In 1978, the Supreme Court essentially gutted all state usury laws, freeing interest rates and sparking a credit card boom. Around that time, 38 percent of U.S. households had a credit card; as of 2014, 71 percent did, according to WalletHub. Total revolving debt rose from $48 billion — 2 pe…

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To the Editor: As we all come to terms with the news that the largest employer in Snyder County, Wood-Mode Inc., is closing after more than 75 years, our first thoughts go out to the nearly 1,000 employees and their families facing an uncertain future.

Nature pays no heed to political boundaries. The air and water flow as the wind and gravity dictate, making it folly to attempt to deal with related environmental issues only on the local level.

Police raids in lieu of legal due process. Undercover surveillance on reporters because of their work. Street “sweeps” in which journalists are handcuffed and carted away to “headquarters.” The use of force as an alternative to courts and legal means.

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the last week of news:

The 2020 election has already begun in full force with more than 20 Democrats vying for the nomination while President Trump holds political rallies before devoted supporters. There seem to be two opposing ideologies in play: one defending greed and self-interest and another promoting compas…

Leftists refuse to deliberate in good faith — instead they belittle and bully. In the City of Brotherly Love, such antics were on display as state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat, seemed to enjoy berating a group of peaceful, pro-life women, including three teenage girls quietly praying in front…

Bill O’Reilly, once the most powerful voice on cable-TV, has been largely absent from public view for two years following revelations that he paid some $50 million to settle sexual harassment lawsuits. Yet, O’Reilly’s signature — a segment he called “The Memo” — continues to have an unfortun…

To the editor: On the morning of Saturday, April 20, a rather large group of individuals gathered at the Veterans Memorial Complex to clean up the area. This was the first time I actually had the free time to go and help. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that showed up to help clean u…

To the editor: The headline of the editorial in the May 14 issue of The News-Item read “Booker has bold ideas on gun control.” It should have read “Booker has some unconstitutional and completely ineffective ideas on gun control.”

The cool reception to new rules for state pensions — and the dose of outrage being directed at hypocritical lawmakers — isn’t surprising.

Republicans and Democrats alike recognize how crucial Pennsylvania will be in determining the 2020 presidential election. Looking at the electoral map, if Pennsylvania returns to the Democratic column (where it was, twice each, for President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama), Presiden…

Campaigning Tuesday in New Hampshire, Joe Biden offered his hope that when he’s president, we can get past the bitter divisions that have characterized our politics in recent years. And he said this:

To the editor: Kulpmont Borough Council approved $1,000 to repair and upgrade the baseball facilities at Veterans Field. The scoreboard doesn’t work, the concession stand roof is in disrepair, the electrical in the concession stand needs attention, the batting area needs repair, there is no …

Three more life-without-parole prisoners will be released after Gov. Tom Wolf commuted the sentences of a convicted murderer and two men who participated in crimes where someone was killed.

To the Editor: As commander of Post 231, Kulpmont, I am pleased to announce plans for an afternoon of activities on Saturday, May 25, from noon to 4 p.m. to celebrate the 100th birthday of the American Legion, which was formed in 1919.

One especially damaging effect of the explosion of information enabled by this digitally powered era of communication is the speed with which that technology delivers great big doses of misinformation. It is seen in baseless political attacks designed to inflame and divide. It is seen in vir…

As director of the Mother Maria Kaupas Center, I work with the Bucknell University Coal Region Field Station to facilitate professional connections between the university (faculty, staff and students) and local community partners that lead to substantive course projects and individual resear…

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has released a plan to combat gun violence. Alongside some familiar proposals — including universal background checks on gun purchases and bans on semi-automatic rifles (“assault weapons”) and high-capacity magazines — he has some bolder ideas, and these could do …

Every time I see the latest economic news, I thank Hillary Clinton.

To the editor: As the mill project slowly comes to an end, we, as citizens and council, feel that the “monster in the room,” will soon be put to rest. The weakened and dangerous “leaning towers” (smoke stacks) are down. Dangerous and contaminated substances found throughout the mill have all…

The News-Item’s cheers and jeers from the past week of news:

Over the past months, I’ve written several times about Steve Bannon, the avowed communist sympathizer who was President Trump’s senior strategist during Trump’s first year in office.

With his ominous looking goatee, shaved head, forearm tattoos and 6 feet-8 inch frame, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman looks like he belongs at the end of the Philadelphia 76ers’ bench.

Good news for the suicidal or just plain idiotic who plan on visiting one of America’s outstanding national parks this summer. One can now make a mistake and fall befuddled, surprised or screaming to your death off one of our scenic cliffs without any worries that your demise will be drawn i…

Support of a government study commission is not support for home rule. I find it disappointing that some people are trying to confuse the two in an attempt to stop a commission from being elected. This administration has attempted to be involved with the public as much as possible since my e…

Three more life-without-parole prisoners will be released after Gov. Tom Wolf commuted the sentences of a convicted murderer and two men who participated in crimes where someone was killed.

Government in Pennsylvania can seem underwhelming sometimes — the lack of a responsive Legislature comes to mind, as does a baffling irrational and inefficient tax system, an indifferently maintained highway system and a structural framework better fitted to the 19th century than the 21st.

We are all proud to be an American. We wear our military medals, decorations and we are all in agreement — “Those who gave the supreme sacrifice (their lives) are the real heroes.”

With a luxury of riches in the crowded presidential field, Democrats find themselves in a quandary: How far should they go in probing differences among the candidates without damaging their overarching goal of winning in 2020?

There’s fiscal trouble ahead for those nearing retirement. And some, including the federal government, appear to be unprepared for it.