Aaron Tippin, a country music great, arrives Thursday night for unplugged session during Alive @ 5

Submitted Photo   Aaron Tippin, singer of “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” poses with his signature American flag guitar.
Submitted Photo
Aaron Tippin, singer of “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” poses with his signature American flag guitar.

Aaron Tippin is different than most country music stars. He spent much of past week relaxing in a northern California campground not far from the Pacific Ocean with his band and tour members. At night, they’d grill food and spend time hanging out by a campfi re.

“That’s exactly what I like,” he said.

The 57-year-old, who is in his 25th year as an entertainer, will be in Dickinson to perform Thursday night in what is being billed as a mostly “unplugged” session at the Alive @ 5 downtown street fair.

One of the biggest country music stars of the 1990s, Tippin has been performing off-and-on with the Roots and Boots Tour alongside Joe Diffi e and Sammy Kershaw, two of his ’90s country contemporaries. He was also recently involved in some large-venue concerts alongside Keith Urban and Hunter Hayes.

However, the chart-topping singer-songwriter said he has always enjoyed performing in front of smalltown crowds. In fact, he even makes his home in a middle Tennessee hamlet of less than 200 people on the far outskirts of Nashville.

“There’s nothing like being able to sit and stare right into their eyes with a guitar and just play a song,” he said Wednesday during a phone interview.
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If you want Trump to win, I can’t help you

Here’s some thoughts I had after watching the Republican presidential candidate debates on Thursday night:

— Jeb Bush is in the race because someone told him to be, though he looks like he’d rather be home watching TV.

— Rand Paul isn’t much of a hugger.

— Marco Rubio could likely be our first Latino president — just maybe not in 2016.

— There are 17 so-called Republicans who want to be president. Seventeen!!! It’s crazy. More than half of them should go home now because they can’t win, a couple of the underdogs should get more attention because they deserve it and there may actually be a president in the bunch. (Maybe.) That said …

— That potential president sure as heck isn’t Donald Trump — and the people who think otherwise are part of the problem we have with choosing leaders in this country.

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Coston stepping down as DSU president

D.C. Coston is stepping down as Dickinson State University’s president on Aug. 15.

In an email sent to DSU staff Monday evening and obtained by The Dickinson Press, Coston said health reasons led him to the decision.

The NDUS board will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. MDT Tuesday in Bismarck to appoint an interim president to begin serving in the role by Aug. 17. DSU’s fall semester begins Aug. 24.

When Coston announced his plan to retire in February, he said he anticipated stepping down when his full-time replacement was hired. He reiterated that plan in his email.

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Casual outrage is the new normal

An American dentist killed a lion in Zimbabwe and everyone on the Internet lost their minds.

And it doesn’t surprise me one bit.

In case you missed it — and you likely haven’t — Minnesota dentist and North Dakota native Walter Palmer is accused of killing a collared and protected lion named Cecil after allegedly baiting it out of a Zimbabwe preserve with the help of hunting guides in early July. Whether or not this basic version of the story is completely true or not, Palmer’s life as he knew it is over.

Why? Because of so-called social justice and Internet-fueled outrage. Palmer has received death threats, is loathed by millions and will probably never be able to re-open his practice, leaving his livelihood in jeopardy. He has been the target of animal rights activists and regular people the world over. Hundreds of thousands have signed a White House petition asking for Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe.

Palmer and his guide have admitted they screwed up. The aging lion was protected and shouldn’t have been killed. It is very unfortunate.

That said, how much does it really matter?

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Editorial: Keystone XL deserves answer, one way or another

President Barack Obama should go ahead and veto the Keystone XL pipeline. He wants to do it. His administration wants him to do it. His environmental activists want him to do it. Republicans (and some Democrats) don’t want him to do it. So what is he waiting for?

Well, if you believe Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., the president plans to put his veto pen to use in August when Congress is in recess.

“It’s an opportunity for him to do it more under the radar,” Hoeven told Forum News Service reporter Amy Dalrymple on Wednesday. Hoeven, the Senate’s most outspoken supporter of the pipeline, said he has sources who tell him Obama is finally ready to put his signature next to a veto he has long delayed.

That sounds about right. The president has kicked the can down the road on the Keystone XL issue since 2011, and there’s no way he leaves office without making a final decision on it. So why not now?

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