Editorials and columns

Using Kids Count to turn data into action

The Michigan League for Public Policy has produced the Kids Count in Michigan Data Book since 1992. And, while child well-being in Michigan has fluctuated during the last 27 years, a few things have been constant: the integrity of our data, the goal to generate policy change, and the intent to ...

Thank you, law enforcement officers

Each day this week, criminal justice reporter Julie Riddle is profiling a law enforcement officer from various Northeast Michigan agencies in honor of National Police Week. On Monday, we met Patrolman Adam David, of the Alpena Police Department, who was inspired into police work by his ...

Many cooks in the no-fault kitchen

The irony of the moment was not lost on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. There she was, taking a victory lap on a bipartisan plan to block law enforcement from keeping confiscated property from suspected drug dealers who were never convicted of a crime. Standing about six feet in back of her was the ...

Compassion, courage more common than evil

Two armed teenagers bent on carrying out a massacre invaded STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado on Tuesday. Life-saving courage enough was shown by a school security guard who ran toward the sound of gunfire and apprehended one of the assailants. At least the guard, a Marine veteran, ...

She’s right: Graduation is not a solo adventure

Alpena Community College kicked off the 2019 graduation season on Thursday as about 150 of their 337 graduates turned their tassels in the college’s commencement ceremonies. The photo taken by News reporter Crystal Nelson showed the joy, excitement and nervousness in students’ faces as ...

Tuesday’s APS defeat was a statement from voters

Pundits and prognosticators much smarter than I now have the task in front of them to try and decipher the meaning of the vote this week regarding Alpena Public Schools’ bond request. For what it’s worth, however, as I have sat and analyzed the lopsided results Tuesday, I trace the roots ...

All hail the mighty newspaper carrier

EDITOR’S NOTE: Before we begin this column, a note of correction. Last week, I wrote about the importance of thinking and reading critically. In that column, I wrote about a University of Connecticut study in which researchers directed students to a website detailing the fictional tree ...

Is smoking ban more gov’t intrusion?

Where is the line in the sand drawn regarding government’s regulations of rights people have enjoyed for years? In Alpena, that line could be drawn at city beaches this summer. The Municipal Council approved moving forward with an ordinance this week that would prohibit smoking of ...

DDA’s pot vote shows changing times

The times, they are a changin’. So was the title of Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic. We were reminded of that song this week after reading of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority’s recommendation to the Alpena Municipal Council that the city allow “up to two medical marijuana ...

Economic development requires patience

A park. No, not a park. A parking lot. Except we don’t need more parking. We just need people willing to walk to their destination. We need more parking, but not in a lot. A parking garage would be better. But it must be free parking. An apartment complex would be great in that space. But ...

Extinction will happen, but we can do our part

It is inevitable that some of the 8 million or so species of plant and animals on our Earth will go extinct within the next few decades. Some will die out this year. In many ways, nature is no guardian of biodiversity. Human activity is accelerating the rate of die-offs, scientists warn. ...

Inside the Democrats’ plans to destroy America’s jobs boom

If you’re looking for work, this is the best job market in 50 years. The economy is soaring. But Democrats running for president are pitching plans that will destroy millions of jobs, doubling the number of people out of work. Consider “Medicare for All.” It could wipe out a ...

Apparently, some people in America just don’t matter much

There are people who do not matter much. That’s a painful truth, starkly at odds with our Jeffersonian creed and national mythology. But it is a truth, nevertheless, one frequently proven in actions if denied in words. In this country, by dint of race, gender, class or status, some people ...

On bears and other wildlife, listen to the DNR

Ah, spring. Sun’s starting shine. Grass is greening. Flowers soon to bloom. Birds chirping, hungry for the feeder you’re all too happy to refill ... ... and bears waking up from their winter slumber, lumbering into your back yard for a nibble. On Monday, News reporter Julie Riddle ...

Getting outdoors to get healthy

This past weekend, I spent a few hours outside in the garden beds. I’m not a very good gardener. I enjoy giving it my best attempt, though. Every spring, I look forward to being able to get outside and make the garden beds look fresh and colorful. I started vegetable seeds in the house a ...

Consider alternative paths to education

High school dropout rates among school districts in the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District ranged from about 3% to 7.5% last school year. That’s better than the statewide rate of nearly 9%, but it’s still troubling to think that dozens of Northeast Michigan students are ...

Whitmer’s legislative wishes may have just been granted

Make no mistake. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is sincere in her desire to foster bipartisan cooperation with the Republicans who control the state House and Senate. But don’t kid youself. If she possessed a magic wand to put the Democrats in charge of the Legislature, she would wave it in a ...

A week of good news for Alpena High

Alpena High School has had plenty to celebrate in the past week. First, last Monday came the news that several Alpena High students had medaled at the Michigan Science Olympiad Tournament. Rhea Gereau and Aiden Cardwell earned fourth place in Write It Do It and James Peterson and Matthew ...

HUNT folks right: Transparency is key

Mike Hahn of the Michigan State Police is one of those guys you always want on your side. Smart, sensible and fair, he is the type of person that, when he speaks, you know you want to listen. And listen carefully. Thus, when the assistant commander of the Michigan State Police’s 7th ...

The importance of thinking, reading critically

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the website detailing the fictional endangered tree octopus was used by University of Connecticut researchers but was not created by them. The source of the website was incorrect in an earlier version of this story. Back in the ...