If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

  • Updated

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.

My daily ritual lately has been a midmorning walk at Westbrook Park with friends, all of us keeping our social distance while we visit and contemplate the waves of change in our country. Our pace is comfortable and steady, like the flow of our conversation, physically and mentally stimulatin…

The desire of the faithful for Communion — with Christ in the Eucharist and with each other in person — is sacred and holy. Hopefully, we can return relatively soon to the public celebration of the Mass and their longing will be fulfilled. Until then, we will continue to stay close to the Lo…

The availability of the internet and online resources likely made enduring quarantines, lockdowns, and stay-at-home orders more tolerable during this COVID pandemic. 

We almost bumped into one another. The hall was crowded with attendees moving from one session to another. It was in the late 1980s in Des Moines at the Governor’s Conference on Aging. She took my arm excitedly, greeted me and introduced herself – needlessly, for I knew it was Marian Paasch …

In today’s world where the coronavirus pandemic has stopped school, most travel, group activities, caused thousands of hospitalizations and deaths, anxiety has hit an all-time high. Many parents have turned to social media to discuss how their children are struggling to cope with the major c…

People have been known to curse out loud when helping me move to a new home, as they carry my collection of books that will move with me. They are a treasure to me. There are six or seven of that collection that are more precious to me than the others, not counting my bedraggled and margin-m…

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning in late April 2020, informing us of a “big jump” in complaints of an email extortion scheme. 

Every crisis has new heroes. During the 9/11 attacks, they were the first responders running into burning and crumbling buildings as others ran out. Now, during the coronavirus pandemic, the most visible heroes are the health care professionals, who are saving others and risking their own li…

Editorial cartoonists – the outstanding ones, like the Des Moines Register’s Frank Miller and Brian Duffy – have a marvelous ability to express a point of view with only a few words and a skillfully drawn image.

In three weeks of avoiding contact with anyone since returning from Washington, I have been off the farm just twice. I briefly went to get fuel in Andrew. There is no kibitizing with friends at the convenience store. No one is there save the staff, and we transact business at arm’s length in…

Newspapers in the United States have traveled rough seas to the First Amendment freedoms we enjoy today. From the colonial Stamp Act through wartime censorship to today, when thousands of newspapers were slammed with the public health emergency known as COVID-19, people who work for newspape…

Some Iowa hospitals ramping up their efforts to treat COVID-19 patients will not survive the pandemic without an infusion of cash, the head of the professional association for those hospitals has said.