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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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Last-minute gift ideas for Father’s Day

By Abby Hathorn Some dads are easy to shop for because they are totally satisfied with a new hat, wallet or gift card to the home improvement store. However, if your dad is anything like my dad, finding the perfect Father’s Day gift can be a real head-scratcher. We all want to get our dads gifts they will love and be able to use, but we also want to get them gifts that show just how well we know and love th ...

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The new room making, breaking home deals

By David Parrish A recent survey by Realtor.com identified a trend that I have been noticing more and more lately. While the kitchen is still the room that frequently makes or breaks a deal, there is an increasing shift of focus to another “room” for making a sale. That room is the back yard. Yes, I said the back yard. For those of you that have known me for a long time, you know that I have a little experi ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Looking forward to July 15 runoff

By Steve Flowers The big news out of this week’s political primaries is that there was no news. The results of every race came down almost precisely as predicted. The prevailing hypothesis among experts that there would be a low voter turnout was fulfilled. The turnout was around 20 percent statewide, as expected. The reason for the sparse voter participation was because there was very little reason to go v ...

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Sometimes flunking a college course takes more effort than passing it

By June Mathews All the recent late spring talk of exams and grades and graduations reminded me once again of the time I flunked music appreciation. Yeah, you read it right: music appreciation. The crip course to end all crip courses has a big fat “F” next to it on my college records. But there’s more to the story than you might think. Despite the whole flunking thing, I fondly remember the instructor who t ...

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Reforming government: Action, not just words

By Slade Blackwell Four years ago, when the Republican legislative majority was entrusted by voters with the task of genuinely reforming state government, one of our first priorities was to dramatically restore confidence in the public trust. We said there shouldn’t be two sets of rules for those entrenched in special interests in Montgomery with power, money, and influence and another set of rules for ever ...

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