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Keep your houseplants safe from cats

Growing houseplants when curious cats are in the house can be challenging. We want our cats to be safe and happy while keeping our houseplants intact. You can accomplish both with a few simple strategies.

Randy’s Review: ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’

After rescuing Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the microscopic quantum realm at the end of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Janet’s daughter. have seen significant life changes. In the aftermath of “Avengers Endgame,” Scott has written a best selling book detailing his life, and Hope is heading up her father’s company in search of ways to benefit humankind.

Extension Outreach: Upcoming events

In my last article in January, I wrote of new year and new opportunities that we often associate with in the month of January. Our mission at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is to help Iowans live their best lives through research-based education, and that goes year-round. We always have the best of intentions to live our best lives, but every new skill takes the same thing, practice (and sometimes perseverance, when we fail).

Letter to the Editor: Hazardous CO2 pipelines

We recently made the trip to the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Why did we travel nearly eight hours to Des Moines and back to go to the Capitol?

Guest Commentary: State funding of education vs. performance

Friends, things are moving along nicely at the Statehouse. On Feb. 7, the House passed a 3% increase to state spending in our K-12 schools. We are already being criticized by some that we haven’t contributed enough funding to keep our schools competitive. In fact, the narrative is that Republicans are destroying education in the state.

The opposition uses things such as Iowa used to be the number one state in the nation in reading scores.

Guest Commentary: Iowa farmers are the best stewards of their farmland

Late last year, the Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency quietly finalized and expanded the definition of the Waters of the United States rule and, as a result, cemented the federal government’s increasingly intrusive role in regulating bodies of water — both large and small. Under this new definition, more than 97% of Iowa’s land, including our productive farmland, would be subject to federal regulation.

The CommStock Report: Where the money came from


One Man’s Perspective: What a difference a year makes

Last year at this time, my column centered around the disappointment my son felt after falling just short of the opportunity to represent his school and join his teammates on the mat in the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines for the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament. For a high school wrestler in the Hawkeye State, this is the ultimate goal. For many wrestling fans, the Iowa high school event is considered the pinnacle of prep competition.

Guest Commentary: Moving bills and meeting with constituents

On Monday I started my day receiving a draft of a bill I recently filed for a constituent and approving another bill to be drafted. One bill is a companion to Rep. Megan Jones' bill in the House regarding the use of fake money or movie prop dollars. The other bill deals with state sales and use tax.

Home Country

It’s coming up on St. Valentine’s Day, so I thought I should share the love story of Coalie and Wilma, and every word is true.

Coalie was one of Sequoia-Kings Pack Trains’ mules. Coal black of course, and if he should get a good shot, you could be kicked. Pack mule, not riding mule. Wilma was a little brown mule belonging to Rock Creek Pack Station out of Bishop, some 40 miles north of us.

Letter to the Editor: Iowa House legislation positive move for Iowa’s school boards to prove transparency

“When we avoid difficult conversations, we trade short term discomfort for long term dysfunction.” — Peter Bromberg

The Spencer area voters received a boost of encouragement by Iowa House Rep. Megan Jones of Clay County on Monday, Feb. 6, when House File 196 was introduced, championing a public who wish to secure audience with their locally elected school board officials during regular or special meetings.

Lawn & Garden: Beautify your home with a bit of greenery

Whether you want to create a tropical oasis indoors or dress up your decor, plants are the answer. A few plants set on the floor, hanging from the ceiling or displayed on a table can beautify any room, boost your mood and reduce stress.

Extension Outreach: Volunteer income tax assistance

ISU Extension and Outreach in Spencer will provide volunteer income tax assistance again this year.

Randy’s Review: ‘Knock at the Cabin’

Trailers for “A Knock at the Cabin” might lead audiences to expect a sinister tale about four creepy visitors who abduct a family on vacation at a rural cabin, they wouldn’t be wrong — but there is far more to the story. M.

Guest Commentary: Update from the Statehouse

It seems like we just started at the state Capitol. I was reminded a couple days ago that we are already 20% of the way through the legislative session for the year. We are now working in earnest at committee work and passing bills out of sub-committee so that they do not fail as we come up to the first funnel, which is the date we have set that bills must be moving through the system.

Guest Commentary: Super Bowl raises stakes for problem gamblers

SIOUX CITY — Each year, billions of dollars are wagered on the NFL’s championship game, which is one of the most heavily bet events of the year and comes right before another betting bonanza with the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments.

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