"Running against Harrisburg" is a popular strategy. Most modern gubernatorial candidates seeking a first term, including incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, have "run against Harrisburg." They focus their campaigns heavily toward attacking Harrisburg "insiders" (read more)
Government secrets should be an oxymoron rather than a common aspect of public business. Even at the federal level, where national security is in play, secrets should be rare. At the local level, they should be non-existent. Local governing bodies such a (read more)
Despite a long history of hosting environmentally disruptive energy extraction industries, including thousands of coal mines and the nation's first oil well, Pennsylvania's government was woefully unprepared for the large-scale arrival of the natural gas (read more)
The News-Item's cheers and jeers from the past week of news: - Cheers to Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts, who last Monday became the ninth living recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor, for his actions in Iraq and Afgha (read more)

Letters to the editor
To the editor: It's only July and negative campaign ads have already begun in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that money equals speech, special interests have been flooding our elections with ca (read more)
Recently, I read articles in both our local papers about a young man who took his life while at Northumberland County Prison. Apparently, he was sent to prison due to drugs. I was saddened to read some of the hateful comments made about this man as his f (read more)
To the editor: Inmate Charles T. Picarella's letter claiming abuse, malnourishment and lack of adequate health care is weak on specifics. His alleged tale of woe would lead one to believe he's incarcerated in a Devil's Island penal colony somewhere. He s (read more)
To the editor: While I have always respected the opinions of Dr Terry Madonna, his column, "The real issue with the budget: Tax structure," hit a nerve because it's nothing more than a call for a massive tax increase rather than demanding that our bloate (read more)
SunnySide Supply, a safety equipment business in Washington County, is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to Marcellus Shale development. Today, SunnySide employs 15 workers - up from five in 2008 - and owner Paul Battista is proud of the well-paying job (read more)

Sound Off
Nothing like it Awesome fireworks show in Mount Carmel. Totally awesome. I have never seen anything like it. Long and blessed I would like to give special thanks to the newlyweds for donating the great and beautiful fireworks display. May you have a lo (read more)

Time Machine
- Ford announced production of a new car that could do 65 mph and 50 mph for at least four hours without hurting the engine. You could buy a new Buick from Kershner's at Market and Commerce streets, Shamokin, for $1,257 and a brand new house for $5,000 i (read more)
- It was cloudy and cool in Shamokin, where borough council named Leon Adams to the post of consulting engineer with the primary task of getting local streets back in good shape. That announcements cheered up many local citizens who had registered ongoin (read more)