• Guest Editorial | Alan Dean

    What prompts me to write are concerns I have regarding the President’s recent decisions. 

    Just over a month ago President Obama “came to terms” with the issue of same-gender marriage, thanks in large part to his children or their friends’ parents.  

    Since this is LGBT Pride Month, President Obama, and his wife Michelle, are hosting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender guests.  

  • Electric cars, health care and the arts

  • Villisca shouldn’t be ashamed by tragic history

    It has been more than 100 years now that the worst mass murder in Iowa’s history occurred in Villisca.

    Anyone who’s been in Montgomery County more than 20 minutes knows the story of the Villisca ax murders: an unknown assailant entered the Moore home and brutally killed all eight occupants (two adults, four Moore children and two visiting Stillinger girls) with an ax.

    A massive manhunt ensued and the case investigated for years on end, resulting in two trials of one suspect, but no convictions.

    The crime remains unsolved today.

  • What do we get with corporate-backed politicians?

    Recently, I’ve had an old Tennessee Ernie Ford song rattlin’ round in my head:

    You load 16 tons, what do you get

    Another day older and deeper in debt

    Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go

    I owe my soul to the company store.

    I think that pretty well describes working America – a country I often feel like the masters of the universe in Washington D.C. (and our state capital) have forgotten.

  • How Flag Day use to be observed

    In case you missed it, which was easily done, last Thursday was Flag Day.  

    Each year there are a few special days that commercial interests and the national media will not allow us to overlook.  

    You know what they are.  Flag Day is not one of them.  

    I observed the event by putting out our flag and reading two news items.  

  • Not first time for privacy infringing

    For once, the federal government is being criticized for being too efficient and cost-effective.
    Since 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting flyovers of Iowa and Nebraska livestock operations in order to make sure they are complying with the Clean Water Act.

    If they see something they suspect is in violation, an on-site inspection takes place.

    Surveillance flights have resulted in 25 administrative compliance orders, eight administrative penalty orders and six letters of warning.

  • The story of a $22,000 watermelon

    I know a fellow who once spent $3,000 for a chicken.  It was a nice chicken, Nicer than most, I’m sure, and a ribbon-winner at the Calhoun County fair.  But $3,000 is a considerable amount of money and the buyer’s wife, who had been angling for new cupboards, was not at all pleased.  

    We can only speculate on what her reaction would have been had he bid $22,000 for a watermelon.  

  • Why a Wisconsin election might lower your taxes

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker narrowly staved off a recall effort last week, which means of course, lower taxes for Montgomery County and Red Oak property owners.

    Confused? Stick with me for a minute.

    Walker, a Republican who was first elected governor two years ago, did the unthinkable in the Cheese state and butted heads with organized labor.

  • Guest Editorial | Ted Schoonover

    I am writing this column to explain how technology has now allowed County Auditor’s to make voting easier for the public and the precinct election officials as well.  

  • What matters more: Objectivity or transparency?

    I write a lot about the media because I have some insight from my public relations experience.  

    And as an artist I’ve studied perception.  So I’ll tell you what I recently told a group of pastors during a workshop on social advocacy:  it is not “objectivity” that’s important.  Honesty and transparency is.

    Objectivity is an impossibility.  Why?  Because everyone has a perspective.  And no matter how carefully you work, it affects what you produce.