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Editorials and columns

Whitmer vs. Trump in 2022?

In 2022, incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will face some GOP opponent in her bid for four more years, but for the first time she is conceding she may face another indirect opponent namely former President Donald Trump. “Sadly that’s what happened last time,” she notes and she does not ...

2020 threw us for a major curve

A decade ago, 2010, we never heard of Uber or Lyft ground transportation, Airbnb accommodation rental, DoorDash or Grubhub food delivery services, Zoom videoconferencing, advancements in Hepatitis C treatment, Amazon’s talking Alexa, a vast selection of grocery meal kits, the handheld iPad, ...

Congrats, Alpena hospital, on safety score

MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena recently received an A in a national patient safety report. The Leapfrog Group said the hospital saw considerable achievement in its handwashing and ability to treat infections in the urinary tract, News staff writer Crystal Nelson recently reported. The ...

For a better 2021, are you willing to change?

Can we just return to a kinder, gentler way of life in 2021? Would that be asking for too much? In my line of business, I talk to a lot of people each week. And, in nine out of every 10 conversations of late, the discussion usually circles back to the opening premise of today’s column. ...

Good riddance to 2020, the year of bad news

Hard though it may be for our most ardent critics to believe, we journalists take no pleasure in writing bad news. Sure, we are satisfied by a job well done, especially when we know we’ve uncovered a wrong and our writing inspires action to correct that wrong. There may even be some thrill ...

Stay safe out on the ice

Winter has officially arrived and, with it, cold temperatures. But don’t take for granted that, just because the calendar has ushered in the newest season, the ice out on the lakes is necessarily safe, yet, for fishing. Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials remind anglers ...

Remembering a Christmas painting

This column appeared at Christmas time last year. I’ve improved it some. There hasn’t been a column I’ve written that couldn’t be improved — some more than others. This one is one of my favorites. In the doctor’s lounge at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena hangs a painting. ...

What Mary and Joseph taught us

Each Christmas, I read through the Gospel accounts of the Birth of Christ in order to gain a fresh awareness of God’s generosity in giving us the gift of His Son. This year, a long-forgotten memory from my second-grade religion class surfaced. I had arrived late and was seated toward the ...

The new year and Great Conjunction

This past Monday marked the winter solstice, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. Monday also marked a rare astrological event: from our view here on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn appeared aligned in the night sky in an event called the Great ...

There is always hope, after all

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will ...

Angel donors put in their share

Last month, Anne Gentry (my daughter) wrote an article, “Couldn’t we all use a Clarence?”, telling the story of the angel named Clarence from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Clarence helps George Bailey discover how his life has touched so many and to never forget the ...

Lame-duck COVID-19 aid a win for workers, businesses

On Monday, the Michigan Legislature wrapped up the 2019-20 session by delivering some major gifts to Michigan residents in the Alpena area and around the state. That included the bipartisan passage of $465 million in supplemental budget funding to provide immediate help to Michigan workers, ...

Get your carbon monoxide detector now

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible, and deadly gas heavy on the minds of paramedics and other medical responders this time of year as homeowners fire up furnaces and space heaters to stay warm. Common devices in the home, from lanterns and fireplaces to clothes dryers and stoves, can ...

Whitmer says she’d have said yes

For that half a year, Whitmer pirouetted around the news hounds in the state Capitol press corps, as members kept asking and she kept dancing. Until last week. But it wasn’t easy. So, with her dentist husband in the next room, waiting to come on camera, it was like pulling teeth to get ...

Dear readers, please be safe this Christmas

The one guest no one wants this Christmas is the coronavirus bug, so we implore all of our readers to make smart choices and follow the advice of the nation’s public health experts. Don’t travel for the holidays. Keep your gatherings small, limited to your household or no more than ...

More than 120 years of smiles

Sometimes, we just need a smile. I get one this time of year when talking to my 6-year-old daughter about Santa Claus. A child wrapped in the wonder of the world opening up to her through her budding ability to read, she clings mightily to the magic of Christmas. She talks about Santa, ...

Lessons learned from the most famous theologian in Alpena

I moved to Grand Rapids from Alpena when I was 18 to study at Cornerstone University, an evangelical school. Though I had been to Grand Rapids before, moving there was something of a culture shock. Until then, I had never driven on a highway other than the long and empty stretches that ...

It’s still OK to not be OK

The coronavirus is taking its toll on all of us, whether or not we’re among the more than 1,800 Northeast Michiganders infected with the virus since the pandemic reached Michigan in mid-March or among the dozens of families who’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19. Maybe we’ve lost our job. ...

Christmas traditions shine brightly around town

Traditions are the thread and fabric that help bind one generation to another. And, while all traditions are important, perhaps there are none more important than those at Christmas. Christmas traditions seem more special, more magical, and more important. While the Speer home has ...

I know Santa Claus; he subscribes to The News

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I know. He’s a subscriber to The News. The Big Man in Red appreciates a good community newspaper, with its tales of good people doing good things, its celebrations of successes big and small, its annual commitment to chronicling the holiday ...