Local Columns

Helping homeless children find shelter

Homelessness is dangerous, especially for kids. They are more vulnerable to become victims of crime; they’re more vulnerable to disease, and they’re more likely to become victims of human trafficking. Homeless kids do worse in school than their peers and they have a harder time developing ...

Age Out Loud: Theme of 2017 Older Americans Month

Your children may comfort you with words like, “You’re only as old as you feel,” but the fact is, everyone ages. The senior years – also known as the Golden Years – bring challenges. Of course, as youth, the road of life stretches out way ahead with lots of time to think about old ...

Freedom I: The essence of America

The first of a three-column series discussing the concept of freedom in America. If you ask around the country, or around the world for that matter, what one word exemplifies the essence of America? What word best describes what America represents? What single concept is etched in our ...

‘No’ doesn’t mean yes or maybe

When someone says, “No,” it doesn’t mean “yes” or “maybe.” It means emphatically, “No.” When a person is forced or manipulated into unwanted sexual activity without their consent – and this includes persons who are unable to give consent or not – that is sexual violence. ...

Alcohol Awareness Month increases awareness

LISBON — April 2017 is the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction’s (NCADD's) 31st Annual Alcohol Awareness Month. The NCADD founded Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 and has sponsored this awareness campaign every April since that time. The goal is to increase public awareness and ...

Preventing addiction by stopping overprescribing

Look at your watch. In the next hour, five Americans will die of a drug overdose. I’ve been working on the issue of drug abuse prevention for more than 20 years, but I have never seen anything like the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction that is gripping our state right ...

Saying no to distracted driving

What did people do before cell and smart phones, those little things so many of us think we just can’t live without? When we are driving we need to curb the distractions and focus on what we are doing because the human brain was never really intended to multitask. Is there a telephone call or ...

There is something called tech addiction

Michelle and the baby get up about 7 a.m. She already is on the phone with her best friend and as they talk she scans through Facebook while the toddler plays in the dog’s water bowl. Frank gets annoyed with his wife when she says he spends all of his time playing games on his phone or ...

Living Constitution

With the battle raging over the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia, the debate about whether the Constitution is a living document and exactly what that means has once again come front and center for the America people to witness. Many will ignore the ...

Ohio communities saved from costly plan

Many Americans have already forgotten about the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Obama administration's signature effort to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's power plants. But not the nation's coal communities. They've lived with this regulation as an ever-present threat even after its ...

Needed: Good role models for youth

Melba and Reggie occasionally talk about things without getting angry with each other. But sometimes Melba’s patience wears thin. That man just seemed to have a special way of yanking on her rip cord. “All of our kids are grown up now. I don’t have to grow up,” Reggie ...

Looking at nutrition and your well being

March is National Healthy Nutrition Month. Good nutrition is important to your physical and mental well being for everyone. Della wanted to lose weight and keep it off. She didn’t want to “diet.” She decided it would require “a lifestyle change.” She set her goals and stayed true to ...

The tale of two controversies

Over the past several years two substantive controversies have dominated the political discourse in this country. No, I am not talking about transgender bathrooms, Russian election hacking, or a plethora of other B.S. minutia that the lame stream media have fixated on and which are all ...

GUEST COLUMN: Connecting students with needed job skills

There are more than 100,000 jobs available in Ohio right now. And yet there are more than 280,000 Ohioans who are out of work. One important reason is because employers are looking for skills they can’t find. This mismatch—often called the “skills gap”—is holding back our economy ...

When gambling becomes a problem

Is buying a lottery ticket every week gambling? Lottery tickets are gambling. What makes it a problem is when you aren’t winning so you spend more and more money trying to win back what you’ve lost. It’s a problem when you don’t have money to pay the rent or house payment, the utility ...

Helping Habitat for Humanity help even more Ohioans

I’m a strong supporter of the work that Habitat for Humanity and their 55 affiliates do across Ohio. Habitat provides about 5,000 homeownership opportunities to low-income American families every year, and, in total, have built about 4,000 homes in Ohio. I’ve volunteered with Habitat for ...

Cognitive decline: When to give up the car keys

Melba and Reggie got into the car. She was driving today. They chatted as they started out on their shopping trip. She sped up the ramp to the freeway, gaining speed as they went. Reggie spoke up. “I don’t suppose I should tell you …” He hesitated. “Tell me what?” she ...

Eating Disorders 2: Coping with challenges

Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, advises the National Institute of Mental Health. Having an eating disorder often goes hand-in-hand with some other problem, such as anxiety disorders, depression or substance abuse. Perfectionism and frail self-esteem are struggles. A strong support ...

Teen dating violence escalates around nation

LISBON — February is national Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. Did you know that dating violence is a teen issue? Every year, 1.5 million high school students across the US experience some form of dating violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend. Women between the ages of ...

Why I voted to confirm Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education

WASHINGTON — Betsy DeVos is the daughter of a public school teacher, and I support her for the role of U.S. Secretary of Education because she has made clear in the nomination process that she will be a strong advocate for our kids and our public schools. An important fact that has been ...