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Opinion

  • More than 3,000 rape kits ― some up to 25 years old ― are finally being tested in Virginia in an effort to determine if any of the cases can be solved even at so late a date.
    Attorney General Mark Herring announced earlier this month that a $2 million federal grant will pay for testing nearly 1,250 kits that were collected from 2014 to 2016, but were never sent to a lab for analysis.

  • By Adam Martin, Interim CEO, Wythe Community Hospital

    Our country’s healthcare system is in the midst of a massive upheaval. Never before have we witnessed such challenges that will impact both the type of care our community receives and the ability of our local hospital to continue providing the high-quality care that we know each of you have come to expect from our physicians, nurses and staff.

  • A Landmark News Service Editorial

    In 1924, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law empowering local registrars to draft certificates of racial composition for all individuals in their jurisdictions, using those certificates to restrict marriage within the commonwealth.
    It’s best to use such comparisons sparingly, but Virginia’s Racial Equality Act reads like something from Apartheid-era South Africa or the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler.

  • In the past year, the subject of politics has been at the forefront of almost everyone’s minds… or at least, it is certainly a topic people can’t seem to get enough of.
    But in spite of this growing trend, there is still a strong sense of disconnect in attention spans for local politics.

  • By REP. MORGAN GRIFFITH

    This month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act to repeal Obamacare and start a health care reform process to return power to the states, drive down costs, and offer options to American families.
    Across the country, costs have sky rocketed and choices have decreased.
    In Iowa, 94 out of 99 counties will be left with literally zero insurance options on the Obamacare exchanges, when insurers pull out as they have announced. It’s the same for 16 counties in Tennessee.

  • Ever since its closing was announced five years ago, everyone from parents and county leaders to advocacy groups and state legislators have been fighting to prevent the closing of the Southwestern Virginia Training Center in 2018.
    This valiant effort continues, even after years of discouraging results and their pleas falling on mostly deaf ears in Richmond.

  • The highlight of 2016 was, inarguably, a highly publicized and at many times, controversial, presidential election.
    While the results of 2016’s controversial presidential election brought about equal parts celebration and panic, we can’t deny that politics on a local level in Grayson County did a better job of bringing people together — even in times of opposition and tragedy.

  • By KERRY DOUGHERTY
    Landmark News Service

     
    It’s been nine years since my daughter played her last varsity field hockey game. That means it’s been nearly a decade since I delivered my final stop-complaining-you-lost speech to her and whichever of her teammates were griping from my backseat.
    The girls won plenty of games. And when they did, there was no happier or more gracious crew. But when they lost, the vanquished players inevitably erupted in a Greek chorus of excuse-making.
    The other team cheated.

  • One of the warmest feelings this time of year is sitting down for dinner with family and friends and celebrating the season.
    But, not everyone has the means to provide a hearty Christmas dinner. Unemployment, disability, sickness and the infirmities of age are the Grinches that so often rob this time of cheer.
    That’s where some true holiday heroes come in.

  • By Rep. Morgan Griffith

    Every four years, American news is dominated by the presidential election. Pundits and analysts play up the drama, predict the outcome of the Electoral College, and endlessly analyze the results. 
    Discussions of this year’s results are unavoidable. Since the Republican candidate won the election, yet lost the popular vote by less than one percent, speculation has started on the purpose of the Electoral College.

  • The well-worn conventional wisdom in America right now goes something like this: We’ve never been this politically divided.
    Nihilists and pundits will tell us that we’re so set in our rightish or leftish ways that Congress’s dysfunction is a result of the people’s philosophical rigidity. It’s a neat way of blaming citizens for the faults of their leaders.
    It’s all nonsense, of course.

  • [Last Friday]. communities across the nation paused to mark Veterans Day. Unlike Memorial Day, which commemorates those who have given their lives in defense of the nation, the Nov. 11 holiday pays tribute to all those who have worn the uniform, including the men and women who do so presently.
    While it is right and just that Americans do this, one day is not nearly enough to pay heed to the very specific concerns of those who serve or have served in the armed forces. While Hampton Roads knows better than anywhere about these issues, they should be given greater voice.

  • It’s that magical time of the year again: the leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, our tasters are set for holiday treats, and the streets are lined with vendors, performers and other fun things for families to enjoy just about every weekend.

  • It’s not often in local government when you can save money by offering people more services.
    But Grayson County has wisely chosen to invest in the future of its youth as both a cost-saving measure and an effort to tackle social issues at the source. The county is being proactive with its at-risk youth and families, rather than responding later when the problems have become more pervasive — and more expensive.

  • It is now official: we have our nominees for what could easily be called one of the most controversial presidential elections in our history; and the “Race for the White House,” as CNN so eloquently puts it, has begun.
    What the candidates do between now and November will be crucial in determining who better earns the trust of the majority of the country; that is, if we pay close enough attention.

  • By DICK HAMMERSTROM

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe did not list transparency as a major theme in his campaign for the top elected office in the state. Of course, as any governor-elect would, he told reporters that he planned to run “an open and transparent administration.”
    But that’s essentially a perfunctory response to a reporter’s question. In the 2.5 years since he took office, his administration has shown much more opacity than clarity.
    There are several conspicuous examples.

  • Grayson County Public Schools suffered financial turmoil last year with a $900,000 shortfall, which left many in the community concerned and desperately seeking answers as to where so much money disappeared.
    To say things are looking up for the school system just one year later is putting it mildly.
    Last week, school officials announced that they had managed what they were told was impossible: they eliminated the deficit this year, with a closeout budget that landed at an estimated $8 - $11 in the black after covering bills and payroll.

  • In theory, a state ethics commission would curb questionable behavior and unseemly practices by elected officials.
    Such a council could resolve questions and quandaries involving lawmakers and public workers. It could define the gray areas of operating in the public sphere. Its very presence could even act as a deterrent to unethical behavior.
    All of that, however, depends on a few basic principles. An effective ethics council must be fair. It must be transparent. It must engender public trust and confidence. And violations must have consequences.

  • A Virginian-Pilot editorial

    The repetition is alarming. So is the trend.
    According to NASA, last month was the warmest April on record for the planet Earth, the seventh month in a row to top historic marks, and the third straight month to set a record by the largest margin.
    The current trend is so severe, in fact, that scientists have already begun to predict that 2016 will probably be the warmest year in recorded history.

  • For many families, Memorial Day is a most sacred time to remember their family members who served in the Armed Forces and sacrificed all that they had, to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today.
    Many thousands fell on the battlefields around the world, some never to return home and some that are still missing after many years. Still many more returned home and lived out their lives in their communities for which they fought unselfishly.