Property tax bills have arrived in homeowners’ mailboxes, and for many, this year’s sticker shock has gone up despite an increase in state funding for schools and despite local school boards weighing program cuts. Some area districts avoided tax increases by depleting reserve funds. That squ…

Every action undertaken or proposed by the Trump administration seems to be subject to challenge. The resistance movement appears capable of tying everything up in legal knots, while complaining that nothing is being accomplished as a complicit federal judiciary goes along.

I taught in colleges and universities for many years. From time to time I enjoy a little quiz.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

From time to time we get contacted by readers who feel someone has been wronged, and to be perfectly honest, a vast majority of the time it turns out to be a situation that is better left to the police or court system and not the local newspaper.

With House Democrats planning a vote this week on a bill more than doubling the federal minimum wage, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has weighed in with a timely estimate of the potential benefits — and costs.

Given that President Donald Trump would like to exile members of Congress who strike him as a little too alien, it may not come as a surprise that he is prepared to take extraordinary steps to send actual foreign asylum seekers packing. Still, the administration caught most of the world by s…

Ross Perot was not a large man: barely 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and maybe 150 pounds. But he was a giant.

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

1969 was a half century ago and yet, when that historical year comes up in conversation, those Miracle Mets always lead off. After being 100-to-1 underdogs, the New York Mets finally came of age and went on to win the World Series that October.

Donald Trump recently became the first acting U.S. president to cross the Demilitarized Zone separating North Korea from the South for a photo op with Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s leader had previously been lambasted by Trump for his nuclear ambitions. North Korea’s attempts at nuclear capabil…

Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of legislation that would have made good on his promise to help counties purchase new voting machines is unfortunate. And it’s troubling that one of the two reasons he gave for doing so borders between hard to believe and hyperpartisan.

Donald Trump was visibly green with envy two years ago in Paris as he watched the flags flying and the troops marching down the Champs-Elysées, famous in song and story. He wanted a big parade, too!

With a revolving door suddenly on the secretary of defense’s office and anti-Iran warmonger John Bolton firmly ensconced at the president’s ear as national security adviser, Congress must assert itself at the front end of any potential military conflict with Iran.

Kim Darroch learned the hard way what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Donald Trump’s grim Twitter feed. He should take solace in the fact that he lost his job for telling the truth.

Summer driving season is here — time for us to repeat ourselves on the cost of a gallon of gasoline. Specifically, it should be higher. Congress last raised the federal gas tax in 1993, which means that the 18.4-cent-per-gallon levy has fallen more than 40% in real terms. That is a rough ind…

There is plenty to say about brevity, but that would defeat the purpose. Neither time nor space affords me the opportunity to opine on the many headlines, stories and political twists that comprise an average news day — let alone an entire week. With that in mind, and keeping with the column…

There was little for anyone to be proud of in the Pennsylvania statehouse on June 26: Not Republican senators, whose attempts to bully though a benefits-cutting measure were crass, craven and cruel; not Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who let the proceedings run off the rails; and especially not Se…

Few things are more American than a giant company’s efforts to turn a profit off a patriotic emblem — and then seeing the product flare into a cultural bonfire just in time for the Fourth of July. But if the debate over Nike’s hasty decision not to release a shoe featuring the Betsy Ross fla…

The latest summit meeting was unusual, as it was held at a place that symbolizes the divided Korean Peninsula. How should an appeal for the easing of tensions by the U.S. and North Korean leaders be utilized to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization? It is important to produce tangible results.

Most Americans likely recall President Donald Trump’s tweeted threat to North Korea last year that he has a “Nuclear Button.” They may also remember when he called Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former aide, “that dog.” Now picture these proclamations covered with a gray box: This content viola…

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

Tuesday proved to be a frustrating and ultimately disappointing day as I watched the Pennsylvania House of Representatives vote down an opportunity to hold a debate on increasing the minimum wage, which still sits at a dismal $7.25 per hour (or $2.83 per hour for tipped workers).

Once upon a time in America, we led the world in educational achievement, but according to the Learning Curve, we now rank 17th out of 40 industrialized nations. Another survey by the Program for International Student Assessment reported the U.S. is 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th …

More than 1,000 American children now have measles, a tragic increase from the year 2000, 19 years ago, when there were none.

Kulpmont Cruise organizer Joe Cesari worked tirelessly to organize this year’s rendition of the annual shindig, just as he does every year, leading up to Sunday’s event.

Children wearing clothes filthy with snot and tears and food. Children locked in cells nearly all day long, sleeping on cold concrete floors. No windows. Always hungry. No toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap. Children alone, even the littlest among them.

Not that another example was necessary, but the Trump administration’s blatant disregard for the rule of law was magnified anew by its response — or, rather, non-response — to violations of the federal Hatch Act by White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

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

Nothing evokes a bygone era quite like walking into a tavern or social club and being greeted with the stale odor of cigarettes, both lit and smoked long ago.

Much of politics is name recognition, presentation and marketability. Recently, the House passed The Equality Act. A great name.

It’s no secret now that the Trump administration is for sale.

Many small colleges in Central Pennsylvania are struggling, trying to find the magic cure for dwindling enrollments, shrinking revenue and rising costs. But Harrisburg University seems to have found an answer, going from an unknown, fledgling institution in a near bankrupt city, to a bustlin…

As Pennsylvania continues to stagger toward another round of gerrymandering state legislative and congressional seats, California has announced that the online application process is open for state residents who want to be part of the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Since it became clear that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 presidential election, intelligence officials have warned regularly that the United States remains vulnerable to another cyberattack. If the aftermath of an Election Day fiasco in North Carolina is any indication, the Trum…

I read that reporters at the New York Times took off their shoes and socks and counted, on their fingers and toes, 84 ways the Trump Administration is worsening pollution in America.

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

“I think you might want to listen; there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent,’ oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” President Donald Trump said during a Wednesday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “You d…

Do you ever wonder what would happen to certain individuals if there were no government socialized programs? I, like many people who have loved ones in need, worry about it all the time.

There they lay in all their red, white and blue glory albeit discolored, ripped and AWOL from their sticks, while resting in the mucky terrain flanking Pine Hill Cemetery along Montour Road in Elysburg.

Signs of slowing growth in what is still a generally robust U.S. economy have prompted the Federal Reserve to consider cutting interest rates, possibly as soon as its next rate- setting meeting, which begins Tuesday. We don’t generally give advice on interest rates, being content to leave su…

There’s a new requirement for traveling to the United States: Turn over your social media account names — all of them, from the past five years, possibly to be stored for decades more.

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

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Bipartisan political support is often a necessary condition of good policy, but it’s never a sufficient one. Consider the House supermajority, made up of Democrats and Republicans favoring repeal of the excise tax on high-cost health insurance pl…

Jon Voight recently broadcast a two-part message on Twitter where the octogenarian actor asserted that Donald Trump is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. Voight was dismissed by Hollywood leftists who can’t fathom why anyone would give credence to someone who last worked with John…

To young people today the name “Roy Rogers” may mean nothing more than a chicken sandwich in a fast-food restaurant. But to older people who were children in the 1940s and 1950s, his name means much, much more.