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Editorials and columns

Respect your dispatchers

News staff writer Julie Riddle recently spent a day hanging out with Alpena County’s 911 dispatchers. Her story revealed some fascinating details about the important role dispatchers play in helping emergency crews respond to crises and about the high-stress environment in which they ...

Get over yourself, wear a mask

More than 130,000 of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, and friends have succumbed to COVID-19 so far. That’s already more souls — in five short months — than we lost in all of World War I, which lasted four years. At current pace, we’ll lose ...

Stay vigilant

Now is not the time to let our guard down. Most of Michigan’s economy has reopened after months of harsh measures — stay-home orders, business closures, and more — slowed the spread of the coronavirus. But, with that reopening, public health officials asked us to maintain certain ...

Facebook boycott only part of the solution

Let’s begin with this: Facebook is different from other publishers. Unlike newspapers, book publishers, and online news sources, Facebook doesn’t generate much of its own content. It’s a host, a platform for other people to post their content, and, therefore, should held to a ...

Welcome, Brown Trout anglers!

Welcome, fishing teams, to Thunder Bay and Lake Huron for the beginning of another Michigan Brown Trout Festival! While this year’s festival, the 46th, will look nothing at all like previous ones, the fishing in Lake Huron will be just as good — if not better — than years past. Yes ...

An alternate entry to the fair

There will be no fair this year, a casualty of the virus that has closed our midways. No horses, cattle, or pigs in barns you can smell before walking through them. No games of chance, no rides, no haunted houses along a midway you can stroll. It will be another year before you can set your ...

Taken captive

“Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken. “Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. “But if you will not listen, my ...

Dear Congress: Support local newspapers

In the past five months, Congress has responded to the coronavirus public health crisis with several emergency relief measures, including the stimulus checks sent to individuals and households, payroll protections to small businesses, expanded unemployment payments, fee waivers for borrowing ...

Important to read the river to boost your fishing, fun

There’s a story I tell my fishing friends to explain why they’re not catching anything in their “hotspot,” when it was paying off just a week prior, and it involves 80,000 people dancing in the Tennessee countryside. For most of the year, a field outside Manchester, Tennessee sits ...

Here’s my COVID-19 antidote

You may be clamoring for more news about the worldwide coronavirus, but I am not. Right now, I know this virus is deadly, highly contagious, and has no vaccine. I know I need to wash my hands, avoid touching my face, be cautious in public, and wear a mask. But I am so over the politics of ...

Great Lakes economies didn’t need this setback

While a recent story in The News focused on some economic problems for the Great Lakes shipping industry, what wasn’t so evident, yet probably is every bit as real, is that the story also portends problems for Great Lakes state economies, as well. Certainly, COVID-19 has changed life as we ...

Consider flood insurance

A new report says the Federal Emergency Management Agency may severely underreport the number of American properties at risk of flooding, because the federal agency relies on too-limited information to forecast risk. As News staff reporter Steve Schulwitz reported recently, the First Street ...

State can reopen without biz subsidy

The administrators of Michigan’s economic development programs are handing out few awards for business expansion in the pandemic. In other words, they have effectively “unilaterally disarmed” the state in the battle for jobs. As the state reopens, they ought to ask for a general ...

Consider flood insurance

A new report says the Federal Emergency Management Agency may severely underreport the number of American properties at risk of flooding because it relies on too-limited information to forecast risk. As News staff reporter Steve Schulwitz reported recently, the First Street Foundation ...

Face masks and freedom clash

Individual freedom — or liberty, as some folks like to call it — is a beautiful thing. It goes to the very heart of our democracy in that, if you are not breaking the law, you are pretty much free to do as you please. But, with all beautiful things, there can also be a downside to ...

Do your part: Pay with exact change

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of so many things we previously took for granted: Our health, our work, our freedom, toilet paper. And, now, add to that list: change. The pandemic and the economic shutdowns meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have slowed both ...

We must support public health agencies

The Associated Press and Kaiser Health News recently partnered for a devastating report showing public health agencies nationwide were financially gutted for decades before the coronavirus pandemic hit, leaving them ill-prepared for responding to the greatest health emergency this nation has ...

Folks, you think you’re baking now?

If you think this is hot, you should have been around in 1936 — now that was a scorcher! Of course, to remember it, you would have to be 84 or older today, and, no, I do not fall into that category. Our good friends at the National Weather Service in Gaylord have fantastic records, ...

Our newsrooms need a lot more diversity

I have made mistakes as a reporter covering members of my community who are not white. I have made mistakes though one of my mother’s oft-repeated lessons was that we are all God’s children, that we all bleed the same red blood, and that the truest thing that’s ever been said is ...

Celebrate the sounds of freedom

Because freedom comes with a cost, those who defend it never rest. As a result, northern Michigan residents will play host again this month to Northern Strike, a very practical and useful training exercise for various National Guard units, law enforcement agencies, and active military ...