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Inside the Statehouse: Looking at the age, wealth of past US presidents

By Steve Flowers Earlier this month, our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, turned 90 years old. In my lifetime, he is the most ethical, moral and Christlike president to occupy the Oval Office. Most, if not all of our presidents, have espoused to be Christians. However, Carter truly walked the walk. There is no specter of hypocrisy surrounding his life. Everything he did while in the White House was above repro ...

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Sudden vision loss signals sick arteries

By Zack Steele There’s the old saying, “When one door shuts, another one opens.” For a patient recently, the door that shut was sight in his left eye. The door that opened: a big clue into a big-time cardiovascular problem. He remembers, “Everything went dark in that eye – like a window shade had been pulled over it.” He had a history of high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but normal vision up until t ...

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Inside the Statehouse: 1998 the last time Alabama elected Democrat as governor

By Steve Flowers Old Fob James had an unusual political personality. When he was out of the governor’s office he showed a tremendous yearning to get back. The proof is he sought the office in 1986 and lost in the Democratic primary and lost again in 1990 in the primary. However, he came back and won in 1994 as a Republican. But once he got the job he acted as if he didn’t want it. As mentioned a few weeks e ...

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Couples may be losing $250,000 in social security benefits

By David Guttery A typical American couple may be leaving up to $250,000 on the table in Social Security earnings because they do not know the best strategy for when to take benefits. Recent surveys conducted by Financial Engines, an independent investment adviser, have shown that 75 percent of the respondents taking an eight-question test about Social Security received a “C” grade or less when tested about ...

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A little idea to save big money for Alabama taxpayers: Switch fonts

By Slade Blackwell Earlier this year, I read about sixth-grader Suvir Mirchandani from Pittsburgh who found that his local school district could save thousands of dollars each year simply by switching font styles. What started as about $21,000 in savings at the local level quickly ballooned to more than $136 million each year when applied to the U.S. federal government. It seems like such a good idea, why n ...

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Inside the Statehouse: A familiar face pulls upset, wins 1994 governor race

By Steve Flowers When Guy Hunt won the governor’s race over Bill Baxley in 1986 it was well publicized that he was a part-time Primitive Baptist preacher. He was also billed as a part-time Amway salesman. These common man vocations appealed to the average Alabama voter. It was Hunt’s calling as a Baptist preacher that resonated warmly with his constituency. Alabamians are very religious and very Baptist. Hu ...

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Downsizing to live small in my house, Part 2

By Dave Parrish This time, I’ll continue my downsizing/rightsizing efforts (see the Sept. 3 column for the starting points). I discussed that after years in the acquisition mode, I have arrived, as have many, to a place where more isn’t better. I discussed the fullness of my closet, and how I got rid of things I no longer needed. Next, we moved to the kitchen, no less daunting of a task. First, the easy stu ...

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Inside the Statehouse: 1990 governor race becomes a fray

By Steve Flowers When Guy Hunt took office as the first Republican governor in January 1987 not much was expected of him. After all, he’d been elected only because of the backlash resulting from the handpicking of Bill Baxley over Charlie Graddick by the Democratic Party leadership. Few people voted for Hunt because they thought he was the better choice or that his credentials rendered him more qualified. H ...

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Inside the Statehouse: 1986 governor’s race won by unlikely candidate

By Steve Flowers The 1986 governor’s race will be remembered as one of Alabama’s most amazing political stories. In 1978 Fob James sent the Three Bs -- Brewer, Beasley and Baxley -- packing. Brewer and Beasley had been permanently exiled to Buck’s Pocket, the mythical destination for defeated Alabama gubernatorial candidates. However, Bill Baxley resurrected his political career by bouncing back to be elect ...

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A divided America remembers 9/11

By Scott Buttram TRUSSVILLE -- Our world and our psyche irrevocably changed 13 years ago today. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers marked the beginning of a time with no foreseeable end. As Sept. 11, 2014 dawns, we find ourselves very much in the same situation. Still at war with terror. Still shocked by the atrocities. Still, at least somewhat, living in fear. Following th ...

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