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The Christmas decorations are up at the governor’s mansion, and Gov. Pat McCrory picked out a rockin’ theme for the library. Albums from the Rolling Stones and others adorn the mantle, and McCrory’s vinyl Led Zeppelin albums are attached to four wreaths.

Nearly every day, week after week and year after year, as I walked back to the Observer from grabbing a sandwich, I’d see the same homeless man.

The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago today was a singular moment in world history, ending the Cold War and spreading freedom to millions. It touched few people in America, though, like it did Charlotte’s Kurt Waldthausen.

The single voting-law change that will affect the most North Carolinians on Tuesday – well over a million of them – is also the least discussed.

Shortly before Judge Frank Whitney sentenced former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon to prison last week, he took note of Cannon’s extraordinary climb from humble beginnings.

96 percent.

Near the bottom of the ballot, next to the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor race, is a $35 million question for Mecklenburg voters this fall.

I’ll miss Fannie Flono.

There were two must-dos when the legislature convened in May: Raise teacher pay and clean up the state’s coal ash mess. In both cases, lawmakers doused the immediate fire but left dangerous embers burning.

Tens of millions of dollars are flowing into North Carolina to influence the Kay Hagan-Thom Tillis U.S. Senate race, and there’s no way to know where the vast majority of it is coming from.

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Taylor Batten
Taylor Batten is The Observer's editorial page editor.