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On Grass and Water: Patience really is a virtue

A gobble echoes off to my right.

My breath fogs and freezes on the facemask I’m wearing. My head jerks unconsciously toward the undulating sound. That’s not the bird I’ve been working for half an hour. It can’t be — too far away, across the river.

Outdoors: Should I cast? Should I troll?

There are several methods that an angler can employ to present a bait to the fish that they’re after. Drifting can be effective if the wind is from the right direction, but trolling and casting are probably, in most places at most times, the most effective ways to try to put a bait in front of a fish. Trolling versus casting, here we go.

One Man’s Perspective: Keeping our children abuse free

Each year we recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month across the nation in April.

But do we really? What exactly does that look like?

Personally, much like the annual Black History Month acknowledgement, which should be directly connected to American history and recognized each month as such, shouldn’t child abuse prevention be at the forefront of our mind 24/7, 365 days a year.

Guest Commentary: My visit to the US border in Texas

On April 12, I had the opportunity to visit the U.S. border in Texas at Eagle Pass. This site is the famous area where several thousand illegal immigrants were crossing each day just a few months ago. During the height of the crisis at Eagle Pass the U.S. Border Patrol could not process the illegal immigrants fast enough.

Letter to the Editor: Volunteer Recognition Month

April is Volunteer Recognition Month. As the Grand Avenue Community Outreach Board, we take this opportunity to thank the numerous volunteers who serve in our ministries at 605 Grand Ave.

Lawn & Garden: Dig, divide and boost your garden’s beauty

Overcrowded, poor flowering and floppy perennials can be invigorated with a shovel and a bit of your time and energy. Dividing perennials is an excellent way to improve their appearance and create new plants to use in other spaces in your landscape.

Extension Outreach: Updates in store for Clay County 4-H Exhibit Building

If you’ve ever been a 4-H member in Clay County (or raised a 4-H member in Clay County), you’re likely familiar with the 4-H Exhibit Building on the Clay County Fairgrounds. You may have even been a part of the team that helped renovate the building in 2004. A little over 30 years old at the time of that first renovation, we’ve added another 20 years to that count, and it is once again time for some updates!

From the Cheap Seats


Caitlin Clark made a guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend ahead of Monday’s draft. The NCAA men’s and women’s all-time points leader, two-time Naismith Award winner and back-to-back national championship finalist appeared on the Weekend Update segment alongside hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che.

Randy's Review: ‘Civil War’

Perhaps a fantastical look at America’s future amidst the country’s highest division numbers in history dating back to the original Civil War, a movie of the same title offers a cautionary look at what a modern day U.S. government versus state conflict could look like.

Letter to the Editor

Is it the world, North America, or just the U S of A? I don’t recall year to year the number of shootings, knifings, attacks on schools, out of control adults and children committing atrocities, completing suicide by cop or just ending it all themselves, but things appear to be way out of control these days.

Is the above a consequence of being the richest nation on the planet? Millions of folks are not clamoring to enter the United Kingdom, France, Argentina or Australia.

The CommStock Report: Hope for the best but plan for a trade war

"China's economy is a juggernaut that defies the laws of economics by becoming an evolutionary new species of capitalism deftly managed by Xi Jinping." The Chinese economic performance over the past few decades has caused many to accept that narrative. I believe that the more likely scenario is that China is a fraud … something more akin to being a Ponzi scheme.

Pastor’s Column: Seedtime and harvest are promised

Farmers have been in the fields, preparing the soil and some have been planting. Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. There is also a principle in the Spiritual: Galations 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

One Man’s Perspective: A variety of topics


Rachel Bare has come on board as a staff writer in an internship this summer. Her first piece, a preview of the SHS spring production of “Radium Girls.” It was very well written, convincing us she was the right hire for the job, but unfortunately she didn’t get the credit she was due as it was incorrectly attributed to myself.

I did edit it, but I did’t write it or take the photo, Rachel did.

Guess Commentary: House passes Iowa Rural Development Tax Credit Program

This week, the House released the House Health and Human Services Budget. This budget appropriates $2.217 billion of state general fund to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2025. This represents a $92.5 million increase in general fund compared to fiscal year 2024.

Guest Commentary: Support drug education for young people during 4/20 month

In Iowa, possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to six months in jail and a fine. However, 4/20 Day is widely celebrated in the state. The counterculture holiday is celebrated by marijuana users, cannabis culture influencers and retailers. In Iowa, this generally means law enforcement focuses on impaired driving prevention and keeping drug-impaired drivers off the road.

Lawn & Garden: Grow fruit in containers

Have fun and enjoy picking fresh fruit right outside your door thanks to compact varieties you can grow in containers. Just clear some space on your patio, deck, balcony or front steps that receives at least six hours of sunlight and get busy planting.

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