• On the Side| Brad Hicks

    While the news elites try to make us think we should be most concerned about what Donald Trump tweets, Americans are impacted by more-concerning things.

    Last week, buried in the piles of news about whether the Russians hacked the political parties and tried to influence our elections – they did, and they have for years, respectively, just as we have theirs – a bedrock retailer announced it was closing more stores.

  • The Montgomery County History Center | Dave McFarland

    The year is 1874. We find one of local residence not enjoying the full measure of marital bliss. It seems he’s getting a chilly treatment from his wife, colder than anything to be experienced outside even considering the January weather. The only warmth to be had was from her chiding words. She had gone even so far as accusing him of being the cheapest man in the county and maybe even beyond. All this seemed to stem from the fact that in his thrift, he had not bought her a Christmas gift. He was now learning the true cost of his thrift.

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

     We took a ride on Christmas Day to attend services in Lewis, where I grew up.  The church there is one we’ve returned to several times during the past twenty years, almost always for a funeral.  

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    When it happened, the building shook.

    It caught me off guard, that’s for sure. Everyone who looked at it said there wasn’t much to it. 

    Oh, sure, there were a couple of long iron beams that held it in place, but the vertical sign in the middle was nothing more than a thin piece of tin with plastic letters. 

  • Miner Queries | Cherie Miner

    After spending what feels like months writing about the orange menace recently elected president, I’m ready to turn to events closer to home. Unfortunately, the outlook here in Iowa isn’t much better.

    Like voters nationwide, Iowans voted to give Republicans one-party rule in Iowa – with little evidence it will help citizens.

    Recent articles paint an ugly future for the next state most likely to inspire a book entitled, “What’s the matter with . . .?”

  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    This column presents an occasional quiz, which have prompted an occasional comment. A memorable one came in the form of a card sent a couple of years ago by Ruby from Villisca, who shared an opinion about the questions. 

    I saw Ruby shopping in one of our fine local grocery stores a few days ago, was reminded of the quiz, and decided to cap off the holidays with one on a pleasant feature of the season: food. Ruby may find these easy. Others will miss one or two, and only a weasel would ask google. 

  • Montgomery County History Center | Dave McFarland
  • The Time Capsule | Roy Marshall

    In a world of gadgets the creation of David Berry, of Mountain Home, Ark., strikes me as one of the best. Berry is a retired mechanical engineer with a lifetime of experience in designing and repairing small machinery. An interesting fellow, he supplemented his acquired knowledge with a thorough study of the geometric anatomy of a nut to perfect the first and only precision black walnut dissector. 

  • On the Side| Brad Hicks

    The follow-ing is column written by a fellow named Bob Thompson, a teacher and coach in my hometown. I share it each Christmas.


    Here’s the story about a young man who was engaged to be married. He was in love and his life was infected with that special pride and that vibrant joy that is peculiar to lovers.

  • Guest Editorial: Paul Pate

    The people of Iowa once again showed they are among the most civically-minded in the nation, thanks to their turnout in the 2016 general election. More than 1.58 million Iowans made their voice heard. Iowa’s 72 percent turnout ranks among the top five states in the country for voter participation.
    Increasing voter participation is one of the primary goals of my administration, and while a top five finish is very good, I want Iowa to be number one.