Driving carefully is advice that is old as dirt but it bears repeating, especially around road construction sites. That goes double for the 4-lane work on the 203 Bypass around Elba! With more and more changes being made as construction crews try to keep traffic flowing and do their work all at the same time, it gets tricky to say the least. It is not unusual for our phone to ring or someone stop in the office to relate an incident of a ‘near-miss’ accident situation as they navigate the work sites on 203. It is worse for a couple of days after any new rerouting of traffic. The bottom line for each of us is to be extra alert with our driving and extra watchful of other drivers who might not be as aware of the dangers as we think we are.

Several weeks ago, we would have bet you a cup of coffee that the lottery issue would pass the Alabama legislature this year. Now we are not so sure. It squeaked by the first vote with zero votes to spare. Now scrapping over how the profits will be divided is just one of the obstacles cropping up to effectively kill the idea before it even gets out of the starting gate. We recall the lottery debate when Florida successfully joined the ‘pie in the sky’ race to make everybody rich. They promised a bunch of money to the schools “on top of the regular budgets” once the lottery got going. We liked that idea and wrote an editorial in our Florida newspaper supporting the measure. Well it passed but as inflation of education costs continued, that ten percent above the regular budget was absorbed into supporting the regular budget. Today if there was a “do over” we would not encourage our readers to support it on any promise of how the money is divided.

If the reports are true of the Ozark lady who falsified the results of drug-screen tests, we are in shock. We ask “Why?” Then our thoughts ramble to those impacted by the falsified test results. If it jailed someone for drug use and/or parole violation, what will happen with their cases? Worse to us is the potential that families lost custody of their children over someone’s lies! How in the world can this all be rectified if/when the courts find her guilty???? If it were my children, today would not be too soon to get a court ruling on custody of my children. Every day this goes unsettled is an injustice to an untold number of parents, other adults and the innocent little children.

China will retaliate against the U. S. for the recent tariff increases. There is probably no one who doubts that idea. The immediate thoughts are they will increase tariffs tit-for-tat. We have just this morning read of some particular items the Chinese might target and that is farmers and our farm exports. That brings up the massive soy bean exports to China. Already the bean growers are experiencing a drop in the price of soy beans. Any additional ‘payback’ could be buying their soy beans and other grains from other countries. Being an American farmer is a challenge under any conditions, but to get in the middle of a political battle is a no win for agriculture. The question in the opinion piece we read today was, “How will Donald Trump react to that very devastating move?”

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