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95-year-old interrupts mask-making by surviving COVID-19
1/6/2021 11:53:07 AM

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP)—When the coronavirus pandemic began, Miriam Looker sprang into action at the behest of her stepson, a central Ohio doctor. Looker, 95, used her supply of quilting materials and soon was making up to 10 masks a day at her assisted living facility in Marysville, about 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) northwest of Columbus. Then, as she pushed well over 1,000 masks, Looker took a break—to recover from COVID-19 herself. “It was kind of my turn, I guess,” she said. After feeling exhausted and taking a lot of naps in...

Hanging up his bag after delivering newspapers for 50 years
1/6/2021 11:44:45 AM

By Kelly Urban   JENNERSTOWN, Pa. (AP)—Bill Berkey was 17 years old when he delivered his first newspaper for The Tribune-Democrat. Fifty years later, on Dec. 31, the 67-year-old was to deliver his last edition and hang up his delivery bag for good. “I really enjoyed doing it,” Berkey said. “I'm going to miss it when I go, but it's becoming too much. “I'm very proud of having delivered newspapers to my friends and neighbors for 50 years.” Berkey began his career in the summer of 1970, delivering the newspaper in the...

Red isn’t always the red I see
1/6/2021 11:31:17 AM

Dr. James L. Snyder   THE PARSONAGE—It is not that I am colorblind; I just am color indifferent. Red and blue and yellow are all the same to me. This, on many occasions, has challenged the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, who is very meticulous when it comes to describing anything or anyone. In remodeling my office at the parsonage my wife asked, “What color would you like the walls to be painted?” That sounds like a good question to ask but it's not any question to ask if you know me. "I don't care about the color. Whatever you think...

24-hour civilian cease-fire all that’s needed to create more pleasant union
12/30/2020 5:56:56 PM

By LRon Brooks   THE UPSIDE-DOWN—In an AP story featured on page one of this week’s edition, random Atlanta school board member Charisse Davis asks—one assumes rhetorically—“What is holding our country together?” People like Ms Davis always ask these existential questions to make themselves feel like they’ve done something, and then fade back into the woodwork without waiting to hear if anybody fields a good idea. And by ‘people like Ms Davis,’ I mean Earthlings. Us. The species. Face it, apathy in the face untenable...

Hope for the New Year
12/30/2020 5:53:34 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITA   We are beginning the New Year during very perilous times for children and for our nation and world, but in the face of overwhelming challenges and threats to safety and well-being this is also a new chance to fight back against depression, fear, and despair and determine to keep pushing forward. I share again an adapted version of Madeleine L’Engle’s poem “First Coming” (used by permission in my book Guide My Feet as published in Imagining the Word):   God did not wait till the world was...

SAVVY SENIOR: How robotic pets can help isolated seniors avoid loneliness
12/30/2020 5:49:55 PM

By Jim Miller   Dear Savvy Senior, I recently read an article about robotic pets being a great substitute for pet-loving seniors who can’t have or take care of a pet any longer. What do you think of this? My mother, who has some dementia, is living in an assisted living facility that doesn’t allow pets. And because of COVID, we haven’t been allowed inside the facility to visit her since March. I’ve been thinking about getting her a robot pet to help cheer her up but would like to know if they are worth buying, and if so, where can I go to find...

Another Christmas tree in the bag
12/30/2020 5:39:51 PM

By Dr. James L. Snyder   It's hard to believe, but another Christmas has come and gone. It comes so slow but leaves so fast. I guess I'll never understand that. This Christmas was probably the most unusual that I have ever experienced. When I was young, I remember those first Christmases; they were so slow in getting here. I think for the week leading up to Christmas, every day gained at least 10 new hours. By the time Christmas Eve arrived, I was so worn out waiting that I didn't know what to do. I can't remember my first Christmas because I was only five...

Calling out the carnival tonight on Desolation Row
12/23/2020 10:13:47 PM

(with apologies to King Bob) By L Ron Brooks   THE HEARTLAND—You know what holiday norm I used to hate? Year-in-Review pieces in print or on TV. My feeling was always, “Lazy [blankety-blank blankity-blanker], I was there too; I still remember this stuff just happening. Why not find a real news story to cover?” It occurs I haven’t seen any of those kinda od shows advertised yet this year. Funny, that. Already when we look back at 2020, it’s from over our shoulders and we only want to know one thing; it’s not still chasing us, is it? It...

Tell Santa I tried to be nice
12/23/2020 9:09:46 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   THE PARSONAGE—It’s that time of the year when the conversation around the dinner table in the Parsonage has to do with naughty or nice. I must admit it's not my favorite conversation because what is naughty, and what is nice? That all depends on who you're talking to. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has a different definition of these words than I do. According to my wife, nice has to do with broccoli, and naughty has to do with Apple fritter. At least I can’t. I'm afraid I have to disagree with this because as far...

After 110K virus deaths, nursing homes face vaccine fears
12/16/2020 6:54:06 PM

By Bernard Condon and Matt Sedensky   After 110,000 deaths ravaged the nation’s nursing homes and pushed them to the front of the vaccine line, they now face a vexing problem: Skeptical residents and workers balking at getting the shots. Being first has come with persistent fears that the places hit hardest in the pandemic—accounting for nearly 40% of the nation’s death toll—could be put at risk again by vaccines sped into development in months rather than years. Some who live and work in homes question if enough testing was done on the elderly, if enough...