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With the smells of the holidays (among other things) still hanging in the air, it’s time for another of those annoying “Year in Review” segments that make you want to drown yourself in leftover Rotel dip.

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Gazing out an open sliding-glass door to my left, I can see only clear blue sky and greenish-gray river water. The Suwanee River is well out of its banks, the floodwaters lapping gently at the base of our house. I don’t fear the flood invading the house, built on sturdy concrete stilts to of…

I commend the News-Journal for its coverage of the Longview Lobos state football championship just days ago. It was the first time in 81 years this feat has been achieved. The last time was when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States. I mention this only because the first p…

We’re starting 2019 with a clean slate and first thing on my to-do list is to make a resolution to follow George H.W. Bush’s encouragement to make American a “kinder and gentler” nation through my own words and deeds.

It’s hard for me to believe, but my husband Byron has been gone for seven months now. Getting through the holidays was a struggle at times. People begin warning you of this in October, and start checking on your status in November. (I can’t tell you when the status-checking ends, because it …

Nothing unites politicians more than infrastructure projects. In many places, including Texas, the most prominent and galvanizing opportunity to spend transportation money is high-speed rail. To its proponents, high-speed rail offers transformative potential: Cars will slide into obscurity, …

With a limitless supply of wasteful government spending to target, including their own “Congressional Pig Book” outlining 232 federal earmarks totaling $14.7 billion dollars, my friends at Citizens Against Government Waste have better things to do than write an inaccurate and misleading slam…

Nelson Mandela once said that a society’s soul should be judged by the way it treats its children. In the United States, the soul of our society would be judged harshly, particularly because of the way we treat wards of the state.

I love the songs of Christmas. For many years I was involved in music — playing the piano in recitals, for choirs and ensembles in high school and junior college, as well as singing in and leading a church choir. Alas, all that came to a screeching halt.

I bought a manger scene at a resale store recently. Proud and excited over my “good buy,” I skipped (skipped?) to my car. Alas, I dropped the bag holding the manger and the china figures scattered to the pavement. I was sure everything was shattered, but no, there was only one casualty: Joseph.

As Christmas approaches and homes are festooned with twinkling lights, decorated trees, and culturally inaccurate Nativity sets populated by what appear to be Scandinavian fashion models, my thoughts always turn to hedgehogs. Yes, hedgehogs.

News coverage of Longview’s yearly downtown Christmas parade — with bands marchers and floats — and the illuminated decorations and celebrations surrounding the Gregg County Courthouse reminded me such events bring joy to people of all religious faiths.

At the end of this year, Justice Phil Johnson will retire from the Texas Supreme Court after 13 years of distinguished service. His opinions have left an indelible mark on Texas law, but those of us who have been privileged to work with him know his legacy runs much deeper.

For my last column of 2018, I was planning to ease off my criticism of Donald Trump as we enter the holiday season when spirits should be merry and bright. But the passing of George H.W. Bush a couple of weeks ago put into perspective how a decent human being and a caring president stands in…

Recently, Amazon announced its next headquarters will be in New York and Virginia. Because the two finalists from Texas (Dallas and Austin) lost out on this opportunity for approximately 50,000 new jobs and up to $5 billion in investment, it is important to understand why.

I feared this day might come but I wasn’t really prepared for it when it did. No, I don’t mean the first time I had to remind my 14-year-old middle daughter to shave her armpits. It was when she asked if she could get a piercing on something other than her earlobe.

The popularity of dual credit programs for high school students interested in earning college credit is growing exponentially in Texas. The state now requires that school districts offer at least 12 hours of college credit. Due to the greater accessibility to these courses, students are sign…

The midterm elections are over. Alas, “America First” has become “ME first.” “Make America Great Again” has become “Make ME Great Again,” regardless of the cost.

As has been widely reported, Texas is sending two Latinas to serve in the U.S. House in January. State Sen. (and proud Texas Woman’s University alumna) Sylvia Garcia will replace Gene Green in Houston’s Congressional District 29 and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar will replace B…

As a 10-year-old schoolboy living in Fort Worth in 1956, I vaguely remember that year’s presidential election. I recall that Dwight Eisenhower, the popular hero of WWII, was running for re-election with Richard Nixon as vice president on the Republican ticket. Millions of campaign signs and …

Today, too many Americans consider Thanksgiving as a mere speed bump on the way to Christmas, a chance to fuel up for Black Friday, when they’ll need their energy to cage-fight each other for an Instant Pot shaped like R2-D2 or a television the size of Guam.

A week ago today, my husband and I attended Temple Emanu-El in Longview. We were there for the prayer service for the congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a deranged shooter killed 11 members Oct. 27.

Recent rhetoric and threats have added additional fuel to the already simmering trade war between the United States and China. Stock markets and business leaders around the globe respond immediately and significantly to the ebb and flow of the situation, and we can expect ongoing volatility …

The Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court brought to light what was already apparent to many: America is bitterly divided ideologically, culturally and socially. Middle ground hasn’t disappeared, but it is rapidly fading from view. Both the left and the right have sharpened th…

I appreciate Kevin McQuaid mentioning me as a friend in his recent letter to the News-Journal (Oct. 9). Probably a better term for him to describe me is nemesis, because every time I bring up a pro-choice topic, he and half a dozen other readers criticize me for supporting abortions.

In the city of Longview, we have 172 sworn police officers and 170 certified Longview firefighters. Every day, at all hours, these men and women put on their uniforms and go to work proudly protecting our city and citizens. Each individual risks his or her life to protect mine and my family.…

The News-Journal’s endorsement  of U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke in his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz brings to mind the old fable about the camel in the tent. It was brutally cold in the desert and the traveling Bedouin had pitched his tent for the night. His camel was outside, and while the Bedouin…

I read your editorial (Opinion, Sunday) and agree that much of what Christus Health has done for our community after buying Good Shepherd Medical Center thus far sounds good. But I have some concerns about what this new owner has been doing to increase what we pay for health care.

Two of my recent columns gave analyses of the future of Medicare and Medicaid based on research by AARP. But there’s another important component that forms the backbone of America’s safety net for seniors, Social Security, and it also deserves a closer look.

With school back in full swing, I’d like to say a few words about teachers, without whom none of us would know what in the heck to do with the word “whom.”

Mention the word “conservative” to 21st century Americans and numerous associations may spring into mind. Some may think only of combative talk radio hosts or Fox News commentators. Somewhat older Americans will conjure up memories of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, or of the iconic polym…

High school cosmetology programs equip young people to start well-paying, professional careers debt-free, right after graduation. These jobs can be a full-time, long-term career or a flexible option if graduates intend to practice cosmetology part time to help pay for college or when caring …

As I write this, the hearing of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled for later this week. There could have been one and possibly two other witnesses to testify against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

When I was growing up, buying a house was considered the American Dream. Today, a shrinking labor pool of construction workers has made that dream less attainable. Houses are becoming more expensive. That’s one reason many young people cannot afford a home of their own.

The newest Army Command is coming to Austin. Army Futures Command is part of a historic reorganization of the Army and is the first new 4-star Command in 45 years. It’s a notable departure for the Army, being located in an urban area (rather than a military base) and having an express missio…

Yes, it’s that time of year again! Not only does every product in the world economy suffer from widespread pumpkin spice contamination but entire nacho-crazed communities across America have succumbed to the yearly epidemic of Friday night high school football mania.

I was 14 when I saw innocent children on TV locked up like animals. In the midst of the 2014 American Immigration crisis, I vividly recall watching the news with my dad and the utter shock I felt when I saw the photos of kids in cages in border patrol centers. How could anyone allow this to …

Texas Republicans must be getting nervous about the midterm elections on Nov. 6, based on recent actions by GOP operatives trying to disenfranchise thousands of minority voters in the Houston area who tend to vote for Democratic candidates.

At 5 p.m. on July 7, the hospital in Stamford (40 miles north of Abilene) closed. At that jarring moment, an organization that had met community needs 24/7/365 for more than 50 years ceased to exist. More than 80 good jobs disappeared. But there was virtually no media coverage. We were trans…