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Terror in the front yard: Feathered bullies cause big flap in the neighborhood

By June Mathews Some mockingbirds have set up housekeeping in our front yard, and it’s not just a single family nest with a mama, daddy and kids. Apparently the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma and grandpa have moved in, too. It seems like mockingbirds are everywhere. To make matters worse, they evidently think they own the place. But I guess that’s a fair assumption on their part since they outnumber Jimmie ...

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Things to consider when thinking about a second home

By David Parrish While at the beach I couldn’t help myself. As I have frequently (almost always) done in the past, I found myself thinking wouldn’t it be great if we had a home here. Do you dream of owning a second home? More and more people are turning to second homes for a variety of personal and financial reasons. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider to inform your second home strategy. If you’v ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Midsummer runoff voting traditionally lower

By Steve Flowers If you think the turnout was low for the June 3 primary, “then you ain’t seen nothing yet.” The runoff primary is Tuesday, July 15. The prognostication is for a paltry 5 percent statewide voter participation. Pundits and columnists should not chastise the average Alabama voter because, for the most part, he or she does not have much reason to vote July 15. Generally speaking, turnout for mi ...

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Inside the Statehouse: The infatuation with the governor’s office

By Steve Flowers When talk turns to politics in Alabama it usually leads to the governor’s race. It doesn’t matter if the governor’s race is four years away, political gossip starts early as to who will run. In Alabama politics the governor’s office is the brass ring. As each new race approaches it’s talked about more than ever around coffee clubs and kitchen tables from Sand Mountain to the Wiregrass. It’s ...

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Title insurance: Why do I need it?

By Chesley Payne Title insurance is an insurance product sold by title insurance companies and agents in all 50 states. The purpose of title insurance is to protect the insured in the event a title issue arises that could threaten your rights concerning a parcel of property. Among the most common issues are old, unreleased mortgages and sues that come about when property is sold by someone without the requi ...

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Lawmakers working to build strong financial foundation for state

By Slade Blackwell The vast majority of Americans continue to grow increasingly concerned and disappointed about the direction our country is headed. The national economy is sluggish, at best, and out-of-control federal spending has seemingly passed the point of no return. Fortunately for Alabamians, though, we have a different story to tell. Over the past four years, Alabama Republicans have enacted fiscal ...

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Helping high blood pressure naturally

By Channing King Have you been told that your blood pressure is too high or too low? If so, you're not alone. According to the American Heart Association, about 74.5 million people in the U.S. have high blood pressure. That equals out to about one in every three adults. On the flip side, while not affecting as many, low blood pressure also negatively affects a large group. Since blood pressure has increasin ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Alabama No. 6 in political corruption

By Steve Flowers A recent Fortune magazine article ranks Alabama as one of the top 10 states when it comes to corruption. We were ranked No. 6. The rankings were determined by a study of convictions of public officials for violations of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008. A good many of our sister Southern states also made the list. Not surprisingly, Louisiana, a perennial corruption leader, came ...

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Do eye problems run in the family?

By Zack Steele I’m asked almost daily if eye problems can be inherited. Scientific evidence and genetic evidence are often controversial on this subject because for every study that suggests a genetic component, there’s another that states the opposite. Some severe diseases we can definitely attribute to heredity. My clinical experience supports that there is a genetic component in many cases. I’m most comm ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Things change the more they remain the same

By Steve Flowers There’s an old adage that says the more things change the more they remain the same. This is certainly apropos for this year’s primary elections. On election night, I kept looking for some upset or surprise. It was not forthcoming. Essentially every incumbent won re-election, especially when it came to State Senate and House races. The Legislature is where the power is in state government.  ...

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