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Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015
What to make of state fair polling info (08/28/15)
So here's what you've been waiting for, the very unofficial, unscientific results from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's Presidential Straw Poll conducted at the Iowa State Fair. Based on 9,008 votes cast during the event, we have learned the following valuable information that I'm sure will have the each of the candidate's ground teams working to figure out how to take advantage of the numbers game...
Boring and proud of it (08/21/15)
So the big topic over coffee, at lunch and at social opportunities this past week is Spencer's placement on the "The 10 Most Boring Places To Live In Iowa" list as proposed by Sam Sparkes and his RoadSnacks site. Based on the fact that the results were a big topic of conversation, Facebook posts and every other relevant form of communication this week, I would say he accomplished his mission. He gained relevance. And here I am furthering his reputation by giving him some more space in print...
School talk (08/14/15)
Seems only fitting that with the start of the school year just more than a week away, schools should be a big topic of news statewide. Locally, the discussion seems to center around a couple things. First, how the summer flew by with a late run of the 2014-15 year and what appears to be a quick start to the coming session. The other popular topic -- among parents -- is the relief that a new school year brings as children return to the classroom after eating them out of house and home...
GOP debate: Rubio, Cruz claim victory; Huckabee, Carson hit the mark (08/07/15)
Well the first GOP debate, featuring 10 -- considered the current statistical front runners -- of the 17 candidates is in the books and I found it to be quite entertaining. With a broad field of conservatives, it was an opportunity to see them share the stage, exchange ideas -- sometimes quite angrily -- and offer their specific perspective on questions key to the direction of this country and the upcoming general election...
Questioning Planned Parenthood? (07/31/15)
I've never made my views on the practice of abortion a secret. In my eyes, it's a crime against humanity. If we don't protect the most defenseless among us, our laws have failed us. Yet here we are decades after the Roe v. Wade decision where the practice of ending human life as the child continues to grow in its mother's womb is a practice used as a matter of convenience in many cases...
Keep your eyes to the sky (07/24/15)
Last weekend, Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning was able to fight off an encounter with a shark while waiting on a wave during a televised contest from Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. Fortunately for Fanning, and the viewing office, the event served as a startling but blood-free moment...
When will we fight back? (07/17/15)
My heart goes out to the families of the U.S. Marines killed in the senseless terrorist attack on a Marine Recruiting Office in Tennessee. For those wondering why we need to take the fight to these animals on their home turf, this is why. The individual who perpetrated the attack launched a spray of bullets at the building, targeting unarmed military personnel and any random civilians who may have been nearby. He had no regard for which one he hit. The more damage the better...
Boom Baby! Drop the mic (because my hands on fire) (07/10/15)
Well, Rep. Megan Jones, R-Sioux Rapids, and her Iowa House and Senate colleagues arguing for the legalization of fireworks in the state didn't get any help this Fourth of July. One genius launched a firework off his head and died in the process, two NFL players suffered injuries to their hands, and countless others found new and creative ways to inflict personal and property damage courtesy of celebratory explosives...
Righting the ship (06/26/15)
At Coffee with the Editor each week -- a little event I host on Tuesday beginning at 7 a.m. in the dining room at the Spencer Dream Center -- we talk about a variety of things of local, state, national and world interest. Our group, which regularly numbers upward of 10 to 12 folks, kind of take a path that goes where the various topics of the day or week take us. ...
Seriously? C'mon man think it through (06/19/15)
I have a couple of great examples for you this week of individuals who have definitely not thought their particular very different game plans through. Let's start local. According to an AP report, a Des Moines man was arrested earlier this week after he reported to police that he had been robbed...
A lack of common ... sense or courtesy (06/12/15)
From Randy's Annoyance Department, a couple of things I saw this week really got under my skin because, well quite frankly, they're both rude and discourteous to those around us. Both issues involve rude behavior behind the wheel. The first involved a car with a handicapped parking card parked in a handicapped parking space. So why should that bother me, sounds like everything is pretty square there. The vehicle in the spot has the pass to park there. Agreed. That's all good...
The making of Caitlyn (Saying goodbye to Bruce) (06/05/15)
Well the transformation is nearly complete. At least as far as the world can see. Former Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, revealing Caitlyn to the public in her full glory for the first time. Jenner, 65, who stands 6-2 and wowed the world when he claimed the top spot in the 1976 Olympic decathlon, was the original face of the Wheaties box. ...
What do you expect with empty romance (05/29/15)
Ever since the first episode of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" aired -- honestly I can't remember and really care which came first -- I thought to myself, "Is this really what we've come to?" Actually, in full discloser, I haven't just kept these thoughts of disgust to myself. ...
Crossing the 'Thin Blue Line' (05/22/15)
Many around the country have expressed shock and dismay regarding the murder of Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco while attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a man who was charged with felony first-degree assault. And while I share those feelings, I also offer one more emotion ... outrage...
Taking the key next steps (05/15/15)
Beginning this weekend, my wife and I will begin making our way around to several graduation celebrations involving some of the many outstanding young people we've found ourselves fortunate enough to know. It's a busy time of year for our family as we've recently located to a new home, downsizing a bit, into a nice neighborhood in west Spencer. ...
Have a voice, get involved (05/08/15)
Hopefully by now you've had a chance to sample our newest editorial addition, "Let's Talk About It" which appears on this very editorial page on Saturdays. The pro-con format, on a chosen topic, provides parties on both sides of an issue -- be it local, state or federal in significance -- a chance to weigh in and offer their respective arguments in a civil format. Not only do they do it publicly, but they have the conviction of their beliefs to put both their name and face behind it...
Time for some Midwest sensibility (05/01/15)
Looking at some recent information provided by wallet hub.com, it seems pretty apparent we're looking in the wrong place for our next president of the United States. We need someone from the upper-midwest who can provide us with a little common sense leadership and fiscal accountability...
Making a difference (04/24/15)
The loss of a child is a tragedy. If anything were ever going to test my deep faith and conviction, that would be the thing. I can't imagine the grief and I can't even begin to comprehend how someone could move beyond that pain. Maybe, in reality, you can't. Maybe you never get past it. But sometimes, despite the pain and lingering reminders, it's possible to channel those emotions and harness it into something positive...
'Let's Talk About It ...' (04/17/15)
I'm excited to announce the first "Let's Talk About It ..." piece will appear in next Saturday's Daily Reporter. For a few weeks I was asking, within this space, for any interested members of the public who would like to be part of a community advisory writing group. This group will pick an issue -- local, state or federal in nature -- then a pair of writers, supported by others with like minds, will put pen to paper creating support for their "side" of the issue...
An end to bullying (04/10/15)
The other evening I was home, a rare event indeed, and I was perusing the channels when I stumbled across IPTV World. Don't ask me how I wound up there -- it was strictly an accident -- but while channel surfing of which I'm a master, ask anyone in my family, I stumbled across the documentary "Bully."...
It's time for a rebirth (04/03/15)
In the middle of the week, I found myself in Arizona for a quick visit to the home of my grandfather where my uncle lost his battle to cancer. My sister -- who lives just outside Philadelphia -- and I flew into Phoenix Wednesday morning to take care of some emergency family business before returning the next day to our respective homes. ...
A true difference maker (03/27/15)
"It will be tough watching Schaefer perform his body contortions and demonstrate moves during matches from a position other than that of the head coaches chair, but make no doubt, he will be twisting and squirming his gyrations of encouragement from somewhere nearby the mat." -- Randy Cauthron...
A new beginning? (03/20/15)
Is it time to update the preamble to the Constitution? Perhaps, according to some. As I've mentioned before I receive a great many emails on a daily basis. My inbox fills with some newsworthy info, some interesting and some entertaining pieces, and some junk submittals. They are sent by friends, strangers, peers and associates...
The solution to childhood obesity (03/13/15)
I received a story suggestion last week regarding the ongoing battle -- and a joining of forces -- to fight childhood obesity. The piece out of Des Moines -- from which apparently all good ideas and genius flows in the state of Iowa -- suggests an effort is underway to "make the healthy choice the easy choice."...
A lesson in sportsmanship and love (03/06/15)
In the aftermath of the news regarding arrests stemming from a bunch of out-of-control adults at a Storm Lake Youth Basketball Tournament, you begin to wonder if all hope for sportsmanship is lost. I should clarify that although the tournament itself was conducted in Storm Lake, those arrested were from Le Mars and Sioux City. ...
Our desire to be No. 1 (02/27/15)
The people of Spencer, and the community as a whole, demonstrates an attitude of working to be the best at what we do. And there's nothing wrong with that. We want to be recognized as a community that's one of the safest, most family-friendly and livable places in the state of Iowa...
Your chance to have a voice (02/20/15)
For quite some time, I've been trying to come up with a way to create greater community involvement with the Daily Reporter. In past years we've attempted on different occasions to seek out persons interested in serving on an editorial board with limited success. That idea has been scratched...
You can't make this stuff up -- more importantly, why would you want to? (02/14/15)
From the bizarro world in which we sometimes find ourselves living I present the following actual stories that appeared on the AP newswire last week as a means to give you pause. When you think your life is giving you grief, just be glad you're not dealing with this mess...
Legislative talking points (02/07/15)
So the legislative session is a month old in Des Moines and today we launch the first of our Chamber sponsored Eggs & Issues sessions in the Spencer City Hall council chambers. If you've never been, I encourage you to check out one of the four dates. ...
Sorry Storm Lake, the Pas are in da hizzy (01/30/15)
They traveled 40 miles north in bitter cold temperatures, draped in their green clothing, hoping for an evening of exciting high school basketball. But the poor folks from Storm Lake were not prepared for what their eyes beheld when they arrived at the Spencer Field House Friday night...
Doing the right thing (01/23/15)
Do the right thing. What a simple philosophy. Don't treat other people wrongly. Don't take things that don't belong to you. Don't cheat. Be courteous. Put others before yourself. Don't break the law. When you make a mistake, be certain to offer an apology and learn from it...
Focus on serving the mentally ill (01/16/15)
As I watched the concluding moments of "American Sniper" Thursday evening I was once again reminded of our nation's failure to care for those suffering from mental illness. For those of you unfamiliar with Chris Kyle, the subject of the film based on his memoirs, he was a U.S. ...
Hobbled but not out (01/09/15)
I haven't stepped foot into my office at work since 2014. I literally walked out the door, with a bit of a limp, around noon on New Year's Eve. And I haven't been back since. After taking our son to the Omaha, Nebraska, airport so he could begin the next chapter in his life as a U.S. ...
Respect the badge (01/02/15)
I saw a recent repost on Facebook originally created as a public service announcement by a police association which read: PARENTS Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run to us if they are scared .....
Fresh starts (12/26/14)
It's time to take a breath. All the hustle and bustle associated with the commercialism of the Christmas season is behind us. Hopefully you've sorted through your gifts and discarded of all the wrapping paper. Maybe some of you have even gotten a head start on next year's Christmas season with some post-holiday sales...
Last minute Christmas ideas (12/22/14)
With Christmas just two days away, chances are some of you will be spending this special holiday with family of all ages for a yearly gathering together for a little food, fun and gift exchanging. Sometimes the visit will leave you looking for something to do to occupy both the young and young at heart. ...
Worth sharing (12/19/14)
Received this -- among many Christmas related emails -- from a good friend and thought it was worth distributing as sad -- but true -- as it is. Twas the month before Christmas When all through our land, Not a Christian was praying Nor taking a stand...
Can't find your holiday spirit? Check a child's eyes (12/12/14)
They say the eyes are a gateway to the soul. I've found truth in that at times -- particularly at this time of year. Looking into someone's eyes, you can see whether the person is absorbing all there is to enjoy with the build up to the Christmas celebration. You can also see weariness in the eyes of those struggling to find joy for whatever reason...
Use the season to send a message (12/05/14)
I had an interesting discussion with the group of ninth-grade Catechism students I teach weekly at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. As we begin Advent and draw closer to the annual celebration that is Christmas, we talked about the significant role played by Mary and Joseph and the overwhelming faith they both demonstrated by carrying out their individual responsibilities in the plan that lead to the birth of Christ...
The horror in Ferguson (11/28/14)
Hidden up here in our cozy homes in northwest Iowa, it would be very easy to try and ignore and not feel the impact of the horror of what's going on a few hours south in Ferguson, Missouri. I, like many across the country, watched and waited as the city battened down in anticipation of a grand jury decision that did not please the angry masses when it came to the prosecution of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown...
Calm amidst the panic (11/21/14)
For the second time in less than a year, Spencer High School students and staff were put on alert and evacuated after a threat on a bathroom wall suggested a bomb was located in the high school Wednesday. Similar circumstances, two different individuals responsible and the same dramatic response for both...
A tip of the hat to Maine (11/14/14)
Just wanted to take some time this week to thank the administration in Maine for implementing a concept I've been advocating for years. The state has started requiring those using food stamps to begin working to earn them. Some are decrying the move as bad policy but I've been trying to make this argument for quite some time...
Honor those who deserve it (11/07/14)
As you may be reading this Saturday morning, I'm racing back toward chilly northwest Iowa from beautiful, sunny southern California with a brand new U.S. Marine by my side. My son Hunter graduated shortly after 2 p.m. your time on Friday with a few hundred brand new Marine brothers in an amazing ceremony conducted at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. ...
Time to embrace the love (10/31/14)
As we make our move into November, I look forward to our annual turn toward a little more civility in general. The fact that the General Election is almost behind us is merely a coincidence in this equation -- or is it? But I digress. Traditionally, as we begin our march toward Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, our rhetoric and treatment of one another seems to lighten to a tone one might almost consider somewhat cheerful. ...
Voters don't need newspaper's push (10/24/14)
Well, the table is set. The decision is now in the hands of the people. Point of fact -- it always has been. With polls open for early voting, the big day is less than two weeks away -- a day that could shift the landscape of the political leanings on both a state and national level. Ultimately it will be left to those who are governed, we the people, as it should be. So make sure when given the opportunity you have your say...
Commit to service, do your duty (10/17/14)
Couple of issues on my heart this week. The first being volunteer service. On Thursday, the Spencer Chamber of Commerce added Alison Simpson to the distinguished list of Jack Wedel Award recipients. Rarely is there an award more deserved. She and I have served on a number of committees together and worked side-by-side on multiple projects and her desire to help make Spencer a better place is as deeply-rooted as it is sincere...
Rebuilt by ATLAS (10/10/14)
I remember as a child, being able to purchase my favorite comic books, whether it be "Batman," "Captain America," "Spider-Man" or whichever cover caught my eye. And inevitably, each week, there would be a cartoon ad about some poor 98-pound weakling getting sand kicked in his face at the beach by the resident bully as his horrified girl friend looked on. ...
Vote of the living dead (10/03/14)
As the Iowa State Fair wrapped up this summer, I received a news release indicating the results of a poll conducted at the Iowa secretary of state's booth. Deemed "unscientific" -- my favorite kind -- fairgoers were asked their opinion on whether they "think Iowa voters should show a photo ID to vote?" In addition, they were asked about demonstrating proof of their county of residence...
Slight of hand (09/26/14)
Many are screaming from the rooftops. Others are saying it's overblown. What am I talking about? Why the "latte salute" of course. If you haven't seen video or at least a photo of this incident on broadcast television, in a newspaper or through social media, apparently you've been living in hiding for the past several days. But in case you have, and this is the first paper you're looking at since emerging -- allow me to thank you for your readership -- please be patient while I recap...
So this is what it's come to (09/19/14)
So we've finally reached the point where flying the red, white and blue has become objectionable. Actually, we've been headed in that direction for quite some time. After all, we don't want to flash our "American exceptionalism" in the faces of people who might disagree with the belief that this is the greatest country in in the world. Especially if those said people actually live within its borders...
More than just a concert (09/12/14)
I had the opportunity to enjoy the Newsboys and Matthew West in concert Tuesday night with my wife and two youngest boys. In addition to it being a fantastic show -- complete with great sound, high energy and a positive message -- it was a concert with a challenge for its audience...
Welcome one and all to our nine-day show (09/05/14)
Well it's been 356 days in the making -- with work beginning a day after we ended last year's event -- and finally it's day one of the Clay County Fair. If you're a regular reader, you're certainly aware of the role the fair plays in Spencer, Clay County and the region at large...
Just a few things ... (08/29/14)
Does anyone else have a problem with President Barack Obama's behavior following his press conference addressing the ISIS beheading of an American journalist? He gets up behind his presidential podium and delivers what appeared to be a very heartfelt speech regarding the horrific video which went viral of a captured American journalist used as a propaganda tool for these crazed maniacs and continued attacks on life. It was short and to the point...
Disappointed in our Senate candidates (08/22/14)
I'm really disappointed in both the Republican and Democratic Senate candidates this week. Multiple times over the course of the last several weeks, I've reached out to both Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley's campaigns asking each team to consider having their respective candidate participate in a public debate the first Saturday of the Clay County Fair on Sept. 6...
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...
Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective