• Setting down permanent roots in Red Oak

    When my wife and I first moved to Red Oak, we intended on staying four to five years before moving on to a bigger newspaper, timing the move with my son starting school.

    While we intended to stay four to five years, opportunities have been presented and our plans have changed.

    Now, we are staying in Red Oak for much longer.

    There are several reasons for our change of heart.     

    We have confirmed one thing we suspected from the start: Red Oak is a great place to live and raise a family.

  • Guest Editorial | Sheldon Richman

    The shooting in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater has incited the usual debate over guns. One side says tighter gun restrictions could have prevented the horrible incident that night. The other responds that more guns in the hands of law-abiding people might have prevented it.

  • The best judging gig around

    Surprising things happen, one of which was being asked to judge a mid-summer barbecue contest. The experience was not what I’d expected, nor was an encounter with the food police that took place a few days later.  

    Passing judgment seemed easy. I have, after all, owned dozens of smokers, slow-smoked everything from bacon to mackerel. We’ve smoked pork shoulders with corn cobs and salmon with peach pits. I felt qualified and the job sounded fun. As the day approached, however, doubts set in.      

  • One more mass killing produces more questions

    When a tragedy similar to the shooting at the Colorado movie theater occurs, I'm left with a lot of questions.

    My first question is how many mass shootings will we have before our society decides enough is enough and it is time to prevent future ones through legislation.

    According to Friday's Omaha World-Herald, there have been 14 mass killings in the United States since 2007, claiming the lives of 147 people, including 12 from Aurora.

  • Who do you listen to for your information

    Living on a farm in Southwest Iowa, I know the importance of radio broadcasts.  During that winter especially, I rely on local radio for road condition and school closing information.  When I was a kid, I got ready for school to the morning KMA broadcast, and my mother was a regular Kitchen Klatter listener.  

  • A great beauty queen in Crum

    Solving a mystery brings a bit of satisfaction, and such can be said in the case of the “Unknown Beauty Queen.”  Particularly nice is the fact that our mystery queen is a local lady and an Express reader.  

  • Why protesting protestors can be treacherous

    What does Michael Moore, the Ku Klux Klan and hundreds of motorcycle riders have in common? They all hate Baptists.

    Okay, to be completely fair and accurate, they don’t hate ALL Baptists, or even most. Just the ones affiliated with the Westboro Baptist Church.

    I’ve heard several times how politics make for strange bedfellows. That has never been more true than in the case of the Westboro Baptists. Thanks to their protests at soldier’s funerals, they have managed to unite liberal filmmakers with hate groups and bikers.

  • Weather records not as big of a deal

    By the time you read this we’re supposed to be a bit cooler.  I hope so.  Hyperbole was setting in.  

    A day or two ago I heard a TV meteorologist, who also seems to be a global warming enthusiast, describe this summer’s heat wave as proof positive.  

    Midwest temperatures have climbed to the upper 90s, even 100 degrees plus and stayed there, while scores of all-time heat records have fallen.  

    We have never, he said, experienced anything quite like this.

  • Revealing my dirty little secret

    I'm not easily embarrassed.

    I remember during a halftime show in front of a crowd of about 1,000 people, starting to play one measure before the other 180 people in the band.

    I was mad at myself for the mistake, but I played the notes perfectly and wasn't embarrassed a bit.

  • Trying to understand health care act opposition

    Last week as we waited for the Supreme Court of the United States to hand down its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a Reuters/Ipsos poll on the health care reform law was released.  It showed, yet again, that while a majority of Americans oppose the law, most favor the individual elements. Does that make any sense?

    It is instead a knee-jerk reaction based on ignorance and fear of change.  But I have to ask, is our current system really workin’ for you?