Opinion

Middle-of-summer fishing tips

Local Columns

Fishing can be like the weather in mid-summer: Both can be very hot. To take part in this potentially fast action, you’ll need to do things a little differently than you would at other times of the year. Following are some of those things. Generally, in the summer when the fish want to ...

Rediscovering the strength of the pioneers

Local Columns

It seems like just about everywhere I turn there’s another list entitled “Great Summer Reads” or “Best Books for the Beach” or even something like “Summer Titles You Can’t Miss.” Of course, I don’t always remember or write down the titles of those books so I can be a trendy ...

Thoughts of a lifelong smart aleck

Local Columns

I have often been called a smart aleck. Actually, I have been referred to in much stronger terms but this is a family newspaper. The severity of the title is irrelevant; the truth is I am one. It’s a genetic condition. After nearly 70 years I am comfortable with this inheritance. I was ...

Fair time is almost here

Local Columns

I can always tell when county fair time is getting close. There are 4-H projects and forms neatly stacked in piles on my coffee table. Barney the dog has been taking longer naps as he works extra hard at his obedience training exercises. In short, we're jumping into high gear as we get ...

Celebrating a delicious treat

Local Columns

In case you don’t already know it, I’m happy to report that I just discovered that this is National Ice Cream Month. For some folks, every month is ice cream month, but in this case it’s the International Dairy Foods Association behind it, declaring that July is when we honor “this ...

Japanese beetles invade area gardens

Local Columns

Japanese beetles have long been known to be present in eastern and southern Iowa gardens, causing damage to plants for several decades. Several years ago, these beetles first began appearing in Webster County. Japanese beetles have now also been found in Hamilton and Humboldt County ...

Troll faster in the summer

Local Columns

Fish are cold-blooded creatures. Water temperatures have an effect on their way of doing things. When the water is cold, the fish prefer a slow moving bait. Their metabolism is slower in cold water, so they don’t move as fast. When water temperatures warm up, like they do in the ...

Summer vacations are memory makers

Local Columns

It’s summer vacation time! Each day Facebook postings include photographs of friends at points of interest around the country from Disney World to Disneyland. On the highway I see cars and minivans bearing all the signs of a family vacation. When I see those photos or the vacation-bound ...

New experiences

Local Columns

During my time in Webster City, I have spent a lot of time with local law enforcement agencies and the fire department. Not only have I been on scene to cover the accidents where they are present to take care of business, I’ve also had the opportunity to see another side of them during ...

Battling the busyness of summer

Local Columns

I recently had a very unsettling dream. In my dream I showed up to work at my normal time, and as I greeted my coworkers, discovered that I’d somehow missed three weeks of summer, and that it was already the end of July. Needless to say, waking up to find myself back in the present with ...

Fish for the biters

Local Columns

When anglers go fishing, they want to catch some fish. In fact, they want to catch lots of fish. While you’re probably not going to always catch lots of fish, there are some things that anglers can do to increase their odds of getting bit. Finding the biters is a big part of catching ...

Food 101

Local Columns

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 ...

Kudos to mayor, helpers for cleanup efforts

Letters to Editor

To the Editor: I would like to compliment Mayor John Hawkins and his helpers for cleaning up the trash below the food bridge over the Canadian National Railroad tracks. I live directly north of the bridge, along James Street, and for year I witnessed junk being thrown off the overpass. It ...

Celebrate responsibly

Local Columns

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

Local Columns

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

Local Columns

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?

Local Columns

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

Local Columns

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 …

Local Columns

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

Local Columns

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 ...