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This column was submitted to The Richmond Observer to the constituents of Congressman Robert Pittenger and the ninth district of North Carolina:

President Ronald Reagan once said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are:  “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”  Too often, the government’s “help” is more unnecessary regulations, more taxes, and an even bigger bureaucracy.

ROCKINGHAM - Bucky Covington, the former American Idol contestant on arguably its most star-studded season the show ever had, has been invited to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

A native of Richmond County, Bucky first appeared in the national spotlight on American Idol's fifth season alongside Chris Daughtry, Taylor Hicks, and Elliott Yamin, and went on to garner major success and become the bestselling debut artist of 2007.

HAMLET – The stars keep getting bigger and brighter in the show line-up for the DeWitt Performing Arts Series. Headlining the 2017-18 season is a duet performance featuring Nashville recording artist Phil Vassar and country music darling Kellie Pickler on their special holiday tour.

PREMIUM OBSERVER members will begin receiving their tablets via mail as early as tomorrow, Saturday, July 29.

The Premium Observer program is designed to offer major incentives to its members. The first of those is a free, 10-inch Android tablet that delivers the latest edition of The Richmond Observer to you on a daily basis (with the exception of Sunday, we do not publish on Sunday unless its breaking news or an emergency situation). Other incentives will include discount cards, which will be mailed to members this Fall and will feature excellent discounts at shops and eateries in the Richmond County area, and more.

The Richmond Observer is and always will be free to read. The PREMIUM OBSERVER subscription will simply offer more benefits to The Richmond Observer's biggest supporters.

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ROCKINGHAM – According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s official research center, one out of every 10 Americans over the age of 65 suffers from the progressive brain disorder. Currently, there are five and a half million Americans who are battling the disease, two thirds of whom are women, which destroys brain cells and causes the loss of cognitive abilities such as memory and brain functions.

HAMLET – Richmond Community College has announced its honor lists for the Summer 2017 Semester. The President’s List identifies students who earn an “A” in all courses and have a 4.0 grade point average while carrying 12 or more semester credit hours. The Dean’s List identifies students who attain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and earn no letter grade lower than a “B” while carrying 12 or more semester hours in a degree or diploma program. The following students received recognition for their academic achievements.

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) voted to fund President Trump’s $1.6 billion request for a border wall, provide the largest military pay raise in 8 years, and increase Defense spending by 13% to rebuild America’s military.

PINEHURST – Chris Ashworth (third from left) of Hallmark and Keyana Cotton (third from right) of the Daphne’s Hallmark store in Southern Pines’ Pinecrest Plaza deliver “Itty Bitty” stuffed toys to the pediatric unit at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Shown accepting the donation are (from left) Jane Claire Dawkins, R.N.; Rebecca McCashin, R.N.; Beth Hutchinson, R.N.; and Halona Elliott, R.N., of Moore Regional’s Women & Children’s department. Hallmark customers donate to the annual collection of “Itty Bitty” toys, which are then donated to social service organizations that serve children. This year, the Daphne’s store collected more than 800 “Itty Bitty” toys and donated 600 to Moore Regional for distribution to the hospital’s pediatric patients. Hallmark stores throughout the region collected more than 5,100 toys for distribution throughout the state.

ROCKINGHAM -- Congratulations are in order for Rockingham city manager Monty Crump who was recently appointed to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission by North Carolina governor Roy Cooper.

Hamlet, N.C. (July 26, 2017) – Through its member-funded SECU Foundation, State Employees Credit Union has awarded five local students an SECU Continuing Education Scholarship valued at $750 to study at Richmond Community College.

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