RICHMOND, Virginia -- Some of the many overlooked but critically important offices in the American political landscape are the ones held by state legislators and members of general assemblies. These are the people who are most like us, the ones who live in neighborhoods close to ours, sit in the pews on Sundays and attend the local high school ...Read more
PITTSBURGH -- Twenty years ago, Paul Carson said he never would have hesitated to speak out at a school board meeting about any issue affecting his children's education.
But one day, that changed. "I just don't do it," Carson told me. A physician who practices medicine in an urban Pittsburgh hospital, Carson said it has nothing to do with his ...Read more
MIDLAND, Pennsylvania -- For as much cash and strategy as partisans put into creating a wave for their own parties, they always seem to miss where the ripple starts and why.
Part of the reason they miss it is that they are in Washington and not in places such as this one.
Midland is a borough in Beaver County -- an urban area that hugs the ...Read more
LOWER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania -- Sometimes, a community's relationship with its culture and its people is so strong it can withstand anything that tries to break it apart. Such durability is a testimony to the sense of what Americans have within their communities.
On social media, we mostly read about traditions falling to the mob or, ...Read more
Take all of the imagery you have seen of the over 14,000 Haitian migrants camped under an international bridge in the small Texas border town of Del Rio and add the complications of disease, public excrement, unbearable heat and heightened frustrations. It has led to violence that has injured Border Patrol officers.
Now close your eyes and ...Read more
MIDDLETOWN, Pennsylvania -- When judging the nation's character, the media tend to gravitate toward its loudest voices, its most extreme measures, its deepest grudges. The result is a loss of all subtlety and nuance.
In the days and weeks following Aug. 26, when our nation lost 13 service members in a deadly terror attack in Afghanistan, ...Read more
SHANKSVILLE, Pennsylvania -- The first thing you notice about Frank Siller is the resolve in his mission. Each step he takes along Shanksville Road on the outskirts of this Somerset County town is done with purpose.
The sound the steps make is a forward motion; there is no hint of retreat.
You can imagine it is a trait he shared with his ...Read more
Last Thursday, Aug. 26, at 6:00 p.m. in Kabul, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest as American troops at Abbey Gate were processing entrants to Hamid Karzai International Airport. Nearly 200 people died at that horrific moment, including 13 U.S. service members.
It was a horrific massacre that didn't need to happen.
There is only one...Read more
LEBANON, Kansas -- There is something uplifting about standing in the center point of the United States of America. It evokes a sense that is both spiritual and patriotic, particularly if you reach this point having traveled on both sides of the monument that marks the spot.
There is a restorative energy you absorb, no matter where the back ...Read more
GETTYSBURG -- On an overcast day, the national park that has preserved the history of one of the bloodiest and most significant battles of the American Civil War is filled with people from all over the country. It is a testament to the desire everywhere not just to know our history, but also to honor the soldiers who fought and lost their lives ...Read more
WALL, South Dakota -- Everything about Wall Drug, arguably the most iconic and long-lasting drugstore in America, exemplifies a doggedness. It took persistence to not only survive, but also thrive against insurmountable odds in a place few thought a small business had any business starting an enterprise in the first place.
In 1931, when Ted ...Read more
INDIANA, Pennsylvania -- When you cross the street in the downtown of this borough, located in a county that shares its name, you're in for a reminder that it's a wonderful life. Two of the crosswalk signals guide pedestrians with the voice of the late Jimmy Stewart, who was born and raised here in Indiana.
"Please wait to cross Philadelphia ...Read more
PITTSBURGH -- It's 4:30 in the morning, and Raymond Mikesell's alarm has gone off.
Within an hour, as the first rays of pink and orange morning light reflect off the skyscrapers in the city, Mikesell is at his restaurant, Cafe Raymond, in the Strip District, the city's Main Street for small businesses.
On his way to the restaurant, he stops by...Read more
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pennsylvania -- If you were the president of a railroad 100 years ago, you were kind of a big deal. Yet when Alan Maples became president of the Everett Railroad Company in 1983, a purchase that made him the youngest person in the history of the industry to hold that title, the Alabama native knew full well he would not wield the ...Read more