Author: Steve Leavell

M & M & M & M

Stick with me on this. It’ s going somewhere, I promise. M&M candies were first produced in 1941, by a company owned in partnership by Forrest Mars, son of Mars Candy Company founder Frank Mars, and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate’ s then-president William Murrie. (Hence the name.) The little confections became hugely popular with soldiers during World War II and, in fact, for a time during the war were available only to the military because of chocolate rationing. In the post-war years, the product remained essentially the same, except that a black “M” was imprinted on the...

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Hector City Council Meeting

Possibilities for wastewater treatment and a local health clinic, and a potential land purchase, as well as plans for major street repairs and the Dog Daze-Hector Fest celebrations were discussed by the Hector City Council Monday, June 19, at its regular monthly meeting as part of a lengthy and wide-ranging agenda. Mayor John Riley presented the council with results of a mail survey sent out to every postal patron within the Hector city limits and additional area residents outside the city but within the coverage area recommended by Civil Engineering Associates for a wastewater treatment center. Riley said the mailer asking for opinions on continuing a feasibility study for the project went to “well over 300” households and received only 109 responses. Of those, 59 were favorable toward continuing pursuing a formal study and 50 against the project. After a lengthy discussion, the council concluded that although they wished there had been more participation and a clearer mandate, they should continue to explore various possibilities for a municipal sewer system. Riley suggested that the matter be tabled ‘ for a month or two” to allow more community discussion followed by establishment of a committee of council and community members to explore various possibilities including a “cluster” system of smaller treatment facilities instead of a single centralized. No formal action was taken. Riley said he had recently had contact with...

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Locked in the Cabinet

Last week our president held the first meeting of his entire cabinet, and, perhaps in character for a man in love with superlatives, it was the strangest cabinet of all time. According to the C-SPAN transcript, President Trump began with a rambling, self-congratulatory, largely fact-free (his administration does not have the best legislative record in history, but one of the worst; the reason most of his appointees have not been approved by the Senate is that the vast majority have yet to be submitted; and so on. . .) He ended his soliloquy of self-praise with an invitation for each of his cabinet secretaries to introduce themselves to the group. While the president’s opening statement left little doubt who his number one fan is, there was plenty of competition for the second spot, starting, appropriately, with Vice-President Mike Pence, who said, “Thank you, Mr. President, and just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to a president who’s keeping his word to the American people.” This display of flattery set the tone for the other 22 folks around the table. Some of the, for lack of a better word, highlights, include: Alexander Alcosta, Secretary of Labor: “Mr. President, my privilege to be here, deeply honored.”: Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary: “What an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health...

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Two of a Kind

I’m not sure it rises to the level of a confession, but I’ll freely make the admission that I’ve always had a problem telling John Lewis and Elijah Cummings apart. If you don’t follow the national news as obsessively as some of us do, you might not know that the two are congressmen, Lewis from Georgia, Cummings from Maryland. Both are black, bald, slightly plump older men who, at least to my eyes look enough enough alike to pass into has-anyone-ever seen-them-together-in-the-same-room territory. Upon doing a little research, I was surprised to learn that Lewis is in fact 11...

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Looking Back With Pride and Forward Optimism Owens Leaves Dover Schools After a Decade

At the end of June, Dover school superintendent Jerry Owens will leave the district. Owens announced his plans at the end of the 2015-16 school year allowing an orderly transition to the administration of his designated successor, elementary principal Josh Daniels. The Chronicle visited with Owens about his memories of the past and his plans for the future. The Chronicle: You’ve been superintendent here for 10 years. That’s what most people in this area know about you. But what about before then? Where are you from? What was your background in education? Where did you teach, or coach or...

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