The following was provided by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, of which The News-Item is a longtime member. PNA considers the establishment of Pennsylvania's Office of Open Records to be among the most important changes to Pennsylvania's 2008 Righ (read more)
What began as a gesture of interfaith hospitality ended badly last week when Duke University suddenly canceled plans to begin broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower of Duke Chapel every Friday afternoon. The first "call to prayer" wa (read more)
The following paragraph helps quickly bring into focus the key issues analyzed in the 235-page recovery plan prepared by state officials and private financial consultants for the City of Shamokin: "The city's bleak financial condition has been exacerbate (read more)
Long before the price of gas and oil began to plummet, socially conscious churches, universities, nonprofit organizations and local governments began to divest themselves of fossil fuel stock and shock the fossil fuel industry to understand the environme (read more)
Struggling city, county and school district governments statewide took heart in 2012 when the state Supreme Court appeared to tighten the criteria for nonprofit entities seeking local tax exemptions. The court found that a religiously affiliated camp in (read more)

Letters to the editor
To the editor: In the editorial section, Walter Brasch wrote about offensive words used to describe President Obama in particular and Democrats in general. Above that article was a column by Greg Maresca with some of those same offensive words. For examp (read more)
To the Editor: The recent depiction of the MCA School District and board of directors in The News-Item is a personal perspective and very subjective, and doesn't represent the true sentiment of the majority of the taxpayers in the district. We would like (read more)
To the editor: After months of serious consideration, effective Jan. 4, I have resigned as a member of the Mount Carmel Area Board of Education. I have resigned because there has been a fundamental shift in the district's mission statement, which has neg (read more)
To the editor: On behalf of all the coordinators of the Coal Crackers Club, we would like to say thank you to the many friends who have been instrumental in our success. Thank you to The News-Item, especially Andy Heintzelman, the editor, who has continu (read more)
To the editor: I'd like to address Kulpmont Borough Council. The new year is here. That typically signals a new start for every aspect of community life. It presents a time to honestly look at our decision- making strategies and reach out to friends and (read more)

Sound Off
Fried Thank God I never ordered freedom fries. Airheads I am not really a New England fan, but all this crap going on about the footballs. You have got players out there falling on the ball for three hours. The balls are being thrown around and kicked (read more)

Time Machine
- The Shamokin Area merchants contributed more than $4,000 to the jobs for men program, bringing the total to more than $168,000. - The Kulpmont Lions pledged to help out with the Geisinger Medical Center Fund, according to Roy T. Prosser, fund chairman. (read more)
- It was near zero in the area with a fairly good snow cover on the ground. - At Salem Reformed Church at Pine and Cedar streets in Shamokin, dedication ceremonies were set for a new Sunday school building. - In Centralia, all schools were closed as a ra (read more)