Local Columns

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 ...

My mother, the early years

The photo you see here is of my mother in the early years on our farm. That tractor she’s on? It’s the first thing I learned to drive. Our farm was northeast of Webster City, in Blairsburg Township, in Hamilton County. I think the photo shared here is probably from the beginning of ...

Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to reflect

All of us believe we can spot a person with mental health issues. We picture crazy Uncle Charlie who still wears his leisure suit from the ’70s, the cat lady who lives down the block, or the stranger who walks around town arguing with himself. While these scenarios provide excellent ...

I don’t think you could have gotten him on that plane

Today, my Dad would be 107. He would have loved the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight, though I don’t know if you could have actually gotten him on the plane. Dad was an Air Apache, part of the 345th Bombardment Group of the United States Air Force. They served in the Southwest Pacific ...

Warden Plaza project is complex, but showing progress

A few years back, the city of Fort Dodge took title to the Warden Plaza at 908 First Ave. S., through the Abandoned Buildings section of the Iowa Code. Located along the recently constructed crosstown connector in downtown Fort Dodge, this iconic historic building has been a focal point of ...

She lived a life of love and learning

Life brings us what we call “teaching moments” — and from the time Phyllis Bush began her teaching career as a 22-year-old until she drew her last breath in March at the age of 75, she provided plenty of such moments to her students, family, friends and fellow educators. Over her ...

Preservation has a history, and an importance

The first National Preservation Week was celebrated May 6-12 in 1973. The Trustees Advisory Board in Washington, D.C., proposed the idea of the National Preservation Week as a “means of relating local and state preservation progress to the national effort for mutual benefits of ...

Foster Grandparents make a difference

Many people look forward to retirement and the chance to do everything that they didn’t have time for while working full time. Once those projects are finished, the days get a little longer and the need for a new purpose sets in. The isolation of a winter like we just survived can also ...

Cancer screenings save lives

You are your own best advocate when it comes to your health, just ask Louis “Sue” Wolff. Sue asked for another opinion when she didn’t feel like she was getting the help she needed when she experienced some hearing loss in her left ear. It was like her ear wouldn’t pop after a pressure ...

Gambling has widespread impact

There is an issue still alive in our state’s Legislature that could have a major impact on many lives in Iowa. My perspective on this is arguably as deep as any over the last 30 years. Our company, Consumer Credit of Des Moines, has done debt counseling for over 150,000 in that time period. ...

Here’s one way the flag raising at Iwo Jima connects with Fort Dodge

Joe Rosenthal’s photo of that iconic event on Feb. 23, 1945, taken in his role as an Associated Press combat photographer, is considered by many to be the greatest and most influential image of World War II — and one of the best photographs ever taken. The negative of his photo depicting ...