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How fair is the public defender system?

By Amelia Alexander

This is the one-year anniversary of Amelia Alexander, an Ada High School student, becoming an Icon columnist.

Recently, I learned about the public defender system in my government class. This article is inspired by what we learned and our discussion.

What are public defenders?


Icon sportswriter on 75th anniversary of Boston Celtics

It may seem like the Boston Celtics and professional basketball have been around forever. In a new article for, Bluffton Icon sportswriter Cort Reynolds tells us the story of the early team and its competition:


Review: A Spooky Book For Halloween 

By Robert McCool

This book has it all--deaths, a coven of evil witches, ghosts, a dreadfully haunted Victorian house, children in peril, and rain storms at night. It's a great book for Halloween.

I'm referring to Chris Bohjalian's 2011 tome The Night Strangers (Crown Publishers ISBN: 978-0-307-39499-6).

I've reviewed Chris Bohjalian before and praised his writing talents. This book continues with more of the same. The volume will keep you on your toes with its shifting points of view and precise portrayal of the characters and their intentions.


Icon book review: Nailing It

Review by Robert McCool

In Robert Dilenschneider's December of 2021 release of “Nailing It-How History's Awesome Twentysomethings Got It Together” (Citadel Press, $16.95. ISBN: 978-0-8065-4175-4 PB), we see the future through the past, be it by circumstance or choice. The future we create by our own desires. In our twenties these choices determine our path forward to our later life. It can be a calling from our hearts or minds to follow what life has presented to us. What we choose when we're young enough to dream--and old enough to strike out on our own and fight for our beliefs.


The Episodic Life Of A Conflicted American Icon

Review by Robert McCool

Since 1997 Robert B. Parker, the author of the wildly popular “Spenser” suspense novels, has developed another character that has stood the test of time and become a person to pay attention to. Starting with “Night Passage”  in 1997, Jesse Stone became Chief of the Paradise, Massachusetts Police, leaving California with its problems born of drinking. Jesse is an alcoholic whose main problems center on Jenn, his ex-wife that he obsessives over.


Review of The President's Daughter

by Robert McCool

What do you get when you mix an Ex-President and the Grand Master of Pop fiction?

You get a pretty good read.

Regardless of what you think of Bill Clinton as a President, and even though as a man he was a womanizing scoundrel, he knows the inner workings of Washington, DC.

Regardless of what you think of James Patterson as an author who doesn't write many of his books, he knows how to write well when he chooses to do so.

Put them together and you get one heck of a political thriller, packed with non-stop action from the very start to the very end.