Commentary
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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

Remembering virtue is its own reward

American civic virtues find their roots in ancient Rome during and after the reign of Julius Caesar, assassinated by 60 conspirators in 44 B.C. Civil war erupted in the aftermath starring some of … more

Ag plows ahead on pandemic front lines

As crop farmers charge ahead into the spring planting season, livestock producers are putting in longer hours to keep meat, dairy and eggs on the grocery store shelves. As a leading producer of … more

Please be kind, patient and calm

I got some really good advice a while ago, and I think it is worth sharing now. When my daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Zuri, moved to Wisconsin, I was heartbroken. I used to pick Zuri up … more

Iowans will get through this – together

Over the last few weeks, Iowans from every corner and county of our state – our families, health care workers, local store owners, farmers, seniors, and so many more – have faced … more

Nielsen joins in calling for shelter-in-place

As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, I wanted to share a brief update with you.  Even as positive cases hit more than 1,000 in Iowa, it’s likely that number will continue to … more

Heroes in the fight against coronavirus

One of my memories, one that had been tucked away back where the cobwebs congregate, is from that day in 2004 when the oldest Evans daughter graduated from Saint Louis University. The graduates … more

Iowa needs a ‘shelter in place’ order

As the COVID-19 situation continues, public cries for a “shelter in place” order grow louder. I am going to share a few thoughts on this and related matters. I have said this many … more
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