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I would stop at the small bookshop several times a week to get coffee, or meet a friend, or sit at a quiet table to write, or wander through the shelves of books. A visit there was never complete without a conversation with the proprietor.

I got the privilege of touring the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City when the Iowa Optimist Organization donated over $15,000 to this amazing place of hope and positive vision. The Optimists held a head-shaving at the state convention to raise funds, and our lo…

With Thanksgiving over and as we move on toward Christmas, one realizes how fast time goes and all that gets accomplished. Also knowing that there is more to do in order to meet the needs of individual students and our district as a whole.

As thanksgiving approaches, I encourage you to sit down and reflect on the things you are most thankful for. I tend to take this time each year to think about the blessings I have in my life. The things that excite me and the things that challenge me. Sometimes this includes things that I ta…

In this world, we have a lot of problems — global warming, inequality, poverty, and plenty more that would take me a decade to list. 

Maybe a handful of readers did not receive a robocall from Social Security, but I’m beginning to doubt it. The numbers of people reporting they received this scam call is surpassing anything I previously heard about in the fraud world. 

I had a history professor in graduate school who owned 140 acres of long-leaf pine in east Texas. Dr. Cravens knew how much growth the trees had put on that year, what the volume of wood on that worn-out cotton farm was worth that week, and when it was ready to harvest. It was an investment …

My featured person this week is “Maryanne,” the adult daughter of a former Marine who most likely has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Maryanne, 36, is a licensed independent clinical social worker with the training and experience to spot, diagnose, and treat PTSD. The problem has been…

Iowa Freedom of Information Laws, otherwise known as sunshine laws, assume that meetings and records are open. Iowans do not have to make a case to attend a governmental meeting or to see a public record. To the contrary, meetings must be open and records must be available for inspection unl…

Imagine going into cardiac arrest and the closest emergency room is more than 30 miles away. Or suppose your child is struggling with depression, but there isn’t a single psychiatrist in your county. Or consider experiencing unexpected pregnancy complications — yet living hours away from a h…

I don’t recall just when I donated my first unit of blood. Despite handling news releases for years announcing a local blood drive hosted by a service organization, church or high school group, I put off the mission myself for years on grounds that between work and family I was too busy and …

The Clinton County Conservation Foundation (CCCF) was established with the purpose of supporting and promoting the mission and activities of the Clinton County Conservation Board (CCCB). The CCCF actually is very similar to other nonprofit conservation organizations like the Izaak Walton or …

The phrase “No one cares what you know until they know you care” is a cliche quote often used in the world of education, but at Central DeWitt, we strive to live it each day, demonstrating to students how much we care.

As we move through another year at Delwood, we are in our our second year as a PBIS school. PBIS is “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports,” a program to support positive behaviors happening within our school. 

Being a substitute teacher at the high school enriches my life. Besides the opportunity to have a captive, albeit eye-rolling, audience again for my ramblings and digressions about language, subbing provides me with moments when the intensity of teaching clicks on a light bulb in my head.

I had a history professor in graduate school who owned 140 acres of long-leaf pine in east Texas. Dr. Cravens knew how much growth the trees had put on that year, what the volume of wood on that worn-out cotton farm was worth that week, and when it was ready to harvest. It was an investment …

The Calamus-Wheatland Board of Directors voted unanimously at our September board meeting to place the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) question on the general election ballot in November. 

Towns and cities are more than just a collection of buildings and streets. While these things add character to a place, it is the people who reside there who define it. It is their guiding hand, their will and vision, that help shape it. 

Maybe a handful of readers did not receive a robocall from Social Security, but I’m beginning to doubt it. The numbers of people reporting they received this scam call is surpassing anything I previously heard about in the fraud world. And the pace only seems to be increasing with the passag…

Fall is without a doubt one of the best times of the year to go camping. Labor Day weekend is widely known as the “unofficial end to summer” but that doesn’t mean you have to pack up your camping gear for the season. With a little preparation, fall camping can be some of the best of the year! 

Are you aware that vaping has become an epidemic among teens? While the rate of teen cigarette smoking is going down, the number of teenagers who are vaping is rising rapidly, and the truth about vaping health risks is becoming apparent. According to a 2017 study by the Centers for Disease C…

DeWitt Town & Country Garden Club members appreciate everyone who entered flowers at the flower show during the Clinton County Fair. They were pleased to receive some first-time exhibitors. Members also appreciate The Observer for printing all of the articles before the fair.

As the nation mourns the deaths of the 31 people killed recently in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, discussion is renewed over the causes of these tragedies and ways to prevent them. Re-enacting the ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 and high-capacity magazines that…

Here’s a line from a newscast last week that maybe you heard before. “There’s been a massive data breach that’s compromised sensitive information for millions of people.” This time it was Capital One, a bank holding company specializing in credit cards and auto loans, the 10th-largest bank i…

The organizers of BOOM! want to extend our sincere thanks for the loyal support of this philanthropic group over the past four years. Working together and pooling our resources, we have been able to support 13 different local organizations with a financial boost of nearly $20,000. 

The 2019 elections for school board elections will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5. If you are interested in running for school board in Iowa, here are some important dates: Aug. 26, first day to file papers; and Sept. 19, last day to file papers. Nomination papers may be picked up at the superin…

Well done and a smart use of grant money for the community! We took our grandkids ages 1 and 2 to the new Delmar Splash Pad in late June and they absolutely loved it! There were two other families with kids ranging from 2 months to 9 years old all having a great time. It’s a success when you…

If you’ve stopped by the library over the last few years and have seen a tall woman typing away at a very disorganized desk behind the circulation counter, that would be me—my name is Jillian Aschliman, and I am your local librarian. I’m celebrating my third anniversary of working for the Fr…

Now that we’ve fully adjusted to a well-deserved summer vacation following a long school year with double-digits in no-school snow days, it’s time to gently peek ahead to what’s new at Northeast for the 2019-20 school year. 

Wow! Every year we wonder what will happen this year and it never fails, but we have an absolutely great parade. We first want to thank all the participants in the parade. Without you we would not have a great parade. DeWitt Fire Department allowed Charlotte and Goose Lake Fire departments t…

It’s been a long day. I have survived the work day, made the trek across the I-74 Bridge with moderate frustration, let the dog out, and now I can breathe. I’ve got my chips, my Dr. Pepper, and my PJs on. All that’s left is my couch and my creepy Netflix shows on crime and unsolved cases.

On June 21, my husband, Robert, and I had just returned from a 2½-month visit with ailing family members in Europe. We were so jet-lagged that my English-speaking skills were virtually nonexistent after spending the past few months speaking three other languages.

Many readers called over the last several years to report calls offering “free” medical knee or back orthotic braces. In the last couple of months, two readers reported actually receiving such braces, without consulting anyone, or authorizing such a transaction. 

A few weeks ago I was talking with a local resident about the newspaper’s coverage of the police call involving Assistant Jackson County Attorney Amanda Lassance and how law enforcement officials in Clinton and Jackson counties handled it.

Last weekend was DeWitt’s 25th high school reunion. Having attended my own 50th reunion out of state two weeks before DeWitt’s, I couldn’t help but jog my memory to see how 25 years changed my perspective. Picture yourself in this sampling of mental vignettes, which could be from your own 25…