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Columns

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    The latest developments in Des Moines indicate tax revenue growth is slowing even more than anticipated, so more state funds will have to be limited – unless the governor gets his way and the GOP leadership spends some rainy day funds.

    Republican legislative leaders are now saying that all tax credits and tax exemptions are on the table for review. 

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Marlow Blum is a truck driver from Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. A few weeks ago he passed through Red Oak, stopped at Cubby’s to eat, and browsed the pages of a Red Oak Express. In that edition was a column having to do with obscure holidays. It concluded with a reference to March 20, which is National Alien Abduction Day. 

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    It’s coming, and ultimately, there is very little you can do about it. Resistance is futile. Even those who normally show little or no interest in it must eventually accept its intrusion.

    No, I’m not talking about April 15. I’m talking about The Bracket.  

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Finding a local tenderloin to nominate for the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) annual contest seemed easy enough. This county produces tons of pork, has a lot of places that make the sandwich, and I’m sure the guy I talked to at the IPPA office was anxious for our opinion. 

    I say “our” opinion, as an early issue was my wife. Her background in restaurants began in high school. In the years since, she worked in half a dozen others. 

  • Miner Queries | Cherie Miner

    Will repealing Obamacare (ACA) affect me?

    Since Republicans rolled out their plans to repeal and replace Obamacare (Affordable Care Act or ACA) last week, most of us have been asking that question. And the answer is yes.

    The new plan, called “The American Health Care Plan,” would kick millions of people off the plans they currently have, according to many health policy experts. 

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    If the Republican-dominated Iowa Legislature has designs on creating some sort of voucher program that allows tax dollars to follow a student to a private school or a home school, it ought to drop it right now. And it ought to do so on Republican principles.

    The GOP always states its desire for smaller, more accountable government. It’s hard enough for the state to track where we spend all of the money on education. Can you imagine how difficult it will be to track dollars that follow students into private organizations?

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    Although our sap-to-syrup experiment wasn’t the best, the trees did their part. Not knowing what level of sap flow to expect from black walnuts, early February was a pleasant surprise. Warm days and below freezing nights produced about three gallons of sap per day from just a few trees. Then the weather turned unseasonably warm and what should have been the best time was not. 

    Those few good days were enough, though, that we expected to net nearly a gallon of syrup; enough to give anyone interested a taste. 

  • Montgomery County History Center | Dave McFarland

    Having been a history teacher for a number of years, I would hate to count the number of time I have heard the comment, “History is boring.” 

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    As a collegian, I didn’t work for the Iowa State Daily. I had a nice little job over in the sports information department instead, which gave me some great perks and a lot fewer hassles.

    The benefit was I didn’t have to investigate the dearth of options at the dorm cafeterias compared to other Big 8 schools, write a feature on the computer science students who created a new theory that only they could understand, or cover the same old group of protesters and their issue of the week.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    About 10 years ago, I did a column suggesting Villisca modify its water tower to resemble the rocket ship in which Judd Holdren, a native son, journeyed to the moon.