Local Columns

Food 101

My name is Shana Hilgerson, and I am serving Hamilton, Humboldt, Webster, and Wright counties as a Rising Star intern with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The program focuses on local foods and the importance they serve in our community. You may have seen me at a farmer’s ...

Celebrate responsibly

Did you get to see the beautiful fireworks display at the high school Saturday night? It was quite impressive and what fun to have Jive for Five, a brass ensemble, performing patriotic tunes before the fireworks. Thanks to the Van Diest family and Van Diest Supply Company for sponsoring ...

Slugs suspect for holes in leaves

Remember summer vacation road trips, and the game of slug-a-bug, when noticing a Volkswagen Beetle, you could legally punch your sibling in the arm without receiving parent disapproval? However, when noticing slugs on hostas, rather than calling out “SLUG BUG,” a different kind of punch ...

An enduring friendship

When the Fourth of July rolls around, I often recall the story I did almost thirty years ago with a pair of old friends who had been celebrating the Fourth of July together for seventy years. When I visited with them, they were 86 and 87 years old, both widowed, living in their own ...

When will the microwave oven become obsolete?

For many years I thought I was the only male child who helped his mother with the family laundry, including ironing. In a conversation about our childhoods last week I discovered that my neighbor used to help his mother with the family ironing, too. My neighbor is just a few years older ...

Celebrating independence

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a lot of birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate this month. Every scroll through my Facebook newsfeed is another milestone. Kids. Engagements. Nuptials. Birthdays. As summer is the season for a large number of weddings and other exciting ...

Hello, this is Heather …

Friday morning, I had an unusual phone call come in. I usually don't answer calls that originate in other states, but since I have relatives in Missouri, I took the call. “Hello, this is Heather. Did you know your car's warranty has nearly expired?” Click. Apparently, my number ...

Keeping skeeters away

With the summer weather now upon us, there also will soon be mosquitoes on us. As mosquitoes breed in standing water, it is time to examine your yard for anything that may hold water and drain them. Old tires, upturned garbage can lids, flower pot saucers and rain barrels are some sites ...

Increase your catch by trolling

Across the Midwest and I would guess most of North America, most game fish in most places are done spawning. After a few days of rest, those fish will get very hungry. If you can put a bait near a fish, it will probably bite that bait. The key is to show as many fish as possible your bait, ...

Random acts of kindness

It seems to me that, very often, it’s the little things in life that make a big impact, that may linger on your heart and bring a smile to your lips when it comes to mind later. It’s nothing major, but it brightens your day. It happened to me in a parking lot near a bike trail ...

Go ahead and say it: That’s a little weird

Back in my late teens I found my “quiet place” in the reference section of Kendall Young Library in Webster City. When I had some free time between work and studies at the local community college I visited the library, found a reference book and relaxed. In those days of information on ...

Why teen books aren’t just for teens

When I was eleven years old I read a book that grabbed me by the throat. It was summer and I was bored, so I did what I often did in this situation: I snuck into my older sister’s closet, rifled through her boxes of books on the floor, chose a title with a cover that looked interesting, and ...

Let it Go Day

Did you know that today is National Let it Go Day? Let it Go Day was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy, of Wellcat Holidays and Herbs. The duo created the themed day with the intent of encouraging others throughout the world to let go of their regrets and forgive themselves for actions taken ...

Fishing the weedline

Summer has arrived pretty much everywhere in fishing country. The spawn is over, so the fish, regardless of specie, are doing one thing: They're either eating, or they're looking for something to eat. If you can put a bait in front of a fish in a way that looks appealing to the fish, ...

Potato leaf damage

Recently, a client had discovered insect damage to a potato plant and wondered what may be eating the leaves. The Colorado potato beetle larvae was determined to be the guilty culprit lunching on the leaves. These beetles were first recognized in 1859 in Colorado when they switched from ...

The great ride across Iowa but not on a bike

Nearly 45 years ago a couple of guys at the Des Moines Register had a great idea ̶ a bicycle ride across Iowa. The idea caught on quickly and today The Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) is one of Iowa’s premier summer events. There’s only one problem with ...

Carefree summer days

Coming up in just a few days is the longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice. Of course, it’s certainly felt like summer here for weeks already, but now the heavens are catching up to what we’ve known all along. Right now we are enjoying the longest days of the year, ...

A wise man once said…

William Shakespeare once said it is a wise father that knows his own child. Looking to my dad, I can attest to this age-old adage. My father has grown in wisdom the older I’ve become. He is one of the five people in my life who knows just about everything there is to know about me. This ...

Time to celebrate, Webster City

The column by Gerald Schnepf, found elsewhere on this page, makes some great points, especially for those of us who live in smaller communities. Every town needs a cheerleader, a band leader or someone to preach the good news about the quality of life, local amenities and the kind-hearted ...

Little things for more fishing success

Over the last four decades I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to go fishing with a lot of different anglers. Some of these anglers were very, very skilled and they caught a lot of fish. Others weren’t as skilled and they usually didn’t catch as many fish. Early on I started watching ...