Local Columns

Some ideas for catching more fish in clear water

Autumn is quickly approaching, and in many areas, the water clears up in the fall. This is due to several things within the ecosystem, but the reality is, autumn waters can be clearer, and that will affect how we the fish react. And how the fish react should have an impact on how we react to ...

Old friends, new friends and ice cream

During the first 25 years of my life I attended the Iowa State Fair twice. For the past 25 years I have attended every year. My Rotary Club meets at the fair at 7 a.m. on the first Friday of the event so I get an early start and enjoy the cool, uncrowded early hours on the fairgrounds. By 2 ...

Knock, knock… who’s there?

Last week was National Tell a Joke Day. We may have missed our chance to officially tell a joke and make someone giggle, laugh, chortle, or guffaw, but then we can do that any day of the week. Considering the state of our nation right now, this just may be the best time ever to lighten up ...

Finding the words

Normally my column is full of fun, my odd antics and other crazy things that are going on around the community. However, this week I feel it is important to speak about what is currently happening at the national level. As a reporter I have an obligation to inform and educate, so here ...

Learning is not just for kids anymore

They say you’re never to old to learn something new. I guess I’m going to find out soon if that’s true. I’ve been dying to take one of the Legacy Learning classes but until now, they just haven’t worked out because of scheduling conflicts or family commitments. But at the end ...

Fall fishing ideas

The weather in my part of the world has been cool the past few days. Some people are predicting an early autumn. I’m not hoping for summer to depart soon, but we take what they send when it comes to weather. If you like to fish, the fall months can provide some outstanding fishing ...

Drought stress

Where have all the flowers gone? During this time of drought, many flowers have not produced their typical amount of blooms. Watering is very important during the hot, dry days of August to prevent drought stress to plants. Other ways to help your flowering plants include deadheading ...

Shopping the big garage sale

I got to be part of an Iowa institution last week: the famous Highway 144 garage sale. You may have heard of it. The sale runs along highway 141 for 177 miles, involving some 20 towns. Believe me, the sale lives up to the billing. As crazy as it may sound, a friend and I decided to step ...

Ed Griper is frosted over teen slang

My addicted brain demanded caffeine so I swung by the local coffee shop. I was not surprised to see a rusty old Studebaker pick-up truck in the parking lot and looked for its owner once inside. Sure enough, there in a back corner sitting all by himself was my irascible old buddy, Eberneezer ...

Iowa State Fair fun

I screamed at the top of my lungs the entire way down, startling everyone within hearing distance and earning myself a few dirty looks from a group of nearby teens. It was the summer of 2015, and I had just tried out the Iowa State Fair’s Giant Slide. This was significant because in the past ...

Catching crappies

As the summer starts to wind down and fall gets closer, anglers should start thinking about some fall fishing strategies. Fishing opportunities for a wide variety of fish are outstanding in the fall across the Midwest. In many areas of the Midwest, crappies are abundant. Crappies are ...

Finding the right show to binge

Remember back to the old days … when we would actually have to wait a whole week before seeing the next episode of our favorite television program? We'd wait with eager anticipation, watch the promo at the end of the previous week and then patiently count down the days. Well, I guess that ...

Fertilizing perennial plants

Gardeners know the importance of providing fertilizer to plants for healthy growth. But a late summer fertilizer application may actually impede the health of your perennial plants. A good rule of thumb for Iowans is that once the State Fair arrives, it is time to stop fertilizing ...

A challenging summer for gardeners

A friend recently posted on Facebook, “If I love gardening so much, why am I so bad at it?” From the quite pathetic looks of my garden so far this season, she pretty much echoed my thoughts. The only redemption is that this summer I can blame at least some of the trouble on our ...

Buying stuff you don’t need just because it’s cheap

Sixty years ago, in the days before sanitary landfills and weekly trash pick-up, my father regularly took the family’s rubbish to the county dump. My brothers and I loved to go along, but sometimes found Dad less than enthusiastic about taking us. The problem, I realize now, is that his ...

Bettering the community

As many of you readers know, over the past six or so months, the city council has been working in overdrive to help clean up Webster City and restore some community pride. The council, city manager, city building inspector, and other city workers have been canvasing the city in hopes of ...

Heat, drought and tomato problems

Is the heat taking a toll on your tomatoes this year? High temperatures and lack of moisture is problem being experienced by tomato growers in our area. Tomatoes are the most popularly grown garden plant; but as they are warm season plants, pollination and developing fruit are highly ...

Find the food, find the fish

From now until the water gets hard again, if you want to be more successful in your fishing, there is one very basic thing to keep in mind: You’ve got to be fishing where your quarries’ food is. Actually, as soon as the spawn was over finding what the fish wanted to eat was a very ...

Make happiness happen

I hope you’re getting ready, because tomorrow is the first day of Happiness Happens Month. All month. Maybe this is a good idea to have a whole month of celebrating what makes you happy, whatever that is for you. And if you share that happiness, you can make others around you feel ...

Slow learners of the male species

We men can be slow learners; some slower than others. Earlier this summer a Polk County jury awarded $2.2 million to a former Iowa Senate Republican caucus staffer who claimed her male superiors disregarded a culture of blatant sexual harassment in their Statehouse department. Really? In ...