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“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.”

That’s the first line of a poem—author unknown—familiar to most who have lost a four-legged family member.

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I look at new school photos of my two Texas grandchildren and marvel.

Just a look at their beautiful dark eyes tells which is the eldest and which is the baby.

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Think “child kidnapping” and “getting ransom money from their wealthy parents” is the thought that comes first to my mind.

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Vaping is really taking over the news cycle lately with all the mysterious vaping-related illnesses that are coming to light.

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Sometimes there are no words.

That is exactly what I thought as I watched Fort Rucker firefighters in full “battle rattle” gather in the center of the post Soldier Support Center as they prepared to climb 110 flights of stairs in honor and memory of first responders who died in the terrorist attacks on the United States Sept. 11, 2001.

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That more than 700 people of all ages gathered at schools throughout Coffee County on a Sunday afternoon to pray is significant.

That it was on a stormy afternoon—and still more than 700 people gathered at the schools is significant.

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It was a social media post that hurt my heart.

A woman asked — online — why a particular media source chose to essentially sensationalize a recent incident at a school in which all the adults involved clearly went “above and beyond” to protect the students involved.

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Yes, summer is over.

The 2019-20 school year begins Aug. 5 for Daleville City Schools and Aug. 7 for Enterprise City and Coffee County Schools.

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Some stories are meant to be shared and I do believe this is one of them.

The June 3 headline announcing that Enterprise had been selected as a Main Street Designated City was followed by headlines announcing a citywide kickoff celebration at the Farmers Market June 24.

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Think “human trafficking” and some sort of third world country comes to mind.

We tend to visualize creepy men with faces hidden grabbing victims and shoving them into the back of get-away cars.

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Dream big. Work hard. Follow your dreams.

Those sometimes cliché words of wisdom are being imparted to thousands donning mortarboard caps and matching graduation gowns this month. It is very good advice.

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The only people who are allowed to say that a city council, county commission or school board are not “transparent” are those who actually do attend the meetings.

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The best time to remind people about a public town hall meeting is after a city council’s decision has been made.

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It’s hard not to notice the statue of a woman dressed in flowing robes holding a boll weevil in her upstretched arms in the center of the intersection of College and Main Streets in Enterprise.

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In everything, give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Some people think, “turkey.” Some people think, “football.” Some people think, “the official start of the Christmas season.”

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The best time to remind people to vote seems to be the day after an election.

That’s when “Are you kidding me?” is the reaction of many people when they see the election results from the night before.

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“Dynamic” was the word marked out with a red pencil.

I remember it well because it was the first real-world, boots-on-the-ground newspaper article I wrote— and there was my pride and joy with a big red slash through the word “dynamic.”

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As soon as I saw him standing in our office I knew exactly what Dean Crosby had on his mind.

“Here I am again asking for help,” he said.

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He introduced himself to me with a smile, calling himself a “retiring pastor.” Said he will be 84 years old next month. He was at Dauphin Junior High School to pray, he said. He remembers when praying in Enterprise City Schools was more than a once a year “Prayer Walk.”

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To say that the people watching the Dale County Commission unanimously pass a resolution realigning the duties of the chairman—with absolutely no prior public discussion at all and at the same meeting during which it was first introduced—were left shaking their heads is the truth.

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“Notice is hereby given that the mayor and city council of the city of Enterprise will host a public meeting at the Enterprise Farmers Market, 525 North Main Street, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, for the purpose of receiving comments from interested persons regarding the city of Enterprise’s recycling program, its status and future.”

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Once upon a time recycling was thought of as a way to save the planet.

The thought was that if each citizen would take responsibility for reprocessing their own discarded items, the collective good could be hugely impactful on the environment.

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The best time to remind people to vote seems to be the day after an election.

That is the day when “Are you kidding me?” is the reaction many people wake up with when they see the election results from the night before.

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The life lessons learned growing up in a family living in countries not my own could fill a book.

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Sometimes there are just no words.

That is exactly what I think every single time I watch firefighters do what they do. Every. Single. Time.

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“Pray without ceasing,” was the advice I was given when my youngest son’s Arizona National Guard unit was activated and deployed to Iraq 17 years ago.

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Valentine’s Day 2018 will long be remembered.

Seventeen people were killed and 17 more wounded when a teenaged gunman carrying a semi automatic rifle entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 14.

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Today is Valentine’s Day.

An estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards have been sent which makes it the second largest card-exchanging-day, according to the Greeting Card Association.

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I will admit it.

When the call came that a proclamation was to be signed in the mayor’s office designating January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, my first thought was not positive.

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First of all, the name is amazing. Operation Ice Dance. What a great name. “Best name EVER,” a co-worker texted back to me.

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Sometimes it’s the simplest message that gets the point across—the simplest message what was printed in huge white letters on those bright red billboards that popped up across the area late last month.

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Just got back from an early morning “Coffee with a Cop” in Daleville where I met a four-year-old who proudly showed me Daleville Police Chief William Powell’s business card that he had been given.

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“Words cannot express how grateful I am.”

That is most of what Alvin Velazquez said as he stood before the three men credited with saving not only his life but the life of his four legged friend, Zeus.

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To truly understand the importance of preserving the past for the future, take a walk through a historic cemetery with an historian whose heart is embedded deep into a community.

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It was a school day like any other when we received reports that a recent “incident” had occurred on an Enterprise City School bus that resulted in the arrest of two plenty-old-enough-to-know-better women.

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Kudos to the Enterprise City Council for moving the skate park issue off of dead center last week.

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Kudos to the Enterprise City Council for moving the skate park issue off of dead center last week.

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That the City of Progress has a new mayor because the former mayor was appointed to a state department directorship has made headlines.

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Dream big. Work hard. Follow your dreams.

Those sometimes cliché words of wisdom are being imparted to thousands donning mortarboard caps and matching graduation gowns this month. It is very good advice.

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Some days you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Last week had at least two such days as what emergency management authorities called “a potent storm system” moved across the Wiregrass not once, but twice.