Opinion: Columns

Aug. 23, 2015 @ 09:57 AM

Column: Big day for new school has arrived

With another school year quickly approaching the Caldwell County Schools have much to celebrate with the opening of the new William Lenoir Middle School in Lenoir and adjacent to Hibriten High School.

Aug. 06, 2015 @ 12:51 PM

Column: What the flag meant to my great-great-grandfather

I have studied the Civil War era for 57 years, since I spent a summer on my grandmother’s farm and heard her repeating stories about a grandfather she’d never known, who vanished in the “great war of Northern aggression.” Still, not everyone shares the same veneration for people or things of that time. But people need to know their history — or be doomed to repeat it.

Jul. 11, 2015 @ 02:17 PM

Column: Bravo, South Carolina!

I grew up in Caldwell County. I, too, remember a time when that flag seemed to have less overt racist associations. Since I was a boy (a white boy) our awareness of the manifestations of racial prejudice has, thankfully, increased. However, back then racism was still linked to the battle flag, if only because of the immoral cause it celebrated -- the fight to preserve a state’s right to keep lawful the enslavement of our fellow human beings who were black.

Jul. 04, 2015 @ 05:24 PM

Column: Do you know your rights?

According to this year’s survey, one-third of the public can’t name any First Amendment protections at all. Probably more people know their Miranda rights (”you have the right to remain silent; should you choose not to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you ...”).

Jun. 28, 2015 @ 07:15 PM

Column: The U.S. has too many guns already

Another week of shootings. Another week of people dying. Another week of more funerals and tears. Nine people murdered in a church 11 days ago in Charleston, and the past few days saw funerals for the victims, with the Rev. Clementa Pinckney being eulogized by President Obama.

Jun. 28, 2015 @ 07:15 PM

Column: Does marker honor men or the cause?

On Thursday a woman called asking whether the News-Topic had reported on whether Lenoir was going to dismantle and remove what she called the city’s “Confederate statue.”

Jun. 20, 2015 @ 02:52 PM

Column: Caldwell County's best interests were not served

I and many others were stunned at the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners' decision last week, by a 3-2 margin, to deny reappointments to Bob Floyd Jr. and Dr. Dana Clark to the Economic Development Commission's board of directors, instead opting to appoint a county commissioner, a radio personality and a certified public accountant who has kept a low profile in the county.

Jun. 14, 2015 @ 06:51 AM

Column: Trying more ways to reach young people

As someone under 35, I wonder what the News-Topic would look like if we pulled away from conventional reporting styles. I rely heavily on Facebook and sites like BuzzFeed to give me news outside of Caldwell County because they are easy sites to read, have colorful photos and provide different outlets to respond to the posted contest.

Jun. 13, 2015 @ 04:33 PM

Column: Library made great progress under Greene

As an advocate and lover of our library it saddened me when I heard that we be losing our library director, Sarah Greene. And then I learned that our loss would be Hickory’s gain.

Jun. 13, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

Column: Trying more ways to reach young people

As someone under 35, I wonder what the News-Topic would look like if we pulled away from conventional reporting styles.

Jun. 07, 2015 @ 09:39 AM

Column: Report on colleges is clear as mud

The Brookings Institution thinks Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is doing a great job. At least I think it does. But it’s really hard to tell.

May. 30, 2015 @ 05:02 PM

Column: Fire holds beauty, horror at once

I didn’t stay to watch the old Smith family home at the corner of Abington Road and Harper Avenue burn all the way to the ground.

But it was long enough to be reminded that in fire, beauty and horror are siblings.

May. 23, 2015 @ 03:58 PM

Column: Time to avoid soaking up sun

In my immediate family I have four blue-eyed, blonde (slightly gray now) brothers and sisters. They are typical of individuals who suffer from the effects of too much sun exposure. They are light-skinned and susceptible to burning, especially when they were younger.

May. 12, 2015 @ 08:55 AM

Column: Make the most of Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is that weekend of beautiful flowers, handmade cards and delicious Sunday brunches all designed to honor mothers. The holiday could be said to haves roots as far back as religious holidays of the ancient Greeks and Romans in honor of mother goddesses, but our celebration of Mother’s Day stems from the work of a woman named Anna Jarvis who conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children, according to history.com.

May. 07, 2015 @ 04:16 PM

Column: Honoring our moms — of all kinds

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. I have been pouring over some statistics regarding motherhood. As I watch my kids grow and mature, I am still amazed my wife carried them in her womb for eight and nine months respectively. I don’t know, but there is still so much mystery for me in the process.

May. 02, 2015 @ 06:49 PM

Column: Approach college with serious thought

Graduation is around the corner, and with it come plans for the future that may include military service, college or a job. Over the last several weeks, I have heard several prominent speakers talk about the future and education of our young people, and it has made me think about those graduates.

May. 02, 2015 @ 06:47 PM

Column: Could be better, could be worse

Why so glum, Caldwell County?

Mar. 31, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

Column: From beyond the grave, Mom wins the Internet

My dead mother is more successful on the Internet than I am. It happened Thursday.

Mar. 21, 2015 @ 02:04 PM

Column: Out of trial's glare, Lenoir emerges with reason for pride

Lenoir has been in the news in the state capital’s media more over the past two weeks than it has since Jim Broyhill served in Congress.

So has the name Broyhill.

Mar. 16, 2015 @ 03:26 PM

Next generation will keep journalism alive

When I first told my family and former high school teachers that I was studying to be a journalist, many of their responses went something like this: “But isn’t journalism dying? How long will you have a job?”

Mar. 07, 2015 @ 02:43 PM

Column: The dead hear no tales, but oh, the noise

My mother, who has been dead three years and never lived in Lenoir, received an offer in the mail at my house last week to get a free hearing exam.

“You have received this invitation today because you best represent the segment of the population which is most likely to experience hearing loss and tinnitus."

Feb. 15, 2015 @ 06:25 AM

Column: Hate and anger only destroy

Choosing happiness or hate are both topics that I have encountered this past week.

Feb. 14, 2015 @ 04:24 PM

Column: Don't be a balloon-popper

It takes a special kind of jerk to respond to a young person’s exuberance with bitter cynicism and bile.

Feb. 08, 2015 @ 11:24 AM

Column: Winning lottery would change me

I used to think that if I ever won the lottery, I’d quit my job and become a full-time man of leisure. Maybe set up a foundation like Bill Gates did to choose needy causes worthy of my support. But I was thinking about it a few days ago, after I didn’t win the $311 million Powerball jackpot, and now I’m not so sure.

Jan. 25, 2015 @ 05:52 AM

Column: Men in your phone, women in my head

There’s an online service called Invisible Boyfriend that is intended to help women create a plausible online  I wondered if there would be a demand for an online service called Invisible Husband. But then the voices of all the married women I know started up in the back of my head, telling me what an Invisible Husband would be like.