Commentary

Thu
11
Oct
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What Do We Aspire To?

By James Decker

Editor’s note: This is the sixth part in my series on drugs and addiction in our communities. If you have not read the first four parts (“Real Problems, Our Problems,” “They Are Us,” “Solutions, But What Solutions?,” “Shine a Light Into the Darkness,” “A Shining City on a Hill,”), I encourage you to do so.

As I prepare to wrap up this series on drugs and addiction in our communities (for now), I was struck by these questions: what do we aspire to? What do we want our communities to be?

Thu
11
Oct
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2 Cents Worth

By Carol Greenway

Thu
04
Oct
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A Shining City on a Hill

Editor’s note: This is the fifth part in my series on drugs and addiction in our communities. If you have not read the first four parts (“Real Problems, Our Problems,” “They Are Us,” “Solutions, But What Solutions?,” “Shine a Light Into the Darkness”), I encourage you to do so.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” –Matthew 5:14

President Ronald Reagan famously spoke of America as a “shining city on a hill” in his farewell speech to the nation on January 11, 1989. He said that this vision was “a tall, proud city built on [strong] rocks…God blessed and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.” He previously used this same imagery in a speech called “A Vision for America,” given on the eve of his presidential election, on November 3, 1980. That night, he said that Americans were committed to the vision of a shining “city on a hill” just as they were at the time those words originated, way back in 1630.

Thu
04
Oct
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Stonewall Memorial Health Fair a big hit with community

The SMH Health Fair was hosted Tuesday at the Aspermont Community Center, where the hospital’s staff were on hand to meet and greet members of the community, providing education on services and programs, free screenings, and flu shots were also available.

Hospital Administrator Andy Kolb said the hospital reported three confirmed cases of the flu reported earlier this month and the CDC is anticipating another big flu season this year. As the flu vaccination is already on backorder, the health fair was a good opportunity for local community members to get their flu shots early.

In addition to the vaccines, screenings, as well as lunch being provided, people could walk away with bags of free merchandise from pens and markers to hand sanitizer and oral hygiene items. There were also plenty of coloring books and other fun things for the kids, and adults had the chance to win a number of door prizes.

Thu
04
Oct
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Aspermont 1st National Bank President assures public of continued service

When the Aspermont City Council officially accepted the resignation of Councilman Ralph Riddle last week, Riddle had no idea concerns of his status at the bank would send widespread concerns throughout the community. However, he recently assured the community his plans for the future do not include leaving FNB Aspermont.

Riddle explained that he will be getting married in December and will establish his primary residence in Lubbock, and although could no longer serve as a councilmember, as four generations of his family have been involved with the local Aspermont bank, he will remain Chairman, President, and CEO.

Riddle said he plans to work remotely from his new home in Lubbock but will spend a majority of the week in Aspermont in order to continue serving the community he will always call home. He also said he plans to keep his home in Aspermont.

Thu
04
Oct
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Abbott, Valdez present views on Texas in one hour forum

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Lupe Valdez on Sept. 28 appeared together on television for 60 minutes in the only scheduled gubernatorial debate, a forum hosted by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus.

A Republican and former Texas attorney general, Abbott is seeking a second four-year term as the state’s chief executive. His challenger, Guadalupe “Lupe” Valdez, a San Antonio-born Democrat, held elected office as Dallas County sheriff from 2005 to 2017 and previously served as a senior agent and investigator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, earlier as an agent for other federal agencies, and as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Thu
27
Sep
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Faces & Places

By Mary Gruben

“A weed 1s but an unioved flower.” Ella wheeler Wilcox

She stood in the middle of McDonald’s parking lot, cars swerving to miss her, people giving her the hairy eyeball. Growling stomachs have no empathy. I spied a place to park and grabbed it quickly. Whoever she was; she wasn’t a success at working the crowd. She approached; windows slid down and quickly slid back up. People were as cold as the metal on their car or at least it appeared to be so.

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Thu
27
Sep
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Solutions, But What Solutions?

By James Decker

Editor’s note: This is the fourth part in my series on drugs and addiction in our communities. If you have not read the first three parts (“Real Problems, Our Problems,” “They Are Us,” and “Solutions, But What Solutions?”), I encourage you to do so.

I’ve spent months thinking about the addiction problem in our rural communities and the decay and decline that comes with it. I learned a long time ago that identifying problems does no good if you aren’t also willing to identify and apply solutions. Today, I bring you a conversation about solutions.

As I have written, much of our addiction problem centers around attempts to self-medicate for despair, hopelessness, and depression. Professionals in the field liken depression and associated feelings with being enveloped by darkness. Our friends, family, and neighbors are faced with a world of darkness, for which self-medication seems to be the only outlet.

Thu
20
Sep
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Faces & Places

By Mary Gruben

Some sociologists say that men get out of doing housework by saying they don’t know how. I know because I’m married to the leader of that group, Since a man’s home is his castle; I have tried for a long time to get my husband to help clean his castle. He doth protest too much. Out of desperation I turned to the internet, which was my first mistake.

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Thu
20
Sep
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Solutions, But What Solutions?

By James Decker

Editor’s note: This is the third part in my series on drugs and addivtion in our communities. If you have not read the first two parts (“Real Problems, Our Problems” and “They Are Us”), I encourage you to do so.

Our communities are decaying from drug addiction and the accompanying crime, death, despair, and other adverse impacts. It is incumbent on community leaders to create and enact solutions, rather than wait on someone else to solve the problem. In discussion at the recent West Texas Rural Summit, one sheriff said something striking—he wanted to put drug dealers behind bars, but drug use is less law enforcement problem and more healthcare problem. Half of his jail is filled with drug charges and over half of those drugrelated inmates are dealing with some form of mental illness. To make matters worse, 80% of drug-related inmates are repeat drug offenders. Simply locking up drug users does not solve a problem, it only keeps jail beds filled.

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