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Any day, a hero...

Next week is National Fire Prevention Week. Itís a time set aside for Americans to consider fire safety at home, at work and at school. Without a doubt, this attention on eradicating potential hazards is important. It is also important to recognize the people who serve our communities as firefighters. Many of these people receive nominal compensation for their work; in fact, many of them help pay for their own training and equipment.

(Un)lucky 7

When the number 7 pops up many think of the creation story when God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh day. Scholars have found that the number seven often represents perfection or completeness in the Bible.
Seven is also associated with gambling, as well as the following: There are seven planets. There are seven main colors in the rainbow. There are seven musical notes. The lunar phase continues for seven days. There are seven dwarfs that helped Snow White.

The invasion of you

Having your identity or even a credit card or debit card number stolen is unnerving. A family member who lived in Iowa had his identity stolen a few years ago and someone took out a $17,000 loan in his name and he didn’t even know about it for months. My debit card number was stolen a few years ago and someone used it to buy about $800 worth of furniture from some place in Florida while I was in Texas.

Curious? Caring? Communicator? We have something for you

Algona Publishing Company needs a writer-photographer for this publication. You can express your interest by emailing Alan Van Ormer at I cannot state it more succinctly than that.

A story with a ring to it...

There are times when going the extra mile at work causes stress.
And then there's real stress – such as losing an important piece of jewelry at the same time.
Last week, Algona Publishing had a situation develop that required staff in the building to do some extra work to help get the Reminder out the door. It involved removing a part of the paper and replacing it with another. All of the work had to be done by hand, and it was a long, arduous process.


Should the Iowa Legislature take steps to limit the purchase and/or use of assault rifles/machine guns? Yes or No
Cast your vote at, and post a comment on the Algona Publishing Company Facebook page. We will publish the results of the poll and may use some of the comments in the March 22 Advance.

Our Kossuth County

As I was thinking about the subject of this column, I was leaning toward talking about how important it is that we have community pride! 
And then on Jan. 21, the Des Moines Register hosted their RAGBRAI announcement party and WOW, Algona is an overnight host community. Totally impacts how we view community pride.  

Ed and Betty Wilcox PAC a reality

It took several years. It took many committed hours of coming up with the right plan. It took generous donations of money from Ed and Betty Wilcox and others. But the hard work and committed effort was worth it.
The Ed and Betty Wilcox Performing Arts Center has opened its doors. And by the numbers of people that toured the facility at the Jan. 13 Algona Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored ribbon cutting and the Jan. 15 open house, the hard work was all worth it.

Keeping on top of legislative issues that impact our children

With the legislative session just underway, it seemed appropriate to devote this column to educational issues that will be under consideration this year.  This year will be no different than any other legislative cycle; there will be legislation each of us support, and ideas with which we disagree.  

Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp. looking forward to 2017

Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation is looking forward to 2017! 
We will be kicking off the year with our Quarterly Human Resources Committee Meeting. Hosted by K/PACEDC, Mike Koenecke will present, Arming Management to Manage Millennials, Preparing to Navigate through the Inevitable. 

What exactly is your Chamber of Commerce?

Happy New Year! 

2017 is here and we’re ready to roll

Ideas are just that - ideas until they come to fruition. For the past three months, we, at the Algona Upper Des Moines, have been discussing different ways we can improve the community’s newspaper.

Spread the holiday cheer to all

Christmas Day is three days away. The day is a time to celebrate with our families. It is also a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
More than any other time of the year, people always seem to get into the Christmas spirit and seem to be more patient and kinder.

The best 11 years of my life

I just realized next week is my last week at the Algona Upper Des Moines.
It seems so long ago that I sat with Gene Hall — one of the best bosses I’ve ever had — to tell him I wanted to leave journalism. 
“You really love doing that emergency thing you do, don’t you?” was his reply. 
Yes, I do. 

Continually moving closer to 2017

We’re halfway through December, meaning that Christmas is 10 days away and a new year is just around the corner.
For us in the newspaper business, we are always thinking about ways that we can improve our publications. When a new year comes around there are always new ideas and new energy that is generated in the newspaper world. It’s all about evolving, changing and making our products even better than what they are today.

Holiday travels around the county

This was my first time seeing what the holidays have to offer in Kossuth County communities. I’ve always been amazed by holiday traditions in all small communities across the country. And Kossuth County didn’t let me down.
It started with the Bancroft Parade of Lights. It was interesting to see some of the floats and it was interesting to see the cars coming down Ramsey Street and backing their cars into parking spots to see the parade. They weren’t disappointed. 

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