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Jess Baldwin of Salem calls it her “mid-life crisis.” For many of us, sitting in a kayak and trying to traverse the 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Charles in 88 hours or less would definitely be a crisis.

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First, the numbers. Suicide rates in America have risen about 30 percent since 1999, according to a recent report from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention. They increased among men and women, all ethnic groups, urban and rural. Half of the people who died by suicide had a known m…

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Last week I wrote about the scope of poverty in the Ozarks. To refresh your memory, the Ozarks is plagued with some of the worst poverty in the state, bringing with it a myriad of problems. In Dent County, the poverty rate was 19.8 percent in 2016, and it was 19.6 percent in Phelps County, a…

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What does poverty look like? Sometimes it’s a little hard to see, hiding behind the faces of the people you see walking an aisle at Walmart or the little kid who is standing beside your kid in the elementary school choir program.

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We first met Rosy a little over 10 years ago. She was a bright and bubbly 15-year-old working in a Puerto Vallarta, Mexico jewelry store. Her perfect English and gift of gab made her the star of the store, the go-to person for the many American and Canadian customers who flock to this resort…

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I swore I would never be one of those careless dummies who let a brush fire get away from them. Countless times over the past few decades I’ve read the fire report in the newspaper about some kook who lit a match to some brush or trash while the wind was howling out of the North, or when we …

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Not quite three years ago, I escorted my wife Felicia to a Christian music concert by Matthew West, and before we left the Meramec Music Theatre we were the proud new sponsors of a young boy named Isaya from Tanzania. Saturday night I escorted my wife to a Christian music concert by Casting …

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There is a picture of a half-smiling Robbie Camden in the May 20, 1971, edition of The Salem Post. He had a lot to smile about, considering he was just out of prison – for good, this time – the beneficiary of a pardon from then-governor Warren E. Hearnes.

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School shootings and the threat of school shootings are in the news these days, and on our minds, too, as evidenced by the response to our story on thesalemnewsonline.com Saturday that a Salem High School student is charged with making a terrorist threat after allegedly posting a threat on S…