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Here he came, Windy Wilson himself. Marched right up to the official round table of the World Dilemma Think Tank at the Mule Barn coffee shop. Windy whipped off his beat-up old Stetson, grinned and bowed to us there as is fitting to the membership of the Supreme Court of Dang Near Everything.

“May I kindly join you, compadres?” Windy said.

Extension Outreach: Clay County Extension and Outreach partners with Clay County Conservation for Wildlife Habitat Education Program

ISU Extension and Outreach is excited to be partnering with the Clay County Conservation Board to present a new opportunity for youth in our community who are interested in wildlife, conservation and the outdoors!

On Grass and Water: Gaspar … who?

I was chasing smallies one day a few years ago when I hooked into one heck of a fish.

It was late spring. I’d been paddling the Lake Oahe shoreline for a few hours, chucking a one-eighth-ounce jig tipped with a green Max Scent minnow up against the shoreline. It’s a cheap, easy and, above all, effective setup. A couple of walleye were dangling from my stringer, but I hadn’t caught the smallmouth bass I wanted to invite to dinner yet.

Pastor's Column: Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend holds a special significance in our collective consciousness, culminating with the official holiday on Monday. It's a time when we pause to reflect upon and honor the courageous individuals who have served our nation through military service. Some returned home safely, while others made the ultimate sacrifice. For those who did return, many bore the physical and emotional scars of their service.

One Man’s Perspective: A disappointing and ridiculous ending

Under housecleaning, which I’m admittedly bad out, here three things before we dive into the real column …

Letter to the Editor: Note to Coach Hoofkin

Jesus probably had little to do with the sterling performance at the state meet by the kids on the Spencer track team. Their hard work, discipline and dedication to the sport was the key factor. Thank and praise them first.

Letter to the Editor: High-five to No Boundaries Program

The board of directors of Occasions wishes to thank the awesome No Boundaries program, directed by Spencer Schools’ Ayn Thoreson and Kelly Kuehler. We were paired with a delightful group of hard-working and very respectable young people — namely Kiersten Campbell, Ashley Moran, Galaxia Rico, Kaiden Wolthuis, Anthony Young and Abe Arceo. They came with great ideas and cheerfully collaborated with our board and our patrons.

The CommStock Report: Japan … our perfect ally being shirked

As a baby boomer I am old enough to harbor some animosity toward the Japanese, not only for the Day of Infamy on Dec. 7, 1941, that they inflicted on us but for the way they conducted the war. Japanese soldiers fought to the death which meant a lot more American soldiers had to die to kill them. There is justified ill-will in the region harbored by the Chinese and the Koreans for brutal treatment from the Japanese army.

One Man’s Perspective: GOP representative forum and powerful graduate thoughts

Just a couple of things this week.

Had a completely different OMP ready to go this week, but felt compelled to make some adjustments.

First an update on the Iowa 4th Congressional District U.S. House of Representative public forum scheduled for this Wednesday, beginning at 6:30 p.m., in council chambers at Spencer City Hall.

It will be a one-man show and won’t be livestreamed or rebroadcast.

Letter to the Editor

I hope the citizenry turns out for your forum involving the two candidates for the 4th Congressional District seat, 6:30 p.m., May 22. Those of us present for the forum involving candidates for openings on the Clay County Board of Supervisors appreciated the chance to hear what each had to say about issues, goals and how they would act if elected/reelected on June 4.

Guest Commentary: FY 2025 budget ready for implementation

With Gov. Kim Reynolds signing all this year’s budget bills, the state’s spending plan for the new fiscal year is now set. The fiscal year 2025 appropriations bills were signed on May 9. The governor chose not to use her line item veto authority on any of the ten appropriations bills that comprise the fiscal year 2025 budget.

Lawn & Garden: Ornamental, edible gardens and containers

Boost the flavor and beauty of your landscape by adding a few ornamental edible plants to your garden beds and containers. Look for opportunities to substitute ornamental vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible flowers for ornamental but nonedible plants.

Home Country

Doc hadn’t even finished loading his coffee with fake sugar before Steve piped up.

“I think it’s disgusting and weird and unnatural and it should be outlawed!” the tall cowboy said, coming to rest at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop.

“Aw Steve,” Doc said, “the coffee isn’t that bad.”

Extension Outreach:​​​​​​​ A busy time for Clay County 4-H

May 15 deadline has come and gone. It is the deadline in 4-H. This is when all 4-Hers need to be enrolled and most livestock need to be identified. I compare it to April 15 tax deadline since I started out as a tax accountant! Then I worked at the elevator and while there are many little deadlines throughout the year there isn’t the do or die type of deadline that May 15 is to 4-H and April 15 is to tax time. However, the elevator has harvest.

Randy's Review: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes - They aren't monkeying around anymore

A few generations after the passing of legendary leader, Caesar, who has been the series staple since he was introduced four films ago in the reboot of the “Planet of the Apes” series, things have taken a dramatic turn on future earth.

On Grass and Water: In praise of catching and eating smallmouth bass

You always know the moment you’ve hooked into a smallmouth bass. 

Something about a hook being set into a smallie’s jaw sets off an explosion. It’s sorta like punching Bruce Banner in the face. The ordinarily mild-mannered member of the sunfish family flips the switch to Beast Mode, and before you know it, the fish is trying to pull into the lake so you can fight face-to-face.  

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