Commentary
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Public safety bills moving forward in legislature

This session, I’m working on several bills to improve public safety, and am pleased to see them moving forward in the legislative process. SSB 1054, known as a “failure to … more

Remembering songs from the past

“Little red caboose, chug, chug, chug… Little red caboose, chug, chug, chug… Little red caboose — behind the train, train, train, train… Coming down the … more

New GuideLink Center in Iowa City will help the mentally ill in Johnson County

The GuideLink Center, a behavior health access center, is open for business on Feb. 15! This is the result of the work of literally scores of people for literally over a decade. I am so pleased that … more

Legislation could power Iowa’s clean energy future

Across rural Iowa, farmers, small businesses, and homeowners are leveraging solar energy to lower their costs and invest in the communities they live and work in. Since its enactment in 2012, … more

As we head into the New Year, I will always put Iowa first

2020 has presented unique challenges for folks all across our state. The global pandemic coupled with a devastating derecho has been tough, but through it all we’ve witnessed the resilient … more

New Chairman and committees for Johnson County Supervisors

As you may know, I had the pleasure of serving as the Chair of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors in 2020. Before you offer any congratulations, understand that the role of Chair is simply … more

Hope springs eternal in 2021 with Iowa’s 89th General Assembly

Knowing Iowa’s 88th general assembly (2019-2020) ended as a mind-boggling head-spinner, hope springs eternal when the 89th general assembly (2021-2022) convenes on Jan. 11. With the … more

Salvos Salutes: Honoring hard workers and influential people in Johnson County

2020 is coming to a close, and it is time for honoring a few select Johnson County residents with that most treasured of honors, the Salvos Salute. This is the fifteenth annual set of awards, and … more

Legislature must act to feed hungry in Iowa

By Sarah Trone Garriott and Rob Hogg This year in communities all over Iowa, the holiday season kicked off with long lines of idling cars. Our neighbors were not waiting to see displays of … more

Rural communities must get serious about responding to COVID-19

We are nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and cases in rural America are increasing at a rapid rate. The impacts vary greatly across rural states, yet per-capita infections are most extreme in … more

When “Now” time and “Then” time collides

My column’s heading “Now and Then” suggests that perhaps the annals of one’s life journey should be acknowledged more concisely. But there are periods when even I find it … more

Joy from a wooden tree

The problem arose a few years ago when my cat, Whiskey, suddenly started spraying our Christmas tree — nothing we could do would stop him from his urinary vandalism of the plastic conifer we … more

Johnson County supervisors work on Fiscal Year 2022 budget

Johnson County is hard at work on the FY22 budget. In case you had ever wondered about the process: Supervisors hold meetings with every elected official and department head, discussing and debating … more

Reflections on the nature of change

‘Change’ is simply a word, but one often drawn by circumstances into determining the results of various, sometimes serious, concerns. It might be needed to address a problem of … more

Making time for leisure lowers stress

With the holidays approaching, I can feel the stress revving up, especially this year as we try to juggle virtual Thanksgiving dinners and the logistics of exchanging presents without exchanging … more

Highland implements cutting edge Barton Reading program

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects more than 3 million students a year in public schools in the United States. For many years, this disability went undetected for students who struggled … more

Election recap, thanks and thoughts

Election Recap The 2020 Election is mostly in the books. Here it goes, race by race: President: Shades of 2000! As I send this, Biden appears to have defeated Trump, but it is taking a few … more

Harris’s election as VP proves more is possible

The first time I remember it happening, I was 10 years old and at summer camp. A group of boys told me I couldn’t play with them because I was a girl — this was after they figured out I … more

The News’ publisher urges you to vote in this election

Saturday night, Oct. 31, the cities of Kalona, Wellman and Riverside are encouraging youngsters to Trick or Treat responsibly between the hours of 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Children are encouraged to social … more

Lone Tree Schools promote positivity

Social media. Those two words either make people grimace or smile. Social media is a double-edged sword that is deeply embedded in society today. While many people do not know how every social media … more
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