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On Grass & Water: Let's talk about bugs

It may not seem like there’s any shortage of insects in northwest Iowa this year. We’ve had plenty of rain for the first time in several years, and our backyards are bursting with buzzing, bustling, biting bugs.

Pastor's Column

In the Old Testament, we read about the children of Israel who were enslaved for hundreds of years in Egypt. As they cried out for help, God delivered them from bondage and began to lead them to the land He had promised. Throughout their supernatural deliverance, they began to complain against Moses and ultimately against God, their Rescuer. They didn’t like the way He was doing things!

Guest Commentary: How to deal with insurance, contractors and public adjusters after a storm

The following information was provided by the Iowa Insurance Division:

Letter to the Editor

In the Friday, June 14, edition of the Spencer Reporter, J.P. Greer's letter piqued my ire enough to roust me from my easy chair and head to the computer to fire off a response. First of all, J.P. is a friend. Secondly, he is a rabid Democrat and an equally rabid detractor of Donald Trump.

The CommStock Report: Nursing home affordability crisis

I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said "Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes." I could write and have written many reports on tax implications for farmers, but I don't know that I have written much on the topic of death. And this isn't really on death, but rather on the potential need for long term care in a nursing home which more and more becomes less a place to rehabilitate and more and more, a place for acute care needs and a final home before we pass away.

One Man’s Perspective: What? Who asked for these ‘naked’ surveys and why?

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, I randomly receive survey results in my email. Some are extremely relevant. Some are very Iowa-centric. Some are great discussion starters. Some make you ponder … and some make you ponder, why?

Why would anyone want to know this? Why would anybody feel the need to dedicate extensive time and the required energy to create an information base for on a topic I highly doubt any sane person is seeking to learn more on?

Letter to the Editor

The other month, I traveled to California with members of the Iowa Farm Bureau to get a better sense of how Prop 12 would be implemented and how we can prevent similar initiatives from spreading across the country.

I came away from my trip with three main action points.

Letter to the Editor

On behalf of the Avenue of Flags board members and their families, we want to say THANK YOU! Thank you to all the people who volunteered their time on Memorial Day morning to put up veteran’s flags at both cemeteries and again in the evening to take them down. This is a great task, requiring many hands and Spencer showed up! With your help we can keep the Avenue of Flags going!
 Thank you again!

The CommStock Report: Preemptive tariffs on Chinese EVs will not fix EV mandate

Trump, when president, imposed tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese products, roughly two-thirds of Chinese imports. Biden left them in place and just recently added tariffs under section 301 of a 1974 trade law on sectors and products. Biden's tariffs are more strategic than blanketed. He uses a rifle while his predecessor uses a double-barreled shotgun.

Lawn & Garden: Celebrate Pollinator Month by inviting a variety of pollinators to your garden

June is National Pollinator Month and it’s a great time to celebrate all the pollinators that play an important role in producing food, fiber, medicine and more that we rely on. When you think of pollinators, bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are likely the first that come to mind. But moths, wasps, beetles, flies, bats and some other birds also help pollinate our gardens.

Home Country

When the Rafter E branded recently, a bunch of us went out to help. There’s a definite pecking order here, and it's a badge of pride to have worked your way up the branding ladder.

As a kid, you flank the calves; you grab them, throw them and hold them down. This is conducive to abrasions, muscle strain, and involuntarily changing the color of your shirt.

Extension’s Outreach: Summertime is here

As we start to feel pressured to enjoy every moment of summer, soaking up the sun, going on vacation, yard and garden work … remember that you won’t enjoy moments if you are busy chasing the next one. Take a breath and remember what is really important.

Here is what your ISU Extension & Outreach has coming up:

On Land & Water: Reflecting on my father

Seagulls screamed in the sky and dive-bombed into the boiling water. Almost everyone on the boat was casting as fast they could, shouting to avoid crossing lines as they fought frantic 2- and 3-pound white bass into the wave-rocked boat.

Pastor's Column

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.” But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Randy’s Review: ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’

With many characters from previous “Bad Boys” films joining Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for this fourth installment — things turn upside down in “Bad Boys: Ride or Die.” This time, detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith — who helped produce the film) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) find themselves on the run, pursued by a group of ex-special ops soldiers, law enforcement friends and the feds while trying to clear the name of their deceased Captain Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano).

Randy’s Review: ‘The Watchers’

Get ready for another Shyamalan twisting production — this time from writer and first-time director Ishana Night Shyamalan, with daddy M. Night producing.

When transplanted and despondent artist Mina (Dakota Fanning), now living in Ireland and working in a pet shop is called on to deliver an exotic parrot to the Belfast Zoo, her trip through the rural Irish countryside and a dense forest takes a very dark turn as she eventually becomes an object of interest to “The Watchers.”

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