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Randy’s Review: ‘Violent Night’

When a group of bad guys execute a plot to hold a wealthy family hostage on Christmas Eve in an attempt to access the family fortune, the one thing they don’t count on is Santa Claus.

A blend of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Die Hard,” “Home Alone” and “Bad Santa,” this R-rated holiday tale offers few “Ho-Ho-Hos” in its merge of comedy, action and violence.

Outdoors: Happy birthday to a fishing icon

I have to give a shoutout to a special friend of mine: Dave Genz! He celebrated his 75th birthday on Thursday, Nov. 28. In the ice fishing world, he’s known as Mr. Ice Fishing for his revolutionary ice fishing ideas that truly brought ice fishing out of the Ice Age! He most definitely changed the ice fishing game when he invented the original Fish Trap portable shelter.

Outdoors: An angler’s evolution in ice fishing

It’s interesting how things evolve. Change is part of the world that we live in. If we don’t accept change, we’re not going to be as productive as we could be.I’ve learned that especially with computers and digital cameras. They’ve made my life easier (usually) and more productive (sometimes).

Home Country

Every now and then, thought Doc, that opportunity comes back to haunt me. Like it is right now on this crisp morning walk. It came early in his medical life, an invitation to join with a famous big hospital Back East. He’d make more money, he knew, and there was the seductive challenge of being on the cutting edge of what the world of medicine had to offer to the world of people.

Letter to the Editor: Why no Spencer bowling team?

Why doesn’t Spencer Schools recognize bowling as a sport? Schools around the area have high school bowling teams, yet Spencer does not. Spencer has a bowling alley. Dave Cagle has done wonders with the Spencer Bowl. He has put in a lot of time and money into the bowling alley to keep it open for people to have a place to come relax and enjoy themselves. Yet Spencer High School doesn’t have a high school team.

Letter to the Editor: Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline

"Pipeline company sues a second Iowa county ..." headlined a recent article. Summit Carbon Solutions, which wants to cross multiple Iowa counties with a highly hazardous CO2 pipeline, claims that they will go above and beyond current safety regulations should they be permitted to proceed.

Letter to the Editor: Evicting renter

Let me start by saying I love my country and think it is by far the best place in the world to live. But ... we have some broken parts that we need to be aware of. I was not.

Guest Commentary: Dust settling on election

In my last newsletter, we had just wrapped up the Nov. 8 election. There were a number of elections with uncertain results and a number of recounts. I think the dust has settled and we have a better picture of the composition of the legislature as we prepare for the start of session in January.

Republicans will maintain the trifecta in Des Moines. Gov. Kim Reynolds was reelected and the GOP maintained majorities in both the House and Senate.

Guest Commentary: Tackling our nation’s most pressing yet overlooked crisis

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan famously remarked that “we don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” Exactly 40 years later, these words still ring true as Washington’s addiction to spending has only worsened. In fact, since the day that Reagan aptly described our serious debt crisis decades ago, our national debt has grown 30-fold, ballooning from a “modest” $1.1 trillion to more than $31 trillion today.

Lawn & Garden: Growing easy-care aloe vera, nature’s burn ointment

Grow your own burn ointment by adding aloe vera to your indoor plant collection. This succulent has been used for centuries to treat superficial burns, cuts, sunburns and more.

Extension’s Outreach: Grant Writing 101

ISU Extension and Outreach offers a variety of programming to fit the needs of Iowans. One program that is coming up is Grant Writing 101. I have personally attended this program in the past and found it very beneficial.

The CommStock Report: Beijing dealing with rare display of public anger

I was almost surprised that over the course of our 16-day road trip through the South, through crowded airports, full restaurants, jammed into large groups at museums and interacting with a large number of individuals that neither my wife and I came home with COVID. We did not mask up and only saw a small number of people who did. We are up to date on all of our COVID vaccinations but know by experience that doesn't mean that you will not get COVID.

Letter to the Editor: Speed kills

Back in the 1950s, my uncle Myron was fond of saying "speed kills!” He was referring to operating a motor vehicle, not amphetamines. Today we know that the advice relates to the way we drive as well as what we put into our body.

Pastor's Column: Jesus' first coming

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. During my pastoral ministry in Spencer, I have had the joy of finding Scripture of biblical reasons for Jesus coming to this earth. The word of God is inexhaustible so the list keeps growing. It is wonderful daily living bread that is free to all. Matt 6:11, Lu 11:3, Jn 6:51.



Randy’s Review: ‘Devotion’

You may not be familiar with one of the Navy’s most elite aviators during the Korean War. I wasn’t. But after viewing Jonathan Majors the emotionally charged and well-acted movie detailing ensign Jesse Brown, the lone Black pilot on the company’s team, courageous battle against enemies — both foreign and domestic — you will gain amazing respect for the man.

Book Review: ‘A Hill Country Christmas’ warms the heart

If you’re yearning for the way Christmas used to be, a Christmas when generations gathered around the dinner table and together unwrapped gifts from under the tree, you’ll love “A Hill Country Christmas” by Gail Kittleson and four other authors.

Kittleson and her husband, a retired Army chaplain, live most of the summer in St. Ansgar, Iowa, and winter in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim Country.

Kittleson wrote eight of the book’s 18 selections, more than any of the other authors.

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