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Decade Debate Debuts

Happy New Year, readers!

It’s hard to believe that the new year arriving on Wednesday will be 2020. Where has the time gone?

I do agree with the wags who have suggested that broadcaster Barbara Walters should come out of retirement at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to reprise the tagline from her TV news magazine series: “Hello, this is Barbara Walters, and this is 2020.”

Of course, the arrival of 2020 reignites an old debate from 2000: When does the new millennium (or, in this case, the new decade) begin?

Just as some thought the new century began in 2000, there are folks who think 2020 marks the start of another decade. Proponents of this view argue that the Twenties (Roaring, or otherwise) should launch with 2020.

However, on the other side of the argument, there are people who contend that the next decade begins actually in 2021. To support this view, supporters point out that everyone begins counting with “1,” not “0.”

Each point of view has some validity, so I guess the only thing upon which the public can agree is that a new year opens this week.

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Meanwhile, one of the biggest topics of conversation continues to be the massive reconstruction planned for Interstate 70 in Ohio County.

Preliminary work has begun, with major phases of the project slated to be in full swing early in the new year. It’s interesting to note that people who decried the highway’s condition most vocally are now the loudest voices complaining about the inconveniences that the I-70 work will entail.

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Area residents who missed Glen Dale native Brad Paisley’s first network variety show are in luck: you have another chance to watch the TV special.

The country superstar’s show, “Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special,” is set to be rebroadcast on ABC at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Paisley’s publicist said the program aired originally on Dec. 3 with 6.3 million viewers. It was the most watched show on ABC that evening, according to Nielsen.

The hour-long program was recorded at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. Special guests on Paisley’s show included country singer Kelsea Ballerini, Hootie & The Blowfish, the Jonas Brothers, NFL legend Peyton Manning (who has teamed with Paisley for a series of hilarious insurance commercials) and country superstars Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood.

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Brad Paisley’s amazing talents as a singer, songwriter and guitarist are well known, but he also is a visual artist.

A recent article in People magazine stated that Paisley created the illustrations for a children’s book written by former Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton.

The picture book, titled “Fritzy Finds a Hat,” is planned for publication on Feb. 4. It is designed to help children talk about cancer.

According to the article, proceeds from sales of the volume are designated for the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation and the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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