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Her name was Matilda. In 1920, at age 22, Matilda was expecting her third child, my mother, and managing both a multi-generation household and the entire production plant of the family’s 120-cow dairy farm. 

The coronavirus has changed the way we work, in many cases forever. The pandemic has also brought into sharp focus the powerless state of workers here in Iowa and the employer-driven policies that intentionally keep it that way.

Area news coverage of the recent passing of Bob Reade recounted his immensely successful football coaching career at Geneseo, Illinois, High School and Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

I get a lot of questions and comments from people along these lines – “I bet you’re getting a lot of COVID scams reported.” 

Public health experts have given us a long list of ways we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Unfortunately for Iowa’s universities, students, faculty and college towns, finger-pointing has yet to be proven effective at warding off infections.

An ear of sweet corn is everything good about summer here in Iowa. Sure, you can have an ear of sweetcorn out of season from a supermarket in the dead of winter thanks to long-distance food. But it will travel perhaps 1,500 miles to get to your plate.

Prior to ratification of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920, and its formal certification on Aug. 26, 1920, many small steps eventually led to suffrage (women’s right to vote). 

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I watched a lot of different things fly by my window during the Derecho on Monday, Aug. 10: empty pizza boxes, shingles, a kid’s plastic swing set, a broken piece of gutter. A lone toad struggled valiantly against the wind and rain to hop back into the grass of the field facing my kitchen. 

I was on my way home from work Tuesday after the storm. I passed by overturned semis and trailers, metal road signs bent like plastic straws, and navigated my way through debris littering the highway. 

Vice President Mike Pence claimed in Iowa last week that President Trump had fulfilled his promises to Iowa farmers and ethanol producers. It’s not true and he knew that, because Iowa farmers told him so.

An older rural Welton woman earned the rare distinction of meeting face-to-face the scammers who cheated her out of $15,000. The scammers employed the well-worn but very effective grandparent scam against the Welton woman, who we will call Judy. 

Tomorrow marks five months since we learned of the first positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa. Since then, our lives have been disrupted in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Schools and businesses closed. A record number of Iowans were suddenly out of work. And our normal daily routines were tur…

Even before coronavirus hit American colleges and universities, even before their budgets imploded because of the pandemic, questions were being asked nationally about how these institutions spend their money.

Regular readers of this column know I counseled for years for everyone to pay close attention to your credit card and bank statements. We need to review those line by line. And what we are looking for are card charges we did not make, or withdrawals from accounts we did not authorize. 

The death of Congressman John Lewis last Friday night accomplished what police officers with their billy clubs and white mobs with their fists and pipes never were able to achieve: Silencing his voice.

The recent public discourse about social injustice and inequality in America has made me sad, and for a while I was at a loss for words. It triggered me to educate myself so I can better understand the disparity between Blacks and whites and make a commitment to stand and speak up whenever I…

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The time is now for local leaders to take matters into their own hands. It has become agonizingly obvious that our national and state leaders are not going to honestly address the disruptive and deadly challenges our nation and state are facing from the growing spread of COVID-19.

I wanted to use this time as a “how are you?” – a check-up if you will. You may be feeling exhausted at this point, frustrated, maybe even annoyed. If you hear the words “quarantine” or “social distancing” one more time …

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she trusts Iowans to make the right decisions to avoid spreading COVID-19.  But she apparently does not trust the local elected officials chosen by these very same Iowans to lead their communities. That attitude is endangering the health and lives of Iowans.

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Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a series by local historian John Brassard Jr. documenting the Spanish Flu of 1918 called “Ghosts of the Pandemic.” 

This year’s unprecedented societal flavor continues to dance on our taste buds, and the Iowa Legislature’s 88th General Assembly was not exempt from being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rural areas seemed immune as the coronavirus spread through cities earlier this year. Few rural cases were reported, and attention focused on the surge of illnesses and deaths in the big metro areas. But that false sense of safety is now falling apart as infection rates explode in rural area…

In 1930, when Helmut Schnack took his father, Claus Jürgen Schnack, visiting America from Germany for the second time, to see the older man’s brother, Henry, who lived between Low Moor and Clinton, his father commented on the long road along which his brother’s farm was located.

Here at your hometown newspaper, we have avoided public speculation about what we might learn from bodycam footage Maquoketa Police Department officers captured when they found Amanda Lassance, one of Jackson County’s prosecutors, behind the wheel of her car showing signs of drunkenness.

The decision last week to cancel the Iowa State Fair was a reminder of the seriousness of coronavirus and the consequences of many people’s anxiety about returning to activities that normally are an important part of Iowa life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just drifting day after day. A haze of barely coherent thoughts and actions that, when compiled, might feel like a day’s work. A recap at night’s end would suggest that maybe, just maybe, I gave an honest enough effort and my contribution to society that day was adequate. 

I have been monitoring the data provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and I have determined that it is safe to resume the public celebration of Mass in the Diocese of Davenport on Monday, June 22, with some restrictions. I commend the faithful for their patience as we pray…

You probably already know, but we are living through a pandemic. I know that most of the columns in this newspaper are probably about the pandemic, but I don’t think that any of them are from a 12-year-old talking about their life in a pandemic. 

Optics is a term that has come a long way from the days when it pretty much was the exclusive domain of eye doctors and companies that make telescopes, cameras, binoculars and microscopes.

America has seen 13 consecutive days of protests — nearly two weeks — as of this writing, with no sign of let-up. Protests over the police killing of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street on the evening of Memorial Day have taken place not only in America’s largest cities, but have spread far…

It caught a great many people by surprise when the US Treasury sent out Visa prepaid debit cards as the economic impact payments authorized by the CARES Act.