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Columns

  • Guest Editorial: This will last longer than four hours

     No need to worry, Hobby Lobby is still providing it’s employees with Viagra as part of their company-wide health care plan.

    Ladies and gentleman needn’t be concerned. That, ahem, reproductive health care issue is covered.

    That must come as a tremendous relief to Hobby Lobby’s thousands of female employees.

  • What's Going On: Jury trials provide unique insights

     Entering my third decade working in small town newspapers, there are a few events that are as invigorating today as they were when I first started working at a daily newspaper in Chillicothe, Mo., in 1993. 

    If you love your job as I do, it’s because of moments like that. Enjoyable careers have them. They are what gets you out of bed every morning for 50 years and allows you to somewhat enjoy your work. 

  • The Time Capsule: Song legend of Kaw-Liga lives on

     Dear aunt Mollie, a saint if ever there was one, managed to be a Hank Williams “honkey-tonk” fan without leaving her living room. She loved ‘em all, from “Hey, Good Lookin’” to “Jambalaya,” but her favorite was “Kaw-liga.”  

  • Miner Queries: Have you been media brainwashed?

     I recently got into a discussion on Facebook about media reports on the border crisis. A friend was trying to point out the differences in two different media outlets’ reporting. In short, she noted how FOX News used emotional language and implied dangers to stoke fears about the immigrant children.

    After I responded to one of her friends about FOX’s history and financers, my friend mentioned a soon-to-be-released documentary called, “The Brainwashing of my Dad.” Take a look at the trailer.

  • The Time Capsule: Big band musicians are timeless classics
  • What's Going On: Des Moines Register held accountable for state’s shortcomings

     Don’t kill the messenger.

    Remember those four words. They are important to this column.

    According to records provided and compiled by the state, Montgomery County has the slowest response rate to emergencies in all of Iowa.

    The Des Moines Register reported this fact a couple weeks ago and the response hasn’t exactly been positive here locally.

  • The Time Capsule: Tracing Kool-Aid back to its Iowa roots

     I called Smucker’s the other day, which reminded me of the time I did likewise with another mega-company; Kraft Foods. The Kraft experience was a good one, and I don’t think it’s been told here.  

  • What's Going On: Why the biggest pet lover really doesn’t love their pet like family

     A friend emailed me last week a link to a story about a three-legged dog that was dying from cancer. 

    The dog had undergone a previous amputation in an effort to contain the cancer and that seemingly worked for about two years until the cancer returned.

    This time, the cancer came back stronger and more aggressive and the terminal diagnosis quickly followed for the beloved Labrador Retriever. 

  • Miner Queries: Border crisis: Could we get Republicans to govern?

     On a plate at the base of the Statue of Liberty, one of our most beloved national symbols, is Emma Lazarus’ famous poem, “The New Colussus.” It concludes with the following words.

    “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

  • The Time Capsule: Viking Lake - what could be grander?

     A few days ago my wife and I drove through Viking Lake State Park. It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon, I didn’t see an empty campsite, and I wondered what Oscar Hultman, P.O. Swanson, and Alf Kirkeberg would have said had they been along.  

    Hultman, without whom the place wouldn’t be, promised for years that if built it would draw a crowd. I doubt, though, he could have imagined that on a typical summer weekend there are enough visitors to make it the third largest city in the county. On a really busy weekend it might rank second.