My History News Network column on the Battle of the Somme

What were the news headlines 100 years ago today? Imagine what stories you would see on cable TV or in your Facebook news feed if the year were 1916.

The top story would undoubtedly be World War I and the Battle of the Somme, which started in July, 1916.

British and French forces took on the German army near the River Somme in northern France. It was a senseless slaughter that claimed thousands of lives even in the first days of the battle, which lasted for several months.

Read the full article at the History News Network.

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Christmas in July Arrives for Ohio Charity

Summer is a tough time for St. Vincent de Paul, a leading charity fighting hunger in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hunger rates are high where St. Vincent de Paul-Cincinnati operates, well above the national and state averages according to Feeding America.

But donations go down during the summer compared to the holiday giving season. With schools closed, many needy children lose access to the free lunches they get during the academic year. Impoverished families need even more help during the summer months.

While St. Vincent de Paul-Cincinnati has been struggling with this summer crisis, outside the city a different problem has been taking place at Burwinkel Farms of Ross, Ohio.

Read the full article at The Huffington Post:

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My Pensacola News Journal Oped: Help Farmers Feed Us All

Every Sunday, as Burwinkel Farms of Ohio sets up its summer food stand, a special pickup takes place. A member of the nearby Holy Family Church Pantry stops by to get some of the yummy fruits and vegetables that Burwinkels is so known for.

Burwinkels gives away many boxes of its produce to the Pantry, including some donated by customer purchase. This is fresh, nutritious food that will be distributed to low-income families in the coming week.

Fresh fruits and vegetables seem easy to find for many of us. Just a trip to the grocery store or farm stand and we can get the most nutritious food available.

See the full commentary at the Pensacola News Journal:

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Yemen: the Forgotten Famine

Yemen has been in the news this week after Al Qaeda attacked a military base in the southern part of the country. Both the Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorist groups are operating in Yemen, which has been in chaos from a civil war since last year.

But what has not made the news is the biggest threat of all to Yemen: famine.

See my full commentary at the Huffington Post:

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The forgotten victims of Boko Haram terrorism need our help with food aid

On World Refugee Day today, let’s remember the starving war victims from Boko Haram’s reign of terror.

Think of the farmers in Nigeria who have been forced from their land by Boko Haram’s attacks. Think of the malnourished children in Cameroon, internally displaced with their families because Boko Haram crosses the border from Nigeria with its terror.

Read the full article at

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Train for Next Season and Answer Pope’s Call to Action

Championships can be won, in part, during the off-season. When my cross country team at Elder High School in Cincinnati went unbeaten and won the state title, one of the reasons was the summer.

Either we would run on our own, or meet with teammates for an evening run. Everyone on the team definitely kept in shape during the summer. I would say most of my teammates ran at least hundreds of miles. That way when the season started we were already in really good condition and ready for the races!

Read the full article at the Huffington Post:

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My New York Times Letter on Nuclear Weapons

The Republican-led Senate has the power to ratify the test ban treaty. It can finish a journey started by one of their own, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who believed that ending testing was a step toward global disarmament. Ike did not want Americans to have carry the expensive burden of nukes forever.

Read the letter at the New York Times.

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