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Father Time can’t lose

If there’s one thing just about everyone can agree on, it’s that there never seems to be enough time to accomplish all of the things that we need to get done.

Make no mistake, the clock can be an unforgiving opponent and, as my brother often reminds me, Father Time remains undefeated.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a quick look at a couple of deadlines that will arrive this week.

¯ If you are planning to hear Matthew Charles speak and have not yet purchased a ticket, you have just a few days to do so.

Charles will discuss the issues of mass-incarceration, over-sentencing and barriers to re-entry to society at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Steubenville High School Auditorium.

He was the first beneficiary of the First Step Act, a provision of which shortens sentences for drug offenses, similar to the one he received after he was convicted of selling 216 grams of crack cocaine to an informant and illegally possessing a gun in 1996. He was released from prison in 2016 and was free until May 2018, when it was ruled that an error had been made in his release, and he was sent back to prison.

He was released again on Jan. 3 after the legislation was passed.

While in prison, Charles worked hard to turn his life around, completing more than 30 Bible study classes and becoming a mentor to other inmates. He also became a law clerk and taught GED classes.

Wednesday’s presentation is the 10th in the Herald-Star Speaker Series. Sponsors include Eastern Gateway Community College, Trinity Health System, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and WTRF-TV. Special support is being provided by the Best Western Plus University Inn, Piergallini Catering, Steubenville High School, Newbrough Photo, Hertz-Thrifty Car Rental and the YWCA of Steubenville.

A reserved seat to the presentation costs $20, and tickets can be purchased at the Herald-Star office, 401 Herald Square, or by calling Diana Brown at (740) 283-4711 during regular business hours. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Since the first presentation by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin on Nov. 14, 2012, the series has brought interesting speakers to town, men and women who have been able to offer a firsthand perspective about events that have had a big impact on our lives.

We’re happy to be able to add Charles to the list. He’ll talk about rehabilitation and second chances, and discuss the changes many feel must be made to the justice system in the United States. His words will provide us with a chance to think about issues many choose to ignore even though they affect many aspects of life around us.

And that’s important to members of our community.

“All of the presentations bring thoughts and ideas to the table. I think that generates discussion that lasts for months afterward,” explained Jimmie Bruce, president of Eastern Gateway Community College.

¯ If you have thought about writing a letter to the editor regarding candidates or issues that will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, remember that the deadline for submission is noon Thursday. All of those letters will appear in our Friday, Saturday and Sunday editions — and those will be the last letters we run about candidates or issues before the election.

As a quick reminder, our guidelines for letters say submissions are limited to 500 words in length and must include the name of the writer, the town he or she lives in and his or her phone number. Those numbers are used only for verification or clarification purposes and are never shared with other members of the public in any form.

There are many options for submitting a letter. Those include dropping it off in person, sending it by e-mail, following the instructions on our Virtual Newsroom or by mailing it. No matter which method you choose, it is your responsibility to get it to us by the deadline.

It’s a privilege to be able to publish letters and provide a forum where you can share your thoughts and views with readers from around the Tri-State Area, and to encourage public debate on important issues in our community.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times,)

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