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Local Columns

The best prevention is early detection

I know you have plenty on your to-do list. Trust me, I can relate. And, while many of us know the importance of preventive care and screenings, these appointments are often the ones that get pushed to the back-burner because of hectic schedules. And, perhaps because they are not always the most ...

Evidence shows COVID-19 vaccine is safe

As vaccines against COVID-19 become more widely available in Webster County, we are having trouble finding arms to vaccinate. One of the most common reasons I have been hearing lately is that we don’t know enough about the vaccine. It was too rushed. It’s too new. This is a perfectly ...

Iowa Senate works to improve public education

In debate last week, the Senate passed several education bills. One of these bills was House File 847, referred to as the Education Omnibus bill. It does a number of things related to education in Iowa and gives schools more flexibility when it comes to funding. It gives parents more choice ...

Helping Iowa farmers capitalize on their commitment to conservation

I often share the lessons I learned growing up on my family farm in southwest Iowa. It was a great experience that taught me the value of hard work and lending a helping hand. It left me with a sincere appreciation for the grit and dedication of Iowa’s ag community and the folks across the ...

Seeds of Dale Warland’s musical success sown in Badger church, FDSH

Before conducting choral groups around the world…before fostering the careers of generations of conductors and composers…before the honorary doctorates and Grammy nomination and numerous industry awards – the seeds of a life in music were planted for Dale Warland in the Badger Lutheran ...

Thoughts on Pendleton trial, health and human services budget

The trial of the man accused of taking the life of Pastor Al Henderson at St. Paul Lutheran Church began last week. As the trial goes on, we pray for all involved. We pray for Pastor Henderson’s family, the members of St. Paul’s church and school and our community that all will feel God’s ...

Keeping you and your family healthy

Did you cancel or postpone a doctor’s visit last year because of the pandemic? Now is the time to get back into the routine of keeping up with your doctors’ appointments. Last year was an unchartered territory for all of us, and early on in the pandemic we encouraged everyone to stay home ...

Support needed for college and career exploration

As we recover from COVID-19, Iowa is confronted with many challenges, among them a growing workforce shortage and declines in higher education enrollment. The percentage of high school graduates pursuing education or training beyond high school has declined for three years in a row for the ...

The importance of permanent tax relief

Over the last year, a common economic tool at the national level was the distribution of government funds directly to most Americans. While those payments have temporary value in addressing short-term economic impacts, that policy does little to advance the goal of creating long-term economic ...

End of military commitment in Afghanistan coming

President Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he will begin removing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the month and complete the withdrawal by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks that provoked the war, will finally bring to a close direct American military ...

More than heroes

Throughout the pandemic we often hear about health care heroes. A few months ago, we heard about them almost daily. There were signs, banners, extra meals brought in, news articles, and lots of public appreciation. Health care workers were celebrated in a way they hadn’t been before. Why did ...

The capitol roundup

Greetings friends! Now that the second funnel week is over, we voted on many more bills than we normally do to send to the governor’s desk or to the House. This week we passed out of the Senate the Life Amendment. The section reads, “To defend the dignity of all human life, and to ...

Senate passes property tax relief for Iowans

We passed SF 587 to address two major concerns for Iowans — property tax relief and mental health funding. It provides over $100 million in property tax relief for Iowans by eliminating property tax levies and removing the trigger put in place in the 2018 tax bill. Additionally, it ...

Fort Dodge history arrives in the mail

The community of Fort Dodge is blessed with a very robust history; replete with extraordinary people, interesting places and fascinating events. One of the most compelling events in our history was the Spirit Lake Massacre expedition from Fort Dodge in 1857. The Spirit Lake Massacre is an ...

Iowa Senate addresses child care, property taxes

Last week was the 12th week of the legislative session. It included the next important legislative deadline of the year. In order to be considered for the rest of the year, policy bills needed to be out of their original chamber and through committee in the second chamber. In other words, we ...

Feenstra: I’ll travel to all 39 counties in my district

When I was sworn in as a member of Congress, I promised 4th District Iowans that I would work tirelessly to bring their voices to Washington. It has always been a top priority to ensure my constituents have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that affect our farmers, families, and ...

Thanks to Beatles, Fort Dodge became hotbed for garage bands

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!” With those five words of introduction from Ed Sullivan, the Beatles - John, Paul, George and Ringo - took the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show on Feb. 9, 1964, and sang “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and four other hits to a live audience of screaming ...

Iowa House Republicans have found solutions to tackle child care crisis

As chair of the Iowa House Human Resources committee, my committee and I have made addressing the child care crisis one of our top priorities. And we’re not alone. So far this session, the Iowa House has passed 10 bills aimed at tackling the child care crisis from all different angles. In ...

Ernst: I’ll keep working to enable fellow female leaders to succeed

In this country that we’re so blessed to call home, every woman, no matter their background, can be the next “first.” After growing up on a small farm in rural southwest Iowa, I had the honor of serving in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Iowa Army National Guard — a historically male ...

False claims surround gun legislation

We have now been here for 11 weeks. The first day of spring has come and gone. And Easter is just around the corner. The first funnel week has passed by and the second funnel date is next week. As you recall the first funnel killed any bills that were not out of the chamber where they ...