Our View: Our job is to report the good and the bad

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, September 21, 2019

local newspaper is doing its job when it publishes the positive stories everyone likes to read plus the negative ones everyone needs to know about. We’ve had our share of them in recent days at The Valley Times-News. On the plus side, it’s enjoyable to read about Troup County firefighters being recognized for their good work, a former Lanett city employee receiving commendations from the governor and a U.S. Congressman for an amazing 44-year career with the city’s electric department and two members of the Chambers County Drug Task Force receiving a statewide award for their work in drug enforcement.

An example of a story that may not make everyone happy are the issues a Valley committee is facing in drafting a new gunfire ordinance in the city.

The City of Valley is in the process of creating a gun ordinance to prohibit gunfire in the city. Most towns already have similar ordinances. People are sensitive about gun-related action taken by government at any level.

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The gunfire ban would not apply to law enforcement officers in the line of duty, to historical re-enactments or theatrical productions involving the use of blank cartridges. Neither would it apply to anyone acting in self-defense or military exercises. The council will consider it in the near future.

A story in Thursday’s edition underscores the value of programs being offered at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library. There’s no cost to attend these programs, and they offer information people need to know. At Wednesday’s program, prevention specialist James Flowers of East Alabama Mental Health talked about how the opioid crisis is affecting many families and offered advice on how to be prepared for it. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling prescription drug abuse an epidemic. According to CDC Director Thomas Frieden, overdoses involving prescription painkillers are killing more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. Undoubtedly, it’s a serious issue people need to be aware of and prepared to face within your family circle. According to Flowers, almost three-fourths of prescription drug abuse comes from friends and family, not from street corner drug dealers.

A newspaper can inform people of programs they should take part in, but it’s up to the reader to take the initiative to act. We hope we can be a positive influence in helping you to take actions that can improve your life.