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Hemp: Real deal or flash in pan?

Many take wait-and-see approach on hemp growing until state writes regulations

19-year-old held in neighborhood shooting

Cool reception for Halifax County budget

School advocates, farmers, property owners all find something not to like

Sports

Comet softball routs Tunstall 19-2 to stay perfect at 3-0


Community


Opinion


A&E

Opinion

Rescue operation

How much is it worth to you to have a trained medic on standby to save your life in the event of an emergency?

Questions and answers

I ran into three people this week who sought out my opinion on three separate items in the news. That, of course, was all the fodder I needed for today’s column:

Back in black

The issue of ag/forestal districts is back on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda, and it’s clear the votes are there to pass the policy with room to spare. I wrote a series of columns last year outlining why I think ag/forestal districts are a middling-to-bad idea, and nothing has changed since then to warrant a change of heart. That said, I do think county officials have come up with a reasonably thoughtful proposal, regardless of how misguided the notion may (or may not) be.

BTU overdrive

First rule for countering groupthink: When everyone else agrees on a plan of action, that’s when you should become suspicious. Conventional wisdom now says the path to a healthy Southside economy begins with the development of alternative energy technologies. By harvesting our natural resources in innovative ways, so we are told, Southside can become the Saudi Arabia of wood scrap, corn cobs, chicken poop or whatever.

Crime and punishment

Much to get to this week: Let’s start with Jeff Oakes. With the former sheriff stuck with a $37.50 fine for low crimes and misdemeanors (his jury bill, on the other hand, will run $1,620) people will debate ad nauseam whether the investigation into the wiped computer at the Sheriff’s Office was worth the time, money and effort, coming as it did at taxpayer expense.

Clear cut

With all the trimming, hemming and hawing that occurs in politics, it’s rare to experience a moment when clarity prevails and the depravity of segments of our so-called leadership is laid bare for all to see. Such a moment arrived late last week in Richmond when the House of Delegates — defying reason, compassion and plain good sense — rejected $125 million in federal stimulus funds to expand unemployment benefits in Virginia. The House vote, cast mostly along party lines, would have been deplorable even in the best of times. But with a terrible economy putting jobs at risk across the Commonwealth, the delegates’ action is nothing short of astounding. Let them eat cake indeed.

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