by The Courier-Times Tuesday to donate an August 1941 Centennial special edition of The Courier-Times to the newspaper. She was doing some attic cleaning and located the...

What do you think ...

What do you do to prepare for an approaching winter...

Practicality takes precedence over poetry

Several weeks ago, I saw a brief interview with a little girl, perhaps 5 or 6 years old, on one of these shows that feature cute kids and their responses to adult questions. The host of the show asked the tot what she wanted to...

'My, how you've grown'

Uncle Sam, via his Census Bureau, just before Christmas, gave us the news: Idaho had the fastest growing population in the nation. The great potato state had an estimated 2.2 percent increase from July 1, 2016 to the same date in...

Non Scents

I have just finished reading Alexandra Horovitz’s marvelous new bestseller, “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Know and Smell.” The book is mostly about the incredible sense of smell our canine companions have and...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to the water department workers, road crews, electric linemen, tow truck drivers, postal workers, newspaper delivery drivers, emergency personnel and anyone else who braved the cold to keep our neck of the woods moving...

Bring on the birds

Henry County uses a really cool tool called Beacon to look at everyone’s property. Open to the public, It’s like Google Maps, but with local tax information. Looking at my neighborhood from overhead, I noticed...

What do you think ...

What were your top new year...

Veterans corner

Let’s hope 2018 is a good year for veterans and their families. One positive is a 2 percent increase in VA disability payments that started Dec. 1, 2017. It’s not great, but it is better than the 0.30 percent from...

Time to resolve to diminish your failings

We humans have always been fascinated by the night sky. Ancient civilizations studied the movement of what we now know as planets and stars. They noticed that patterns and repetition in the sky related to patterns and repetition...

The Bellview

Well, it’s 2018. I’m sure that doesn’t mean a lot to the younger folks out there, but to those of us who thought making it to the year 2000 was a big deal, it’s a big deal. My Father was born in 1928, so...

THUMBS

By KATIE CLONTZ - kclontz@thecouriertimes.com Thumbs up to New Castle police, law enforcement officers and emergency responders for the send off everyone gave New Castle Police Chief Brad Catron. Brad touched many lives and will...

Manufacturing in growth and transition

In the decade since the beginning of the Great Recession industrial production (e.g. manufacturing, mining and electricity production) has been a political football of both the left and right. It’s time to stop playing that...

It won't take long to find out if tax bill will turn out to be GOP gift

So will the new tax bill turn out to be your favorite present? Or is it more like that ugly sweater your aunt gave you last year? Indiana’s Democratic senator, Joe Donnelly, is hoping it’s the latter, while his...

EDITORIAL CARTOON

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What do you think ...

What’s the best thing that happened to you or the community in...

Paying for what we value

Let’s get down and dirty about the most important economic issue facing America and Indiana. It starts in toilets. You want the public or private toilets you use to be clean. It’s a public health issue. There are...

Thanks for the funneries

This is my annual look back at, and appreciation for, all the people and events that inspired many of my weekly columns this past year. For example, thanks to… My brother, for getting married for the first time at a very...

Indiana Department of Child Services claims demand attention

One year ago, in announcing his reappointment of former juvenile court judge Mary Beth Bonaventura as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services, then Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb noted that her “relentless passion for...

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2017's top 10 religion stories

While there was nothing new about someone entering a religious sanctuary and gunning down the faithful, the bloodshed at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was truly historic. Was that 2017’s most important...

It's now or never if Trump wants to fire Mueller

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true...

Fight to save Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling is not over

During her nearly four years as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell said, oil companies did not pressure her about opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. Politicians,...

Beware banana republics

 Sean Hannity, the Fox News anchor and Trump cheerleader, says the United States is “on the brink of becoming a banana republic.” He’s correct, but for all the wrong reasons. Hannity worries that special...

More turbulence ahead

The year began with portentous questions: How will Donald J. Trump govern? How will the markets, which crave stability, react to a president who creates chaos? Can the Republicans, stricken with doubts about the chief executive...

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THUMBS

Thumbs up to New Castle High School Golden Trojan Boosters, Dr. Neil Thornhill, Shane Osting and everyone that had a part in the Silver Anniversary celebration for the 1992-93 Trojan basketball team honoring the four seniors and...

Give credit where credit is due

I’m in the National Guard. It’s not something I tell everyone. I’m proud to serve, even though it takes me away from my family and my job sometimes. I’m humbled when people say “Thank you,”...

A letter from Santa

Dear Editor,  Thank you, Lewisville, for having Santa visit your town. What a great time we had! Thanks to all the helpers who decorated the square and the community building. And all you parents and grandparents who came...

What do you think ...

How much of your Christmas shopping did you do online this...

A Libertarian Perspective

A good friend of mine recently became engaged. Before that came about, he asked his future bride’s father for his permission and blessing. It’s something men have doing for centuries, clear back to Old Testament...

Newspapers have more readers now than ever before

I am excited to be back in New Castle leading the team at The Courier-Times. When I walked in the office it felt like I never left home. As I have worked in other communities and tell people that I am a newspaper publisher, the...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to Citizens State Bank for their fundraising and generous donation to the ICAP Women’s Clinic and others! – Nancy Lewis, director of health services, Henry County ICAP. Thumbs up to Henry County WIC for...

What do you think ...

What’s your favorite Christmas...

ID cards and online shopping

We are quickly come to the end of 2017 and the VA has finally implemented two promised options that veterans can use. Obtaining a veteran’s ID card without being enrolled in the VA healthcare system or receiving disability...

Santa moving from North Pole?

Elvin Elfenhousen, one of Santa’s long-term helpers, joined me recently for a cup of hot chocolate. “What brings you to Indiana?” I asked. “Normally we meet up at the North Pole.” “Yes,”...

Editorial Cartoon - Ariail

Editorial Cartoon -...

There's always HOPE

Just where has this year gone?  While we can bask in the blessings others have heaped upon us: Main Street and the Arts Association showering beauty along 15th Street; refurbished parks and the plan to do even more by both...

Look out for education savings accounts

Sadly, Indiana recently changed the entire program and point of a high school diploma and we just continue to go farther and faster into dismantling the whole traditional public school model. As we move into the new year, we now...

Truth made even more elusive

The Washington Post recently reported on a dirty trick used by some who are trying to get you not to believe what’s in the news.  The Post’s Nov. 28 edition reports: “A woman who falsely claimed to The...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to the generous gentleman who paid for the orders of several people with a “Merry Christmas” Dec. 2 at Subway restaurant. Thumbs up also goes out to all the people who “pay it forward” and do...

Should we move our embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem?

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces’.” – Psalm 122:6-7 Currently in Dubai on business, I’ve...

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What do you think ...

What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas this...

Obligated to keep the promise

A man I know had a heart for leading a Scout troop for about a quarter century. When a campout was planned, he went, even if only one boy showed up. His name is Bob (another Bob, not me). Scoutmaster Bob told me it was his...

Most conversations concern inconsequential matters

My wife Michelle and I had been away during Thanksgiving, so Saturday we were most thankful to be home again. As I sipped my breakfast coffee, my thoughts drifted to Christmas. Earlier that week we had watched the Mark Twain...

The giving of gift

Over the past several years, I have saved my Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs. These frequent mailings are from a company that offers unique gift items, many of which you cannot purchase anywhere else. I have poked fun at their...

How to transform poverty to affluence

“‘Tis the season to be jolly!” Sol Sunshine tells me. “Too often your weekly homily paints a dark picture of Indiana. Lighten up. Tell us the truth, but spin it on the positive...

House bill's target on grad students short-sighted, tips scales to wealthy

Graduate students at Indiana University and other campuses across the country protested the U.S. House version of “tax reform” Wednesday. They say a particular part of the House proposal would hit them hard, requiring...

Swimming upstream is a journalist's job

CHICAGO – In mid-November, just west of the Windy City, one of America’s most distinguished journalists recalled how hard it is, even in a profession as individualistic as ours, to take a different position on almost...

For Republicans, it's party over everything

Sometimes it’s hard to be cynical enough about the current course of American politics. Astonishing, yet not at all surprising. That was my immediate reaction to the news – largely ignored by national print and...

The Taxpayer Hush Money Fund protects sex abusers in Congress

If you’re a victim of sexual harassment and you work for Congress, you can’t complain to the human resources department. You can’t file a lawsuit, either – at least not until you’ve gone through...

House husband

We were watching TV one evening last week when my wife asked, “Don’t you think it’s about time we moved?” “Sure,” I said. “I’ll stretch out on the floor with a pillow; you take the...

Observing life under a microscope

The first time I peered through a microscope in high school biology class, I saw a comical-looking organism that resembled a cross-eyed “One Way” street arrow. (I think it was called a euglena, but it’s too long...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to over 80 youth baseball players who showed up to New Castle High School, New Castle Little League baseball clinics at the armory the last two Sundays. Thanks to head coach Brad King and all coaches. Eight...

What do you think ...

What’s your favorite Christmas...

As does every business, newspapers change

By DONNA CRONK - dcronk@thecouriertimes.com At least once a week, someone stops by this newspaper’s front desk and says this: “It’s so quiet in here.” Regularly, someone says he heard we’re closing,...

County income disparities

“I can’t listen to more complaints about Trump.” says Hector Huevos. “There’s so much to be done locally and statewide, yet all we hear about is Trump and the adventures of his...

What do you think ...

When do you plan to start Christmas...

Tougher to 'trust the art, not the artist' amid sexual misconduct allegations

There I was gushing with praise last weekend about “American Beauty” to my fiancee’s teenage daughter, explaining the 1999 film’s masterful nuances and fine acting performances. My impromptu review of the...

8 things to know about sexual harassment

No. 1: Looking back, it feels like sexual harassment. As I remember it, many desks in the schools I attended had a picture of a penis drawn or carved into them. Maybe it was smudged because somebody tried to clean it off or paint...

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THUMBS

Thumbs up to Rosalind Richey and Gary Rodgers for spending countless hours researching wind turbines and their PROVEN negative health effects, and for representing Henry County residents in order to improve the poor, existing...

The diminishing importance of etiquette

After a couple years of teaching, I was called in by the administration and appointed chairman of the English department. Our previous chairman had retired the year before and I was elevated past several teachers who had more...

The rest of the world is moving on with global trade

The rest of the world is moving on with global...

Setting contradictory goals for ourselves

Did you hear that? It sounded like trumpets from the State House. A call, an inspiration for all Hoosiers in recognition of our Per Capita Personal Income (PCPI) growing by three percent in 2016, the fifth best rate in the...

Journalists don't 'fake news'

An article by the executive of the Hoosier State Press Association crystallized some of what I want to share with readers about my profession. I’m disturbed by the purposeful efforts of powerful people to discredit...

Moving on Ind. alcohol laws; Sunday carryout proposed, but cold beer still on ice

The 2018 session of the Indiana General Assembly promises to be awash with booze. At this point, however, cold beer won’t be in the mix. There is no guarantee the legislative fight likely to ensue won’t resemble a...

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Hold the mayo

Mary Ellen and I recently exchanged a few words over mayonnaise. Sometimes condiments can be seen as an insult to the chef. Like ketchup, for example. When I pour Heinz over my wife’s beef bourguignon, we always get into a...

Are Millennials raising philanthropic superheroes?

Despite negative stereotypes about millennials, a new national survey of 1,004 American parents shows millennial parents are raising the most charity-conscious generation in history.  Sixty-one percent of millennial parents...

'Healthy holidays'

I am sure you knew this was coming. How do I manage my food intake during the holidays? Especially with all the cakes, cookies and other goodies seemingly everywhere at every holiday gathering. Help! Interestingly enough, I...

Be an outsider at Fall Creek Woods

As I look out my window, only the oak trees are still clinging to their leaves. The forecast calls for more overcast days than sunny, and the daylight is gone shortly after I arrive home from work. My energy level is definitely...

End to Sunday alcohol sale bans could be near

Indiana’s alcohol laws may be changing at last. We’ve written those words before, and, of course, the law hasn’t changed. But the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Retail Council said in...

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Let's reform redistricting in Indiana

Of all the forces shaping our politics today, gerrymandering stands alone as the least discussed and most consequential one. Gerrymandering is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “To divide (a territorial unit) into election...

Feeding off of the community energy

It is always exciting this time of year to read my email or pick up the ringing telephone and engage with an excited person who wants to get knee-deep in our mission. There are many creative approaches that people come up with to...

Gun violence in America: What won't work

I don’t think that anyone will dispute that gun violence has become all too prevalent in this country. It matters not where you live big city or small rural community each and every American faces the same threat and has...

THUMBS

Thumbs up to Beverly Potts of New Castle who won the Neighbors giveaway for a copy of “The Complete Slow Cooker.” This was a popular giveaway with many entrants and we thank all who took the time to enter. The good...

What do you think ...

What are your plans for Black...