$1,500 toward ‘TNR’ a worthy investment for cat woes

Mount Carmel, not unlike Shamokin and other local communities, has a cat problem. The population of stray and feral cats has been exploding over the recent past, a self-perpetuating problem that is not solved easily or quickly. But the borough has taken a key step toward improving the situation, one that satisfies those who want action but stops short of the controversial tactic of […]

Just A Thought: Age is just a number, unless…

Back when I was seven years old, my father gave me a dollar and sent me up the block to Souden’s Market, a long-gone mom-and-pop store on the corner of Mulberry and Third streets, where I purchased a pack of Pall Mall Gold for him. The price of the pack of cigarettes back then was 55 cents. I told old Alfie or […]

Casey vs. Barletta: The probabilities

If politics is a science, it is a science of probabilities, not certainties. “President” Hillary Clinton could probably elaborate on that, as could the late “President” Tom Dewey. This is not to say there are no certainties in politics. One is the calendar. Pennsylvania on Nov. 6 will hold a U.S. Senate election (along with 33 other states) — one […]

Shroyer demolition major step in city blight fight

The wheels of progress turn slowly when it comes to remediating blighted properties, but Shamokin nonetheless arrived at a milestone last week. This year’s state budget includes $600,000 toward the demolition and cleanup of the former Shamokin Dress Co. factory, or “Shroyer building,” which fronts Packer Street and stretches a full city block between Rock and Shamokin streets. It hasn’t operated since the […]

Cheers and jeers

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news: • Cheers to Thursday’s first legal medical marijuana sales at a dispensary in western Pennsylvania — and the fact that the first customer was a woman whose daughter suffers from intractable epilepsy. Heather Shuker and daughter, Hannah, and families like them, are at the heart of why Pennsylvania made […]

A letter to hunters

It‘s happened again. A boy has taken a gun to school and pulled the trigger. I was struck by the hopelessness of what people said in the hours after this Valentine’s Day massacre: the sheriff, the governor, the superintendent of schools. They had no hope, no plan, no understanding of any way to stop these killings in our public schools […]

Chinese takeout

In the United States, church attendance in many Christian denominations has been falling for years. Not so in China, where it is projected by 2030, they will have more Christians than the United States. Both Catholic and Protestant churches in China have grown by an average of 10 percent a year since 1980. Christian growth has spooked the Chinese communists […]

Education on opioids does make a difference

With a majority of heroin addicts getting their start through opioids, the focus in addressing addiction has been on limiting patients’ usage of prescription medications through education of everyone from doctors to the general public. Though we have a long way to go, there is progress. Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz, during a discussion on the opioid epidemic at Monday night’s meeting of […]

Protect journalists with the same laws that protect all of us

I understand the motivation behind the just-proposed Journalist Protection Act, which would make it a federal crime to attack those involved in reporting the news. The legislation comes at a time of particularly vocal attacks on news operations and individual reporters, many of which stem from the highest office in the land. I admire the goal — preventing or penalizing […]

Cheers and jeers

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news: • Cheers to the state Senate’s passage of Bill 955, which would launch a pilot program in which the state fire commissioner would select one community college each from the eastern, central and western regions of the state to enter into agreements with school districts and vocational-technical schools for […]

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