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INKSPOTS: No crossword puzzle in sight

... This time, I didn’t have with me my beloved New York Times crossword puzzle which, if you read my column on an earlier trip, caused me to not hear the gate change announcement, thus relegating me to an 8-hour wait for the next flight. This time I camped directly in front of my gate, ears at the ready to pick up any announcement of a change.  ...
Read the full column in the Nov. 4 Advance.

OUT OF THE PAST: Sitting next to the president

...  Right about that time I heard one of the flight attendants say to another attendant, “he’s talking to Betty.” “He’s talking to Betty.” Who’s talking to Betty? And about that moment former President Gerald Ford and three secret service agents walked on to the plane and sat down in first class. ...
Read the full colunn in the Nov. 4 Advance. 

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: Change grid playoffs

The Iowa High School Athletic Association has a difficult task when it comes to figuring out how to effectively get to crowning champions in football. The weather deteriorates quickly in the fall, too many games can result in fatigue and injuries and given Iowa’s rural population, communities of similar sizes are farther apart geographically. This year, some teams in the middle-sized classes were routinely traveling 90-plus minutes.
Read the editorial in the Nov. 4 Advance.

ON THE SIDE: Meandering

Well, that was pretty anti-climactic, wasn’t it. Last Thursday, the Iowa Legislature got together and decided how congressional and legislative districts would be arranged for the 10-year period that starts in 2023 after the November 2022 general elections. There was a whole bunch of finger-pointing, hand-wringing, posturing and overall expressions of distrust among lawmakers about the matter over the course of the year.

FAMILIES OF FAITH: Of something really scary

October 31 is a special holiday for many Christians. This holiday’s origins are somewhat controversial, and many don’t even know what they are. On October 31, 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany thus starting the Protestant Reformation. That is why October 31 is celebrated as Reformation Day. At Faith Church, I have been preaching a sermon series on the five solas of the Reformation.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Public must be informed of doctor discipline

   The Iowa Legislature’s to-do list should be a little longer after last week.
And people need to contact their senators and representatives in the Legislature to make sure they understand their duty is to protect the health and safety of Iowans.
The reason? The Iowa Supreme Court handed down a decision Friday that will pretty much keep the public in the dark when a physician is charged by state regulators with professional misconduct.

ON THE SIDE: Is there anyone?

The United States government this week announced the border patrol had 1.7 million official encounters of people who crossed our southern border during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The totals were 200,000 and 190,000, respectively, for August and September. That does not count the people who crossed the border without being encountered, a number which carries a wide range of estimates.

WRITERS & WRITING: Making of a man in North Dakota

The Good Hand 
Michael Patrick F. Smith 
ISBN 978-1-9848-8151-9 

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: What of mandatory COVID vaccinations?

Ask the question in any group and you are bound to get a wide array of answers – if people will discuss it honestly. The question? What is your position on vaccinations for COVID-19?
See the full editorial in the Oct. 28 Advance. 

The worst day of my life – and a second shot

I was 12 years old, and I could never have imagined what was to come when my parents dropped me off at Niagara Park about a mile and half from home for my little league game. 
They drove me because I was late after an eye doctor appointment, which should foreshadow for you my struggles as a ballplayer. Just couldn’t (can’t) see. 
Anyway, I started that terrible game day in a panic, I was late for pitching tryouts.

OUR KOSSUTH COUNTY: We are taking our COVID journey, learning together

...As the virus continues to linger and evolve, it’s completely normal and reasonable to feel “COVID-19 fatigue.” Do we have it in us to do another lap with this virus? Or another 20 laps? How do we prepare to recover from this intact? Our health and the safety of others may depend on it.

ADVANCE EDITORIAL: State’s effort to boost small ag is worth it

There can be no argument that oversized conglomerates control much of agriculture. Their ability to vertically integrate and then lobby for legislation that favors their outcome is nearly umatched. Their position is largely unquestioned because few people want to be accused of attempting to mess up the supply of food. So the small steps taken recently by the state of Iowa is a breath of fresh air in terms of helping small businesses thrive in this era of big agriculture. 

INKSPOTS: Of our love for all creatures great and small, sort of

The next morning while it was still dark out, I let Seamus out on the back porch where he then goes outside through a newly-installed doggy door. On the morning in question, he charged full steam ahead onto the porch and sailed out the doggy door with his paws hardly touching the floor. There ensued sounds of a tussle, then a great thumping coming from under the porch. I immediately deduced this was no mouse he was chasing. I’m quick that way.

ON THE SIDE: Blocked

...So imagine my surprise when I arrived at work Wednesday morning to find a message from Facebook that said it blocked “inappropriate” content from our post. 
What happened? Read On the Side in the Oct. 21 edition and find out.

FAMILIES OF FAITH: Open up the jars

Wouldn’t it be sad to have gone through all of the effort to can the tomatoes and then decide that you are not going to open up the jars and use them or to share them with someone? Could we as Christians find ourselves in such a situation? 
Read all of Pastor Walt's column in the Oct. 14 Advance. 

AMY'S ANGLE: You don't have to go far

In 2018 a friend suggested he start running races in the towns that he visited, even if it’s just a mile. “Running is a good way to explore a town,” Tyler Sullivan said. 
Check out Amy's Angle in the Oct. 14 Advance.

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