[Spencer Daily Reporter nameplate] Fair ~ 71°F  
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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
Service, danger and hostages (08/15/14)
My son Hunter left for the U.S. Marines on Monday. His mother and I, along with our three children still at home, traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to see him off. While there, we had an opportunity to hear from the commander out of Des Moines who oversees the various recruitment centers in Iowa and Nebraska. This guy was Mr. Marine. Big buff guy. Walked with confidence. Exuded authority...
Gas cramps on my mind ... and other's minds too (08/08/14)
I've brought this up a few times lately, specifically on Facebook and apparently I'm not the only one wondering. Why such a huge discrepancy between Spencer and Storm Lake in gas prices? Last week, a friend of mine -- call him a "Gas Road Warrior" -- sent me a personal photo from a gas station in Storm Lake which suggested $2.95 a gallon for Super Unleaded fuel. ...
Understanding the phenomenon that is 'Sharknado' (08/01/14)
What's behind the phenomenon of "Sharknado?" Don't try to answer. There is no answer. Such great mysteries can never be truly explained, only philosophized about. So please allow me to add my philosophical take. Wednesday night, nearly 4 million viewers tuned in to watch the sequel to arguably one of the worst made-for-TV movies ever. Myself included...
Freedom of speech (07/26/14)
As someone who makes his living from the use of words with particular interest in the freedom of speech component of the U.S. Constitution, I'm finding it increasingly frustrating to see reactions from both sides of the aisle regarding people exercising that freedom of speech...
Second time's a charm (07/18/14)
While the forecast suggests a warm up for next week beginning Sunday, things actually started to heat up Friday evening and continued into Saturday with the Rocket Suzie Music Festival, sitting on the banks of the Little Sioux River near the Grand Avenue Bridge...
Talented teens, tough production (07/11/14)
I've had a chance to see the SCT teen summer production of "Into the Woods" three times - twice on rehearsal nights and once Thursday evening - and I've got to tell you, I'm impressed. I shouldn't be surprised. Many of the young performers had integral parts in Spencer High School's amazing "Beauty and the Beast" fall musical, and the addition of some other gifted performers from around the area has only added to the talent pool...
Art is definitely subjective (07/04/14)
On Tuesday, I joined the Spencer Ambassadors in welcoming the new director at Arts on Grand, Jennifer Galm, to her new position. No stranger to the area nor to the art world, I'm confident she will do a good job in her new role and will be a strong fit for the downtown artisans hub. ...
Catching the soccer bug? (06/27/14)
I'm coming around. It's taken a while. But I'm finally coming out -- I enjoy soccer. I haven't always had these strange feelings. For the longest time, I didn't understand it. I didn't play the sport much as a youth, although many of my friends did. I kicked the ball around a little with some of my buddies in California, including a few who were good enough to play at the college level, but it never really clicked with me...
The Washington (Inset Ethnic Pigmentation Here) -- skins (06/20/14)
The issue of the Washington Redskins team name has taken center stage again this week as the on-again, off-again debate sparked one more time. I'm not sure what triggered the discussion this time around but it's pretty apparent that Washington football owner Daniel Snyder is holding his ground as he's done every time the issue has been broached in the past...
Flagfest's here - rain or shine, make the best of it (06/13/14)
It's here, the 30th anniversary of Spencer's Flagfest celebration. Recognizing Flag Day each year, the second weekend in June, traditionally has meant bust out the sun tan lotion and look for shelter from the sun. Last year, it meant break out the ponchos, umbrellas and seek shelter from the storms...
Trade value (06/06/14)
President Barack Obama's decision to trade five high-ranking Taliban leaders, being held at Guantanamo Bay, for an American soldier -- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl -- who, according to his fellow soldiers, abandoned his post and was found in the company of the Haqqani network, has got me thinking...
Hit the polls, it matters (05/30/14)
Tuesday, citizens in Spencer and around the state will have an opportunity to cast their ballot in a pair of contested races with both local and national implications. On the local front, five candidates -- three incumbents and two challengers -- will seek to fill three open seats on the Clay County Board of Supervisors...
Fighting the race war (05/23/14)
In the aftermath of the public release of Los Angeles Clippers owner (for the time being) Donald Sterling's moronic recorded comments regarding his feelings about people of color, the dialogue about race has been all over the media. Thanks a lot Donald...
Some uncommon sense for our graduates (05/16/14)
This particular column is directed at those young people who within the next couple of weeks will proudly walk across the stage, sporting an attractive cap and gown, to collect the items they've spent the past four years attempting to earn ... that graduation diploma...
Thanks to moms everywhere (05/09/14)
With tomorrow being the big day, that it is a day that each and everyone of us should celebrate, it's important to make sure to give that special person who brought you into this world and gave you life the perfect gift. So for my wife -- the mother of my children; my mother-in-law -- the mother of the mother of my children; and my very own mother -- the mother of her grandchildren's father; I am pleased to announce that you are now each the proud owners of your very own manatee...
Let's put that signature where it belongs (05/02/14)
C'mon Gov. Branstad. The Legislature did its job. They took a hard look at the cannabis oil -- or Charlotte's Web -- bill and they put it on your desk for a signature. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. There were a lot of legislators, much like yourself, who share the concern about this opening the door to the push for the complete decriminalization of marijuana. ...
An hour with comedic legend Bill Cosby (04/25/14)
I had the distinct pleasure of spending an hour on the phone visiting with legendary comedian Bill Cosby on Friday, April 18 for a feature story which appeared in last Saturday's Daily Reporter. Cosby will be bringing his special gift of observational humor to Spencer's Clay County Regional Events Center for an evening with 2,500-plus of his closest friends next Saturday night...
Seasonal message on the big screen (04/18/14)
Celebrating Holy Week, and as we enter Easter Weekend, those of us who proudly profess our Christian beliefs celebrate what on the surface is one of the most horrific endings to human life recorded on paper. It also happens to be the beginning of rebirth in its purest fashion, and therein lies the reason for the celebration...
Support for the Heucks (04/11/14)
Last week I was able to share the story of the Heuck family from Everly. Just a quick recap for those who didn't get a chance to read the front page piece in last Saturday's Daily Reporter: Tammy and Mike Heuck are working tirelessly to gain access to a cannabis oil known as Charlotte's Web to help their 12-year-old daughter Shelby, who suffers from seizures on a daily basis, sometimes numbering as high as 20 in a day. ...
The message challenge (04/04/14)
Last week, GOP candidate for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-IA) soon-to-be-vacated seat, Sam Clovis, stopped by Coffee with the Editor to share a little about himself and his philosophy on the state-of-the-nation and his plans to fix it. Monday, Clovis' opponent in the GOP primary, Mark Jacobs, is scheduled to appear at the Spencer Rotary meeting and then meet with the Clay County Republican Committee...
Join us for Coffee with the Editor (03/28/14)
U.S. Senate candidate Sam Clovis is stopping by Coffee with the Editor at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the dining room at the Spencer Dream Center. I'm not a morning person. Never have been. My wife, Leah, she's up everyday at 4:45 a.m. and off to the gym for a grueling kettlebell workout or a nice run. Me, I'm sawing logs for another two-plus hours. Dead to the world. And that's just the way I like it...
A movie worth seeing (03/24/14)
With the boss out enjoying a little well-deserved R & R, I'm putting together a special One Man's Perspective this week. You can thank me later. Normally, I would save this for my Friday "Randy's Review" on the entertainment page, but since the film is on a short-run through Thursday, I wanted to get this out a little sooner to allow any interested parties a chance to take in "God's Not Dead."...
How's that working out for you? (03/21/14)
So it's that time of the year. No, not spring. Sure I'm happy to see the temps topping freezing a few times a week, but I'm talking about the real big thing -- the NCAA basketball tournament. Never will you hear the word "bracket" used more than you will during March...
Add rather than subtract (03/14/14)
For many Christian churches, it's customary during the recognition of the Lenten season to make a personal sacrifice of some sort. To give up something you love or perhaps try to stop some habitual behavior over the course of the weeks leading up to the celebration of Easter...
That magic moment (03/07/14)
We all have those special moments in our lives. Those moments that we can recall without a great deal of thought because they are so vividly clear in our minds. That special Christmas. Our wedding date. The birth of a child. Where you were for a national tragedy...
Little eyes - and big - are watching (02/28/14)
With three grandchildren running around the house, Leah and I are on constant reminder to control our Ps & Qs in terms of the things we say and do. We have to watch that we don't talk about topics not fit for little ears or act in such a way as to have a negative influence on their very absorbent minds. They learn from us and repeat everything...
Whatever happened to common courtesy? (02/21/14)
I don't know if it's the sub-zero temps freezing the hearts of people or maybe the mind-numbing wind chills causing people to stop using their brains, but there seems to be an abundance of our local citizens who have forgotten simple, common courtesy...
A REAL American Hero (02/14/14)
Join us for Coffee with the Editor at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the dining room at the Spencer Dream Center and meet Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Nasrcisse, who will be this week's special guest. All are welcome for coffee and conversation. Hero...
A must share (01/31/14)
Sometimes things come across my desk or through my email that are just too good not to share. This was passed along to me by Dr. Rick Wilkerson who received it from Col. Rob Howe -- a native of Spencer. With one son set to enter the U.S. Marine Corp. ...
Battling a severe case of Bieber Fever (01/24/14)
Does anyone else feel the need to just drop kick Justin Bieber? Seriously people, it seems like everyday when I check the news in the morning, this little 80-pound stick figure is making headlines with his continued moronic behavior. Egging a neighbor's property. Urinating in a public area. Raining down $75,000 on strippers. And most recently, an alleged DUI incident, which reportedly involved drag racing and resisting arrest...
Home-made video doesn't serve purpose (01/18/14)
Last weekend, a Spencer Police Department arrest played out for the world to see when a friend of the arrestee decided he would record the event for posterity and then share it with mankind via Facebook and YouTube. The arrestee was Jaykie Harrington. The friend behind the camera recording the magic moment was Caleb Brewer...
Living every moment (01/11/14)
I lost a dear friend this week. I say this selfishly because while I certainly feel the sting of his loss personally, I know without a doubt my grieving pales in comparison to what his family is going through. But the loss of Michael Fischer -- who has been a close friend and confidant since I joined the Daily Reporter staff 11 years ago -- will be felt by a great many people and is a tremendous loss for the community of Spencer...
A life lesson via Facebook (01/04/14)
I often complain about the ills of Facebook. People tend to share too much. People sometimes use it to hurt others. People don't think or use a filter before they start clicking away. Just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should when it comes to sharing your every thought with the world around you...
One wish for 2014 (12/28/13)
As we close out 2013 and look forward to the coming of a new year, many of us sit down and start thinking about a fresh start. I'm going to eat better in 2014. I'm going to lose (inset number here) pounds in 2014. I'm going to be a better this or that in 2014. I'm going to try ..., I'm going to attempt ..., I'm going to blah, blah, blah...
The Christmas Spirit (12/21/13)
It's really hard to put the emotions and feelings surrounding this special holiday into words. Much like the celebration of Easter, words do not do justice to the significance of the annual days honoring the birth of our Savior. For many, Christmas is just an opportunity for a gift exchange, but for those who believe, Christmas is about the giving of a gift that can never be matched. The gift of salvation through the birth and eventual sacrificial death of Jesus...
Lessons not learned: X-Box One equals Arnold (12/14/13)
People, people, people. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I believe that's the saying. I was never much for history in high school so I didn't learn from it. And in this case, it's not so much about history as it is the future. Confused? Me too...
Making the world a better place (12/07/13)
It may sound silly to some, especially to those who are not fans of the sport, but high school wrestling offers all of the things a young person needs to better prepare themselves for life. Wrestling incorporates hard work and requires a tremendous amount of dedication in discipline -- not just on the mat but off as well in terms of diet and conditioning. ...
One Man's Perspective (11/23/13)
Okay, okay already. Yes, I am attempting to grow my beard. I haven't shaved since Halloween night as per my agreement with the ad staff at the paper to help raise money for Abben Cancer Center. Unfortunately, while the other guys have a good, dark amount of facial covering growing in, my skimpy showing is coming in all grey. ...
The holiday season begins now (11/16/13)
I'm excited about the upcoming holiday season. Primarily because it focuses so much on giving. So I'm asking you to share in this special time of year by looking at opportunities around you to make a difference. I started my season of giving Nov. 1. ...
A tall challenge (11/09/13)
As far off as it may seem, discussion is already well underway as to whom will be battling in the primary season for the right to represent their party and replace President Barack Obama in 2016. For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton has been in the conversation since Obama won re-election. Of course Vice President Joe Biden is mentioned as well among the forerunners...
Embracing the 'Season of Giving' (11/02/13)
Anyone who has lived in Spencer or Clay County -- really northwest Iowa as a whole -- realizes the important role volunteerism plays in our communities. The Clay County Fair -- regarded as the "World's Greatest County Fair" -- wouldn't be what it is without the efforts of so many volunteers, ranging from planning and preparations, to assisting with entries, to transporting guests in golf courts...
Political documentary, SHS musical offer entertainment options (10/26/13)
Monday at 6:30 p.m., Southpark 7, along with many other theaters in the Fridley chain across the state, will be sharing a documentary film, "Caucus," exploring the process by Iowa to determine party presidential candidates every four years. Filmmaker AJ Schnack tracked the Republican field as they raced back-and-forth across Iowa kissing babies and shaking hands in the 2011-2012 Presidential Primary...
Selfie Sacrifice (10/19/13)
So I'm backing out of my driveway last week. I mean we're not even an hour into the day and my beloved 15-year-old daughter, seated next to me in the car, whips her camera out, hangs her tongue out of her mouth, wrinkles her nose and flashes the peace sign. Then she photographs it to share with all of her friends...
Getting tanked (10/12/13)
Like many of you, I'm thrilled to see the gas prices dropping at the local pumps, thereby saving me a few bones when I fill my tank. As I left the office Friday, Spencer prices were sitting at $3.19 a gallon for super unleaded, which, compared to $3.34 and $3.39 just a few days ago, is a win for us...
Re-taking the memorial (10/05/13)
I have an answer to the age old question: Does a bear go No. 2 in the woods? Not in federally funded woods. At least not right now. At this time we regret to inform you that all bears, and other non-essential wildlife, currently residing in national parks are being furloughed until such time as the shutdown of the U.S. government is over...
Don't let the door hit ya ... (09/28/13)
Sometimes I receive letters to the editor filled with thoughtful commentary and ripe with fruitful ideas worth sharing. Most often times those letters are signed and we welcome the opportunity to share them with our readers. Other times I receive letters to the editor which I read and then file away in my desk just so I can remind myself that the world will never run out of fools. These letters are always unsigned...
Words worth sharing (09/21/13)
I have something to share with you this week. These are not my words. I wish I could take credit for this story but I can't. I have seen it before and it's always been impact-full, but when I read it again this week I really felt the need to share. While scrolling my Facebook page, I saw a post my daughter had commented on. ...
Just two days left (09/14/13)
Well if you haven't been to the "World's Greatest County Fair" yet this week, I've gotta ask, "Where the heck have you been?" C'mon folks, sure the weather's been a bit warm but things started cooling down a bit by mid-week and the last couple of mornings have been downright chilly before warming up to a mild but comfortable 70- or 80-something...
Misguided prayer (09/07/13)
Well I've got some good news and I've got some bad news. The good news is a group of liberals gathered together in a public setting and invoked the blessings of God in prayer. That's progress folks. The bad news ... they called for those blessings and offered thanks to God for the continued practice of abortion...
YOLO - Different meanings for different generations (08/31/13)
As the father of six - including two who have graduated school, two who are currently in high school and two elementary boys - there's little that surprises me today. Television has gone out of its way, particularly on shows directed at young people, to make adults look like morons and buffoons with the soul goal in life to stifle the fun of the young people around them. And if that characterization isn't bad enough, the shows regularly show the kids getting over on the clueless parents...
C'mon really? Part Deux ... sorry Part Duh (08/17/13)
I thought last week's column would be the last for a while recognizing people for ridiculous and mindless behavior. What could I have been thinking? We live in America people. There are millions of people out there with the God-given -- and legally supported right -- to behave in a manner that makes most normal people scratch their heads and stare in disbelief...
Um, OK then (08/10/13)
Sometimes you wonder what makes people do the things they do. Yesterday I received a police report detailing the outcome of a Spencer man who was mad at another Spencer resident and decided to let him know. Rather than trying to avoid this person or simply deciding they should agree to disagree about whatever it was driving the wedge between them, the Spencer man decided the best solution was to "allegedly" steal a semi-truck and drive it onto his adversary's porch in the middle of the night...
Protecting the children (08/03/13)
Special guest for Tuesday's Coffee with the Editor session will be Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen, who will be on hand to discuss the proposed Iowah Chicken Bouillon plant. Please join us for coffee and conversation. Next Tuesday, Aug. 13, Kari Webb, director of the Northwest Iowa STEM program operating out of Iowa Lakes Community College will discuss the impact and purpose of Gov. ...
A Facebook entry worth reading (07/27/13)
There's been a lot said on Facebook since the passing of 15-year-old Kyle Lachner. Some were rumors. Some were partial truths. Some had absolutely nothing to do with Kyle but instead focused on law enforcement officials and the Daily Reporter. Most of it - with the exception of those wishing his family well, sharing their love and passing along their blessings and condolences - the world could have done without...
Police taking undeserved criticism (07/25/13)
I don't normally write a column for Thursday's paper, but I feel compelled to do so this week. The Spencer Police Department and local law enforcement are coming under tremendous scrutiny for the way they dealt with Sunday evening's situation involving an upset teen with a gun...
Outrage without the facts (07/20/13)
It's been an interesting couple of weeks. As I returned from vacation on the East Coast, it seems as if everything broke just as I returned, which is great because it provided me with fodder for this week's column. First, the jury in the George Zimmerman trial came back with a not guilty verdict with regard to charges stemming from his role in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin on the evening of Feb. 26, 2012 in Florida...
Bravo! The new jail passes inspection (06/29/13)
Coffee with the Editor will not meet again until 7 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 when Rep. Megan Hess (R-Spencer) will join the fun. We meet in the dining room at the Spencer Dream Center. Join us for a little coffee and conversation on the issues. I had a chance to tour the new Clay County Sheriff's Office and Jail facility earlier this week as I was preparing a story on the new building...
Few things on my mind (06/22/13)
First and foremost, I want to take a moment to invite everyone to the dining room at the Spencer Dream Center Tuesday morning to join us for Coffee with the Editor. We've had some questions about Blue Zones and specifically about the city's role in the process, whether it's a good thing or bad thing. ...
Honoring fatherhood (06/15/13)
It's good to be a dad. While we designate Sunday as Father's Day - a day to recognize and celebrate dads everywhere - I see everyday as Father's Day. Fathering a child is easy. We see a lot of so-called "men" out there creating children. That doesn't make them a father...
Welcome to Spencer (06/08/13)
Welcome to Spencer. You've picked a good weekend to visit our fine city. There's a great deal of activity and opportunity for guest and resident alike as we conduct our annual summer celebration "Flagfest." If you weren't around last night, you missed out on Shayla Bee's Ramblin' Redneck Roadshow, the street dance and some other fun, but fear not -- today offers plenty of exciting options...
Winners win. Haters hate. (06/01/13)
This is nothing new, but over the last several weeks I've found myself growing more and more frustrated with the people in this town who find something negative to say about every attempt to bring something new or doing something creative in this community...
Why the media went mum on Gosnell (05/25/13)
A Philadelphia doctor ran a little shop of horrors at his abortion clinic and the media remained silent for the longest time. Their silence held until people began questioning why the trial of the accused murderer was being ignored. So why would media outlets ignore the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was recently found guilty in three newborn deaths after he botched the abortion in each case and killed them after the babies had been born...
Discriminatory scholarships: simply bad policy (05/18/13)
I've never been a fan of targeted scholarships that take into account one's skin color, sexuality or any other distinguishing attachment. It's no secret. I've written about it before. So when Iowa leaped into national discussion as part of a controversial "white only" scholarship offered by Columbia University, it should be no surprise I was bothered once again...
Native son remembers home (05/11/13)
Like many who have roots in Spencer, Chuck Swanson has made a name for himself in other parts of the state. Today, Swanson is the executive director of Hancher Auditorium on the campus of the University of Iowa. In his role he encounters a variety of gifted artists, bringing entertainment on the grandest scale to the U of I campus for its students and those who are lucky enough to live within driving distance...
Speaking out on speaking out (05/04/13)
Hello. My name is Randy Cauthron. I'm the managing editor of the Spencer Daily Reporter. Oh, and by the way, I'm a heterosexual. Perhaps you're scratching your head, asking yourself, "Why would he include that last sentence?" More than likely you're thinking to yourself, "Who cares?"...
Child abuse march and LOVE Spencer (04/27/13)
Today is going to be a very busy day in the Spencer area, and for the first time in a long time we're going to have perfect weather to get things done. For the first weekend since the season began, local soccer players are going to get a chance to go out and kick the ball around a bit...
Lessons learned outside the classroom (04/20/13)
Math, English and history took a back seat at Clay Central-Everly Wednesday and Thursday. Instead, the lessons came in the form of a reality check courtesy of the Every 15 Minutes program and the dedicated team of local organizers. At approximately 9:30 a.m., class as usual was interrupted as students listened to a pre-recorded call for Everly emergency responders and local law enforcement to respond to an accident scene just to the west of the school building. ...
May Robinson's story outshines the hate (04/13/13)
As I anxiously await my opportunity to view the new release, "42," which details Jackie Robinson's trials and tribulations during his rise from relative obscurity to being regarded as one of the most important and influential athletes of the 20th century, I have to say that I'm truly disturbed by something taking place in southeast Iowa...
The little nut job (04/06/13)
When Kim Jong-Il passed away he appointed the fruit of his loins the next in charge. There was no election, no Democratic process, no voice of the people. They're stuck with what they've got. And apparently what they've got is another delusional rotten apple who obviously hasn't fallen far from the decaying tree...
Celebrate Easter every day (03/30/13)
Christians around the world have spent the past several days recognizing "Holy Week," beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating with Easter Sunday. During this week-long stretch, much like the Christmas season, people reflect on their own lives and how they are living...
Get off the bench and into the game (03/22/13)
I'm putting on my coaching hat right now and I've got one rule -- when coach is talking, nobody else is talking. Please pay attention; this is important. Second place isn't good enough. Second place is the first loser ladies and gentlemen. We're interested in being number one!...
Welcome home (03/16/13)
I spent the better part of the week away from the office last week and appreciate the job that Kate Padilla and Brandon Barb did in my absence with the help of Publisher Paula Buenger. The reason for my road trip to Manhattan, Kan. -- home of the Kansas State Wildcats and Fort Riley military base -- was to welcome my brother-in-law SFC Brent Juelfs back from yet another tour to a war-torn land...
What do we have to complain about? (03/09/13)
Just a heads up, there will be no Coffee with the Editor on Tuesday, March 12. We will resume the gathering at the Spencer Dream Center at 7 a.m. Tuesday, March 19. I look forward to seeing you then. We complain an awful lot. And by "we" I mean me too. ...
Students, not rules, determine future of bullying (03/02/13)
I received a press release from Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds regarding new legislation designed to combat bullying of Iowa youth. The Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit, conducted in late November 2012 in Des Moines, brought more than 1,200 Iowans together to discuss ways to best address what is being regarded as a bullying epidemic...
The battle for an anatomically incorrect statue (02/23/13)
Everybody else is weighing in on the whole "Oscar" thing, so I figured I might as well. So who will win this little golden man? Oops, my bad. First off, just to be fair, I can't refer to Oscar as a him. In this day of gender equity, it would be very presumptuous of me to assume Oscar is a man statue. Let's face it, old goldie doesn't exactly sport any features that would indicate anything other than that it's androgynous...
You can't spell Olympics without wrestling (02/16/13)
Senator Chuck Grassley has weighed in. So has Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, along with several other legislators. Two of the most legendary figures in collegiate wrestling, Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson, have voiced their displeasure. Even former Olympic gold medalist and current professional wrestler Kurt Angle has aired his disapproval...
Customer service is the key (02/09/13)
Customer service is everything. Often it determines whether or not I will return to that business. And it starts from the moment the customer walks through the door. Some Spencer-area businesses have this down to an art. Unfortunately, too many other local operations treat you as though they're doing you a favor by allowing you to make purchases from them...
Good things going on (02/02/13)
If you're bored as the new year gets underway, you're just not trying hard enough to find something to do. There have been plenty of sports events involving high school, middle school and elementary school players since just after the first of the year...
A salute to the American soldier (01/26/13)
I have several friends and relations who have served or are currently serving in some form of military service. I myself never served. I went straight to college after high school to pursue higher learning. Many of my friends chose the same path. At that time, the Cold War was winding down, so there wasn't a great emphasis on military service...
One more go at assistance fraud (01/19/13)
Not that I'm particularly interested in revisiting the whole SNAP card and government subsidized program abuses, which have been discussed in this column and through online comment, but I did want to share something I received. The following information certainly doesn't confirm anything regarding government food programs and those allegedly using small green and purple fruit to scam the system, but it does suggest it is possible to abuse government benefits. ...
Looking for your input (01/12/13)
I'm always open to constructive input from our readers, so my request to hear from the readers is not something new. However, I have a bit of a targeted request. I'm considering the idea of hosting "Coffee with the Editor" sessions at a designated location in the community to allow for a little greater interaction and face-to-face time with the community...
Respect and honor (01/05/13)
There are certain things you need to do to demonstrate respect for your country and those who risked their lives defending it. It doesn't require much. Just stand still and shut up. Thursday night, at Spencer's wrestling dual with Cherokee and Estherville-Lincoln Central, I watched with my blood pressure elevating as a group of junior high girls decided to turn the National Anthem into a comedy routine...
Hope for the new year (12/29/12)
As we close out 2012 - this is the last edition of the Daily Reporter for the year - we traditionally pause to reflect a bit on the year behind us and look forward, with hope to a new beginning in 2013. Like many of you, I plan to do a lot of things better in 2013. ...
The true reason for the season (12/22/12)
Last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut forced many to take pause during the buildup to the Christmas season. It was like a sucker punch to the gut, leaving you bent over in pain. Like the rest of the world, I struggled to catch my breath, gasping for a reason, desperately searching for the air of explanation as to why a madman would walk into a school after having killed members of his family, and kill an administrator, teachers and 20 young children...
Headache and heartbreak (12/15/12)
Following Friday's tragedy - another school shooting - I wanted to share some thoughts, but first I'm going to address the raging online discussion over last week's One Man's Perspective. The column raised a great deal of discussion and debate. It centered around my friend's claim to have personally witnessed someone in Texas use their subsidized government food payment to buy a pair of grapes then collect $100 back in cash...
Trouble with the system (12/08/12)
Got an email from a good friend of mine, currently living in Round Rock, Texas. This friend served as a U.S. Navy Seal for 12 years before retiring to the private sector. Here is the email I received. "I'm not saying that there aren't people who need help but....46 million households? Really? 'nuff said...
The hands, feet and heart of the season (12/01/12)
As a follow-up to my less than stellar follow-up to the mob mentality and less than Christian behavior exhibited in Spencer on Thursday night and Black Friday; allow me to report some fine examples of Christ's work here on earth that are fantastic signs of the Christmas season...
The black eye of Black Friday (11/24/12)
With the annual celebration of the birth of Christ, Christmas, comes the commercialization of the holiday. And each year I tend to play along. While I'm very aware of the true reason for the season, and try to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I wade through the crowded aisles and masses of bargain shoppers the season seems to lure amongst the decorations of red and green, silver and blue, sometimes it can be a bit of a challenge...
Four more years ... (11/17/12)
I held off my post-election column last week, just allowing the feeling to settle in. Four more years. Wow. I knew Mitt Romney was a long-shot but I really felt he had a chance. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I'm not going to bash President Obama. ...
How could America do ... never mind (11/10/12)
On Wednesday morning, I was strongly considering a column about the outcome of Tuesday night's general election. Mine was a mixed bag of reactions as several races went my way and others did not. But rather than engage in what might appear to others as a bitter rant, I decided to take some time to digest the outcome of Election 2012, and instead decided something a bit lighter with a chuckle to end this week might be more appropriate...
Exercise your privilege (11/03/12)
I hear from more and more people these days, "I'm not going to vote." I've also heard, "I've never voted." That's not only sad, it's pathetic. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not in favor of a bunch of voters who have no idea for whom or what they are casting their ballots pouring out to the polls to muck up the process - although I would regrettably defend their right to ignorantly pull the lever...
A faith-filled call to action (10/27/12)
Casting Crowns was one of the largest attended shows during the 2012 Clay County Fair. It was a night of praise and worship in the grandstand with uplifting music and words of encouragement. Words that we can really cling to in times such as these when God is chased further and further from the public consciousness in the name of political correctness...
The season for giving, a real reason for living (10/20/12)
It's started already. Innocently, while sitting on the couch enjoying some quality television - an oxymoron to be certain - I received my first dose of commercial pounding. Obviously I'm not speaking of political ads; that's been going on for the past 18 months. ...
My common sense is tingling (10/13/12)
When all else fails, turn to common sense. Seems like a great idea in light of the current tone of politics in this country. Sometimes, solutions come in the simplest forms, and sometimes they come in moments of comedy. A friend of mine, a true patriot who served this country as a Navy Seal for more than a decade and now works in the private sector, forwarded this to me via email. My email is constantly filling with interesting commentary, jokes, cartoons and other items...
Two men making a difference (10/06/12)
Two men from two different countries are making a measurable difference. Sometimes you meet people and listen to stories that change the way you think. This is one of those times. Last weekend, I had an opportunity to attend a gathering at the home of Dr. Rick and Barb Wilkerson, where I met Dr. Mohammed Rhadi...
Tired of apologizing (09/29/12)
Is anyone else sick and tired of the ongoing apologetic nature of our national leaders? It seems as though we're constantly offering our apologies to other countries around the world for one thing or another. I'm sorry some whack-a-do made a film that upset the Muslim community...
Pray these meddlers will find something else to do (09/22/12)
Sometimes life imitates art and more often than not, art accentuates life. This week I reviewed the film "Last Ounce of Courage," which focuses on the efforts of a few to take away the rights of the many - specifically when it comes to religious freedom...
Local boy gets his shot (09/15/12)
I wasn't able to be home for Casey Muessigmann's performance on The Voice Tuesday night. In addition to the national significance that Sept. 11 holds for most, it also holds a special place in my heart as an anniversary date for my wife and I. This year, we celebrated 23 years together Tuesday evening with a late dinner. After forgetting the special date a few years ago -- give me a break, it falls during fair week -- I've learned not to repeat that mistake again...
Honoring those who deserve it (09/08/12)
Our Vietnam War veterans were not treated very well. As a matter of fact, they were treated horribly. I'm not sure what was wrong with people back then. Maybe too much free love, peace and natural intoxicants were lingering in the air, but people were downright hideous to the young men who braved the jungles under the flag of America then returned home to be spat on...
The Great Debate (09/01/12)
It's taken some doing, but the debate is on. I confirmed Thursday with representation from both Rep. Steve King's and challenger Christie Vilsack's campaigns, the details of a debate that will be conducted the first Saturday of the Clay County Fair...
Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective