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Just a few weeks ago, I went back to school after several months of being at home without in-person classes. It was really different and strange. I mean, everything is different, school or not. So, I thought it might be interesting to write about the difference and similarities of going back…

I get a lot of questions and comments from people along these lines – “I bet you’re getting a lot of COVID scams reported.” 

Twenty years ago, when the death of 2-year-old Shelby Duis outraged Iowans, I was confident the Spirit Lake tragedy would soon bring change to our state.

Taking a head count of the nation’s residents has to be a daunting task to attempt any time. Trying to do it in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, economic upheaval, and social unrest only adds to the challenge.

There was a milestone of note recently, and it is a shame there was not a big public celebration.

The coronavirus has changed the way we work, in many cases forever. The pandemic has also brought into sharp focus the powerless state of workers here in Iowa and the employer-driven policies that intentionally keep it that way.

Quad-Cities area news coverage of the recent passing of Bob Reade recounted his immensely successful football coaching career at Geneseo, Illinois, High School and Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed dangerous weaknesses in America’s aging public data system. In one of the greatest jobs crises in the past 100 years, the labor force measures of employment and unemployment are too slow, not local and too often unreliable and irrelevant.

Public health experts have given us a long list of ways we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Unfortunately for Iowa’s universities, students, faculty and college towns, finger-pointing has yet to be proven effective at warding off infections.

When Jodi Prosise spoke at the Central DeWitt School Board meeting last week, she summed up the frustration felt by many who follow the COVID-19 statistics released by the state.

An ear of sweet corn is everything good about summer here in Iowa. Sure, you can have an ear of sweetcorn out of season from a supermarket in the dead of winter thanks to long-distance food. But it will travel perhaps 1,500 miles to get to your plate.

Not that you asked, but the list of things I dislike goes well beyond liver and onions, “Rocky Mountain Oysters,” drivers who tailgate, and people who chew with their mouths open.

Vice President Mike Pence claimed in Iowa last week that President Trump had fulfilled his promises to Iowa farmers and ethanol producers. It’s not true and he knew that, because Iowa farmers told him so.

An older rural Welton woman earned the rare distinction of meeting face-to-face the scammers who cheated her out of $15,000. The scammers employed the well-worn but very effective grandparent scam against the Welton woman, who we will call Judy. 

Even before coronavirus hit American colleges and universities, even before their budgets imploded because of the pandemic, questions were being asked nationally about how these institutions spend their money.

Regular readers of this column know I counseled for years for everyone to pay close attention to your credit card and bank statements. We need to review those line by line. And what we are looking for are card charges we did not make, or withdrawals from accounts we did not authorize. 

  • Updated

Without question, I’m old school. My analog watch doesn’t count my steps, keep track of my sleep cycles or warn me I’d better not eat that third chocolate chip cookie. I haven’t yet graduated to a vehicle with a center “vehicle information” screen and I keep a supply of paper maps in the glo…

Did you know that Iowa is the only remaining state in the nation to deny voting rights to felons for life?  This state is the only state that bars felons from voting unless the governor approves a voting rights application. A permanent solution is long overdue and is needed now!

The recent public discourse about social injustice and inequality in America has made me sad, and for a while I was at a loss for words. It triggered me to educate myself so I can better understand the disparity between Blacks and whites and make a commitment to stand and speak up whenever I…

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The time is now for local leaders to take matters into their own hands. It has become agonizingly obvious that our national and state leaders are not going to honestly address the disruptive and deadly challenges our nation and state are facing from the growing spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she trusts Iowans to make the right decisions to avoid spreading COVID-19.  But she apparently does not trust the local elected officials chosen by these very same Iowans to lead their communities. That attitude is endangering the health and lives of Iowans.

I wanted to use this time as a “how are you?” – a check-up if you will. You may be feeling exhausted at this point, frustrated, maybe even annoyed. If you hear the words “quarantine” or “social distancing” one more time …

Having grown up in Jackson County in the ’50s and ’60s, I was raised to respect all people.  However, I never had an opportunity to meet or interact with people of color until I went to college in Cedar Rapids.  Even then, my life was sheltered from the outside world.  After college I moved …

An ear of sweet corn is everything good about summer here in Iowa. Sure, you can have an ear of sweetcorn out of season from a supermarket in the dead of winter thanks to long-distance food. But it will travel perhaps 1,500 miles to get to your plate.

Not that you asked, but the list of things I dislike goes well beyond liver and onions, “Rocky Mountain Oysters,” drivers who tailgate, and people who chew with their mouths open.

Vice President Mike Pence claimed in Iowa last week that President Trump had fulfilled his promises to Iowa farmers and ethanol producers. It’s not true and he knew that, because Iowa farmers told him so.

An older rural Welton woman earned the rare distinction of meeting face-to-face the scammers who cheated her out of $15,000. The scammers employed the well-worn but very effective grandparent scam against the Welton woman, who we will call Judy. 

Even before coronavirus hit American colleges and universities, even before their budgets imploded because of the pandemic, questions were being asked nationally about how these institutions spend their money.

Regular readers of this column know I counseled for years for everyone to pay close attention to your credit card and bank statements. We need to review those line by line. And what we are looking for are card charges we did not make, or withdrawals from accounts we did not authorize. 

  • Updated

Without question, I’m old school. My analog watch doesn’t count my steps, keep track of my sleep cycles or warn me I’d better not eat that third chocolate chip cookie. I haven’t yet graduated to a vehicle with a center “vehicle information” screen and I keep a supply of paper maps in the glo…

Did you know that Iowa is the only remaining state in the nation to deny voting rights to felons for life?  This state is the only state that bars felons from voting unless the governor approves a voting rights application. A permanent solution is long overdue and is needed now!

The recent public discourse about social injustice and inequality in America has made me sad, and for a while I was at a loss for words. It triggered me to educate myself so I can better understand the disparity between Blacks and whites and make a commitment to stand and speak up whenever I…

  • Updated

The time is now for local leaders to take matters into their own hands. It has become agonizingly obvious that our national and state leaders are not going to honestly address the disruptive and deadly challenges our nation and state are facing from the growing spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she trusts Iowans to make the right decisions to avoid spreading COVID-19.  But she apparently does not trust the local elected officials chosen by these very same Iowans to lead their communities. That attitude is endangering the health and lives of Iowans.

I wanted to use this time as a “how are you?” – a check-up if you will. You may be feeling exhausted at this point, frustrated, maybe even annoyed. If you hear the words “quarantine” or “social distancing” one more time …

Having grown up in Jackson County in the ’50s and ’60s, I was raised to respect all people.  However, I never had an opportunity to meet or interact with people of color until I went to college in Cedar Rapids.  Even then, my life was sheltered from the outside world.  After college I moved …

Here at your hometown newspaper, we have avoided public speculation about what we might learn from bodycam footage Maquoketa Police Department officers captured when they found Amanda Lassance, one of Jackson County’s prosecutors, behind the wheel of her car showing signs of drunkenness.