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Kinney aims to fix workforce crisis

State Senator Kevin Kinney of Oxford joined other members of the Iowa Legislature for the start of the 2022 Session this month. “We’ve got to fix Iowa’s workforce crisis. Too … more

Reflecting on Biden’s first year failures

Just over a year ago, I joined my colleagues — Democrats and Republicans — on the front steps of the United States Capitol for the inauguration of President Biden. He told the American … more

Second Amendment, education bills in Iowa Senate

The pace of activity picked up in week two of the legislative session. Subcommittee meetings are in high gear as we start our work on the many proposals we have for this year. One of the … more

Memories from long ago: Winter solstice & oyster stew

As seasons go, they are not that variable: Winters are winters as far as I’m concerned; some are good, some not so good. The way I remember them most vividly is that every year, in the long ago … more

Sheriff deserved a raise for service to community

This is in response to a letter to the editor in The News the week of January 6, 2022. So, the sheriff got a raise. Great, good for him! In this sad time of “big cities” defunding the … more

Ernst condemns Democrats protecting the right to vote

In a recent speech on the Senate floor Senator Joni Ernst decried Democratic efforts to protect the right to vote. Ernst claimed the Democrats are “using fake hysteria… to blow up the … more

Be careful of ice-covered quilt blocks in downtown Kalona this winter

I ended 2021 with a big bang! I am not talking about fireworks or anything like that. Friday afternoon the weather seemed good enough that I could finish the year by walking the mile from The … more

Thank you, Bob Dole and Veterans

It was with great pleasure and nostalgia, watching the services for the great Senator Bob Dole from Kansas, who passed away at age 98. It was all so emotional and gut-wrenching — from … more

Our pets leave paw prints on our hearts: On saying goodbye to a well-loved dog

My sweet dog, Skillet, passed away over the weekend. We adopted Skillet as a senior dog from the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center right at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. She … more

Covid Vaccinations

Received my third Covid vaccination and that gives me some sense of comfort. Statistics show that vaccinated people on the whole, if they do contact the virus, do not die or require hospitalization. … more

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum to undergo renovation

Iowa values are timeless. But in our divided times, we may need a nudge to remember that Iowans have long embodied honesty, generosity and altruism. One of the great symbols of that spirit sits in … more

Mid-Prairie to go ahead with $37.6 million in projects, bond referendum

Assessing a school district’s long-term facility needs is an important and ongoing process. During the last 21 years, there have been four major facility need studies at Mid-Prairie conducted … more

Wear white at night to be seen by drivers

I am a big fan of the programs Backtracks and Blue Avenue on Iowa Public Radio, hosted by Bob Dorr. Mr. Dorr always signs off from a show by telling people to “wear white at night, unless … more

Should excluded workers get ARPA funds?

One of the most frequent topics of conversation is how to handle people who were not eligible for the previous COVID relief money. Many refer to this group as “excluded workers.” I am not … more

Remembering Mama and Daddy’s rules to live by

At various times throughout the years, there will always be certain things that will cause us to think back in time to those whom we have known and want to remember. Sometimes the memories are happy, … more

Is Mid-Prairie prepared for a mass casualty event?

In light of recent school shootings I have to wonder how well prepared the Mid-Prairie school district is prepared for a mass casualty event? I met last year with a few district leaders and one thing … more

Where to turn when the holidays get stressful

The holidays are wonderful, but they can also be stressful. Sometimes finances or family or having to organize get togethers can cause more stress and anxiety as the year winds down. Sometimes it can … more

The after-dinner listing of what we’re thankful for

I treasure Thanksgiving. There’s something wonderful about sharing a huge meal around a table with people you love — it’s magical. This year Seth and I are unable to travel to … more

This Thanksgiving may break the bank under Biden

Over-cooking the turkey. Making sure there is enough food for each guest. In-laws overstaying their welcome. These are the typical concerns we think about during the Thanksgiving holiday. But this … more

On deciding how to spend ARPA funds

You have probably heard that Johnson County and all our cities have received generous funding from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In the case of Johnson County, … more
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