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Of being (sort of) lost and found

I fell off the face of the earth last week. At least, that's what seemed to happen. Actually, I was alive and well and drinking coffee at Cafe Boutique with some of my pals. However, I wasn't supposed to be drinking coffee with some of my pals then. I was supposed to be playing bridge in the hospital round robin. At nine in the morning. Not one in the afternoon, as I thought.

Pay for not working

Sue and I were on one of our anniversary weekend excursions – a three-day weekend exploring some part of Iowa. That particular year we were in Newton, and it was on the heels of the closing of the Maytag production facilities there after the company was purchased by Whirlpool.
To say the community suffered an immediate economic sucker punch is putting it mildly.
Read the rest of On the Side in the Oct. 31 Advance.

Spread wealth of good health: fall is flu vaccine season

I hate to say this, but sometimes it's not about you.
When it comes to taking care of ourselves, it's easy to put off preventive medicine for other pressing issues and life in general. There are times, however, when our choices can impact others. Getting the seasonal flu is a great example.
Read the complete editorial in the Oct. 31 Kossuth County Advance.

Brad Hicks

A pretty smart fellow stopped by my office a few weeks ago to let me know a few things, one of which was that he thought the Advance was stirring the pot with regard to the ongoing controversy over potential new wind energy projects in Kossuth County.

The role of foster parents

If you haven't been exposed to foster care, you might think that the best thing for children is for them to be rescued from a bad environment and removed from their home permanently. But that's not true.
Foster care isn't a quick, easy avenue to adoption. It's loving, temporary care for children while their parents receive the support they need to welcome them home.
Read the entire editorial in the Sept. 19 Advance.

Back to School - Start the Fundraisers!

The students are back in the classroom. They can't wait to learn, meet new teachers, see their friends, and, er... sell you some stuff.
That's right. It's time to usher in a whole new 2019-20 year of fundraising. Now, before you run and hide whenever you see a youngster in a backpack approaching, consider the impact your generosity makes.
Read the complete column in the Sept. 12 Kossuth County Advance.

Celebrate our Constitution

Sept. 17 starts the national celebration of Constitution Week. The commemoration of America's most important document is one of our country's least-known observances. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom.

Of TSA agents and travels with Molly/Mary

Travel by air is never boring. At least, not for me.
Some readers may recall I wrote about losing my wallet in Los Angeles last spring, just before flying home from LAX. I always carry my wallet in a pocket, rather than in a purse, because that just seems handier. Not so much, though, when wallet and pocket fail to meet.
Read Molly's Ink Spots in the Sept. 12 Advance.

Field of dreams, 30 years later

Recently, I re-watched the movie, "Field of Dreams." This year is the film's 30th anniversary. Many of you will recall that "Field of Dreams" is a baseball movie that was filmed near Dyersville and that the field still exists. I visited there once in the 1990s, and my son and his family visited there just this year.

Eat free, meet heroes

Eight hundred hamburger buns and another 200 hot dog buns, barbecue sauce, chips, cookies, watermelon, pulled pork, hot dogs and water – all free – are awaiting those who attend the first Public Safety Night Out.
So are some heroes.
Read more in the Sept. 5 Kossuth County Advance.

Auditor did her job, all the angst unnecessary

Let's get this straight. Kossuth County Auditor Amber Garman delivered an agenda for the Aug. 27 board of supervisors meeting on time and met the requirements of the Code of Iowa.

Of cats, raccoons and a happy eater

I have written previously about my cat cafeteria, but I will reprise here what I wrote then in case some of you don't memorize my columns.
A couple of years ago, I started putting food out for a neighborhood kitty who seemed to be homeless – and wild. Efforts to have her come to me were fruitless. However, she was happy to dine on my open porch, even eventually sitting impatiently on the steps meowing if I was a little late with her breakfast.

Prediction time

While it's technically still summer, we all know what season it is now. Football season!
It really gets going in earnest this weekend with a full slate of college games. That means it's time for me to make my annual, and eventually embarassing, predictions for the Iowa State Cyclones and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Find the rest of Brad's On the Side column in the Aug. 29 Advance.

Mayor race and an item about wind

It didn't take long for the Algona mayoral race to get crowded. Bill Weig's yard signs showed up months ago announcing his intent. Now Stacy Besch and Rick Murphy have made known their intentions to run for the seat being vacated by Lynn Kueck.
It's great to have people interested in running for mayor in your town. Oftentimes, when the mayor's job is one no one wants, it's because it's a town where no one wants to be.

President betrays farmers with ethanol waiver

New methods of drilling for oil have pushed America into being a net exporter of the world's top energy source. But, if not for the ethanol industry, America would still be lanquishing in energy dependence.
Now, President Donald Trump has placed the ethanol industry and rural America at severe financial risk by granting waivers to dozens of oil refineries, allowing them to reduce or bypass blending ethanol with their gasoline.

Disappointed by the reaction to concerns

After attending the supervisor's meeting on Aug. 13, I was very disappointed by their reaction and response to the concerns of the people of Wesley over the placing of windmills within the close proximity to the corporate limits of Wesley.
With a smile on their face, the majority told us that our problem has gone away, that the windmills between Wesley and St. Benedict have been vacated. Wrong!
Read this letter to the editor in the Aug. 22 Kossuth County Advance.

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