Opinion

Can spring ‘spring’ early?

Local Columns

After last weekend’s onslaught of ice, cold temperatures, and limited travel, I am counting down the days until spring. I am ready for green grass and sunny skies, even if it means melting snow and mud puddles. Did you know that spring officially begins on March 20? That means we only ...

Three reasons to attend the Festival of Chocolate

Local Columns

“Chocolate is medicinal.” -Michelle Pillow It was the winter of 1998, and I was a bored, cranky ten-year-old not in the mood to deal with two of my least favorite words in the English language: grocery shopping. Every two weeks my mom would snag one of my older siblings and spend ...

The greatest show on Earth

Local Columns

Editor’s Note: The following is a column written by a former Webster City resident, Lyle Spencer. Spencer, who now lives in Goldfield, shares his memories of the day the circus came to town. The announcement of the closing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus has prompted ...

Remembering that other ice storm — 1991

Local Columns

I was so glad to see that we’ll be embracing a warming trend the rest of the week. Thankfully, the ice storm was not quite as devastating for Hamilton County as was predicted. Don’t get me wrong. The slick sidewalks and streets were treacherous. I’m glad area schools decided to keep ...

Creating new ice-anglers

Local Columns

Ice-fishing is in high gear wherever people go ice-fishing. Ice-fishing can be a wonderful social event that anglers of all skill levels and ages can take part in. I recently got to watch a dad introduce his young son to ice-fishing with outstanding results. The best time of the ice-fishing ...

Odd tales from a Kmart store

Local Columns

A news story earlier this month announced that the Kmart Corporation is planning to close two Iowa stores this year, one in Waterloo and another in Sioux City. One of the 20th century’s leading “dime store” retailers, S.S. Kresge, opened the first Kmart Store in 1962 in Garden City, ...

Snowy day baking traditions

Local Columns

On one of our bleak winter days last week when it was better to stay inside than to go out and risk a fall or a fender bender on the ice, I decided to mix up some cookies and bake them. I know I’m not the only one who has the urge to cook or bake (maybe both!) something good and hearty on ...

Branstad announces final agenda

Editorials

Gov. Terry Branstad announced (Jan 10) in his Condition of the State address - delivered at a joint session of the Legislature - a sensible plan of action for 2107. The governor's vision for the year ahead and beyond gives a high priority to: • A budget that is balanced, stable and stays ...

Iowa’s rural economy remains strong

Editorials

In the 21st century, Iowa’s economy is becoming more diversified. By any measure, however, the agricultural sector is at the heart of what keeps the Hawkeye State prosperous. Just before Christmas, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey released a detailed analysis of how agriculture ...

A whirlwind of a week

Local Columns

From interviews to covering accidents in the cold temperatures, I have been kept busy this week. With the icy roads and sidewalks, I’ve been attempting to walk as many places this week as possible. Aside from one minor fall on Wednesday afternoon I made it through the week upright. ...

Dancing the Midwest Shuffle

Local Columns

Today, I got to practice my Midwest Shuffle dance moves. What? You've never done the Midwest Shuffle, you say? I'll bet you have and don't even realize it. If you've ever skittered and slid and tried to counter-balance your gait as you slide over an icy patch on the sidewalk — then ...

Voter ID law fails cost/benefit analysis

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: Recently the Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate released a proposal for a Voter ID law. A simple cost/benefit analysis suggests this is a big government solution in search of a problem. First the benefit. On January 6, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported there were 23 ...

Mid-winter ice-fishing

Local Columns

We’re entering the mid-winter ice-fishing season. Ice-fishing this time of year can be productive, but it can also be challenging. If we have answers for those challenges, we can be successful at catching fish through the ice. Following are some of the challenges and some ideas for ...

Celebrating Iowa foods

Local Columns

Whenever I go to the visit my family out of state, I have a standing order to bring chip dip from a specific Iowa dairy with me. They can’t buy it where they live, so it is always a treat, as long as I remember to pack it with me. I’ve heard of the same thing going on with other Iowa ...

What were you doing New Year’s Eve?

Local Columns

Here it is 2017 already. I hope you had a good New Year’s Eve and that your New Year is off to a great start. The New Year. It’s nothing more than a “paper entry,” as they say in business, but the beginning of a new year often brings about memorable events. My first memory of ...

Supper to help fight hunger at the local level

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: Many fun events are being planned in the community this winter. One that will be happening this Wednesday, January 11, is the annual ham and bean soup supper at the Faith United Methodist Church on 2020 Superior St. The supper will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free will ...

A resolution for us all: be kinder to yourself this year

Local Columns

“I think resolutions are dumb.” The other morning my coworkers and I were in the middle of a spirited discussion about the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions. It quickly became apparent that one of my coworkers was not a big fan of the custom: “Whenever I make resolutions ...

A favorite ice-fishing location

Local Columns

There are so many outstanding ice-fishing opportunities across the Midwest, but one location that has become a favored destination of mine and of many others is Big Stone Lake in west-central Minnesota. Actually, the east shore of the lake is in Minnesota, the west shore is in South Dakota. ...

Says time is now to protect Medicaid

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: About 60 percent of the costs of traditional Medicaid come from providing nursing home care and other types of care for the elderly and those with disabilities. The over 30 million poor children now enrolled in Medicaid accounts for 19 percent of the program's spending. Do we ...

Barns and their many uses

Local Columns

Listening to the scripture of the birth of Jesus during this Christmas season, I felt again what a beautiful story it is. It seems to me that if you’ve ever given birth, it is all the more awesome that baby Jesus was born in a manger. The barn on the farm where I grew up had a manger, ...