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My friends out here in Washington are amazed at the outsized influence a small, aging, largely small town and rural state like Iowa can hold over the eventual selection of a president of the United States. 

Words. Why do they have to be so complicated sometimes? Maybe it’s because, in a single issue of the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press, if you read every story, you could have consumed 23,646 of them. Even more if you read all the ads (which I hope you did!). 

A survey of Eastern Iowa Democratic base and swing voters found a nervous electorate either supporting President Donald Trump for re-election or unsure of how to defeat him in 2020.

It was Valentine’s Day 29 years ago, and I was crawling along at a snail’s pace in my 1979, rear-wheel drive Buick Regal during the evening rush hour on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. 

OK, everyone’s complaining about this winter, me included, but don’t you think this is a wake up call from God telling us to get right with him? “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven …

Door-to-door peddlers are something I associate with the milder seasons of spring and summer. So I felt pretty surprised to hear a Clinton woman’s complaint of losing over $10,000 to a crew of door-to-door driveway pavers in December 2018. But it happened. Perhaps the milder-than-normal Dece…

Go into almost any supermarket, pharmacy, convenience store, or other “big box” location, and it is hard not to see the wide variety of gift cards and reload cards offered for sale. A lot of the time, they appear on the endcaps, or the ends of the aisles. 

Working in mental health, I hear stories of trauma every day. Sometimes they’re told with a sense of ease, an event that happened long ago and has been healed and scarred. Other times they’re told with tears streaming and shakiness in each word — an incident they may be verbally expressing f…

Growing up in rural Jackson County in eastern Iowa, listening to KMAQ was a staple of my youth. We heard all the daily happenings in and around Maquoketa. We found out what we were expecting for weather that week. We followed Ozzie Smith and the St. Louis Cardinals every afternoon in the sum…

On his graduation from the University of Northern Iowa in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in management, Joe Otting faced a job choice. The Maquoketa native weighed an offer from Coca-Cola to move to Atlanta and go to work for $24,000 a year with a car provided. Another offer came from Bank of…

Anyone who reads more than a few of my columns knows I harp repeatedly on scammers who pressure people to pay for scams using money wiring services, such as Western Union and Moneygram. Anybody in the consumer protection business knew for decades that wiring money is a favorite payment metho…

The weekend before Christmas I had the chance to return to my hometown in Northwest Indiana to celebrate with my five siblings. I keep in touch with all of them regularly, but with one of my sisters living overseas with her family and another living in North Carolina, it’s not often that we …

Hello. My name is Jordan Berner and I am a student in Mr. Tod Bowman’s American National Government class. For my civic engagement project, I chose sports betting. Here are some reasons why sports betting should be legal in Iowa: It’s already legal in Delaware, Nevada, Montana, and Oregon, s…

As co-chairman of the recent 2018 Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, I have many people to thank, starting with the hundreds of volunteers who rang the bells at Fareway and Wal-Mart no matter how bad the weather was. Thanks to the management at Fareway and Wal-Mart for allowing us to work i…

Disclaimer: This article contains sensitive information about Santa Claus that may be disturbing to some readers, especially if Santa is not your parents sneaking to the tree in the middle of the night. If you are under the age of nine, please flip to sports or the sudoku puzzle. Reader disc…