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Extension Outreach

Last time I encouraged record books and this time I want to say how excited I am for the number we received and for the quality. There is room for improvement, but the kids did the work and all have a place to work from for next year!

On the Side: Control, chaos and servanthood

The quadrennial invasion of Iowa is over.

Coffee shops are drained of caffeine-fueled reporters and campaign staffers.

The free publicity that comes with serving a legendary tenderloin or the most incredible barbecue a presidential candidate will experience has skipped town to temporarily reside in another state.

Guest Commentary: A start to the 90th General Assembly

The 2024 session of the 90th General Assembly convened on Monday, Jan. 8, with a somber tone in the aftermath of the shooting in Perry. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are grateful for the first responders and the lives they saved by their prompt response.

Pastor's Column: Exciting times

I look forward to this 2024th year of our Lord with great anticipation and excitement ― not because it is an election year, but because of all that is happening in and around Israel. I do not desire wars and the deaths they cause; however, we reason that these conflicts and wars involving Israel must, in time, have a resolution. It is the providence of this resolution which arouses me so, and here is why.

The CommStock Report: Putting butts in tractor seats is not as easy as it used to be

If you ask farm operators to list one of their biggest challenges in 2023, I think you would see "finding skilled labor" would probably be at the top of the list. While the COVID era seemed to dramatically shrink the sample pool of qualified labor available to many industries, this trend started long before that. Operators are going to have to try new things and adapt to this reality as long term, I don't see this changing.

One Man’s Perspective: Second life lost in tragic Perry shooting

He bravely rushed to confront the shooter, attempting to reason with the angry adolescent while providing a barrier between the armed teen and fleeing high school students.

His personal sacrifice undoubtedly saved a lot of young lives — allowing to grow older and hopefully live fruitful lives — while costing him his own.

Guest Commentary: How Iowans can call in the watchdog

As Iowa’s taxpayer watchdog, I hear from Iowans just about every day with concerns about state and local government. Oftentimes, there are steps my office can take to address those concerns; other times, the next step is as simple as directing folks to the best channel in state government to address their question.

Writers and Writing: Hynes novel pulls out all the stops

Sometimes a writer totally cuts loose, and harsh reality hits the reader squarely in the face.

Such is the case with Sparrow by James Hynes, graduate of and former instructor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Hynes, who was born in Okemos, Michigan, and grew up in Big Rapids, now lives in Austin, Texas.

Guest Commentary: I am tired of hearing all the faults that Iowa has ― truth be told, Iowa is a pretty good place to live


Iowa has been garnering quite a reputation lately, landing the top spot in several "best state" rankings. There's a lot to love about the Hawkeye State, and here are some reasons why it's been receiving so much recognition.

Extension Outreach: Clay County Extension and Outreach is moving

Maybe you’ve heard the news? ISU Extension and Outreach Clay County is getting a new home! As our program offerings have expanded, we have outgrown our space at Fourth and Grand. We considered our options, did our homework, and thought about the space we need to serve our community well. With that in mind, our Extension Council has been working hard to dream, plan, and fundraise with us to make this new space possible.

Pastor's Column: Jesus all year

The Christmas season is over. The decorations have been put away, and relatives got home safely two weeks ago. Life is returning to “normal,” whatever that means for each of us.

One the Side: Is a sixth grader’s death worth ...?

Our state Legislature gaveled into session earlier this week amid the echoes of fatal gunshots fired in a school just outside the capital city’s limits.

Letter to the Editor: Nominating Trump defies our common sense

To my fellow Iowans:

As we prepare for the opportunity and responsibility that we as Iowans have been given to provide the country with a glimpse of what the future holds for our collective choice as president, I invite us all to take this upcoming caucus very seriously.

I am an independent voter, though I have chosen more often to vote Republican than Democrat. I have chosen this year to switch my voter registration to Republican to have my voice heard at this caucus.

Letter to the Editor: Adopt policies to shut down threats toward game officials

You typically end your opinion piece with the query: “What say you?” Today, I want to say something about a phenomenon that seems to be gaining momentum. I am referring to the tendency of some parents, relatives or “fans” of sports teams who seem to believe it is OK to berate the officials working the contest. This behavior consists of loud, critical shouting when a call is made, or is not made, as the case may be. It isn’t merely an expression of an opinion, or a groan at a “bad” call.

Guest Commentary: The first week

This was the first week of the second session of the 90th General Assembly.

It is always humbling walking up the steps of the Iowa Capitol. The confidence and trust the people of House District 6 have put in me is an honor. It is not lost on me that this is a significant responsibility.

One Man’s Perspective: On the right track

Hey Spencer Reporter readers and friends, it’s been a hot minute.

Still in Rochester recovering from kidney transplant surgery and I’m happy to report everything is going as well as possible. Energy is high. Spirits are even higher.

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