Daily Archive: December 30, 2011

Opinion

Remembering a poor baby

(NNPA)—When Britany Lewis was born, no trumpets and glad tidings or even balloons and baby showers greeted her arrival. She was just another poor baby. Britany never knew her father, and for the first six years of her life lived in virtual squalor with five siblings and a mother addicted to drugs who eventually went to prison. Britany barely remembers her, though there are some details of her early childhood that do stand out–like the maggots everywhere in their run-down house, even in the refrigerator.

Opinion

Newt Gingrich, glib opportunist

by Eugene Robinson (NNPA)—Can we please bury the notion that Newt Gingrich is some kind of deep thinker? His intellect may be as broad as the sea, but it’s about as deep as a birdbath. I’m not saying the Republican presidential front-runner is unacquainted with ideas. Quite the contrary: Ideas rain through his brain like confetti, escaping at random as definitive pronouncements about this or that. But they are other people’s ideas, and Gingrich doesn’t bother to curate them into anything resembling a consistent philosophy.

Entertainment

‘My Soul to Take’

People say that summer colds are the worst, but that’s not entirely true. A cold stinks no matter when you catch it. The sneezing, the stuffiness, the raw throat and hacking cough are no fun at any time, and they always seem to arrive just when you least need them. But what if the virus was targeted directly at you? What if someone—or something—meant for you to become sick and die? In the new novel “My Soul to Take” by Tananarive Due, a centuries-old conflict could annihilate humanity, one by one.

Entertainment

George Benson lifelong bond with music

by Rita Charleston For New Pittsburgh Courier As a child prodigy raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, he first began performing at the age of seven and was known as “little Georgie Benson,” playing the ukulele and singing. He switched to the guitar when he was nine because, he says, he needed the guitar to back up his singing. GEORGE BENSON WITH HIS GUITAR

Entertainment

My granddaughter is out of control

(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: My granddaughter ran away from home as a teenager at 17 years old. One day her mother asked if we would try to make one last attempt to locate her. The family had considered that in the 20 years gone she had met with foul play. After much searching, someone answered our Facebook telling us they knew where my granddaughter was staying. We contacted her and sent her money to visit. It was a happy occasion—at least at first.

Business

Fewest layoffs since ’08 as economy strengthens

by Daniel Wagner and Martiin Crutsinger Associated Press Writers WASHINGTON (AP)—The job market is getting healthier, adding to evidence that the economy is improving as 2011 nears an end. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to its lowest level since April 2008, the government said. The report suggested that layoffs are slowing further and that employers may be ready to hire more aggressively in the new year.

Business

Sears to close 100-120 Kmart, Sears stores

by Anne D’Innocenzio and Michelle ChapmanAssociated Press Writers NEW YORK (AP)—Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores after poor sales during the holidays, the most crucial time of year for retailers. The closings are the latest and most visible in a long series of moves to try to fix a retailer that has struggled with falling sales and shabby stores.

Sports

Some offbeat awards for NFL season

by Barry WilnerAP Pro Football Writer The official NFL awards will be handed out during Super Bowl week. The offbeat ones are being handed out now. MOST MEMORABLE GAME The season began with some sensational, down-to-the-wire matchups, including the overall opener, Green Bay’s 42-34 win over New Orleans. It’s also hard to forget Detroit’s stunning rally for a 34-30 win at Dallas in Week 4. BEST MOVE INTO END ZONE— Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson (89) flips over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington (58) for a touchdown, Dec. 24, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Sports

OVERTIME

:10 Plain and simple, when Jerome Simpson—JUMPED…NO, LET ME CORRECT THAT—Flew over the Arizona Cardinals to score a touchdown, it was not only the play of the year, it might mark it as the play of the decade! Got a better one? You know the drill, write me and I’ll showcase you. (“Overtime”—Champion Enterprises, 416 Springdale Dr., Suite 33, Pgh., PA 15235). BILL NEAL