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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

  • Friday, January 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    As many of us know, youth are risk-takers. There are countless studies and theories as to why youth participate in risk-taking behaviors, and even scientific studies on teen brain development which may hold some more logical answers. Many youth yearn to feel included with their peers, so they set their pragmatism aside and, unfortunately, some make decisions based on an emotional need to feel that inclusion. When synthetic cannabinoids hit the shelves years ago, the risk-taking behavior of some teens led them to try this substance. In 2015 only 2.5 percent of Indiana 11th graders and 2.1 percent of Indiana 12th graders report using the substance on a monthly basis. This percentage has decreased since the Indiana Youth Survey began surveying students on their usage of the substance in 2013.
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  • Monday, January 09, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Indiana General Assembly reconvened for the 2017 legislative session last week.
    This year, state lawmakers will work to craft the next two-year state budget, which will fund all state government services, including education, infrastructure and public safety.
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  • Wrapping up a wonderful Norwegian vacation
    Wednesday, January 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    John, Kara, Riley and Jeremy Edie are sending travel journal updates from their holiday vacation in Norway. This is the fourth and final dispatch in their series.
    Wednesday, Dec. 21
    [Kara] We spent the day on the MS Finnmarken, traveling north-northeast up through the Norwegian fjords. On the previous day, the cruise director notified us when sunup and sundown would be: the sun would rise at 11:35 a.m. The sun would set less than an hour later, at 12:24 p.m. In the afternoon we stopped at the coastal town of Bodø, which we strolled through in the half light. 
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  •  Aurora Borealis – viewed from a Norwegian sea
    Wednesday, December 28, 2016 4:00 AM
    Tuesday Dec. 20: Trondheim, Norway 
    [Kara] When we arrived in Trondheim on Monday, it was around 3 p.m., but the city was already growing dark. Daylight hours get shorter as we travel further north, as if they weren't in short enough supply as we near the winter solstice. When we set out to explore the city that evening, although everything was beautifully draped in Christmas lights, we couldn't tell how literally colorful Trondheim was until the sun rose the next morning - around 9:30 a.m.
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  • Getting to Norway is an adventure by itself
    Friday, December 23, 2016 4:00 AM
    Editor’s Note: Husband and wife John and Kara Edie are tag-team writing this next dispatch from Norway.
    [John] Normally Kara is the stressed one during plane travel and I'm the calm one, but the roles were reversed on our way to Norway. I stressed that we'd miss our connections, but even with mishaps and having to check bags back through security at both stops on the way, we made both connections in time. The movies going to Frankfurt were mostly in German, so I had plenty of time to contemplate how I was never going to fall asleep.
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  •  Taking to the Arctic Circle in December
    Wednesday, December 21, 2016 4:00 AM
    My family and I are currently on the road, headed to the airport for our holiday vacation. The timing COULD be better.
    Friday night, as you all know unless you're already hibernating for the winter, a chilly spate of weather hit the area and froze over, leaving a giant skating rink where central Indiana used to be. Apparently very little was moving on our area's roads and highways, except for what was sliding into a ditch.
    Blessedly, our plane doesn't leave Indy until 2:40 p.m., so we didn't venture onto the roads until 11 a.m., with me spending all morning alternating between packing and looking helplessly out the window, chanting "THAW! THAWWW!"
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  • Monday, December 12, 2016 4:00 AM
    Every new state law starts out as a bill heard in a legislative committee. The first chances for debate, public testimony and amendments all happen at the committee level.
    Our committees take pride in their work, and I believe participating in committee discussion is one of the most important tasks I undertake as your State Senator.
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  • Tuesday, December 06, 2016 4:00 AM
    When we think of youth drug use, heroin is probably the last drug that comes to our thoughts. In the state of Indiana, only 0.7 percent of 12th graders report any monthly usage of heroin. As the grade levels get lower, so does the percentage of use. Indiana is statistically on par with the US when it comes to youth heroin use. Not many kids choose to use this drug or try this drug. We can all breathe a sigh of relief, right?
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  • Young job seekers should consider government work
    Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The greying of the federal-government workforce could soon create a hiring crisis as a large swath of older workers retires in the coming years and a new generation declines to fill the breach.
    Simply put, most young people who are in job-search mode tend to look elsewhere, finding no motivation to vie for federal government positions that may strike them as more dreary than dazzling.
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  • Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The ideals of the holidays – sharing special faith traditions and spending time with family and friends – can easily be overshadowed by the barrage of advertisements, sales and the pressure to deliver the perfect gifts for our kids. 
    The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend an average of $935 this year for the holidays. But many experts say we should refocus our holiday efforts on giving to others in order to raise happy, empathetic and resilient kids. 
    Try asking the children in your life to name their favorite gifts from last year. Chances are they may only remember a couple. Overindulgence, even when well-intentioned, can have serious consequences for children. 
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  • Wednesday, November 09, 2016 4:00 AM
    The Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions! It still doesn’t seem possible that it finally happened. Although I hadn’t endured all 108 years of disappointment, sometimes it seemed like it. As the son of a lifelong Cubs fan who actually remembered listening to the 1945 World Series on the radio, my roots run deep as a Cub fan.
    I attended my first Cubs game at Wrigley Field with my dad and a friend of his on August 5, 1959, as a special treat for my seventh birthday. I remember the 140 mile drive from our home in Savanna, IL, and the excitement of finally going to a game after listening to the Cubs on the radio and pestering my dad for what seemed like forever to go to a game. I don’t remember much about the game other than the Cubs lost to the Phillies that day, and it was a long ride home. However, it began a lifelong journey as a Cubs fan that has included hundreds of trips to Wrigley Field and other ball parks to see them play.
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  • Monday, November 07, 2016 4:00 AM
    The greying of the federal-government workforce could soon create a hiring crisis as a large swath of older workers retires in the coming years and a new generation declines to fill the breach.
    Simply put, most young people who are in job-search mode tend to look elsewhere, finding no motivation to vie for federal government positions that may strike them as more dreary than dazzling.
    “Millennials want to work some place that seems cool, like Google, or at least for a company with a recognizable name,” says Ann Vanderslice, president and CEO of Retirement Planning Strategies, which specializes in advising federal workers about their benefits.
    “Not that the federal government isn’t a recognizable name. But it just seems bureaucratic to them, with lots of rules and structures.”
    The nonprofit group Partnership for Public Service reports that just 7 percent of federal government jobs are held by millennials, even though they account for 23 percent of the overall U.S. workforce.
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  • Saturday, November 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    Many of you may not be surprised to know that the number-one substance used and abused by youth is alcohol. And why wouldn’t it be? Alcohol is readily available in several households across the United States. The media, particularly big block-buster hits like Mean Girls or the Scream TV show in MTV, portrays high school drinking and binge drinking as a “normal” thing to do at parties and with friends. Some parents may even allow their children to drink in their home, because “at least they are not drinking somewhere else.” 
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  • Wednesday, November 02, 2016 4:00 AM
    Thomas Jefferson captured the idea of where a legitimate government gets its authority to govern in the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776. 
    This power comes from the consent of the governed. It is we the people, through our votes, that gives legitimacy to our democracy. However, when Jefferson penned his famous declaration, only white, male property owners were actually allowed to bestow that authority. 
    President Lyndon B. Johnson stated at the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” 
    But it wasn’t just African-American men who were “imprisoned” by lacking the vote, women had to fight for this fundamental right as well.
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul led their respective suffragist organizations utilizing speeches, marches and acts of civil disobedience to obtain access to the ballot box. 
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  • Sunday, October 30, 2016 10:48 PM
    “The way to deter aggression . . . is to be willing and able to respond vigorously at places and with means of our own choosing.” On Oct. 12, 1954, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles based Washington’s relationship with Moscow on our massive nuclear arsenal and the ability to nuke Russia until it glowed. That lasted until 1969 when the Soviet Union achieved nuclear parity. For the next 22 years, until the USSR fell in 1991, the threat of mutual assured destruction dominated the relationship between the world’s two superpowers. Today’s world is arguably far more perilous.
    During the presidential election of 1960, Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy excoriated the Eisenhower administration for allowing a supposed “missile gap” favoring the Soviet Union. If Republican candidate Vice President Richard Nixon knew Kennedy was wrong, he remained silent. President Eisenhower, however, knew any strategic weapons gap favored the United States because the U.S. possessed overwhelming nuclear superiority. His certainty relied on highly classified satellite reconnaissance, its quality classified above Top Secret. Eisenhower and Nixon put national security above partisan politics. Nixon lost.
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