Editorials

Should we lower the voting age to 16?



According to NBC News, the majority of the Washington, D.C. council as well as the mayor and the “Washington Post” are pushing a bill that would make the District of Columbia the first place in the nation to allow people as young as 16 to vote in federal elections (including presidential races). A growing number of cities and states are […]

Tap into alumni experience to help youth succeed



The active and organized Shamokin Area Alumni Association in 2015 sent letters to scholarship winners from over the years asking for “selfies” of themselves and what they are doing with their lives.  Thirty-nine people responded, and some of the “selfies” were extremely impressive: • A psychologist who was listed by the Institute of Scientific Information as one of the world’s most-cited […]

Unholy alliances



Facebook rejected a Holy Week advertisement from the Franciscan University of Steubenville that featured the San Damiano Cross, an iconic image that has been around for nearly a thousand years. Facebook has since apologized, stating, “sometimes we make mistakes.” These so-called “mistakes” are intensifying. Facebook changed its algorithms in January, harming countless sites that promote emerging journalistic talent that counters […]

The Trump tariffs and Pennsylvania farmers



I live in rural Pennsylvania. In the summer, as I drive along its two-lane roads, I see field after field of soybeans and, beyond them, tall green rows of corn reaching almost to the sky. Pennsylvania farmers grow more than 25 million bushels of soybeans on 590,000 acres. We’re not one of the nation’s top 10 soybean producers, but 25 […]

Cheers and jeers



The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news: • Cheers to the effort to recognize local and state police, firefighters and EMS for their efforts in handling the Feb. 23 and 24 homicide and subsequent standoff in Shamokin. Emergency responders aren’t looking for a pat on the back when they carry out their duties, but it was […]

‘Showdown’ exciting, positive, cool for Shamokin



Simply to see the word “Shamokin” attached to something positive and exciting and even cool is important. We reference the “Rock Krawler Showdown in Shamokin,” this weekend’s big event for the Ultra4 racing organization at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA). Yes, the AOAA is based in Coal Township, not Shamokin, but understanding the overall goal of attracting tourists and businesses […]

Deadly power of the ‘drug nexus’



Thursday’s arrest in the seven-month-old investigation into the shooting death of Sean M. Maschal has many tragic storylines, but among those most striking to us is that the victim and defendant, Brian G. Heffner, had been friends dating back to elementary school. And yet this lifelong “friendship,” if it was still that, ended in a gruesome burst when, police allege, Heffner fired a bullet […]

Unfair tariffs on newspapers would be detrimental to all



As a newspaper reader, advertiser or member of the community, your source of local, regional and national news and information is being threatened by the proposed newspaper tariffs on the import of uncoated groundwood paper from Canada — the type that is used to print this newspaper and others across the state. Tariffs also threaten local jobs, and in essence, create […]

Politically Uncorrected: A ringside seat



If you like white knuckle, top of the ticket, competitive elections, Pennsylvania is your kind of state. For decades, Pennsylvania has been a battleground in presidential contests. A large state with a huge prize of winner-take-all electoral votes, the state in modern times has balanced its party allegiances between Republican and Democratic parties. Back to 1948, the GOP has won […]

Time that all universities become more transparent



We need look no further than the flap over EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his spending of public money for proof that we need transparency in order to keep a check on public officials and public agencies. National reporters are digging through public records to generate stories about Pruitt’s actions. Closer to home, The News-Item last year at this time published an […]


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