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Editorial

School garden will produce lots of benefits

Butler Elementary School in Fort Dodge has been closed since March, but there is an outdoor classroom on the grounds that is still in use. It consists of four raised planting beds. Strawberries, cantaloupes, lettuce and kale are growing in them. The plants will be growing throughout the ...

Problems in COVID-19 response must be identified

In some respects, COVID-19 may seem like a bad dream for many Americans, even though it is far from stamped out in our country. One aspect of recovery — placing blame — already is well along. But recriminations that were common during the height of the epidemic are trailing off. That ...

It’s a day to celebrate America

Whether you spend this Fourth of July picnicking, swimming, boating, enjoying a parade, attending a community celebration, watching a fireworks display or just plain loafing, there should be at least a brief time to pause and reflect on this country’s enduring experiment in constitutional ...

July 4th should be a time for celebration, not tragedy

Fireworks are part of the Fourth of July. They are more available than ever in most areas. And this year, for obvious reasons, even some people who did not buy and set off their own pyrotechnics in the past may be tempted to use them to blow off some steam. Just so no one blows off a couple ...

Iowa’s renewable fuels industry gets a boost

Farmers, trucking companies, employees of ethanol and biodiesel plants – indeed all Iowans – will benefit from a couple of moves Gov. Kim Reynolds made recently to support the renewable fuels industry. First, the governor signed into a law an extension of a fuel tax credit for diesel that ...

Sheriff nears goal for school emergency radios

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs is closing in on a fundraising target he needs to reach in order to provide an extra level of safety in local schools. It’s time for residents, businesses and organizations to chip in and ensure that Stubbs can indeed hit that goal. About $2,000 is needed ...

Every community has people and groups that contribute much

In every town there are special people who contribute to the success of the community through the giving things they do. These folks — whose selfless contributions make life better for others in their hometowns — sometimes go unacknowledged. That’s unfortunate because many of the people ...

Removal of statues has gone too far

The Committee for the Removal of Public Monuments has bagged its biggest trophy to date. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio acceded to a request from Ellen Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History, to remove the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the ...

Facade project coming to downtown

Downtown Fort Dodge is loaded with historic buildings. In fact, there are so many of them that a portion of downtown was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district. But the passage of years has been harder on some of those buildings than others. Many could use a ...

Mistakes in COVID-19 response can’t be repeated

Mistakes made by some public officials in dealing with COVID-19 seem outrageous to us now. That may not have been so obvious when the errors were made — but knowing about them can avoid their repetition. The coronavirus epidemic is much like wartime: Resources must be used effectively. That ...

Lawmakers wrapped up session with increase to school funding

Iowa’s lawmakers recently demonstrated that they are capable of getting things done in a short period of time. After an unprecedented recess prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic sent the legislators home in the spring, they returned to Des Moines during the first week of June and proceeded to ...

Historical adventure can be found close to home

There’s little doubt that COVID-19 is stealing away a lot of summer vacation options for local families. But what if there was something really cool close to home that the whole family could enjoy? Well, there is such a thing. It’s the Fort Museum and Frontier Village here in Fort ...

New bipartisan aid bill may be needed from Congress

Members of Congress were wise to pause their campaign of priming the economic pump to counter the effects of the coronavirus epidemic. Nearly three trillion dollars in aid to individuals, families, businesses and local and state governments needed to be given time to work before more federal ...

Iowa’s fruit and vegetable growers deserve recognition

There’s more than corn and soybeans growing in Iowa’s rich soil. Iowa’s farmers grow staggering amounts of corn and soybeans, so it makes sense that those crops are the first ones many people associate with the state’s farms. But there is also a surprising amount of fruits and ...

It’s time to honor our fathers

Father’s Day is upon us once again. That’s good news for the greeting card vendors. In recent years, they have sold upwards of 100 million cards to Americans intent on paying tribute to good old dad. About half of those cards are purchased by dutiful sons and daughters. Wives honoring a man ...

Drop in unemployment shows hope for economy

Millions of Americans remain unemployed as the nation struggles to get an economy stalled by COVID-19 back in gear. Some success has been seen; by June 13, the U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3%, much better than the 14.7% a month before. Still, we have a long way to go. Prior to the coronavirus ...

Transparency needed for federal relief programs

American taxpayers should not be handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to businesses without having at least some idea of where our money is going. That seems obvious. However, demanding such transparency puts the U.S. Treasury Department — and some of the businesses being ...

One man’s vision, supported by others, created Old Glory on the River

A powerful symbol of the United States stands all by itself in the middle of the Des Moines River in Fort Dodge. It’s a large American flag flying from a pole that extends skyward from a block of concrete that once helped to support the Bennett Viaduct. Called Old Glory on the River, it ...

It’s time for Confederate monuments to go

Suppose you were strolling through Forest Park and came across a flattering statue of Adolf Hitler. Or Fidel Castro. Or Osama bin Laden. Of course, nations don’t generally bestow statuary upon enemies — unless those enemies happen to be Confederate leaders in the Civil War. Virginia Gov. ...