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Editorials and columns

Alpena, Alpena Township have to get it done

When, as News staff writer Steve Schulwitz recently reported, the Michigan Supreme Court denied Alpena Township’s appeal in its yearslong court battle with Alpena over water and sewer rates, the justices sent a clear signal that the fight must be settled locally. Even before the Supreme ...

The Alcona-Iosco county line

Alcona County, “First of the 83,” looks south to faraway Iosco County this month. Harrisville is equidistant between Alpena and Tawas City, and between Ossineke and Oscoda. Is Alcona more in the orbit of Alpena County or Iosco? Some say that Up North begins at the Alcona-Iosco county ...

Let’s remember what’s essential

My great-grandmother made the world’s best strawberry-rhubarb pie. She paid me in pie for mowing her lawn — on the riding mower out on the acreage, which was fun, and with one of those old-school, motorless, manual mowers up close to the house, which was not. Great-Grandma Baker’s ...

The church is ready for post-pandemic world

I looked around at a full church last Sunday on Easter. By all accounts, the one I attended was pretty full, compared to weeks previous. So were many around the community, the state, and the country last week. While Easter Sunday will do that at most church services, last week’s was ...

Public defender office the right move

The only true justice comes after a fair fight. Our Constitution guarantees every person charged with a crime the right to an attorney who can raise a sound defense in open court. That means the state must pay to hire an attorney to defend those who can’t afford to hire an attorney for ...

Pleasant reflections on Wellington Township

Only a couple paved road surfaces — the rest are gravel — no traffic lights or street lights; instead, starlight and moonlight. There is no Main street, no Main Street businesses — no businesses at all. But there are back roads — all that’s needed, providing you’re not in a tizzy ...

God gives us many Toms

The man with the needle looked more nervous than I was. He pawed through paperwork, then picked up the syringe between inexpert fingertips and fumbled for a cleaning wipe. He was gray at the temples, kind-looking, and definitely not a medical professional. His name was Tom, and his name tag ...

Youth and Rec needs to be big this year

The coronavirus took something from each of us. If not a loved one who perished from the disease, it took away our job or our business or our favorite gathering place. It took away our chance to see friends and loved ones and celebrate milestones. We feel worst for our children. In the ...

Celebrate Brown Trout return, but make sure we get there

Nothing beats Northeast Michigan in the summer. Well, really, nothing beats Northeast Michigan anytime, but our home truly becomes a magical place when the sun shines, the woods fill with lush green, the wildlife scampers about, and swimmers, boaters, and anglers dot Lake Huron and our many ...

Keep up the good work on vaccines

Reading Tuesday’s edition of The News thrilled us. To see that Presque Isle County leads the state in its vaccination rates and that all four Northeast Michigan counties have earned a spot in the top 10 overjoyed us. Much credit goes to our public health officials, pharmacists, doctors ...

Boost growth through this tax change

Michigan policy can encourage job growth with a simple change to how its corporate income tax system treats the cost of equipment. When the state taxes a business based on how much income it earns, state administrators have to figure out how the business should account for its expenses when ...

Thank you to all who keep us safe

Last spring, while the world was hopeful the coronavirus pandemic would be short-lived, it seemed as if Northeast Michigan might be spared entirely. While cases piled up mostly in the Detroit area, Northeast Michigan went weeks without a single infection. Then, on April 6, 2020 — one year ...

Sports, spring break, and the virus

The COVID-19 exchange between two of the most vulnerable states in the country is in full bloom. Half the state of Michigan is packing its COVID-19 and its variants and heading to Florida to share with those good folks. In return, Floridians, who are filling the bars and restaurants to the ...

Glad to see frogbit tackled

When you live in God’s country, like all of us fortunate enough to call Northeast Michigan home, some of the biggest threats to your way of life are invasive species. That’s why we were glad to read on a recent Lifestyles page that the board at the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary expect help ...

Why we want to hear from conservatives

Over the past couple of weeks, many readers have reached out to me to comment on or ask questions about The News’ efforts to survey conservatives on their views of newspapers and journalism. Let me explain what we’re doing. Especially since the 2016 election and doubly especially ...

Freedom and fond memories after vaccination

I can still remember waiting in line as a young boy with my elementary school classmates to receive a polio vaccine. I remember it being a “big deal” in my family, and the vaccine was unique in that I received one of the oral vaccines contained in a sugar cube. As an adult, I understood ...

Thank you, hospital, for homebound vaccines

For many people, the hardest part about getting the coronavirus vaccine is getting to the hospital or clinic to get the shot. Understanding that, MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena formed teams of mobile vaccinators who put 50 shots in arms last week, News staff writer Julie Riddle recently ...

Wondering what’s in a name-calling

If you have arrived at your current stage of life without encountering Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement, then you have been presenting arguments unaware of their effectiveness rating. This sheltered existence is about to end. But, first, some background: My surname is Pugh. It’s not ...

Why do wetlands matter?

The calls of red-winged blackbirds are returning to Northern Michigan just as our cattail marshes, their preferred nesting habitat, swell with snowmelt. Soon their sunset songs will be joined by a chorus of all kinds of frogs and buzzing insects, drawn to the same wetlands for the very same ...

Future teachers, we need you

We were excited to read reporter Crystal Nelson’s recent story saying Alcona Community Schools had recently received $10,000 from the state to help students in middle school and high school explore careers in education. Teachers are the foundation of the nation. The skills and work ethic ...