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Local Columns

Is there a devil in your house?

When I was a youngster in the early 1950s many families did not yet have a television set in their homes. For some families ̶ including my own ̶ it was an economic issue as TV sets were still quite expensive. For some families ̶ including my own ̶ it was a religious issue. There ...

Summer’s fishing bounty

The summer of 2020 is here. For most anglers, spring fishing success has ranged from “pretty darn good” to “outstanding” to quote many. Summer fishing is different than spring fishing. Some people who fish refer to fishing in July and August as the “Dog Days”, and they’re not ...

Is this economic development?

I met this group of old guys in Akron, Iowa. They have coffee every morning between 6 am and 9 am. The mayor thought I would like their story. The coffee wasn't bad either. They call themselves the Old Geezers Club. Several of the fellows brought their woodworking tools to outfit a shared ...

Don’t get locked in

A new fishing season is under way. Now is a good time to remember what fishing techniques have worked in the past, but we should also remind ourselves to revise those techniques when the fish aren’t responding to them. Here’s what I mean. Trolling with crankbaits has become a popular ...

It’s not perfect, but it is a treasure

The United States Postal Service and I go back a longways. My first memories of U.S. Mail are from 1951. I was three-years-old and we lived on a farm on the south side of the gravel road that was the Iowa-Minnesota state line. Though we lived in Iowa our mailing address was Frost, Minnesota, ...

Are men dumb or just confused?

Several years ago a list of jokes about “dumb men” made the rounds via e-mail. This was before Facebook became a joke-sharing medium. As I recall, most men laughed at the “dumb men” jokes, just as many blondes did when the “dumb blond” jokes made the rounds. Having worked with ...

Dealing with tightwads

You may call me frugal, if you wish. You may even call me thrifty. Just don’t call me a cheapskate. Growing up in a large low-income can teach money management skills difficult to learn under other circumstances. My childhood circumstances led me to a life of frugality. My mother could ...

Building resiliency to bounce back from anything

Resiliency has been a buzz word over the last few years in relation to trauma. How to build resiliency in ourselves and in our children, however, is not discussed as much as the effects of what happens to people who are not as resilient as others. It is inevitable that a person will have to ...

Adjust for early season fishing success

The early part of the fishing season is a great time to be on the water: It just feels good, and the fishing can be good also. Knowing a little bit about how fish go about their reproductive ritual can help us catch even more fish. Most of the fish that live in Midwest waters spawn in the ...

Confessions of a WAHM

Editor’s Note: Carrie Olson Tagg is a graduate of Webster City High School and a former Daily Freeman-Journal reporter. Today, she lives with her husband and daughter in Pennsylvania. When the quarantine started, it was recommended by a couple people that I write a blog post on my ...

Practicing self care in times of uncertainty

During these uncertain times, many people are experiencing higher levels of mental health challenges. It is important to do what we can to help not only ourselves, but also others around us. One of the most important things one can do at this time is to take care of ourselves and encourage ...

Looking forward to another time

Several weeks into the Great Quarantine of 2020 one of the topics I am seeing discussed on Facebook is hugs and how much people miss them. People are missing the physical contact denied by social distancing. For the most part, I grew up in a non-hugging family. We are of northern European ...

Getting ready for open water

I think my ice-fishing season is over for now. I didn’t get to go ice-fishing as much as I would have liked, but that’s the way it is most years. Today I started sorting through my open water fishing tackle boxes to see what I needed to start the open water season. One thought kept going ...

Spring river walleyes

I took a drive the other day and happened to travel over the bridge that spanned one of my favorite spring walleye rivers. There were several anglers within eyeshot of the bridge. It’s a small river, very similar to many of the small rivers that are found across the Midwest. It’s maybe a ...

Getting ready for open water fishing

I think my ice-fishing season is over for now. I didn’t get to go ice-fishing as much as I would have liked, but that’s the way it is most years. Today I started sorting through my open water fishing tackle boxes to see what I needed to start the open water season. One thought kept going ...

Catching bigger fish

A friend recently showed me a photo of a smallmouth bass that his son caught through the ice in mid-February 2020. It went almost 22 inches on the measuring board, was shaped like an over-inflated football, and was well in excess of 6 pounds. A real beauty. And you know what? Fish like ...

What does it mean to be idea friendly?

Can you make a small town more open to new ideas? Yes, and it may be the most important thing you can do. In a world driven by frenetic change, which small towns are going to thrive? We know rural people play a key role in our society, so some small towns will have a future. Some small towns ...

Ten town hall rules: Overcoming internal conflicts

Mila Besich, the mayor of Superior, Arizona, population 3,068, wrote us at SaveYour.Town to share the changes they've made around internal conflicts within their city, chamber, school board and new nonprofit. It's relevant to any small town and it's my pleasure to share her advice! "Our ...

Ideas for a fishing rod

The open water fishing season is quickly approaching. It’s at this time of year that many anglers start thinking about new equipment that they need or would like for open water fishing. Those thoughts might remind them that they need or want a new rod for their open water fishing. Some ...

Thinking of open water fishing

Although there’s still a lot of ice-fishing to do in the next several weeks, and some of the best ice-fishing action of the year will occur during those several weeks, March is when many of us start thinking about open water fishing. There are several reasons why that is. One of the reasons ...