Leonard Pitts: Grace leading to better U.S.

"This whole week," said President Obama, "I've been reflecting on this idea of grace."

That was the turning point of Friday's eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, the Charleston, S.C. minister who was, with eight of his congregants, murdered by a racist terrorist two weeks ago. It was the moment a memorable speech became a speech for history.

Jim Dey: A twisting, turning journey of homelessness, mental illness

Bill Walton — a homeless man who lived on the streets of downtown Urbana for decades — died June 23 in hospice care. His death, according to lifetime friend William Weisiger, came "10 days after his 69th birthday."

Jim Nowlan: Will social media save clubs?

I am active in my local Lions Club, a club that does good works for our community.

But our numbers have dwindled precipitously. From a hundred members when chartered in 1948, we now gather but a handful for our monthly meetings, mostly old duffers like me.

Where have all the Lions gone, and does it really matter?

George Will: The damaging doctrine of John Roberts

WASHINGTON — Conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court's complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act — its ratification of the IRS' disregard of the statute's plain and purposeful language. But they have contributed to this outcome.

Dan Corkery: Be a bather first, then a swimmer

Let's assume it will stop raining.

The clouds will give way to the high July sun, and the afternoon temperatures will climb over 85 degrees.

Weary from too many days cooped up indoors, we'll head for the pool. Sun and water, our summer salve.

Being by a pool appeals to all our senses.

Light twinkling off the water.

Kids laughing and splashing.

Esther Cepeda: Let's scrap social media campaign

CHICAGO — We should have left the historical figures on our money alone. Let Alexander Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers on our currency rest in peace.

One need not be pro-man or anti-woman to believe that diminishing the men on our paper bills in order to elevate a female, by 2020, as recently decreed by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, is pure folly.

Jim Dey: Paxton man hits a legal jackpot

Eddi "Migo" Ramirez took it like a man. Unlike nine of his co-defendants, he didn't roll over and plead guilty. He didn't try to cut a deal with the feds by offering to cooperate in the investigation of the big-time, Paxton-based drug ring he oversaw.

All Ramirez did was — repeatedly — demand a speedy trial on the drug charges against him and hope that he got lucky.

Jim Dey: Jurors, decide for yourselves

Nervous 10-year-old: Daddy, what does the legal phrase "beyond a reasonable doubt" mean?

Shaken dad: "You're too young for that. But use your imagination."

George Will: Questions for Clinton

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict America during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called her "the most opaque person you'll ever meet in your life," but when opacity yields to the necessity of answering questions, here are a few:

Leonard Pitts: Call it what it is: Racist mass murder

Get your Letter to the Editor published here

Let there be no (pretend) confusion about church shooter's motivation