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Season signals time to change batteries as well as clocks

Dear Abby: Smoke alarms are one of the greatest fire safety success stories of our time. Since they were introduced in 1975, home fire deaths have been cut in half, even as the nation’s population has increased by half. But far too many people let the batteries in their smoke alarms wear out, or even remove them to avoid occasional nuisance alarms. And too many people — and their families — pay for their neglect or poor judgment with their lives.

Family chafes under cruel tyranny of a TV dictator

Dear Abby: I love my husband. We have been married for 45 years. But if he isn’t in control of the TV, he is unbearable. Even if someone else is watching something, he will come in and demand to change the channel. If he falls asleep and we change the channel back, he gets mad when he wakes up. He’ll change it back and immediately fall asleep again. I have tried to get him to understand he is being rude, but he doesn’t agree.

The Rock Doc — A better way to shine light in a dark world

Years ago I purchased a headlamp — a small flashlight that straps around your head to light your way. It’s really useful because it leaves both your hands free as you work or walk. I used my headlamp during the dark half of the year to exercise my dog in dark pastures and an undeveloped No Man’s Land on a steep hill near my house.

Haunted-house decor causes fright for neighborhood kids

Dear Abby: We have a neighbor who “decorates” his yard for Halloween in the worst way imaginable. Every year it becomes more macabre. He has “bodies” hanging from tree limbs, gravestones with RIP on dirt mounds and other unbelievable atrocities. He thinks it’s funny. It is despicable and it scares the children who must walk past his yard.

Cleanliness that’s nearly godly may set bar too high

Dear Abby: A wonderful man, “Frank,” said he was interested in developing a relationship. The problem? He is a super neat freak. A person could live in his garage — it’s THAT clean. The floor is spotless and everything is in its place. Frank washes and shines his car every second day. When there is a delivery to his house, he makes the delivery people remove their shoes before entering.

Justice in Motion — Our civic duty: Ballots are arriving

After peripherally following Scotland’s recent independence referendum, I am reminded, once again, how uninvested and uninterested much of our eligible electorate is in this country. For those interested, the voter turnout was 84.6%. Even on the day of the vote, news coverage waffled as to the expected outcome. Ultimately, over 55% of the voters concluded Scotland would remain part of the United Kingdom.

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Verbal abuse at day care cries out for intervention

Dear Abby: I would like to weigh in on your response to “Day Care Drama in Indiana” (Sept. 1), whose neighbor screams at the children in her day care. I worked for 25 years investigating serious complaints, many involving verbal abuse, against day care providers for my state’s licensing agency. It is critical for this reader to contact Indiana’s licensing agency and make a complaint.

Nothing New — Death on the rails: Logging train fatalities

When the first men came to this corner of the country and began toppling the big timber, they started by tackling the trees nearest the rivers and transported them to the mills using the infinite strength of the rivers. As the forests receded, loggers resorted first to oxen and skid roads, and then to railroads, with tracks extending miles into the back country. All phases of the timber industry carry a certain amount of risk, and logging trains were no exception. What follows are a number of gruesome and truly horrible fatal accidents that took the lives of men who had no idea that they were facing their last day on earth. These stories are not for the fainthearted.