Southern Columbia Area School District administrators and teachers have faced a difficult two weeks since the Oct. 1 suicide of a 14-year-old freshman and accusations that the school didn’t do enough to address bullying against the victim.

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• Cheers to those who made this past weekend one of song, celebration and spirituality throughout the lower anthracite region. We are continually amazed at the effort by volunteers who pour their time, money and effort into offering their neighbors something fun and meaningful to do here at …

While the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation finally came to an end, the ongoing spiritual war for the soul of the American nation endures. The wounds that those prolonged hearings left, the personal acrimony displayed between politicians of both parties and the growing politicizatio…

In 1998, I wrote a book about a man who, as a child, had spent 10 years in a New York City orphanage. He was only nine years old and at the very bottom of the pecking order in 1929, when, with 1,000 other children, he entered the gray anonymity of the orphanage.

There is no surer bet than that legal gambling on sports will grow exponentially over the next several years following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that a federal law barring it was unconstitutional.

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

Newspapers explore many of the topics that affect your senses. The stories we report may get your blood rushing, wrinkle your brow, inspire you to call a friend about an event or simply entice you to relax and read about your favorite team that pulled out a victory that was destined to be a loss.

At a press conference on Sept. 26, President Trump said, “When you are guilty until proven innocent, it’s just not supposed to be that way. That’s a very, very dangerous standard for the country.”

It may be October, but the acronym in this column’s title stands for Obama, Clinton and Trump. As much as Obama wants credit for a robust economy, it is the tax-cutting, regulation-reducing policies of President Trump and congressional Republicans that stimulated its growth. If Republicans a…

One of the goals from the start of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) was to get riders into the downtowns of nearby communities to share some of their tourism dollars with local businesses.

The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way (GSVUW) launched its 2018 fundraising campaign in the Shamokin area last week with a gathering at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.

• Cheers to the news that five local fire companies were awarded $234,857 in grants through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — and especially for where the money will go. Vehicles and places to house them are among the most expensive facets of a fire company’s operation, but we are r…

The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have approved legislation to deal with the growing opioid addiction problem that has affected communities throughout the nation. A conference committee will iron out differences between the versions passed in the separate houses before it goes…

Here’s a mystery: About a decade ago, during the administration of President George W. Bush, thousands of Hispanic children who were American citizens quietly began to drop out of our public schools. In one school year, the students would be enrolled; the next year, they wouldn’t be. Sometim…

It’s easy for those outside of public education to criticize the actions of teachers and administrators.

As a coal cracker from Mount Carmel, I’ve always had a kind of love-hate relationship with coal. During my youngest years, I had to be more than grateful for the jobs coal mining provided. After coming from Italy, my immigrant father put a roof over our heads and food on the table by working…

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

The guy who tells lies every day has been saying since 2015 that a flood of criminals, drug dealers and rapists have been coming into our country from south of the border like a swarm of stupid “animals.”

President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is not fit to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, the Senate should not allow any vote for a lifetime appointment when the nominee has not been fully vetted or when the president is under investigation.

Taking the position that everyone deserves a second chance, the Southern Columbia Area School board last week made a bold step in hiring Pete Long as its new varsity boys basketball coach.

If watching segments of the four-day chaotic marathon of Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings wasn’t enough, enter Christine Blasey Ford, a registered Democrat, Bernie Sanders supporter and psychology professor at Palo Alto University, who claimed that she wa…

Justification offered by the seven members of the Kulpmont-Marion Heights Joint Municipal Sewer Authority for why they have spent an average of $1,145 on five meals over the past 2 1/2 years falls well short of satisfying the public.

“The youth use of e-cigs is rising very sharply,” Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Wednesday, as he issued the federal government’s most forceful warning yet that these electronic nicotine-delivery devices are hooking a generation of teenagers. He promised that “…

If the lack of an external enemy since the end of the Cold War has made America weak and feckless, as some argue, then can the rise of China give America a newfound vigor and sense of purpose? Probably not.

It’s only taken 13 years, but Pennsylvania is finally starting to pre-qualify people for a new enhanced identification card.

It’s a good bet that most Americans are familiar with and look forward to the one national holiday in September that has more to do with wrapping up the summer — although unofficially — than it has to do with celebrating labor.

By the time the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson got his chance to speak, Aretha Franklin’s eight-hour home-going service was nearly half over. But Jackson’s message loomed large over the day. Jackson said sorrowfully, “We have long lines to celebrate death and short lines for voting.” He added, “If yo…

Cheers to the Secretary of Labor and Industry, Jerry Oleksiak, for his visit to the area CareerLink in Sunbury to learn the efforts of hiring local workers. It’s good to see government officials tuning in to the smaller scale of their decisions by visiting communities like ours.

Immunity from prosecution for those reporting a drug overdose is the law in 40 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Simply stated, if you act in good faith in calling 911 to help someone in danger, you won’t face criminal charges for simple possession of drugs or paraphernalia.

In nation after nation, and diocese after diocese, the Roman Catholic Church’s clerical sex-abuse crisis has struck with devastating force, a decades-long scandal as pervasive as it is poisonous. Countless lives have been damaged and ruined, especially those of victims who were children when…

Colleges that have banned hard alcohol say the step has helped combat some of the most pernicious effects of campus drinking. They report less consumption, fewer alcohol-induced medical transports, hospitalizations and arrests, as well as a decrease in binge drinking and other high-risk beha…

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

Those developing safety and security protocols couldn’t have imagined just a decade ago the ways in which drugs and other contraband can be smuggled into prisons today.

With the National Football League (NFL) season getting underway, more women referees will matriculate to the league due to the continuing success of official Sarah Thomas. The 45 year-old Mississippi native and mother of three got her break three seasons ago and made the most of it. The NFL …

My hometown is a community still longing for the old days. Like in many coal towns, the people of Shamokin seem to have an unusual fascination with coal mining, romanticizing about an industry that caused irreparable harm on our people and community. Perhaps with so many decades between then…

Kulpmont Borough Council has been successful in getting the federal government’s attention in addressing the abandoned J.H. & C.K. Eagle Silk Mill and its pair of towering smokestacks that loom precariously over the west end of the borough.

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

In a historically exceptional 11-page account released to The National Catholic Register, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, claims that Pope Francis knew about strict canonical sanctions imposed on now former Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict …

A long time ago, an Associated Press reporter named Mike Feinsibler said of former president Richard Nixon, “He was one of the most controversial politicians of his generation. His career was marked by phrases that cut like curses: ‘Tricky Dick,’ ‘enemies list,’ ‘your president is not a croo…

To the editor: I thought it was time for another letter. Why? Because I read the Sound Off calls that stupidly denigrate President Trump and also insult his supporters. I read our local paper, which mostly publishes political cartoons making fun of President Trump and articles from syndicate…

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, in the ’1940s and ’50s, overlooking the steel mills, about one quarter mile from where the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. There were no public parks nearby, no playgrounds, no neighborhood swimming pools. My ballfield was an abandoned field next to a…