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OXFORD — It’s almost like being in a time warp from my teen-age years, when drive-in movies were in their heyday and Mississippi families grew their own vegetables and had a few chickens to produce eggs and an occasional chicken dinner.

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The current predicament of our country brings a whole new meaning to the word “coronation.” It’s hard to believe that a nation that won its independence from what was, at the time, the most powerful empire on earth; survived and remained united after a terrible civil war; helped the world wi…

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It has to be a strange time for Greenwood Leflore Hospital and the people who work there.

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JACKSON — Now that Americans are sufficiently scared by COVID-19 to start washing their hands, it’s time to start thinking about the economic damage caused by social distancing.

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COLUMBIA — Last week I wrote about finding comfort from coronavirus worries through family and faith (as well as golf and a bag of Doritos). This week I’ve found another place where the light of hope is shining through the cracks: science and medicine.

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STARKVILLE — A lot of Mississippians are lying awake at night these days, worried about their loved ones, worried about their health, worried about their jobs and businesses, and worried mightily about the future of the U.S. economy and what impacts that will have on Mississippi.

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OXFORD — Some people say you shouldn’t pass along and laugh at jokes about the current national crisis, but I can’t help it.

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For the first 300 years of Christianity, it was mortally dangerous to profess to be a believer in Jesus Christ’s divinity and to practice the faith.

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JACKSON — A hoax is a humorous or malicious deception. A scam is a dishonest scheme or swindle. It’s a hoax for profit. Hoaxes have made fools of the unwary, and scams have taken unwitting victims for a long time. How do you avoid getting taken?

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NORTH CARROLLTON — For Catholics and some Protestants, this is the season of Lent. Recently, I looked up the meaning of the word “Lent,” and discovered that its origin is an old Dutch word that simply means “spring.” When we think of spring, we think of newness of life, new beginnings. But w…

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STARKVILLE — As a child in the mid-1960s, I remember standing in a line out the door and into the parking lot of the school building where my twin sister and I received our oral polio vaccine. We stood with hundreds of rural Mississippians in the hot sun, waiting on that magic sugar cube.

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COLUMBIA — Arriving home from work Monday, I felt uneasy. How will businesses survive as people worldwide practice “social distancing” to avoid spreading the coronavirus? Will there be enough food on the shelves? How long will schools be closed? Will, or perhaps more accurately when, will th…

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OXFORD — The national debt isn’t my biggest concern in relation to the coronavirus, and obviously it isn’t President Trump’s either.

JACKSON — Being a rural state without a large metropolitan area has been a vexing problem for Mississippi, but in this latest world crisis, it is a boon.

MERIDIAN — Running for governor, Tate Reeves touted the successes achieved over eight years with Phil Bryant as governor and himself as lieutenant governor.

STARKVILLE – As the Democratic presidential primary came into focus in Mississippi over the weekend, it was interesting to observe just how closely the race in Mississippi mirrored the national narrative.

OXFORD — Jimmie McDowell’s obituary took up half a page in Sunday’s Clarion Ledger, and he would have like it that way.

A few weeks ago, I received an op-ed column in the mail from a reader in Southwest Mississippi who thought I might be interested in what the author of the column had to say.

JACKSON — Five hundred Mississippi landowners scored a big victory in Natchez recently in their quest to be reimbursed a billion dollars by the federal government for flooding their land.

STARKVILLE — While the state of Mississippi currently has no known or reported cases, the growing global concern over probable U.S. impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic certainly should not be wasted on Mississippians.

OXFORD — A federal appeals court ruling in New York last week doesn’t bode well for Second Amendment sanctuaries if they are ever put to a reality test.

One could argue that Judge Jeff Weill threw the baby out with the bath water when he decided to throw out all the absentee ballots in former Leflore County Supervisor Wayne Self’s unsuccessful effort to have his defeat in November overturned.

JACKSON — Medical Marijuana 2020 has run into some opposition in its campaign to bring medical marijuana. Mississippi Board of Health unanimously voted to oppose the measure, which will be on the November ballot.

MERIDIAN — Politicians tend to be adept at tactical political thinking. How do I win the next election? How do I get this project my financial backers want approved? How do I keep special interest groups on my side? And so on.

STARKVILLE — How does one capture the contradictions and complexities of the life of Forest attorney Oliver Beamon Triplett, who died last week at the age of 81?

OXFORD — Some people, myself included, wonder at the level of support President Trump appears to have from conservative Christians, considering the president’s unChristian conduct, past and present.

When Dr. William Bynum Jr. resigned as president of Jackson State University a couple of weeks ago after being caught in a prostitution sting, a few memories about his time at Mississippi Valley State University came immediately to mind.

MERIDIAN — As you lurch over another crevice in your favorite rural highway, here are some facts you can use to dull your senses. That apparently works for our state leaders.

JACKSON — Shortly after relocating to Mississippi last summer, I came face to face with the state’s racist past and the inescapable reality of its existing racial tensions.

OXFORD — I doubt there is anyone in Mississippi living in a million-dollar house with a swimming pool drawing welfare or Medicaid unless that person is a live-in servant.

JACKSON — Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, citing a litany of state needs, caused by everything from flooding to problems in the prison system, says “the only thing missing is pestilence” and theorized that an invasion of crickets might be next.

The fiasco from using a buggy app to try to compile the results a couple of weeks ago in the Iowa Democratic caucuses has reinforced the conclusion that when it comes to elections, paper is superior to paperless.

JACKSON — Over the last 30 years as a member of the Mississippi Press Association, I have attended dozens of “roasts.” It is MPA’s main fundraiser for its education foundation, which supports journalism internships for Mississippi college students.

JACKSON — Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is right to bow up about state retirees serving in the Legislature.

STARKVILLE — State Rep. Carl Mickens of Brooksville is from the northern part of Noxubee County. A former Noxubee County circuit clerk and justice court judge, Mickens is a second-term Democratic lawmaker who is apparently quite popular with his home county’s voters.

MADISON — With so much in the news these days about violence in Mississippi prisons, it is difficult to tune in to any news or social media outlet and not hear someone advocating for prison reform. These conversations have brought me back in time to a place in my life that was dismal and dif…

STARKVILLE — Mississippi is one of three states that will vote on some type of marijuana-related referendum in the November 2020 elections, the others being New Jersey and South Dakota. Up to eight additional states could get referendums before their votes in 2020, but so far only three stat…

OXFORD — Unlike in some Mississippi prison controversies of the past, nobody’s talking about trusties in the current crisis.

MADISON — I was about 5 years old when my Dad took me hunting for the first time. The magic of those mornings sitting with him in the “hickory stand” looking at the towering trees above and the sound of woods waking up around us still resonate with me today. As do the drives to my grandparen…

JACKSON — Imagine if Mississippi had a government agency that regulated the building of restaurants according to a centralized plan hatched by bureaucrats on the needs of the state’s foodies.

MERIDIAN — In his inauguration speech, new Gov. Tate Reeves promised, “This will be an administration for all Mississippi,” as reported by the Clarion-Ledger. “Governing is about coming together,” he said and proclaimed a new motto for his first term, “For. All. Mississippi.”

COLUMBIA — In the year 2000, this nation had 78,000 news reporters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number has since fallen by more than 36%. That’s nearly 30,000 less people gathering the information that is vital for a democracy to make informed decisions.

OXFORD — Iowa is getting the current national publicity, but Mississippi also will have a presidential primary in about six weeks.

This past week’s 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was marked, as it is annually, by opposing rallies in Washington for either overturning or for upholding the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand.

JACKSON — Mississippi House Speaker Phillip Gunn recently said, “Corrections is the most pressing issue we have now.”

RIDGELAND — The Oscar nominations were revealed last week, and there is renewed criticism that the Academy members neglect diversity when making selections.

JACKSON — The new year brought a new legislative session to Jackson. It also brought new estimates from the Census Bureau on Mississippi’s population.

MERIDIAN — Longtime Mississippi Republicans will remember political consultant Stuart Stevens for his work on early campaigns for the late Sen. Thad Cochran. Since those early races, he has become a highly successful media strategist and has helped elect numerous Republican governors and senators.

STARKVILLE — It’s easy to blame the Mississippi Legislature for the state’s current prison system woes, but the truth is that such finger-pointing is inaccurate. The state’s current prison mess has been at least 25 years in the making.

OXFORD —The likely November rematch between Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy for one of Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seats is a reminder that Mississippi lacks the power it once had at the nation’s Capitol.

JACKSON — Mississippi has a lot of wonderful people. One of them is Sam Polles, 27-year executive director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Mississippi traditionally leads the nation in health professional shortage areas, which means that we do not have enough health-care providers for the population. One notable inclusion to this health disparity is the lack of dental coverage, especially in rural areas.

RIDGELAND — In October 1982, I made a long-awaited pilgrimage to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. After touring the house, I walked with others to his gravesite.