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  • COLUMNS

    Raises part of pay reform

    Critics of the Republican-led General Assembly allege that the teacher-pay raise included in this year’s state budget could have been implemented in a much simpler fashion: by giving across-the-board hikes to all rather than giving large raises to early-career teachers and relatively small...

  • COLUMNS

    My first letter to my kid at college

    After dropping our daughter off at college last weekend, I told her I would email her soon. Here’s what I wrote:

  • COLUMNS

    Trusted to provide hope

    While on vacation recently, I had the rare opportunity to read a novel. In it, two of the characters were having a conversation in which one said to the other, “Like most things that last, trusting is a process.” I could not read on without pondering the power in that statement as ...

  • COLUMNS

    Economists split on whether inflation is a real worry

    Two of the key concerns in our economy are unemployment and inflation. We want both to be low. When unemployment is low, more people have jobs and earn income. When inflation is low, the dollars we earn don’t lose their purchasing power as quickly. That is, our dollars buy more with low inflation...

  • COLUMNS

    Churches no longer shun divorcees

    The other day, I was talking to a friend, a religious man, whose son is facing divorce. Not knowing much about my friend’s faith, I asked if his church frowned on divorce.

  • COLUMNS

    Making laws is hard

    Lawmaking ain’t easy, even with strong Republican majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican in the Executive Mansion.

  • COLUMNS

    A huge issue lies ahead

    Decades from now, when schoolchildren in North Carolina look back on 2014, they might hear about the massive coal-ash spill into the Dan River and subsequent legislation requiring cleanup of Duke Energy coal-ash ponds.

  • COLUMNS

    A suggestion for becoming indispensable

    After reading a recent column, a Facebook friend said she looked forward to reading my suggestions for how the Johnston County Arts Council could make itself indispensable. Fair enough.

  • COLUMNS

    Thank a lottery loser

    Behind every state lottery dollar that goes to education is a loser.

  • COLUMNS

    Forecast calls for growth

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort, and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

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