Commentary
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College moving day has arrived for Kinzey

With all the delays, cancelations, and interrupted activities this year, my daughter Kinzey was starting to think this day would never come. And what day is this, you ask? Moving into College Day! … more

Education is an honorable and rewarding career

When I entered the teaching profession in 1982, my mother was very concerned on whether or not I would find a job.  The competition for teaching professions was very fierce and getting a foot … more

Derecho reminded us how blessed we are

2020 just keeps on giving! This time it struck in the form of a derecho, a rare but powerful wind storm. The results are devastating: 80% of the structures in Cedar Rapids were damaged, and … more

Memories of a decoder ring and Shirley Temple bowl

Not long ago, someone in my presence voiced the question: “What is this world coming to?” That, in itself, was not uncommon, but it did make me think of a like situation in a former … more

Government action in Portland was illegal

I have been horrified by the recent events in Portland. Unidentified federal troops in unmarked vehicles have been attacking civilians, using tear gas and other weapons that are not allowed during … more

School board faced a tough decision

For many years, I wrote a weekly mayor’s column for the Wellman Advance, but I haven’t written anything since the Advance stopped publishing as a standalone newspaper.  I am going … more

We should all do our part to curb COVID-19 spread

Dear Editor: It concerns me that in the last two editions of the paper there is not one single picture of someone wearing a mask, as personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of … more

COVID-19 puts legislators, schools in uncharted territory

The Iowa Legislature wrapped up their suspended session in June.     To say that the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year and the start of the 2020-21 school year presented new … more

Supporting small businesses, fighting for families

Throughout this pandemic I’ve continued to listen to and hear from Iowans in all corners of our state. During telephone town halls, virtual town halls, conference calls, Facebook live … more

All I remember is the rolling hills

And the corn. Oh, that golden corn. Best in the world, I’d say. And I haven’t tasted it since 1998. That is the year I left the comfy surroundings of Cedar Rapids for a new job in … more

The ‘Full Grassley’ is just a media stunt

There are many things in politics that make my blood boil. But nothing compares to the so-called “Full Grassley.” You know what this is, because we see it every year. A politician … more

How will we address the Disproportionate Minority Contact?

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, I thought it might be worth resurrecting an idea I had back in 2014. I was working with LaTasha DeLoach, Director of the Iowa City/Johnson County … more

Pig farmers get creative facing COVID-19

As a sixth-generation pig farmer, I thought I had seen, or at least heard, it all. From the challenges my family and other pig farmers have weathered over the years, such as disease outbreaks and … more

Ron and Helen Slechta Return as Publishers of The News

Greetings. Helen and I did not anticipate becoming publishers of this newspaper at age 78, but we are going to strive to give our subscribers and advertisers the best local newspaper.  Jim … more

Iowa has its own cases of fatal police encounters

There’s a quiz today. How would the tragic death of George Floyd have been perceived if the encounter occurred on a deserted side street in the middle of the night, rather than on a busy … more

COVID-19 has hurt our Iowa families

While this pandemic has challenged all Iowans, as our state begins to take the first steps toward safely reopening, I’m continuing to push for support for our families in every stage of life … more

Summer brings rhubarb treats

We have turned another page on our calendar. June is here! Our hay is cut and now we have the challenge of getting it raked and baled before it rains again. Yesterday was pretty warm with the … more

Gov. Reynolds mismanaging virus crisis

As you know, Gov. Reynolds “opened up” Iowa back on May 15, despite the fact that infections and deaths both continued to rise. There was no ramping up. It was “let ’er … more

Highland team works on school plans

The administrative meetings for the Highland Community School District have been interesting lately to say the least. The amount of information that the team is trying to cover is massive with little … more

Kalona starts reopening city services to public

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy Memorial Day weekend. If you went to Sharon Hill Cemetery you may have noticed that the memorial to the unknown soldier has been reset, with a new flag, plaza … more
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