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Columns

  • Catching ‘that guy;’ fun with couponing

    I met “that guy” a couple days ago, except “that guy” was a girl.

    Confused? You shouldn’t be. I guarantee you’ve met “that guy” too.

    Who is “that guy?” Well, on this sunny, warm spring day, “that guy” was a woman driving a suburban-type-vehicle in a residential neighborhood.

    Like most motorists that day, she had her windows down on the vehicle, enjoying the sunny skies and balmy temperatures.

  • Guest Editorial | Iowa Farm Bureau

    Much has happened in consumer, business, political and media circles since the stories about Lean Finely-Textured Beef first made news as ‘pink slime’ that make it difficult to know what to do for your family.  

    To help you make the most informed choices you can, we’ve collected some information and links from credible sources.

    What you need to know:

    The product has been in stores for decades and deemed safe by the United States Department of Agriculture.  

  • Titanic’s connection with Southwest Iowa

    This morning I went to a cemetery.  My purpose was to find a grave and leave a flower.  On the stone I sought, below the name and dates, were the words:

    His remains were recovered from the ocean                                                    Nearer my God to Thee     

  • Voters deserve to know where hotelmotel tax is going

    Would you vote for a tax increase when you didn’t know where the money was going?

    That question has divided Red Oak’s city council regarding the proposed hotel/motel tax.

    The Council voted 4-1 to form a committee that not only will promote the tax before the November election, but will also make recommendations to the Council on how it should be spent after soliciting public input.

  • Do we fear the wrong things: Thoughts on Stand Your Ground

    The killing of Trayvon Martin, an African American youth on an errand to buy candy for his little brother in Sanford, Florida, opens up many questions, mostly about what we fear. And does our fear make us vulnerable to other dangers?

    I ask because Martin’s death spotlights Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, which allows anyone who feels threatened to use deadly force. In other words, fear rules. Some version of this law has been passed in 16 states and debated in even more.

  • April Fools Day’s history and fun

    Originally the first paragraph of this column, the first to appear in April, was different than what you are now reading. The initial version announced that a coalition of local historians had formed a corporation and purchased the Express.

    All employees of the paper, with the exception of the lady in accounting who sends me an occasional check, had been served notice. We would retain only those who wholeheartedly supported our concept of returning the paper to black and white, eliminating photographs, and printing all text in Swedish.   

  • Two babies who followed different paths

    This is a story about two babies, two mothers, two doctors, two hospitals and two countries.

    Baby A was due to arrive March 17. But Baby A’s mother, who already had delivered one 10-pound baby two weeks late, was worried the second child would be equally large.

    Baby A’s doctor, knowing how difficult the birth of a 10-pound child can be, shared those fears. So Baby A’s doctor agreed with the mother that the delivery should be induced March 10.

  • Putting in the hard work required

    Today we go back to a time when roofers spoke—and sang—in English.  From our newspaper of May 9, 1925, comes this item:

  • Who's that 100 feet in the air? Oh yeah, it's me

    When I'm interviewing prospective journalists, I tell them one of the joys of working at a small town newspaper is the diversity of events you will cover.

    I literally remember a day I worked at a Missouri paper in which I covered a murder trial in the morning, took pictures of hogs at a county fair in the afternoon, and interviewed Charlie Daniels later in the evening.

    That's a full day.

    Alongside with that, as a small town journalist, I never know what I might encounter during the day.

  • Concerns about civility: Are we a civil society?

    Recent news events have me pondering this question.  Feb. 27 brought us a school shooting in Chardon, Ohio.  Immediately, questions about bullying arose. 

    In our search to explain the death of three students and the arrest of another, we cast a wide net.  Were there signs the killer was violent?  Was he bullied?  Did the school address bullying?