Columnists

Behind the scenes at the Barnum & Bailey Circus in Marshalltown

How did Barnum & Bailey Circus performers prepare for a show when they came to Marshalltown in 1913? A fishing trip to Stanley Mill, an automobile trip to Albion for dinner and a Mulligan down by the Iowa River, according to the local paper. The big tent show was scheduled for Sunday, ...

Inside Education

Which skills are critical to prepare students to enter the workforce or college? Strong skills in academics and technology typically top the list. Undoubtedly, critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and the ability to collaborate are equally important. What about ...

Word Out

I am not going to pretend I know a lot about country music because I do not. However, what I do know is I like a number of songs by late Country artists Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. Much of my appreciation was developed after seeing them in concert ‚ albeit 41 years apart. I saw ...

‘Up the Resolution’

I learned I won't make any New Year's resolutions. It wouldn't do any good anyway. I'm just not that resolute. Fact is, I don't need to make any resolutions. Not because I'm already perfect … but because Her Royal Highness Princess Wife is … she makes all my resolutions for me. She has a ...

The greatest gift of all

In an effort to get out of work sometimes I’ll rent out this space to a beloved, hated or befuddling figure with whom we are familiar. In this case, our guest columnist is someone we’ve all heard about but never thought truly existed. Well here I am. You always wondered when seeing those ...

Dave Says

Dear Dave, My father-in-law started a business as an LLC few years ago. He named all his daughters owners, with him owning the majority share. The business failed, and now he is being sued by creditors. He told the family these creditors can’t come after us and the other siblings, because ...

Tackling the to-do list

Dear Readers: We are only four days into a new year, and there are MANY THINGS to think about: your financial situation, work projects, home updates and more. Then there are tasks to do, such as fixing things around the house, working on the auto and cleaning out a closet or garage. Many ...

Time to Defund the United Nations

Last week, Democrats and many in the mainstream media became highly perturbed by the Trump administration’s suggestion that the United States might tie continued foreign aid to support for its agenda abroad. Foreign dictators agreed. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent the last ...

A political system in crisis

As the first year of the Trump presidency approaches its end, American democracy finds itself in peril, not only at the White House but at Capitol Hill as well, with both major political parties in chaos. Donald Trump is at the core of both circumstances. At the Oval Office, presidential ...

Future Files

Palladium takes gold medal Of all commodities markets in 2017, palladium led the way higher, gaining over 50 percent. The metal is one of the rarest on earth (30 times rarer than gold) and is used primarily in catalytic convertors to clean up automobile exhaust. Demand for palladium has been ...

ASK AUGUSTINE

Haven’t 19th and 20th century theologians like Adolf von Harnack and Harry Emerson Fosdick put to rest the myth that Jesus was born of a virgin? Anyway, does it really matter if Jesus was virgin born? I find it appalling that in the 21st century this questioner and many ordained ministers ...

Be Strategic About Staying Committed to New Year’s Resolutions

Q: The past three years I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to work out and lose weight. And every year I lost momentum within a few weeks. I feel guilty about breaking my promise to my family — and myself. What can I do differently this year? Jim: Many of us make some sort of ...

The UK’s consequential embrace of secularism

The UK Daily Mail has again published a story about a subject that has become a recurring theme this time of year. No, not Christmas, but rather drunkenness, though the holiday is used as its primary excuse. Pictures accompanying the story show young people collapsing in gutters and vomiting on ...

The Year of Media Freakouts

The year 2017 unfolded into a massive surprise to liberals, who fully expected that before Christmas we would (a) all die in a nuclear war over President Donald Trump’s tweets or (b) be swearing in President Mike Pence after Trump was impeached or petulantly quit because the news media were ...

The role of a school social worker

When I am asked what it is like to work as a social worker at Marshalltown High School, in one word I would answer “rewarding.” I am fortunate to get to work with students and families with a great diversity in needs; and because of this, every day gets to feel like a new adventure. This ...

Republicans Have Reformed Taxes; Will They Fix Budget Rules Next?

The Republicans have passed their tax bill, without a single Democratic vote, despite low to dismal poll ratings. It’s reminiscent of the passage by Democrats, without a single Republican vote, of Obamacare in March 2010. Democrats lost 63 seats and their House majority that fall. ...

A Timely Rescue

The Republicans have passed their tax bill, without a single Democratic vote, despite low to dismal poll ratings. It’s reminiscent of the passage by Democrats, without a single Republican vote, of Obamacare in March 2010. Democrats lost 63 seats and their House majority that fall. ...

The prevalence of indifference

I learned that the notion of having “goodwill towards men” is a very extraordinary, high and noble sort of thing. Perhaps so extraordinary, so noble, mere humans shouldn't even strive for it. Maybe we should settle for 'indifference towards men'. This just seems more doable. Imagine this ...

An interview with a holiday icon

Every year a few weeks before Christmas I have the opportunity to sit down with one of the holiday’s most iconic figures. This year I was fortunate to interview the legendary prospector Yukon Cornelius: Kelly Van De Walle: “Thanks for agreeing to the interview. I’m sure you’re a busy ...

Outdated Tradition?

Dear Annie: I am a baby boomer and appreciate the 20th-century tradition of “rising to the occasion” and taking in meals if a family member is ill or if there has been a death in the family. It is a kind and thoughtful gesture. I am in a club, and one member’s husband was diagnosed with ...