Local Columns

Books and Beyond

The book “Birdie,” by Eileen Spinelli, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, Mich., c 2019, was a delight to read and it took me back to when I was 12 years old. That’s how old Roberta Briggs is. Birds are one of her main interests. Observing and studying them is a comfort ...

Topwater tactics for bass

Topwater fishing is synonymous with the start of summer. While the tactics and lures vary, an explosive take of a bait off the surface of the water is about as thrilling as the culmination of a July firework show. While topwater fishing may not be the best way to catch bass, it sure is one of ...

Insurance stories

One of the pleasantest perks of being an author is occasionally being asked to speak at gatherings. The author and his wife are treated to a nice meal prior to the speaking engagement and, depending on the location of the venue, might even enjoy an overnight stay at a quality hotel. The only ...

What if it succeeds? That’s the question

Whenever new ideas are mentioned, the possibility that it might amount to failure automatically starts to take root in the back of most listeners’ minds. It’s almost inevitable. It’s unusual to have a situation where everyone likes a new concept so much and so immediately that they all ...

The sky in July — Saturn joins Jupiter

Early stargazing in July is always a wonderful time. Even though you can’t get started until late in the evening you can catch the wonderful heavenly show without freezing! Stargazing this July is extra special because Saturn and Jupiter, the biggest planets in our solar system, have joined ...

Seven ways to clean your financial house this spring

Spring is on the way. For many of us, the increasingly longer days and warmer weather signify a chance to tidy up and start fresh. If you enjoy the ritual of spring cleaning, why not take time to spruce up your finances as well? The following list is a great place to start: 1. Your goals. If ...

July 4th: A time reflect on fundamental rights

Do you like oddities? Here’s an oddity: The number 243 is a prime number, divisible by three. Thursday, our country will celebrate its 243rd Independence Day, dating back to 1776. It’s genuinely a Prime Independence Day. Here’s another oddity: A week before we celebrate that Prime ...

On the Porch

The social news or gossip columns in the old newspapers are always fascinating to read. A special section in the newspaper was devoted to the social media of the day. The whereabouts of local people and events were often featured in these columns. Here are a few from the Marshall ...

It’s nice!

What would life be without surprises? Allow me an answer: without surprises to periodically enlighten us, life would be, well, kind of boring. The other day it was cloudy and dreary like so many of our days have been lately. A group of us were worried that a planned outdoor event would be ...

Drum beat

As my buddy John and I drifted over the transition area of mud, rock and gnarled tree roots that popped up and grabbed our bottom bouncers which surveyed the underwater scene for walleyes on the Missouri River impoundment, our eyes turned to a shore angler along the backside of the bay. His ...

Where to recycle items

Congratulations Lyon County! You were able to recycle nearly 200 tons of recyclables each month in April and in June. This figure is only reflecting items that we are able to place in our recycling carts such as paper, aluminum cans, tin cans, glass food containers and plastic food containers. ...

7 ways to save more for college

Try these tips for knocking down everyday expenses and socking it away safely. As every parent knows, saving enough for a college education has gotten more challenging. Even with tuition increases slowing down in recent years, the costs for a higher education are among the fastest-rising ...

Self employment and Social Security

Many people enjoy the independence of owning and operating their own small business. If you’re a small business owner, you know that you have additional financial responsibilities when reporting your taxes. A part of this is paying into Social Security. Most people who pay into Social ...

Jupiter’s jumping in

The king of the planets, at least in our solar system, has made a grand entrance into our early summer skies, and will continue to dominate the early evening heavens well into October. A couple of weeks ago our Earth and Jupiter reached their closest approach to each other. Back then Jupiter ...

Ask A Trooper

Question: When the speed limit changes on a road, does the new speed limit start at the sign, or does it start when you can see the sign? Answer: The speed zone becomes effective when you reach the sign. If the speed limit reduces, you must begin to slow down before the sign. If the speed ...

Look!

As you proceed through your day, how often do you look at the things around you? To push this question a bit further, how often do you look for diversity in your life, look for beauty in nature or look for something different than the usual? How often do you look? Of course, when one ...

BB brain

There once was a time when I was a complete and utter BB brain. I was 8 years old when one of my school chums acquired an air rifle. It wasn’t long before he began to regale us with tales of his remarkable marksmanship, stories of hitting targets that were so distant that they had ...

Kids these days

Kids these days! There’s nothing they can’t destroy from any angle and they do it no matter the conditions: in the rain, in the wind, and in the sun, it just doesn’t seem to matter. When they’re not actively smashing something, they’re talking in hushed tones among their little groups ...

Understanding Social Security benefits

Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American, whether at the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, the onset of a disability, or the transition from work to retirement. For more than 80 years, our programs have contributed to the financial security of the elderly and the ...

Railroad wreck near Lynd

Train wrecks were big news in the early days of settlement. Trains were an essential part of everyday living, carrying and delivering goods to each station along the tracks, reloading and hauling goods (mostly grain and animals, as well as being the main mode of travel for residents and/or ...