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Local Columns

Storms of life (Aug 27 column)

While it is hotter than blazes in Emmet County, the Derecho storm that cut a stripe across the state's beltline could have effects on crops, businesses and the state's entire economy for a long time to come. Then the wonder twins, Tropical Storms Marco and Laura come in from the Gulf of Mexico. ...

Help! We’re shrinking! (Aug 20 column)

USA Today recently listed Emmet County as the fastest-shrinking county in Iowa. This is alongside a modest net growth for the state of Iowa. Is this something to be concerned about? We’d rather be known as a growing area rather than a shrinking one, but the issue of population migration and ...

Let’s go to the movies! (May 28 column)

There's this old song that was featured in the 1980s Annie movie, “Let's go to the movies!” Little Orphan Annie, spending a week as a guest of billionaire Oliver Warbucks, wants Warbucks to put down his phone and do something fun with her and his assistant, Grace Farrell, but he resists. ...

Back to School Boldly (July 28 column)

A few days ago, an essay made the rounds on social media in which a mother compares Back to School in the ‘70s with Back to School in the 21st century. While her story included quite a bit of exaggeration for effect, it rang true to this former schoolgirl, who started kindergarten in ...

It’s getting really nerdy in here. (Aug 13 column)

My house needs a roof and paint and more frequent mowing. Hubs has been out of commission for a bit, so we are far behind. A year ago, just after attending Denver Pop Culture Con and seeing the cast of Bryan's favorite show, Critical Role, seeing Neville from Harry Potter, Doc and Biff from ...

“You have to understand…” (Sept. 3 column)

No one puts their children in a boat, unless the water is safer than the land.” This line from the poem "Home" by Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, brings home the stark reality of the horrifying decisions refugee parents must make. This month includes International Day of Peace, and it had ...

Your one wild and precious life (Sept. 17 column)

The Summer Day Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing ...

Vote with knowledge, but please vote! (Oct. 1 column)

Today our Voter's Guide is in the newspaper. It is also just before the first mail-in and early voting ballots will be available. Our newsroom contacted every local candidate from U.S. Senate to county supervisor and asked them ten questions we thought were vital to members of this ...

We’re on the same team (Oct 8 column)

Voting has begun. County auditor Amy M. Sathoff said her office sent out a record 1,300 ballots in the mail Monday, the first day for early voting. There are candidates who say they are fighting for the soul of America, of Iowa, of this district. Those are stirring words, but I would submit the ...

And the cat came back…(August 6 column)

In honor of International Cat day, I bring you a noisy, bossy, and fickle feline. This is Flannery O’Connor. She is an orange tabby who adopted us in September, 2014, just after daughter Caitlyn left for college. “You guys got this cat to replace me, didn’t you?” Caitlyn asked at ...