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Halifax accepts process for taking down Clarkton Bridge

Two arrested in connection with attack at Alford home

North Carolina authorities are reporting the arrests of two men in the Friday home invasion in Littleton, N.C. that left Nancy Alford dead and her husband, Brodnax pastor John Alford,…

Bluestone student fatally shot; juvenile suspect in custody


Tennis hopes to keep winning tradition





Tom McLaughlin

Off their meds

The first, last and perhaps the only thing you need to know about the great American Health Care debate is that most people who weigh in on the subject don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. Just today I have read opposition pieces that alternatively argue that (1) Congress doesn’t understand what’s in the bills it votes on, and (2) our evil elected officials have hidden time bombs into legislation that will doom health care in America as we know it.

Hot air of summer

You don’t have to look far for examples of how silly our political discourse has become — just turn your attention to Sen. Frank Ruff and Del. Tommy Wright, respectively. Our state senator and neighboring delegate from Lunenburg County lent their names to a blast of hot air aimed at Gov. Tim Kaine, and, no, it had nothing to do with the balloons at Clarksville’s Lakefest celebration this weekend.

Block busted

I knew I was in for an interesting night at the movies when the guy in line ahead of me seemed determined to push the envelope on modern-day parenting while paying for his tickets and popcorn. He and his wife and two toddler children had come to see “Ice Age 4,” and our protagonist, a youngish man, was dismayed to learn the movie wasn’t filmed in 3-D. “What do you mean, I don’t get glasses?” he barked at the girl behind the cash register. Turning to his wife, he announced: “I don’t want to see it. I’m serious.”

Bite of the Apple

In the immortal words of NASCAR legend Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

A nose for the news

You can learn a lot by following the news. Even if you’re following it somewhere else.

Healthy debate

With the Obama Administration turning its attention to health care reform, a point you’ll no doubt be hearing in the weeks and months to come is that federal health insurance programs already are broke or will go bust sometime soon. Because of this, the argument goes, it would be the height of folly for the government to assume even more responsibility for the nation’s medical bills. We just can’t afford it. Why take on more costs when you can’t cover the obligations already on the books?

Let the races begin

With Tuesday’s qualifying deadline for School Board having come and gone, competitive races are set in all three districts (2, 3 and 6) that will be on the ballot this fall. Two districts will produce a newcomer regardless of who wins, as current trustees Steve Anderson and Mac McDowell are stepping down. In Election District 3 incumbent Arthur Reynolds will face a challenge from Kim Farson of Vernon Hill, making her first try for public office.

News & Record endorsement: Deeds and Signer for Virginia

The News & Record enthusiastically endorses Creigh Deeds for governor and Michael Signer for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 9.

Post play

What a pleasant surprise — this week The Washington Post endorsed Creigh Deeds in the June 9 Democratic primary for governor. The Post’s editorial is available on-line at and is well worth reading in full, but I especially liked this part:

Losing a neighbor

An old neighbor, Fred Martin, the longtime pastor at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Halifax, died Tuesday after a lengthy struggle with leukemia and other illnesses. The majority of the Martin clan relocated to Richmond years ago, but prior to that point our two sprawling families —five McLaughlin kids, nine Martin children—grew up together as next-door neighbors in Halifax. As one of the few adults in the fray, Fred was the sharp-tongued presence at backyard get-togethers, beer in hand and a slightly owlish look on his face, unless he were laughing at something, which was often, in which case his visage more closely resembled that of the Cheshire cat. Although it wasn’t as evident during those childhood years, Fred made his mark on the world as someone who could be quite outspoken on the great issues of the day. He famously sermonized against the Vietnam War at a time when that sort of thing simply wasn’t done, and on questions of race relations, equality and justice he would challenge the conscience even as others held their tongues. Whether motivated by his faith or an abiding fearlessness or just plain old orneriness is hard to say — one would guess a combination of all three — Fred Martin made this community a better place during the time he lived here and forever after. He will be greatly missed.

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