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Columns

  • On The Side: Chicken feet, hog heads, and friends

    Grocery stores are great. I love them. Besides food, they constitute a social opportunity.
    “What took you so long at the store?” my wife asks.
    “Well, I ran into John, and talked to him for a while. And Jim was there, so we chatted. He’s doing some glazed pork loins for dinner tonight. And Denny was picking up a few things, so we had to talk about the Cyclones. And then I talked to the meat guys for a while.”
     “What did you talk to the meat guys about?”

  • The Time Capsule: Tasty Woodchuck and the April Fools

    Our grandparents knew winter in a way we do not, and groundhog morning was anticipated more keenly than it now is.  Men trudged through the snow to break ice and slop hogs and milk cows by the shadowy light of a kerosene lantern. Women donned mittens and heavy coats to pump water from a back yard well, then added cobs to the kitchen range to brighten a chilly room and begin the chore of breakfast. And always there was the frigid outhouse ordeal.  

  • The Time Capsule: Alice Ramsey: across the country in 51 days

    Alice Huyler Ramsey crossed into Iowa at Burlington in the summer of 1909. Had she continued straight west, she’d have passed through Montgomery County. It appears she took a more northerly route through Council Bluffs, but she herself seemed uncertain. Ramsey often did not know just where she was.      

  • Miner Queries: Cancer: When will enough be enough?

    Dedicated to Linda Joy Miner, March 14, 1951-March 3, 2016
    For weeks now, I have wanted to chime in with Greg Orear’s columns about his family and the cancer battles they are fighting.But I couldn’t, out of respect for my sister and her wish for privacy. Last night she released me from that promise.

  • Dolecheck’s Details: IA legislative wrap-up, week of Feb. 29

    Department of Revenue Extends Farm Return Deadline
    Last weekend, the Iowa Department of Revenue announced  it will grant a filing extension to some taxpayers on their 2015 Iowa individual income tax returns without underpayment of their estimated tax penalty.

  • Statehouse Report: Funnel Week in the Iowa legislature

    Several bills House committees passed this week focused on growing the economy, creating flexibility for schools, expanding opportunities for Iowa employers and protecting Iowa families and taxpayers. The bills that passed this deadline will continue to be considered during session and receive the discussion they deserved.

  • The Time Capsule: Blazing Ostakaka and Buford’s Crappie Delight

    Each time the Powerball jackpot gets so big the amount makes the news, my wife buys two tickets. I tell her she’s wasting her money. She tells me it’s worth $4 just to hold a ticket and imagine our lives changing with the luck of the draw. I say it already has, reminding her that six years ago I won a lifetime supply of Buford’s Blazing Saddles.  

  • Miner Queries: As election approaches, can we overcome our fears?

    As part of my work in ministry, I send kids to church camp, and this week I’ve been thinking about it as I seek testimonials from some of the kids about their experiences.
    Last summer, one of my new campers was away from home for the first time. As a mother, it was hard to watch this young lady wrestle with her homesickness, yet I knew she must.

  • The Time Capsule: Remembering another sensational local murder

    This afternoon I drove by the house and wondered if those living there know about the murder or are aware of the headline that appeared in our paper 80 years ago next week. On Feb. 28, 1936, in what must have been the biggest and boldest print available, an anxiously-anticipated decision was announced:  
    Arch Breeding would hang.  

  • Guest Editorial: Changing theory, practice of caucuses

    Like a changing of the seasons, another Iowa Caucus has come and gone – and still we’re no closer to knowing who will duke it out come November than we were, well, last November.
    This is the rut of the modern presidential race. And, really, my biggest criticism of Iowa’s every four-year political holiday known as the caucus.
    An election is designed to express clarity by picking a winner, not a murky reminder we’re 10 months from Super Tuesday still without a frontrunner.