Another lesson from Miss Manners

By Helena Rodriquez: Freedom Newspapers I may not exactly be Miss Manners, but when it comes to social etiquette, I’ve got a few things to say. I’ll call these Helena’s mannerisms. When someone sneezes, any proper, caring individual should say “Bless you!” If the person sneezes again, it is only proper to sigh and say […]

Spellers hit their Paideias for Saturday’s spelling bee

By Marlena Hartz The fate of the young contestants hinge on words that are rarely used in daily speech and rarely seen in ink: “Samovar,” a metal urn; “nisse,” a friendly goblin of Scandinavian folklore that frequents farm buildings; “torrenticole,” an organism that lives in swiftly flowing water. But it isn’t the rarity, nor the […]

King left practical message of hope

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” — Martin Luther King Jr. When it comes to historical figures, people often feel either a need to embrace them entirely, ignoring or denying contradictory or troubling things that they said or did. The other, mirror-image […]

The Huber guide to a PC Yuletide

Bob Huber: Humor Columnist Now comes Christmas with its roasted chestnuts and guys begging change for charity in front of Wal-Mart stores, all of which makes me watch my language. I learned that yuletide lesson as a youngster when my mother utilized her Nebraska wit by saying, “If you can‘t talk clean during the holidays, […]

Sept. 21 Veterans’ Profiles

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers M.C. Kelly Date of birth: Sept. 14, 1918 Dates of service: 1942-1969 served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam Hometown: Bellville, Kansas Theater and location of service: Europe, based out of England Branch: Army Air Force Rank: Lieutenant colonel Unit and Specialty: Fighter pilot, 376 Squadron in the 361st […]

Fault-finding words can hurt feelings

Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist “I really wanted this shoe leather on my boots,” he grumbled. That ruffled my feathers. My husband could have said, “You really cooked this piece of ham well.”  Helping him work in the yard was his fault! I thought. When I saw him sharpen a cutting knife and then attack that […]

Mexico: Not just a border; a whole world away

By Helena Rodriguez As I was walking through the streets of Merida, Yucatan, in Mexico recently, my feet blistered, my stomach churning wildly and aching for the tastes and comforts of home, I recalled the now not-so-funny words of comedian George Lopez. “Chicanos belong in the United States!” Those words rang in my ears as […]

Clovis boy making repeat trip to spelling bee

By Marlena Hartz The dictionary, tilted slightly, nearly engulfed an entire cushion on the Gillooly’s L-shaped couch. Sitting diagonally from the 2,662 page reference book, with his hands folded in his lap, Zachary Gillooly looked composed. But for this Yucca Junior High ninth-grader, the dictionary has been a friend and, at times, a foe. Gillooly, […]

Former pole-winders reminisce

By Sharna Johnson: PNT fact finder Unique in its annual tradition, the community of Portales has years of memories from Maypoles gone-by. Beautiful dresses, dream-like dancing to heart-scoring music and the uniting of classmates right before they cross into their adult lives and leap into the great unknown. These things are all part of the […]

Non-existent words can be confusing

By Kevin Wilson The question was pretty simple: What’s your favorite word that isn’t in the dictionary. Merriam-Webster recently posed that question, and was pretty surprised to receive more than 3,000 answers. I’d be surprised too, since they were really asking for something that isn’t supposed to exist. Apparently, the responses indicated there were a […]