The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken a lot of important and crucial steps to contact/interact with/influence Veterans most at risk of committing suicide. The VA has massively expanded spending on suicide prevention outreach. In fiscal year 2018 the VA spent $12.2 million. Paid m…

“Glory Denied” is the poignant, true story of an American hero and his family during the turbulent Viet Nam War era. This intimate chamber opera chronicles the saga of Colonel Jim Thompson from his captivity in the jungles of Southeast Asia to his family’s personal struggles following his li…

Thousands and thousands of veterans have passed away in 2018. We lost former President George H.W. Bush, Senator John McCain and many others. We also lost 112 year old Richard Overton, who was a WWII veteran. I don’t know if you lost any veterans in your circle of family and friends, but my …

Without getting into either right-wing or left-wing political nonsense, I want to state clearly and without mental stuttering – the world is not as good a place this week as it was last week. We, veterans and everyone else, have lost a great human being, a great leader and a great American w…

Thanks to everyone who liked the “Vets’ Fest” column from last week. I realize now that most veterans don’t want to wallow in self-pity or self-recrimination. Most veterans are just like most men and women in the broader society with some hang-ups and some strong points. Veterans may have a …

Seventy-six years ago tomorrow (December 7) the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked in a dawn raid by the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Service. This surprise attack was intended to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese incursions into S.E. Asia. …

In recent messages to you, I have tried to point out some of the ways that veterans have lost some freedoms. I mentioned things like physical and mental health issues, homelessness and a lack of general concern about veterans and their problems. As of last Wednesday, I realized that I had mi…

Recently we celebrated anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. There are still many of us old warriors out there and Chapter 416 of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has put out some recent information that may be useful. Many thanks to the 416th’s 1st VP – Ron Becker for much of this…

There is a bill before the state legislature, HB 201, that is important to pets in our state. There’s already a law, the Pet Protection Act, that requires owners to provide shelter for pets. HB 201 simply provides a clear definition of “shelter” and allows the officer or agent to provide dir…

Think back over all of the holiday seasons you have had in your life. I feel pretty sure that most of them were better than those spent by veterans in combat, or veterans far from home, or veterans in transit from one posting to another. Now consider all the veterans that you have ever known…

Never mind the sore muscles and slow strides down the steps on Friday morning. Free yourself from your normal routine and keep that body guessing.

When the South went to the polls earlier this year, the Republican ballot showcased a field of candidates who offered a variety of conservative views. In this region, a give-them-what-they-want-to-hear political newcomer from New York instantly grabbed voters’ attention.

It is with completely mixed emotions that I write this final column for The North Jefferson News. After 13 years of working in this wonderful city, surrounded by these “salt of the earth” people, I will be trading in my newspaper experience to start a new journey in life.

Any time there is an opportunity for family fun, we like to be a part of it. The problem is that family fun is usually an expensive endeavor, and since I’m so cheap I have a pesky way of ruining the fun. That’s right, I’m the Debby Downer of a good time if it gets too expensive. 

This past weekend’s weather beckoned us all to be outside enjoying the good things that are available through this nice Alabama atmosphere. It was breathtakingly beautiful. 

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland delivered a proclamation at the city council meeting on Monday night declaring April 2016 as “Donate Life” month. The proclamation, presented to the Alabama Organ Center, honors those who have donated organs and tissue and encourages residents to consider donat…

The weather is really starting to turn warmer in our area and it’s actually looking like spring has sprung.

Have you ever been compared to someone else? I’m sure you have. If you have a sibling, then I can guarantee that you’ve lived through a few comparison times in your life. “Oh look at Suzy, she’s making straight A’s on her report card. If only Rosie could make those type of grades.” Or it may…

Transparency in government is essential to upholding American democracy. When citizens have access to behind-the-scenes information about local and federal administrations, politicians are held accountable. The public is educated and engaged. And our nation is strengthened.

Let’s tackle an issue that isn’t going to be too popular. I’ve seen a lot of things on Facebook and other social media outlets about breast feeding. These posts talk about how beautiful it is and how it should be socially acceptable. I agree whole heartedly, but I think there is a basic leve…

Most people consider themselves to be generally healthy. I’m a whopping 35 years old. I get my teeth cleaned every six months, I get a check up at the doctor’s office every... well, it’s been quite a few years there. I go to the dermatologist and the OB/GYN as necessary... but apparently I h…

After a long, hard week of work, my husband and I were headed into a “kid free” weekend and ready to just relax. We had no big plans and were ready to take full advantage of that. 

If you knew me in my younger years, I think you would agree with me that my parents were rather strict on me and my siblings. I thought they were crazy for keeping such a tight reign on us all of those years, but now that I have my own children, I see the importance of keeping your children …

There’s a song Lenny Kravitz sang that says “I’ve want to get away, I want to fly away.” Sometimes I still find myself singing this song, just out of the blue for no reason at all. 

Have you tried to follow the information on the presidential candidates lately? There are so many of them and their stories are so crazy that I have a really hard time keeping up. 

As we get closer to Christmas day, it’s hard to believe how quickly our time has passed. It’s only a week from Christmas and every year this holiday seems to sneak up on us more quickly than the last.

We live in a society where divorce is somehow touching every family. If your parents weren’t divorced and you aren’t divorced, chances are that you have a sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle who has gone through a divorce. 

Aren’t you glad that your life doesn’t revolve around college football? If you’re an SEC fan then you probably had a pretty good day last Saturday.?Although three of our teams dropped out of the top 25, we still have a good presence there. If you are an Auburn fan, you have probably dealt wi…

I’m writing this column on Sept. 1. This is significant because more Japanese school students commit suicide on this date than on any other date according to numbers taken over the last 40 years. What’s the reason for the spike? It’s believed that this increase in suicide is directly related…

If you haven’t heard the name Ashley Madison lately, they your head must be in the sand. Just to fill everyone in, Ashley Madison is the name of a website where married?(or single) people can sign up to have affairs with married people.

I was recently having a conversation with a friend who has enjoyed great professional success recently. She surprised me by saying she was going to send copies of the final publication to two former teachers, but for very different reasons.

Monday night my husband and I had a most romantic date night. It didn’t involve going out to eat or going ice skating. No, it was much more low key than that. My day at work had been particularly stressful, as days working for a newspaper often are, but he picked up on this when he stopped b…

How did you react the last time you got pulled over by a police officer? I can tell you that I got that lump in my throat and got all fidgety like a little kid getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

As we get older, it’s harder to keep our bodies moving smoothly. When I finished college and started working, I noticed that my knees creaked every time I bent them.

It’s graduation time and excitement is in the air. I don’t think there is a high school or college graduate in the world who was more excited for this week than my 6-year-old daughter, Anna, for her kindergarten graduation. I’m telling you, this girl practiced her songs and hand motions for …

It rains on the just and the unjust. That’s clear to see when we look around our world. It seems, sometimes, as though the people who have the best hearts and souls end up with the worse situations. And then we look and the people who, figuratively speaking, probably have hearts as black a r…

It’s ball season again. The time when we lose half of our friends and family to the local ballparks for their children’s baseball and softball games.

I did something this weekend that I’ve never done before. My husband and I participated in a fun run for a friend of ours.

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