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Washington Nationals fans celebrate after Game 7 of the baseball World Series on Wednesday.

Our heartiest congratulations to the Washington Nationals! For the first time in 95 years, a Washington baseball team has won the World Series. Following that 1924 victory, Washington baseball fans endured many decades without another title (or even a team for years). A popular swipe at the struggling Washington team has long been “first in war, first in peace and last in the American (or National) League.” On Wednesday the Nationals changed that to “first in war, first in peace and first in Major League Baseball.”

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The Times-Dispatch sends our deepest condolences to the family of True Luck. Mrs. Luck, who served as The Times-Dispatch’s 2006 Christmas Mother, was an active member of the community and a dedicated volunteer. She served on numerous boards and enthusiastically supported many organizations that benefited children, education and the arts. A woman of great faith and inner strength, she was an inspiration to everyone who knew her. Mrs. Luck died Monday at 85. She will be dearly missed.

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Virginia’s first commercial industrial hemp fiber processing facility will be located in Wythe County. According to a statement from Gov. Ralph Northam’s office, Appalachian Biomass Processing plans to invest $894,000 in the processing plant and over the next three years will purchase more than 6,000 tons of Virginia-grown industrial hemp, valued at more than $1 million. The new facility will create 13 new jobs in the rural community. This past March, Northam signed legislation that legalized the commercial growing and processing of industrial hemp in the commonwealth. Susan Moore, founder of Appalachian Biomass Processing, is a native of Wythe County. Moore says her team will bring “a wealth of knowledge, experience and motivation to see this plan to fruition. By working with state and local economic development allies, we hope to help create an entirely new industry for the region.” We join Moore and the governor in looking forward to a thriving hemp industry that will bring many new jobs and new business to Virginia.

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Halloween 2019 is now in the history books. As we noted earlier this week, the day has become big business. Americans were projected to spend nearly $9 billion on costumes, decorations and candy. While we admit that we enjoy Halloween and its accompanying chills and thrills, an op-ed column in The Wall Street Journal by Robert C. Hamilton, M.D., offered a different perspective. The pediatrician noted that our Halloween observances seem to have taken a sadistic and bizarre turn for the worse. He wrote: “We decry mass shootings but ‘decorate’ our front yards with body parts. We regret rising suicide rates but revel in the macabre. We condemn ISIS for beheading its enemies but stand a bloodied, headless torso in the driveway …” Hamilton wondered if the holiday’s lurid turn could be an exercise in confronting our deepest fears. Sounds reasonable, but the doctor answered his own question by noting that hardly makes sense considering gruesome Halloween themes are particularly popular “among the generation who invented ‘safe spaces.’”

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Speaking of creepy — a recent email from a giant national retailer was unsettling. The subject line on the email read: “Hi (name), you’re doing wellness right!” The email read: “Thank you for your recent purchase. Stay proactive about your health by exploring more wellness favorites,” and offered a variety of health and beauty products for sale, with a convenient “Shop now” link. Had the original product we purchased been a prescription, which necessarily requires divulging personal information, it would be one thing. But our last purchase at this particular big box store was Chapstick and shampoo, paid for with a debit card. We wonder: Just how much of a digital trail do we leave behind every time we make a purchase? And is there any part of our lives that isn’t being tracked by someone out to make a buck?

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The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is helping make colleges safer. The department has awarded $675,000 in grant funding to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to help expand substance use recovery programs at eight Virginia universities. As Northam stated in his announcement, young college students who are living away from home for the first time can be especially vulnerable to the addictive dangers of drugs and alcohol. The collegiate recovery programs the grant helps to fund will offer troubled young people critical resources and recovery options in a safe environment, allowing them to “have a successful college experience and give them the tools they need to be healthy and thriving well beyond graduation.”

— Robin Beres

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