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How do you answer? My only comfort is...?

It was a good run, but no one ever anticipated the animosity of man against man in the streets of Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle. It was a good run, but no one ever anticipated a virus that would close schools, shut down business, and leave countless dead waiting to be placed in funeral homes.


Lawlessness reigns in some of our nation’s largest cities. Innocent people are the victims of crimes that involve the burning of their cars, the destruction of their businesses and in some instances the killing of their family members. There is no excuse for it.
Read Brad Hicks's On the Side column in the Aug. 20 Kossuth County Advance.

Where does sweet corn get its sweetness?

As I was visiting with my dad on the phone a few weeks ago at the peak of sweet corn season, he remarked that one of the sweet corn hybrids he planted “tasted a lot sweeter” than the others. Having never really noticed a huge difference myself, this statement made me curious. After running an experiment, I agreed that all three of the sweet corn hybrids dad planted had slightly different tastes to them.

Love-hate relationship with all things cyberspace

There are many things I love about computers and cyberspace. F’rinstance, being able to FaceTime or Zoom with our scattered kids and grands is wonderful. Out of the blue, 6-year-old Molly will get loose on her dad’s cell phone and FaceTime me, offering to give me a tour of her house. She always offers to give me a tour of her house, and I’m always happy to watch.

Creating a safe place to receive care

Change is always the name of the game in health care, but these past few months have been one for the books! Finding new ways to serve our patients and respond to the needs of our community have been priorities at Kossuth Regional Health Center. We’ve always maintained a very clean organization and our staff members are diligent in their attention to detail. That has certainly been important as we respond to the myriad changes.

On the Side: Unemployment

...This is where this column becomes extremely personal.
Eight years ago, at age 50, after 23 years with the same employer, I was fired without warning...
Read Brad Hicks's column in the Aug. 13 edition of the Kossuth County Advance.

Where do you turn when life has you down?

So what should I write about when I feel like I’m at a loss for words? I’d really like to write about loving your neighbor, but Pastor Cowell had a nice treatment of that in a recent article. Where do you turn when life has you down? There are a lot of places we can go, right? When life has us down we can turn to alcohol or drugs, we can turn to politics, we can turn to food or relationships with others. 

Seeking common ground? Food at Farmers Market

As a society, we seem to have plenty of things to disagree about these days. Even so, I take comfort in knowing that we also have many avenues to find common ground with one another. One thing that has a way of bringing people together is good food. For as long as my memory stretches, food has been at the center of all important gatherings. Family dinners, birthday cakes, and special snacks help bring us into the kitchen and around the table.

Love your neighbor – your real neighbor

Those who love God pray to him for all things, confess and praise his name without end, and give thanks to him by giving their money, time, and effort to the spread of the gospel to all nations and for the care of the faithful of their local congregation.


Our neighbors a couple of hours away in the Northeast Iowa Conference are now dealing with the fallout from some obnoxious spectators at a baseball game during which it is alleged that a couple of Waverly-Shell Rock fans uttered statements considered racist toward a Charles City student-athlete. The youth was playing in the outfield and he heard people yelling such things as “go back to the fields,” a reference to blacks working in cotton fields under slavery.

Scottish Lakes – so that was Yorkshire pudding...

For a Sunday treat, we went to a pub for lunch. After first ordering at the bar, the meal was brought to our table. We were especially interested in tasting the Yorkshire pudding that was on the menu as dessert was included. After eating what was set before us, we waited for the pudding, thinking it would be delivered to our table when we finished the main course. It never came...
For more of the column, see the July 30 edition of the Kossuth County Advance.

Let's spruce up, take care of one another

It seems like each year at this time – although it’s a little later this year – I usually take a drive around town to see if we are ready for visitors. Obviously, things are very different this year, but one thing hasn’t changed – or shouldn’t change – and that is pride in how our community looks.

Midge satire biting, instructive

Undoubtedly, the first thing one would ask about Tiffany Midge’s biting satire “Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s” is why a Native author would take Dee Brown’s seminal “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” as inspiration for her book’s title.

Need Help with Open Government Matters?

Click on this report from the Iowa Public Information Board to learn more about how government and the public can work together to ensure openness.

This Week on the Commentary Page

See the July 16 edition of the Kossuth County Advance to get Commentary:
-Lack of legislation action on EMS issue may cause more trouble for rural Iowa, by Clark Kauffman, Iowa Capital Dispatch.
-Inkspots by Molly MacDonald: Seamus has come into my life – hurrah!
-Out of the Past by Gene Miller: No bicycle bloomers allowed in the dining room
-Travel Diary by Jim Sloter: Adventures great and small in Thirsk
-On the Side by Brad Hicks: Avoid Knockouts

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.

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