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Editorials and columns

Can Congress balance its checkbook?

I received a pleasant surprise last week. My great-great-great-great-grandchildren sent me a check for $1,400. I would like to thank them, but there is a little problem. They aren’t born yet! Confused already? OK, the truth is the U.S. Federal Treasury sent me $1,400 as part of the ...

Whitmer, lawmakers: Get it together

We were dismayed to see the headline in Saturday’s edition of The News saying Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had again vetoed $652 million in coronavirus relief as she and the Republican-controlled Legislature continue their battle over pandemic policy. Whitmer says the allocation ...

Participation trophies don’t help

“DECA is preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready.” That is what you see when you visit DECA’s website, deca.org. DECA is an association for marketing and business students that is focused on developing business and leadership skills in its members ...

Congratulations, cagers!

The Alpena News’ sports headlines on Saturday and Monday were full of cause for celebration for area basketball players. The Alcona girls basketball team bested Whittemore-Prescott 49-23 on Friday in a Division 3 district final, giving the Tigers their first district title since ...

Boost child care, help families

For one family, the child care center down the road remains closed because of the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. The next-closest provider is miles away, and not currently accepting infants. For another, the cost of licensed care in their area is so high that one parent decides to ...

Congrats, News reporters, on MPA wins

The News newsroom doesn’t do what it does for accolades. It does it to make sure you, dear reader, have the information you need to make decisions about the best ways to change your community for the better (and, occasionally, to tell a story that might entertain you). That said, it’s ...

APS committed to openness

In the spirit of Sunshine Week, I find it appropriate to shed some sunlight on both the past and future proceedings of the Alpena Public Schools district. Beginning with its committee meetings the week of April 12, the Alpena Board of Education is scheduled to hold its first in-person ...

UP Republican stands up to peer pressure at Capitol

It’s an insidious little disease that does not have the killing power of COVID-19 but, in the political arena, it is deadly, when it comes to freedom of speech behind closed doors. We’re talking about “caucus discipline,” aka peer-group pressure or group think. It is alive and well ...

Be smart about fire

All Northeast Michigan counties burned on March 22, the day a fast-moving grass fire claimed 86 acres in Alcona County, News staff writer Julie Riddle reported last week. A lidless burn barrel may have caused that fire near Black River Road, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources ...

We need more clarity before next pandemic

I believe the science telling us face masks and social distancing help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and that government-mandated shutdowns — though I don’t agree with every aspect of them — probably saved lives. I also believe the science that tells us depression and anxiety ...

The most beautiful tree I’ve ever laid eyes on

Sometimes little things, simple things, or things of little consequence stick in my mind like a skipping record — playing over and over again. For me, one of those things is a tree that stands exactly one mile south of the I-75 exit to U.S.-23 at Standish. I can’t get that tree out of my ...

Celebrate women conservation officers

As Women’s History Month winds down, we take a moment to pause with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to celebrate women conservation officers — a number of whom serve us right here in Northeast Michigan. In a story featured on The News’ Outdoors page on Saturday, the DNR ...

Many solid foundations are underfoot

Over the years, I have tried to amble along in the company of good people. When they are not immediately available, I go off looking for them. Often, I find evidence of their presence underfoot. Take, for example, the concrete floors at Ella White Elementary School. They were poured in ...

The faith of a child

The recent blue skies and warm sunshine have been so welcome! Who can resist nature’s call this time of the year? Roaming the Norway Ridge trails and taking some wind-whipped jaunts along Lake Huron’s shoreline have left me feeling rejuvenated with the hope that springtime brings. ...

Student reps a great idea

If each of us are doing our jobs well, we’re not only taking home a paycheck for tomorrow’s mortgage payment. We’re also laying another step toward a more prosperous future not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones and our neighbors. That’s perhaps most true for those who work in ...

Making a hopeful forecast

The last month has been full of exciting announcements and headlines about downtown Alpena. The Style Wherehouse opened in their new location where Masters’ Shoes was previously located. Glik’s announced they would be opening in their new, renovated location in Harborside Mall in early ...

Have patience at the shoreline

Warmer, longer days full of more sunshine has us all chomping at the bit to get outdoors and enjoy the splendor God has given us here in Northeast Michigan. We’re right there with you. Bring on spring. Bring on summer. Bring on walks along the Lake Huron shoreline. But we urge everyone to ...

Sunshine is for you — fight for it

Last week, The News highlighted a number of local government officials talking about their jobs, including their powers and the limits on their powers, as part of the newspaper’s annual celebration of Sunshine Week. Started by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors in 2002 and taken ...

COVID-19, state sends mixed signals

To some, it must have felt like a mixed signal. On one hand, the state’s chief medical officer warned everyone that “we could be at the beginning of another surge.” But, on the other hand, there was the governor, telling avid sport fans that their favorite stadium could accommodate ...

Congrats, Nick Freel, on 1,000 points

Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, but the secret to success may be music and peanut butter. That’s Rogers City senior Nick Freel’s pregame ritual, which he credited for his recent ascent into the pantheon of basketball players with at least 1,000 career points. But perhaps it’s ...