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Editorials and columns

We all have to be careful

For months, now, closing in on a year, we have heard about the dangers of the coronavirus and heard that some of us — the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems — are especially at risk of serious complications if they contract the virus. ...

Whitmer continues attack on virus

On Tuesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her Michigan COVID Recovery Plan to help tackle the pandemic and its related impact on Michigan workers, businesses, and our economy. That was the latest in a string of some long-awaited good news and hope on the COVID-19 front as our state and our ...

Let the pros save your pets

Alpena firefighters recently went into the icy Thunder Bay River to save two dogs, one of whom had gone through the ice and into the frigid waters. That heroic act alone would be worth writing about, to point out to readers the good work of our firefighters. But there’s another ...

This country has and will survive

We’ve been here before. Americans fighting other Americans. The horrendous video of an angry mob storming the U.S. Capitol and fighting the authorities is not much different from the young kids who protested the Vietnam war against two sitting presidents and a handful of the kids were shot ...

Support the online film fest

The coronavirus pandemic has driven the Thunder Bay International Film Festival online, and we urge our readers to follow the festival there. The festival begins Wednesday and runs through the end of the month. Single-screening tickets cost $10 per feature film or $12 per themed program or ...

Have to do more on mental health

A recent two-day series of stories by News staff writer Julie Riddle showed us public officials have few tools at their disposal to help people whose mental illness brings them into contact with the criminal justice system. At any given time, some 40% of Alpena County Jail inmates have a ...

Optimistic message from a man of character

Normally, I keep my political thoughts pretty much to myself. But, for those who really know me (meaning I have shared political discussions with them), they know I have always been a Mitt Romney guy. Intrigued by his ties to Michigan, his success in business and organization, and the ...

How can you tell if you’re reading fake news?

Fake news is the problem of our generation. America seems to be living not just in two realities, but hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of individual realities built by no longer caring about the source of information, only whether the information is something we like. We’ve ...

America, we’re better than this

Not leaving anything to chance, maintenance crews and law enforcement officers across the U.S. began boarding up capitol buildings and erecting barricades around perimeters of the buildings this week. The action came as authorities took seriously the FBI’s announcement that they’d picked ...

From ice chest to upright freezer

I was born in 1943, during that interval of time between ice chests and the ability to plug a full-sized freezer into an electrical outlet. In these “in-between” years, refrigerators came with freezers large enough to hold two ice cube trays or a couple Kool-Aid popsicles — but not ...

Here are some ways to recreate responsibly in winter

Winter’s officially here and, along with it, all the opportunities for outdoor recreation that make northern Michigan a great place to spend this time of year. It’s also as good a time as ever to be mindful of the ways we can recreate responsibly, particularly when it comes to our own ...

A bright spot: Welcome new Michiganders!

A solid economic indicator that developers have come to depend on and trust is the number of furniture and possession moves in and out of a state each year. According to the latest numbers from U-Haul officials released this month, Michigan finished 40th in terms of growth this past year. ...

Congrats to Alpena on vaccine rollout

On a per-capita basis, Alpena County is in the top five of Michigan’s counties for the number of doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, a recent analysis of state data by News staff writer Crystal Nelson showed. Nelson’s analysis showed other Northeast Michigan counties ...

Melting pot or a boiling pot?

Some folks make their living by using their hands, others by using their mind, but, in both cases, the commonality is that we all use tools of some sort. It may be a circular saw for a carpenter, a keyboard for a writer, a law library for an attorney. In my case, as a former newspaper ...

Students need more options

The end of November marked the 45th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act going into effect. The federal law enshrined the idea that every child with a disability is entitled to a meaningful education that is as inclusive as possible. Even though time has changed many ...

Keep your heating bills low

As Northeast Michigan heads into the coldest stretch of the year, the winter weather can also stretch our wallets with high heating bills. Financial guru Dave Ramsey offers several tips for keeping those bills low: ∫ Seal up any leaks that let warm air out of your house or ducts, and ...

Infections on Lansing’s opening day

It’s usually a day of celebration as the Michigan Legislature meets to begin the new year. Newly elected members bring their families to the event, and, while no first pitch is tossed out, for politicians, the day is their opening day, and there is usually an air of anticipation and ...

Digital divide maps should be redrawn

One of the most concerning findings of The News team’s recent Digital Divide series on internet connectivity concerns in Northeast Michigan was the inaccuracy of government maps that could keep help from reaching the people who need it. Millions and millions of state, federal, and private ...

Dreading the U.S.-23 detour

This month, “The Latest from the First” looks at the impending shutdown of U.S.-23, which will force a long detour. Maybe you’ve heard the old saying — “In Michigan, there are just two seasons: winter and ‘Road Under Construction.’” Northern Michiganders justifiably fear ...

Congrats, MCO Matthew Dowell

Motor Carrier Officer Matthew Dowell was honored recently as the Michigan State Police’s Motor Carrier Officer of the Year for ethical behavior, dedication to duty, and concern for giving back to the community. Motor carrier officers are often the unsung heroes of the State Police force. ...