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May we be willing and able to say In God We Trust

We have just celebrated this past weekend the birth of our nation – July 4th. As we worry about what we see in our news – news of pandemic, news of violence, news of destruction of our historic monuments, I pray that we will all continue to say “In God We Trust.” Why? For no matter what happens, God is still on the throne! He is still in control! The battle has already been won! Yet, we do worry about our nation.

Counting time

We are less than four months away from the general election, an event that is sure to generate an inordinate amount of angst – as if we need more. In terms of elections, we bring a lot of it on ourselves by not taking care of things when problems arise.  Where was Brad going with this? Check it out in the July 9 edition of the Kossuth County Advance.

Letters to the Editor

Read this week's letters to the editor in the July 9 edition of the Kossuth County Advance:
Do you control your land?
To the editor:

Find the everlasting hope that doesn’t disappoint

These past weeks and months have tested the limits of many. When we logon to social media or watch the news, we are saturated with stories of injustice, panic, pain and death. Now, more than ever, we need to remember where our true hope should lie. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Free to not know?

Americans will celebrate a July 4 holiday this weekend. Few will take time to ponder the meaning of Independence Day.

Lasting photo and an update on Christopher Robin

When I wrote about having to put down my wonderful Ivy Scarlett in my last column, I included a picture of her. Sadly, there wasn’t room to run it. However, I’m trying again and printing it here because you all, I’m sure, would like to see how gorgeous she was. If you don’t care about seeing how gorgeous she was, don’t tell me. You’re going to see how gorgeous she was anyway. Here she is:

State Fair meeting an affront to open government

The decision last week to cancel the Iowa State Fair was a reminder of the seriousness of coronavirus and the consequences of many people’s anxiety about returning to activities that normally are an important part of Iowa life.
But the State Fair’s decision also illuminated an embarrassing disconnect from the norms of government transparency and accountability in our state.
Read more in the June 25 Kossuth County Advance.

Iowa’s new solar law already at risk at the federal level

This year’s state legislative session brought about a new law, passed unanimously by our legislature, meant to help solar energy shine bright in Iowa for years to come. The Iowa Environmental Council was proud to work with stakeholders like the solar industry, utilities and the pork producers to find solutions that work for all Iowans and provide predictability.


Any of you who read these words know in what high regard I hold your individual rights. The freedoms our framers sought to protect – religion, speech, petition, arms, property and due process to name just a few – are incredibly important in a republic that turns over leadership as often as ours.

Farewell, Ivy Scartlett, may you go with God

When I returned to writing an Inkspots column five years ago after quite a long hiatus, it was for two reasons: 1.) I felt if I could make a few people smile, or even chuckle, that would help justify my taking up space on this planet; 2.) Bing had just died, and I needed to fill my time.

Placing faith

Putting faith in people is a dangerous proposition, so it’s best to put that in someone else. But we have to live with one another, so there are times you hope and pray that sensible people will prevail. Such is the case when it comes to the concept of defunding police departments in cities with drug dealing, gun running, domestic violence, gang activity and daily-to-weekly murders. Are we not going to prosecute at least the obviously guilty offenders? Should we do reform? Sure. But, defund?

Chamber adjusts, works with partners

It’s hard to believe we are past the middle of June already. Most of us are keeping busy trying to figure out the ways to try to get our lives back into some sort of normal routine. We are all in this together but at different levels, so I will just use this opportunity to update you on what is happening at the Algona Chamber office.

He tunneled out - county needs a new jail

150 Years AgoNew Harness Shop. F. W. Hawes has just opened a new Harness Shop on State Street, opposite the Bank, where a full stock of Double and Single Harness, Bridles, Halters, Whips, Enameled Cloth, Brushes and Combs, can be had on short notice. Repairing done to order, and warranted to give satisfaction.Get more from Out of the Past in the June 18 Kossuth County Advance.

Gassman shares his highlights of legislative 2020 session

The Iowa General Assembly adjourned the 2020 legislative session on Sunday, June 14, after spending 75 days in session in Des Moines.


The death of George Floyd, a black man, should not have happened. The white officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes is rightfully charged with murder and will have his day in court. The other three officers who failed to respond to Floyd’s calls for help will have to live with those consequences as well.

Local newspapers are as important as ever

“You can pay me now,” said the man on the 1970 television commercial for Fram oil filters, “or you can pay him later,” pointing to the mechanic rebuilding an engine.”
That TV ad first aired 50 years ago; the message is a part of our consciousness today. That pay-now-or-pay-later line applies to what I believe is one of the two most under-reported stories of our time: The business of local journalism is endangered, and it matters.

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