Local Columns

Another school year begins

Fort Dodge Community: I love the first day of school! As a superintendent, this is by far my favorite day. Everyone is happy. Parents are happy, teachers and staff are happy, and even students (though they will not admit it) are happy. There is something undeniably special about the start of ...

What’s normal? This issue can be addressed

What’s “normal” as you age? Even though urinary incontinence increases with age, it should not be considered “normal” or “part of getting old.” Urinary incontinence is a very common problem among both men and women and can vary in severity and frequency. If the accidental loss ...

Lifting Iowa conservatives’ voice on energy policy

Growing up in Fonda, I was always aware of the extraordinary natural resources around us. Ethanol and biodiesel were just coming into their own and our ability to harness wind energy on a big scale was just on the horizon. Today, both of those clean, renewable energy sources are at the ...

Presidential candidates must learn science of food production

Former Vice President Joe Biden said it well, “we choose science over fiction.” The presidential candidate was wrapping up his remarks on July 31, during the second night of Democratic debates in Detroit. His words-in that single sentence, at least-are exactly right. Too often, public ...

Diabetes is on the rise

Diabetes is a disease whose incidence is rising, like the rivers of Iowa this spring. Contributing to this flood of cases of diabetes are improved screening for the disease, decreased physical demands in our automated world, and easy access and low cost of unhealthy food. Over 30 million people ...

What do we value in this country?

When I showed up to the office Sunday, the top news stories in the country included two mass shootings which had taken place within 24 hours of each other, resulting in 29 lives lost. The top news in our own community included a shooting on Aug. 3, where 20 shots were fired in a residential ...

This family’s legacy is basketball

On many a winter night, Connie and Helen Goodman would climb into their Chevrolet Caprice and start driving west out of Fort Dodge on U.S. 20 to begin their search for a radio signal. Their objective: to tune into their car radio the frequency of the Sioux City station broadcasting the North ...

President Trump is putting American patients in control

A few years ago, my doctor recommended a routine heart exam. I would be paying for it out-of-pocket, since I had a high-deductible plan. So naturally I asked what it would cost. After a great deal of effort, I was told the list price was $5,500, and my insurer’s rate was $3,500. But when I ...

Crisick combines her love of poetry, Morocco

A love of poetry and literature is a generational thing for Maureen Micus Crisick — a love inherited from her grandmother and mother, shared with her brother Ed and extended to her own two daughters. “Writing for me is hearing the sounds and the rhythm of the words,” she said. “I just ...

Setting the facts straight on sunscreen

Sunscreen can be confusing. There are many different SPFs, UVA and UVB rays, expiration dates and brands. It quickly becomes overwhelming. Here is some information to keep your skin healthy, year-round. A higher-level SPF means I can apply it less often. FICTION. Higher sun protection ...

Reflecting on the music of Karl King

I first became acquainted with the music of Karl L. King as a high school student in Canton, Ohio. My freshman year Mr. King was the conductor of the massed county high school bands for a Washington’s Birthday celebration. As a public school band director, I frequently used King marches. ...

‘Is this Heaven?’ endures 30 years later

Back when I was just starting high school, a phenomenon began occurring around my hometown of Lake City and beyond. The phrase “Is This Heaven? No, It’s Iowa,” started popping up everywhere, from conversations to bumper stickers. Maybe you remember this, too. It was all because of ...

One hundred years ago, women got the vote

Editor’s note: The commentary below was a speech given by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, on June 4, 2019, as a salute to women’s suffrage. The speech can be viewed at https://youtu.be/hqI8JyMCYLw. I come to the floor today, on June the Fourth, to take a look back at a historic vote of the ...

Stevens’ service remembered

For our 40th wedding anniversary, Linda and I joined my brother Dave and his wife Cheryl for a magical trip to Italy in 2008. Before we left, I asked my dad for advice on food and lodging since he was the only member of our family who had been to Rome — and much of Italy — years ...

Legislature works to revitalize rural Iowa

Iowa is a rural state and its people have great pride in the bustling communities that dot our state. Countless Iowans grew up and continue to live in small-town Iowa because of the great quality of life that our rural communities offer. As state lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure ...

Oh, those days at the YMCA

Growing up in Fort Dodge, Tom Holmquist had a normal childhood until his father died unexpectedly in 1957 when he was 10 years old and “my mother who worked to support us did not know what to do with me.” “She went to the YMCA for ideas and I was given a free membership to the Y,” he ...

Don’t gift a graduate scratch-off tickets. Here’s why.

With commencement just around the corner, graduation parties are already in full swing and gifting appropriately is certainly on the minds of many relatives and friends of the Class of 2019. Doubtless many of this class will receive gifts in the form of scratch off tickets. With some ...

Volunteers are needed to speak up for foster youth

May is National Foster Care Month, a time set to recognize foster parents, family members, mentors, volunteers and child welfare professionals for all the support they provide youth and children in foster care. It can also be a good time to consider how you personally can make a difference in ...

Swing for a Cure

Mark your calendars for the 14th annual Swing for a Cure golf outing! This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, June 7th at the Fort Dodge Country Club. The day will kick off with lunch beginning at 11 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 12 p.m. for the 4-person best-shot, flighted ...