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Emerald’s Gem Box: Crying babies and rambunctious children in church

I took my babies/children to church. Let me start off by saying that. But, I either took them to the nursery, or they behaved during church (depending on their age.) Please, hang with me during this column. I do believe in raising children in church. And many churches believe that it’s okay to have children (of all ages) sit in the pews because it is considered “raising your children in church,” and it’s teaching them to be “in church.” But, I promise you, that at age two, three or four,…

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Free income tax returns at the Madison Extension Office

Diann Douglas: Guest Columnist For the sixth year, Madison County Extension Office will be hosting an IRS Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.   Over forty years ago, VITA began training volunteers to process tax returns for low and moderate-income people.  What started as a small opportunity for college students to gain work skills has expanded into a national program, utilizing volunteers from diverse background and experiences. Each year, volunteers receive training from the IRS to help prepare tax returns in communities across America. Many collaborations and partnerships have developed…

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Emerald’s Gem Box: Happy Birthday Brooke

Sunday, January 21, will mark the 23rd birthday of my daughter, Brooke. I have always lovingly called Brooke my “problem child.” Brooke IS the reason I had to keep health insurance. From the time she was born, everything that could happen, did happen to Brooke. At four months old, I had Brooke in and out of eye doctor offices with the threat of a “lazy eye” looming over our heads. One week after her first birthday the left side of her face swelled up, and she looked like “The Elephant…

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Passing Parade: The great rules rollback

Nelson A. Pryor: Guest Columnist With the realization that a president can’t do anything that a Congress won’t allow, our President Donald J. Trump has had a great first year. This is what he has accomplished: passed a long-promised rewrite of the tax code, more oil drilling, and a series of lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary. The President promised to upend Washington, and drain the swamp, by reducing the influence of Johnny Red Tape. The far-reaching rollback of rules was officially announced on Dec. 14, 2017. The Dec. 15,…

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