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A glimmer of hope is shining in Becker with a new neighborhood Dollar General store that is filling the gap left by the closing of the two previous convenience stores that once populated the downtown area. Even the former Helen’s Beauty Shop is coming back to life under a new owner.

As I am standing at the back of the starting line for the Abbott Dash 5K in Manhattan on Saturday, Nov. 2, near the United Nations buildings, I am thinking about similarities between diabetes prevention or anything related to better health and running a marathon.

Prediabetes is the preclinical state preceding Type 2 diabetes. In prediabetes, fasting blood sugars (100-125 mg/dL), hemoglobin A1c values (5.7-6.4) or oral glucose tolerance results (140-199 mg/dL) fall between the normal range and diabetes range.

Autumn is upon us and with winter rapidly approaching, you’re probably not spending much time thinking about your lawn. But during the fall of the year, with its cooler temperatures and occasional rainfall, is the ideal time to prepare your lawn for next spring. Just because it is the fall o…

Wedged between a spike in Halloween activities and the onslaught of Thanksgiving and Christmas events, it’s assuring to know Monroe County stands behind its veterans by offering an increasing number of Veterans Day events.

Politically speaking, about this time next year is going to feel like you’re five leftover turkey sandwiches into wanting to forget about Thanksgiving food for a while. The way national politics is already tracking, it won’t take long for most of us to be just as burnt out by the time Electi…

We all take way too much for granted. Technology has led us to expect instant results at the touch of a button. A few times in my life, I have been reminded how important it is to have a “Plan B.” Times do come when the conveniences we take for granted don’t work for us for one reason or another.

I spent many of my formative and awkward years growing up in a great neighborhood surrounded by friends my age working out their awkward years too. It’s hard to believe all that peaked nearly 30 years ago before we got our driver’s licenses and slowly drifted in our separate directions.

Earlier this year we thought it would never stop raining, and here we are now a few months later wondering if it will ever start raining again. Dusty roads and fields and brown grass are the results of dry conditions. However, remember these conditions can also result in one, seemingly small…

Monroe County Electric Power Association members have watched over the past two months as electric cooperatives across north Mississippi have announced their plans to bring high-speed broadband internet service to the very people that own the cooperatives – their members. Many have asked, “W…

The best my memories serves me, it was once a month while in junior high when I’d go the High Street Community Center to help unload boxes of food from an 18-wheeler trailer, sort items into other boxes and take them to people’s cars a few hours later.

Fire is a useful tool when it comes to removing unwanted vegetation from a piece of land. However, fire is also one of the most destructive and uncontrollable forces on the planet. Even with extensive training, fire is difficult to contain and suppress once it reaches wildfire status.

Libraries have been around almost as long as people have. If you consider a library a collection of records, then the earliest known one has been found in Babylon, dating back to more than 2000 BC. From then onward, libraries as collections of records and writings have flourished throughout …

We all get burnt out from time to time. You could grill enough grade-A steaks for the week on Sunday and be dying for just a peanut butter sandwich for supper by Friday. You can think you can handle one workload after another but eventually realize you miss not having the sensation of 100 po…

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether the newspaper should be allowed to post arrest pictures. I’m not sure when the media started posting press releases of people on what was definitely one of their worst days, but I know it was long before I got here. For me, posting mugshots t…

Back in the early ‘90s, MTV helped launch the acting career of a comedian named Pauly Shore. Had I been the age I am now then, his California-inspired accent and slang and stupid antics would’ve turned me away pretty quickly.

In the process of writing a story about kindergarten assessments last week, I had a strong sense of déjà vu. As soon as it hit, I explained to a co-worker that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work and whenever I fall back asleep, usually have dreams about work. It’s a vic…

There are certain times of the year such as graduation, New Year’s Day and autumn when I usually take a reoccurring topic and give it a rewrite. Whereas I usually write a few words to motivate students in late July/early August, this year’s back to school column is targeting a different grou…

I live across the road from a pine tree farm cultivated from the late ‘80s to what is now a Mecca for forestry and wildlife management. Although I don’t know much of anything about prescribed burns and attracting turkeys, I know there’s 200 acres’ worth of learning opportunities up there.

As best I can recall, all of our pets have been rescues or hand me downs of some sort. Our miniature Schnauzer was given to us as a malnourished and abused puppy. It still has issues. Our three-pound miniature Pomeranian was left for us to care for by a soldier who was deployed and never cal…

It’s that magical time of year again when we come together as a community and celebrate one another. That’s right, folks. It’s time for Best of Monroe Reader’s Choice.

Every time you can get away with paying $1.07 for a couple of boxes of lemon cake and sugar cookie mix, it’s a good day. Last week, though, I told the cashier when she rang it up it was pretty much breaking my heart.

I recently had the pleasure of hearing a sermon on embracing change. The preacher likened keeping the church locked up tight against change to an empty, shut up house that reeks of must, and how nice it is when you can open the doors and windows and let the light in. When that never happens,…

A few weeks ago, I got to meet a young and really happy Chihuahua named Sweetie for a story. In Angelia Goode’s fourth-grade class, Sweetie seems to be the class favorite. While math problems and numbers are the center of attention in her class, Sweetie is hanging in there really close.

Last week, our sports editor, Melissa Meador, said in conversation Monroe County has a graduating high school class this year producing an incoming Yale freshman and a pitcher who is a potential MLB draft candidate. That statement sparked the sometimes overlooked fact that Monroe County is a…

About 14 hours after the tornado hit Hamilton April 13, I saw a completely different scene than from the early morning hours before then. Whereas flashing blue and red lights lit up the sky as first responders poured in throughout the night, volunteers were coming in droves the next afternoo…