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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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Mark Harvey — You must visit your aging parents

You may have missed this back in 2012 — a lot of us had a lot of other things on our minds in 2012! But, according to the Associated Press, that was the year that the Chinese national legislature amended its “law on the elderly” to require that adult children visit their aged parents “often” — or risk being sued by them.

Time to check out your chimney

Our amazing summer is winding down and while we will miss the warmth, the long days and all the fun, there are certainly great activities to enjoy in the fall – football, hunting and fishing come to mind.

Up the Beach — Heading into fall on the coast

Up the beach’s back roads at this not-quite-fall time of the year, brings back old memories. Memories of Mom, memories of Gram. You can almost see them alongside the road. Mom with her apron gathered into a big pocket for her finds and Gram and the aunties with baskets or lard buckets swinging from their hands.