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Read, respond

By Brad Hicks - Publisher

People no longer hurt my pride when they tell me they don’t read city council and board of supervisors stories in this newspaper. I had that pride beaten out of me decades ago. Rather, the people who tell me that now have my sympathy.

But Paris won’t let you leave

Travel Diary - By Jim Sloter


Leaving the white church on Paris’ Montmartre, we walked back down the 277-step stairway and got on the Metro de Paris. With the map of Paris marked where our camper was parked in one hand and a map of the metro system in the other (the only way we could have found our way back to where we parked) we returned to our camper and proceeded to leave Paris. Or so we thought. 

Trivia, bacon and ice fishing derby

By Vicki Mallory  - executive director for the Algona Area Chamber of Commerce.

FAMILIES OF FAITH: What do you see in the darkness, you never know

You may have noticed an unusual storm blew through the other evening. The wind howled, the trees shook, the sirens blew. Then the lights went out, and we were in darkness.  We sat and waited. Fortunately, we were prepared with flashlights in a house that was warm and safe. Once we emerged from the basement it was pleasant to sit in the glow of candles trying to see what had happened outside. We brought out my old battery operated boom box and listened to the Algona radio.

ON THE SIDE: Keep on celebrating...

After rolling out of bed Sunday morning following a big Christmas night meal with our family, I went to the front of the house and flipped on the lights in the front window of our house. They aren’t real noticeable from the street, but they make a unique glow around the beautiful display my wife pieced together in what is our dining room. 

THE ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Appointments matter in local government

Kossuth County and the city of Algona have a common problem. Both are having difficulty finding people to fill seats on various boards and commissions. For instance, the county has openings on its planning and zoning commission. Most all of the seats have to be filled by people who live in unincorporated areas. A pair of seats have been open for some time. One of the seats would double as a member of the board of adjustment.

LETTER: Carbon capture ally for ethanol

To the Editor:

TRAVEL DIARY: Metro de Paris scene

Upon returning from our evening walk in Paris, we looked around and agreed – why not? We went to bed in our camper right where it stood on the streets of Paris as traffic continued rolling by. Maybe the many policemen we saw whenever we were out and about – especially in the main tourist areas such as Notre Dame Paris and at least one outside of every bank – influenced us. We felt completely safe. 

INKSPOTS: Of travels, dogs, and stuff

By the time you are reading this, I will have been to Los Angeles and back, celebrating Christmas with our California kids. In case you are new to this column, Bing and I have five offspring scattered around the country. Although Bing died six years ago, he is still very much with us in spirit. For example: we had adopted a German Shepherd, Ivy Scarlett, after our Golden Retriever, Laddie, died. We had to jump through hoops to be approved by the German Shepherd rescue organization.

OUR KOSSUTH COUNTY: WBM performance profile

By Amanda Schmidt, WB-M Superintendent

The Iowa Department of Education released new results and features in an online school accountability reporting system called the Iowa School Performance Profiles.

The Iowa School Performance Profiles website shows:

●  Updated scores and ratings for all public schools based on how they performed on a set of accountability measures in the 2020-21 school year.


By the Rev. John Koopman, Peace Lutheran Church, West Bend

GUEST EDITORIAL: The tale of the toymaker

By Sue Hicks, Freelance Writer

There once was a toymaker.

But he was more than a toymaker. Call him an engineer, an architect, a designer, if you will. He created many fantastic things. He settled down to making toys, not because he couldn’t make other things, but because toys delighted him so. There were two special toys, fashioned like a boy and a girl that he designed with extra special care.

ON THE SIDE: You never know...

Dear Readers: The following was written by a fellow named Bob Thompson, who was a teacher and coach in my hometown of Jefferson. I have published this each Christmas for a few decades in celebration of the birth of a humble, powerful savior. It is reprinted here with permission. Merry Christmas to all. 


THE ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Sand is right, we all pay... Let's pay this...

During the late summer, Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand issued a statement asking people to get vaccinated. He wrote, “Adults aged 18 and older who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine but refuse it are costing the U.S. health system billions of dollars, according to a study by the non-partisan Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Any hospitalization due to a serious illness is difficult for the patient and their families.

OUR KOSSUTH COUNTY: City of Algona working on plans for moving forward

By Jacob Tjaden, City of Algona

Right before COVID-19 emerged in 2020, our city council and mayor developed a strategic plan for the City. We identified several opportunities and priorities for Algona. Now, nearly two years later, we have accomplished a great deal while we continue to work through some projects disrupted or delayed by COVID-19. 

TRAVEL DIARY: Walking the Streets of Paris


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