Franke: Americans are foreign-language illiterates

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Americans have a reputation, well deserved, of being language agnostics. Maybe that is the wrong characterization but I can’t think of a better term.

Recognizing how newspapers make a difference

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National Newspaper Week begins October 2. While this isn’t the typical holiday that most families celebrate, it does provide a good opportunity to take a moment and recognize all the ways that local newspapers make a difference in communities across America.

Adkins: How we perceive threats to democracy

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Recent polls indicate that, second only to inflation, the perceived threat to democracy is the most important issue on the minds of the voters as we enter the last weeks of the midterm campaigns. In fact, a whopping 72% of Americans believe our American democracy is in peril. Surprisingly, the factor that both Democrats and Republicans view equally as a cause of concern for our democracy is too much money in politics. That view is shared by 86% of voters from both parties. Beyond that, the reasons for the perceived threat differs greatly from party to party. An amazingly high percentage of Americans view the potential threat of political violence as potentially wrecking our democracy. At least one political pundit downplays the chances of a civil war because we are too complacent, sitting in our relative laps of luxury. I am not certain he has his finger on the pulse of the nation; at least not on the pulse of the Republican Party, whose leader is increasingly quoting QAnon conspiracy theories. My personal level of concern was raised after listening to QAnon followers being interviewed recently; branding those who don’t agree with them traitors and publicly calling for their mass executions.

John Krull: Fun and games on other people’s dime

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Being attorney general in a lot of states — including, apparently, Indiana — must not be that demanding a job.

Allen: When this high school banned cellphone use, it saw remarkable changes

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FORT WORTH, Texas — There’s something noticeably different at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth this year.

Another viewpoint: Pandemic is definitely not over, despite president’s claims

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President Joe Biden is flat-out wrong if he thinks the pandemic is over. Although the trendlines are pointing downward, the United States still registers around 360 deaths per day from the coronavirus along with a seven-day average of 55,000 new infections, with 13,700 people currently hospitalized. Those numbers are a far cry from the earlier days of the pandemic, but that hardly means the threat is gone.

Morris: Indiana, the home of good, eclectic music

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When I was a newbie reporter at the Wabash Plain Dealer, I started hearing about a young woman named Brenda Webb, just a few years out of high school and beginning to make a name for herself as a country singer. Since she was the younger sister of superstar Loretta Lynn, it was the consensus that Brenda just might make it.

Dunn: Controlling “Weeds”

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Weeds are often defined as something growing in a place where you don’t want it to grow. If we accept that definition, then the biggest weed problem in Hancock County is “mega warehouses.”