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Local columns

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Monday, March 16, the 76th day of 2020. There are 290 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On March 16, 1926, rocket science pioneer Robert H. Goddard successfully tested the first liquid-fueled rocket at his Aunt ...

Government outlaws freelance work

NEW YORK — Freelance jobs are “feudalism,” says California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. She persuaded California’s legislature to pass a new law reclassifying freelance workers as employees. That means many people who hire them must now give them benefits like overtime, ...

Can the government restrict travel to protect public?

WASHINGTON — The issue of whether government in America can quarantine persons against their will, ostensibly for their own health and that of others with whom they may come in contact, requires a dual analysis — one of the powers of the federal government and the other of the powers of the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, March 14, the 74th day of 2020. There are 292 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 14, 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton ...

Recognizing the voice of leadership

WASHINGTON — We’re traveling in a crowded subway car somewhere under Manhattan when, without warning, the car comes to an abrupt halt in a tunnel in between stations. The subway car is plunged into darkness, and our own growing anxiety, along with that of our fellow passengers, is almost ...

Repeal the Patriot Act

WASHINGTON — I have been writing for years about the dangers to human freedom that come from government mass surveillance. The United States was born in a defiant reaction to government surveillance. In the decade preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the villains were the ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, March 13, the 73rd day of 2020. There are 293 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 13, 2013, Jorge Bergoglio (HOHR’-hay behr-GOHG’-lee-oh) of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis; he ...

A good time to make healthy food choices

March has been declared Nutrition Month by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. As part of it, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program is joining with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to remind Michiganders about choosing nutritious foods and ...

We can learn a lot from viruses

TRAVERSE CITY — We can learn a lot from coronavirus. Lesson 1: Life is precious and we are all fragile, so take care of yourself and others, especially the very old and very young, for they are the most vulnerable. Lesson 2: Wash your damned hands, people, and not just after using the ...

The shame of Chuck Schumer

WASHINGTON — Just when you may have thought that the low quality of political rhetoric in Washington could not get any worse, along comes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to prove otherwise. At a pro-choice demonstration outside the Supreme Court, which is considering a Louisiana ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Thursday, March 12, the 72nd day of 2020. There are 294 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On March 12, 1980, a Chicago jury found John Wayne Gacy Jr. guilty of the murders of 33 men and boys. (The next day, Gacy was ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Wednesday, March 11, the 71st day of 2020. There are 295 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan’s northeastern coast, killing nearly 20,000 ...

Will Joe kick it away again?

WASHINGTON — A week ago, the candidacy of Joe Biden was at death’s door. On a taping of “The McLaughlin Group,” this writer suggested it might be time to “call the rectory” and have the monsignor come render last rites. Today, Biden’s candidacy is not only alive. He is first ...

How They Voted

Senate Bill 716, Require legislative authorization for road repair borrowing: Passed 22 to 16 in the Senate To prohibit a state transportation commission from borrowing more than $100 million in any fiscal year without first giving the legislature at least 30 days’ notice. The bill would ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Tuesday, March 10, the 70th day of 2020. There are 296 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 10, 1985, Konstantin U. Chernenko, who was the Soviet Union’s leader for 13 months, died at age 73; he was succeeded ...

Forbidden parenting

NEW YORK — South Carolina mom Debra Harrell worked at McDonald’s. She couldn’t afford day care for Regina, her 9-year-old daughter, so she took her to work. But Regina was bored at McDonald’s. One day, she asked if she could just play in the neighborhood park instead. “I felt safe ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Saturday, March 7, the 67th day of 2020. There are 299 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 7, 1965, a march by civil rights demonstrators was violently broken up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, ...

Do Democrats not understand the 2020 voters?

WASHINGTON — Historically, we Americans have been among the world’s most optimistic people. Why? One reason could be that every American, with the exception of those whose ancestors were already here when Columbus arrived or those whose ancestors were brought here in chains, is either ...

Almanac

By The Associated Press Today in History Today is Friday, March 6, the 66th day of 2020. There are 300 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 6, 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin during World War II. On this date: In ...

Don’t let March fool you

TRAVERSE CITY — We have entered March, the worst, most dispiriting month of the year. It’s a fake, a trickster, a sham, a liar, a temptress and a tease. It’s supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb but it never does. Not in Michigan. Whoever wrote that line must have lived ...