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Columns

  • Miner Queries: Are media and pols just rooting for failure?

     I know a lot of people waiting for help with health care.  I have a son who is only insured because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lets us keep him on our family policy to age 26.  I have a brother-in-law, friends and acquaintances with individual policies who want cheaper, more comprehensive coverage. I have many friends with pre-existing conditions who will now be able to get insurance.  

  • The Time Capsule: Poetry: The writings on the wall

     My taste in poetry runs to things like “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” which I once memorized and continue to irritate my wife by reciting portions of. (“There are strange things in the midnight sun/by men who toil for gold. The arctic trails have secret tales/that would make your blood run cold. The northern lights have seen queer sights/but the queerest they ever did see/was the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge/when I cremated Sam McGee.”)  

  • What's Going On: How a new law can make drugs less dangerous to kids

     Two Red Oak residents were arrested last week after police seized a large amount of marijuana, cash and a weapon from their residence.

    In addition to the various drug charges, the accused are also facing an additional charge of child endangerment related to smoking marijuana in front of two children at the house during the time of the raid.

  • The Time Capsule: Quiz time: theatres and basketball

     We haven’t had a quiz for a couple of years. Einer Almgood didn’t like the last one, saying it contained questions about events so obscure even those who lived through them didn’t notice. Besides, Einer complains I make things up.  All right.  We’ll start off with a straight and easy question.  

  • What's Going On: The never-ending pursuit of becoming an official “reader”

     I like to read, but I’m not a “reader.”

    There is a difference, in fact, a big one.

    A “reader” is someone with filled bookshelves and they like to read books that actually make them smarter. “Readers” visit libraries in towns they are vacationing and have read the classics multiple times because they wanted to, not once because a high school or college literature teacher made them.

  • Miner Queries: Sen. Grassley’s no vote: Who drank the tea?

     So I wondered when I awoke Thursday morning to news Congress had narrowly avoided crashing the economy by passing a temporary measure to fund our government and raise the debt ceiling.  With this news, local TV stations were reporting Sen. Charles Grassley had voted against the measure.  (Steve King, unsurprisingly, did too.)

    What’s up with that, Sen.Grassley?  

  • The Time Capsule: A statue for a beloved community horse

    “Villisca,” the lady said, “put up a statue for a pig. This town should at least do as much for Alix.”  

    I agreed.  We should just do it.  

  • What's Going On: How several bad decisions can destroy lives, and a town

    Maryville, Mo., is a town under attack. 

    Never before has this college town in northwest Missouri been under such an intense media spotlight as it has in the last week after an article appeared in the Oct. 13 edition of the Kansas City Star.

    That front-page article detailed the events of an evening in January 2012; an evening that may very well define the lives of several young men and women and the direction of an entire community for years to come. 

  • Outside the Box: Shutdown is futile, won’t end Obamacare

     I spent last week in New York City.

    It was my first trip to the city in 20 years, so my wife and I spent a long weekend seeing the sites. The Empire State Building. A play on Broadway. Times Square. Greenwich Village.

    But you know what we weren’t able to see?

    The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We have the  federal government shutdown to thank for that.

  • The Time Capsule: Nude statues and a Civil War memorial

     If she was in her youth today she’d be Playboy material, centerfold quality, and would without doubt sell magazines. Hers, though, is a more permanent niche. She’s been ogled, for the past 120 years, by lines of school boys who didn’t pay a cent for the privilege.