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Columns

  • The Time Capsule: Hope during war years: "golden moment"

    Bob Hope, revered by the military for his decades of USO shows, had a few rough moments. Marvin Requist of Red Oak knows about one of them, because he was there.  

  • Guest Editorial: District 23 wrap-up: local issues

    Back in Des Moines following my father’s recent passing, I want to thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.

  • Guest Editorial: “Making” a case for true crime TV

    It has become the question of the winter of 2016.
    Not: “You’re not seriously voting for Trump, are you?”
    No, this question has danced on the razor-sharp edge of our cultural zeitgeist since dropping  into our collective laps and Smart TVs Dec. 18.
    “Have you watched ‘Making a Murderer’?”

  • The Time Capsule: Remember the Maine, and Ensign Merritt’s ring

    February 15 approaches, a date our newspapers and an emotional public promised Red Oak would never forget. While no one who made this commitment is still living, the significance remains.  Most readers know this, but I suspect not many are aware of the strange mystery of Darwin Merritt’s ring.    

  • Miner Queries: What is in a name? Democratic socialism or communism?

    A recent Facebook meme noted, “The fact that people think democratic socialism equals communism is proof that we need major educational reform.”

  • The Time Capsule: “If Gravity Goes” ... a sign of the times

    Most towns like to welcome visitors with a sign or emblem that provides a message in addition to a name. Omaha, on Interstate 80, remembers the glory days of railroads. Griswold tells us the year the town was established, Villisca chose a symbol of the pork industry, and Lewis is a “Place to call home.” Lyman (or was it Grant?) used humor with a sign on US 71 telling drivers the next three exits were theirs. That sign is gone now, so apparently someone didn’t find it amusing. Atlantic is the Coca-Cola capital, Clarinda the birthplace of Glenn Miller. Red Oak has

  • What's Going On: Final thoughts: What will I miss most?

    It was such a simple question, but I didn’t have an answer.
    What are you going to miss most about Red Oak?
    Not very often am I left speechless, but when that questioned was asked of me at a Rotary Club meeting, presumably my last in Red Oak, I found myself stammering and searching for something to say.
    There is so much I will remember from my time in Red Oak, Montgomery County, and Southwest Iowa, I suddenly had a difficult time answering what would I miss … most.

  • Miner Queries: Looking at Flint’s water: Is Iowa next?

    I’ve spent the last two weeks monitoring the news out of Michigan where the city of Flint is dealing with the completely preventable poisoning of its water supply.  How did this happen?
    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican with ties to the Koch Brothers, has spent his tenure working diligently to find ways to destroy unions and strangle government policies that help people in favor of corporate interests. As part of that effort, he’s ousted elected municipal officials and replaced them with appointed managers.

  • The Time Capsule: Catsup? On a hot dog? Remembering Mike Royko

    Newspaper columns are not difficult to do and hundreds are printed each week.  No one could possibly read them all, and no one would want to. Some are worthwhile, others are not. We grind them out on schedule. Quality is optional — deadlines are not. While any columnist can be good at times, consistency is not easy.             

  • What's Going On: Will Donald flock to Joni’s flame?

    Donald Trump has had an epiphany.
    Apparently, it has dawned on the Donald that if he really wants to have any chance at getting elected to the
    presidency, he’s going to need to broaden his appeal.
    Trump and his message play well with the angry-white -guy crowd, and fortunately for him, there’s a lot of angry white guys out there right now. As such, he’s polling well and in a position to make some early noise in the upcoming caucuses and primaries.