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Ready Seth Go: Sometimes its the minutia that reminds us it's all real

It often seems impossible to truly appreciate what went into being a newspaper reporter 80 years ago.

We here in the newsroom sometimes laugh at how the editor's of papers big and small back then seemed almost expected to battle it out on their pages with an editor at a competing publication or a lawmaker from a rival community.

Wild times.

But wordsmiths of that day also steered their mastheads through serious times when readers needed it most.

Guest Commentary: Completing my third biannual 36 County Tour

When I was elected to serve Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, I promised that I would be a strong voice for our families, farmers and rural main streets and equally transparent with and accessible to the people I represent. By officially completing my third annual 36 County Tour, I have upheld that pledge, had many invaluable discussions with Iowans and transformed our priorities and values into sound policy and legislative victories.

Performance Review: Jazzed into Christmas spirit

Most of the sold-out crowd at the Roof Garden Saturday night was already in the Christmas mood. I, unfortunately, hadn’t gotten that far yet. However, the Jazzed up Big Band got me there in outstanding fashion.

Jazzed Up plays every Tuesday night during the summer at the Roof Garden, so I was looking forward to their fifth annual Christmas show. These are outstanding musicians individually, so when you put them all together on one stage, you will hear some fantastic music.

Pastor's Column: Does it feel like you’re being piled on?

Psalm 91:15: “You will call upon Me, and I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble; I will deliver you and honor you.”

Sometimes right before your greatest breakthrough, there will be an assault on you like none other! When I'm dealing with a week or two of a real pile on, I have to press through because I cannot afford to stay under that pile.

Here are four things that often help me get on the other side of it:

The CommStock Report:​​​​​​​ NIMBY opposition counters private property rights

Private property rights are under attack in Dickinson County where I reside. It is not the first time. Years ago, area residents successfully put out enough intimidation so that the commercial hog industry avoided the county. The county is home to the Iowa Great Lakes which is the state's premier tourist attraction resulting in a huge seasonal influx of folks each summer. It is understandable that the tourist asset needs to be protected.

From the Cheap Seats: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Last week marked the first week with all the winter high school sports in action locally.

It’s weird. For the first time in 20 years I don’t have someone in Spencer’s wrestling room. Take that back, I don’t have a child in Spencer’s wrestling room. I do indeed have a grandson.

And I’ll get to enjoy the wrestling season as I join Craig Manning once again this year bringing the broadcast of both Tiger girl's and boy's home meets to everyone on SMU Channel 3 this year.

One Man’s Perspective: Peace on Earth

I’m one of those who starts my Christmas music consumption after Thanksgiving. With the exception of the music being piped in at box stores and forced on you starting in October.

But once Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror, and digestion of the bountiful harvest begins, I’m all in for the music celebrating Our Savior Jesus’ birth.

Sometimes it proves hard to find the Christmas spirit in the world however.

Guest Commentary: Put US border security first

Q: Why is U.S. border security in shambles?

Home Country

When one of our neighbors is sly enough, or funny enough, or even … cruel enough to pull one over on the whole neighborhood, that’s something that should deserve a yee-haw or a “get ‘em sis!”

Well, we’ve got one of them right here in Home Country. Sarah McKinley is a shy woman. No one knows much about her, even down at the hairdresser’s. And that seems to be okey-doke with Sarah. She’s like that.

Lawn & Garden: Add a rosemary topiary to this year’s holiday season

Add a fresh look and fragrance to your holidays with a potted rosemary plant. This favorite herb of cooks, crafters and gardeners can be sheared into the shape of a wreath, small tree or orb and found at garden centers and florists.

The pine scent and attractive foliage make it a wonderful addition to the holidays. It adds nice color, texture and fragrance to any room or holiday decor. Add a bow and decorative pot for the perfect hostess or holiday gift.

Extension Outreach: Harvest report

Chad E. Hart, extension economist from Iowa State University, talks about the “Early View on Harvest for 2023 and Preview of Harvest 2024”:

The CommStock Report: Working with a dictator for life

Chinese premier Xi Jinping has not governed, ruled or whatever the Communist party calls it in China, how Americans that came to know him before he became president of China expected that he would. He was one of the elite princelings that was groomed to become the leader of his country. In his younger days, he spent some time here, in Iowa actually, showing interest in U.S. agriculture. He stayed with farm families and cultivated a relationship with former Iowa Gov.

Randy's Review: ‘Napoleon’

He’s played music legend Johnny Cash. He’s played iconic Batman villain the Joker. Both brilliant performances that earned Joaquin Phoenix high praise. Now he’s taken on the role of historical French conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte in the aptly titled, “Napoleon.” Minus the accent.

Book Review: 'The Family Chou' a riot of characters

Sometimes a book not only suggests, but requires, a second reading.

That is most certainly the case with “The Family Chou” by Iowa Writers’ Workshop director Lan Samantha Chang, a native of Appleton, Wisconsin. The book received the 2023 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

Pastor’s Column

Revelation 19:5-7: From the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.

Home Country

The secret to training any animal is simply timing, says the former cowboy who was unable to teach his horse to jump a two-by-four. But that was long ago, of course, and today, the wisdom age gives us makes these training secrets available to those who will accept them.

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