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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
A note to our graduates (05/20/16)
Since I will probably never be asked to speak at a graduation I'm forced to use my limited space here in the Daily Reporter this week to address the Class of 2016 as they prepare to walk across the stage, receive their well-deserved diplomas, have their tassel's moved and get chapped palms from all the congratulatory handshakes...
I hate to say 'I told you so' ... but (05/14/16)
So last week, right here in "One Man's Perspective," I discussed the idea of the move to coed bathrooms as a means to help ease the anxiety being experienced by transgender persons with regards to which bathroom they have to use and which bathroom they feel like using...
Bathroom etiquette (05/07/16)
I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only one who cares about this whole shared bathroom concept. Well, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. I'm far from the only one. But I asked a lot of people about the topic last week as it continued to circulate through the news in light of Target's decision to allow a person to No. 1 or No. 2 in the little girls or little boys rooms as they see fit regardless of personal plumbing...
The motivation behind the effort (04/29/16)
I know we're saying goodbye to April and getting ready to welcome May. There's still a chill in the air and the bloom is not yet on the flowers, but I've got to be honest, I've found myself in a football state of mind lately. Last Saturday morning, I sat in a room full of fellow Midwest Youth Football League community directors as we reviewed rules and safety procedures for the upcoming fall season. ...
Opportunities to give back (04/22/16)
If you're looking for something to do around Spencer this weekend, you won't have far to look. Especially if you like to give back to the community in which you live. Let me set an itinerary for you. Let's start with a visit to help plant some trees out at the Spencer Soccer Complex beginning at 9 a.m. ...
So what do you do with all the bad guys (04/15/16)
Last week, I remarked about the fact that we were celebrating Victims Rights Week while at the same time our Iowa Supreme Court is wrestling with a language issue that may restore voting rights to a great number of dangerous, violent felonious criminals...
Life lessons learned outside the classroom (04/13/16)
Math, English and history took a back seat at Sioux Central Wednesday. Instead the lessons came in the form of a reality check courtesy of the Power of Choice program and the dedicated team of coordinators and volunteers who poured their time into this "reality" check...
Victims have rights too (04/09/16)
As we sit and await the Iowa Supreme Court decision regarding voting rights for criminals who have committed some of the state's most serious offenses, we gear up to celebrate National Crime Victims' Rights Week starting tomorrow. National Crime Victims' Rights Week is conducted to promote victims' rights and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. ...
You say 'infamous crimes,' I say 'felony' (04/01/16)
Iowa Supreme Court justices have been burning brain cells this week "struggling" according to news report to decide whether or not to restore voting rights for tens of thousands of felons. The challenge, interpreting Iowa Constitution language from the 1850s that forbids those convicted of "infamous crimes" from being able to be heard via the Iowa voting booth...
Leader's criticism misplaced, address the real problem (03/30/16)
Late last week and again earlier this week, both President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were calling on the American people -- specifically the conservative right -- to tone down the angry rhetoric toward Muslim extremists, suggesting it isn't helping matters and only serving to aggravate an already tense situation...
Easter arrives just in time (03/25/16)
We're living in a world that seems to be teetering on the edge. Violent attacks around the globe by terrorists are bent on the elimination of Christians and anyone who does not prescribe to the radical Muslim agenda. Presidential candidates have tossed any form of dignity out the window in exchange for attacks on hair, ears and wives...
More time was needed (03/23/16)
Being a member of the Spencer School Board, or any school board for that matter, is an unsung job. Unlike the City Council members and board of supervisors, these elected offices are unpaid and the level or responsibility and trust we as taxpayers, community members and parents place on their shoulders is certainly deserving of some compensation and thanks...
Why do we need legislation to go after human traffickers? (03/18/16)
I had a press release come across my desk earlier announcing that U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst was backing legislation to bring civil action against a website linked to human trafficking. And I'm asking myself, why is this is necessary. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for Iowa's senator pursuing these animals full throttle. You go girl...
Of course it happened in Chicago (03/16/16)
Ah Chicago. Where the winds blow. The dead vote. And discontent is the rule of the day. So where else would you expect the First Amendment to be put to the ultimate test last Friday. With a Donald Trump presidential rally on the docket and thousands gathered to hear from the GOP frontrunner, a huge contingent of non-Trumpites rallied outdoors in protest of the businessman's scheduled appearance...
Celebratin' of the Irish (03/11/16)
Just some fun facts as we approach St. Patrick's Day. Of course we all know in this area if you want to get your "green" on, it's best to snatch up your pot of gold, grab your shillelagh and head over to Emmetsburg where they love to let celebrate with the best of Irish traditions...
This one may have done me in ... good-bye world, just in case (03/09/16)
If this is my last column, I ask for you to pray for my eternal peaceful rest and quick journey to the kingdom. Know I lived my life well, strove to be a loyal loving husband and devoted father. And it's important to know that I was always willing to fight the good fight, especially when it comes to be battling confused liberals. That's why I'm no longer here. I fought my last battle. I'm certain today's battle created an aneurysm which will undoubtedly explode tonight while I sleep...
Ugly party politics (03/04/16)
Dr. Ben Carson, who proved to be one of the most honorable men running for the GOP presidential nomination bowed out of the race this past week. Peaking a few weeks ahead of the Iowa caucus, he slowly fell from the top tier of the candidates after challenging Donald Trump for a brief period of time...
One Man's Perspective (02/26/16)
Spencer High School seniors got their first real look at the world that awaits them when they bolt across the stage, snatch that diploma from Superintendent Terry Hemann's hand and make a run for it in May. SHS careers teacher Liz Kluver working with many area volunteers and partnering with the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation put together The Game of Life for the school's seniors on Wednesday, offering them a look at what financial expectations await them when they venture beyond the comfortable walls of high school and home.. ...
Hero attacked, where's the outcry? ... Right here (02/19/16)
I'm sure they didn't realize the man was a Marine hero. I doubt he was wearing his camouflage or sporting his dress blues decked out in medals. He was just a young guy sitting down to a meal in a McDonald's, minding his own business. I'm guessing he had no idea what was about to happen to him...
If you can't do the time ... you know the rest (02/12/16)
Wednesday, civil rights organizations visited the Iowa Capitol to make their case for reform in the criminal justice system. The advocates for change pushed for a ban on racial profiling, keeping juvenile records confidential, and expanding work opportunities for people with criminal histories...
40 days of heart (02/10/16)
So I'm sitting here with a fresh smudge of ashes newly applied on my forehead after returning home from Mass on Ash Wednesday, The Catholic tradition serves as a reminder, kicking off the build up to the Easter celebration, that from dust we came and to dust we shall return. And quite honestly, as I sat there in church, for a number of reasons, I wasn't feeling the spirit as I should have been...
$15 an hour? Keep on walking (02/05/16)
I don't know if any local workers were involved as I didn't notice any large walking groups on Grand Avenue, but on the day of the final GOP debate prior to the Iowa caucus, fast food workers in Des Moines participated in a walk-out, striking to increase their wages. And on that day, waist lines around the state Capitol rejoiced...
All eyes on Iowa (02/03/16)
Every four years the Hawkeye state takes center stage on both the national and world stages as the Iowa caucus turns the political focus to the simple perspectives that Iowans typically call common sense. And this year Iowans outdid themselves, with extremely strong numbers -- record-setting as a matter of fact on the Republican side -- with extreme views and avid debate on behalf of all candidates on both sides of the political race...
Planned Parenthood scandal arrest ... say what? (01/29/16)
So after the horrific revelations, caught on tape, were revealed linking Planned Parenthood representatives to the marketing of aborted baby parts, I expected there would be legal ramifications to follow. C'mon folks. Selling aborted baby limbs and pieces for financial gain. Sounds like something out of a horror movie that even by today's standards would be too sick to be made...
I wonder if it will mean anything (01/23/16)
"What difference does it make?" I remember when she said it. Our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the U.S. House Oversight Committee in May 2013 discussing the events of Sept. 11, 2012, at an ambassador's residence and covert CIA facility in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of the ambassador and others including military operatives...
Decisions, decisions (01/20/16)
I'm having almost as hard a time deciding who I'm going to stand behind at the Iowa caucus as I am trying to understand why sub-$27 a barrel oil is selling for $1.84 at the Spencer pumps. Tis a mystery, tis a mystery. But at least I'll be able to solve my voting crisis in the next couple of weeks. That gasoline question will likely go unanswered for eternity...
The year of 'what if' (01/15/16)
Last weekend I was able to be a fly on the wall -- well, perhaps that's a bit of a stretch -- a very large fly on the wall. My daughter and son were among a group of young people who came together at Hope Reformed Church in Spencer Sunday night to participate in The Bridge. The Bridge was a youth worship service bringing young Christians from multiple Spencer churches, as well as churches in Spirit Lake and Orange City...
A special moment on the mat (01/08/16)
Covering the sport of high school wrestling for more than 20 years, I've seen some pretty special things play out. As both a sports editor and broadcaster for SMU's Channel 3, I've had the privilege of watching some exceptional talent do some incredible things. I've cast my eyes on state champions, inspirational coaches, a wrestler with no legs and special moments that linger in one's memory and lend themselves to stories in reflection...
A lot of back-and-forth and for what? (01/06/16)
Things got a little exciting at the Spencer City Council meeting, and by exciting, I don't mean that Mayor Reynold Peterson banged his gavel extra hard as the councilmen raced to see who could be the first to move for adjournment. No, this excitement is surrounding a ordinance set to allow limited usage of all-terrain vehicles -- or ATVs for those outdoor-in-the-know kinda folks -- on Spencer city streets. ...
The court of the absurd (01/01/16)
So 18-year-old Ethan Couch and his momma got nabbed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, last week after fleeing Texas to run away from his probation violation. That's a good mommy, when things go bad, take your kid and make a run for the border. No, they're not the new spokespeople for Taco Bell's late night menu, they're a couple of people who have lost all touch with reality and you can help our jacked up court system in assisting in the process which helped them separate themselves from what most of us recognize as the real world.. ...
Looking ahead (12/25/15)
It's been a rough week and that's putting it mildly. And I don't want to linger on it except to wish all of those closest to Austin Roberts God's healing as they attempt to move forward from what I'm sure was almost a slow-motion week. I know it was for me, just never could seem to clear my head and function so I can't even imagine how his family, friends and classmates are feeling...
Finding joy in heartbreak (12/21/15)
It seemed surreal. The kind of thing you hear about in the news or see on television in some other part of the country. A well-conditioned athlete in the prime of his or her life, with so much left to do, passed away. That doesn't happen here in Spencer. But Saturday it did and it really, really hurts. He was big and strong and his coaches described him as "larger-than-life" and Saturday Austin Roberts left us unexpectedly at his life was just-getting-started age of 18...
An early Christmas gift (12/18/15)
It's a great week to be a geek. Christmas came early this week for geeks around the world, most of whom will or have united at movie theaters across the globe by this weekend to enjoy the newest installment of the "Star Wars" chapter. Because we will not have a paper on Christmas day -- next Friday -- where I would traditionally offer my review of "The Force Awakens," I figured I would instead use my column this week to offer some thoughts on the one motion picture series that continues to take me -- and many like myself -- back to our childhood.. ...
Finding hope (12/12/15)
We live in a dangerous world. Watch the national news sometime. Heck, watch the local news broadcast out of Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Des Moines or wherever. Doesn't matter. Usually the first few minutes are filled with who's doing what to who. Acts of violence, theft and crime...
Trump has no filter ... and I like it (12/05/15)
As I prepare for what has been the talk of the town this week, Donald Trump's arrived today for an 11 a.m. appearance at the Clay County Regional Events Center, I've found myself looking forward to covering this event. Without a doubt, this is the biggest presidential candidate appearance to hit the area yet through this election cycle as it will undoubtedly bring with it a swarm of national media, a platoon of secret service agents and perhaps a protester or two. ...
No place for 'Christmas Correctness' (11/27/15)
Now we can officially begin Christmas season. Thanksgiving has passed so now I'm ready to turn my attention to all the fun and excitement attached to the Christmas celebration. Despite the retail outlets efforts of playing Christmas music while I stare at masks of ghouls and Halloween T-shirts, it's really hard for me to make that shift until I take my time to usher out fall, honor those who deserve our thanks, slam down some turkey and ingest some football ― or is it slam down some football and ingest some turkey, I can never keep it straight. ...
ISIS must face a mighty, unified assault (11/20/15)
So like many in America and around the world I watched the story develop last Friday (Nov. 13) as the people of Paris, France, felt the terror, tragedy and loss associated with another barbaric attack from the Islamic State group. I spent a great deal of time following the ongoing developments and the rising death toll, watching repeated video footage of people trying to escape from the upper floor of a concert hall...
Tough on drugs? Please (11/13/15)
Okay everybody, are you ready? It's time to get tough on drugs. Ready? Are you. Here we go! And so we've heard for how long? It's time to tackle the scourge of drugs on our society. We've heard it from state officials, federal officials, presidents, those in the legal profession, those actually charged with making it happen at the local, state and federal levels...
'The crowning jewel of Spencer' (11/07/15)
Last Monday, the Clay County Regional Events Center hosted its largest dinner audience ever, according to a staff member at the facility. Those gathered weren't present for a fair event, or a Chamber gala or even a presidential candidate. No, those in attendance, who enjoyed a nice evening of food and music, were there to hear from Rev. Tommy Barnett who was in town to talk about the mission of the Spencer Dream Center...
A true sportsman (10/31/15)
Happy Halloween everybody. Sorry I don't have any tricks up my sleeve, but I want to share with the readers one heck of a treat. It's not everyday an athlete will turn his back on the sporting spotlight to demonstrate class. Such heroics in today's sporting world are few and far between...
Model behavior (10/23/15)
I can honestly say I've never looked to Titusville, Florida, for anything. I mean anything. But a recent effort launched in the community at the beginning of October I think demonstrates something we can all embrace in a time where the news is so filled with negativity and people doing harm to one another. Allow me to share what this city in the southeast chose to initiate...
Forgive my rant, but ... (10/17/15)
I'd like to apologize in advance ... no wait, I take that back. Some of you really have this coming, so consider my apology retracted. I'm beginning to lose count of how many times we've had front-page stories talking about bus stop-arms in recent weeks...
ATLAS: The power of prayer in action (10/10/15)
There are people who talk about doing remarkable things in the lives of others. Then there are people who actually do the remarkable things that make a difference in the lives of others. The Spencer Dream Center, Feed Our Children, Birthright, Love Takes Root and many groups designed to help people in their greatest time of need...
A dream guest (10/02/15)
I was excited to learn last week that on Nov. 2, Rev. Tommy Barnett, founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center is coming to Spencer to speak at a benefit for the Spencer Dream Center. In addition to being the founder of the Los Angeles and Phoenix Dream Centers, Barnett is also the senior pastor of the 14,000-member Phoenix First Assembly of God, one of the fastest growing churches in America. ...
Missed opportunities (09/25/15)
I don't know who schedules the presidential candidates Iowa visits, but everyone of the planners responsible for their travel destinations in Iowa completely blew it when it came to skipping the Clay County Fair this year. It's unheard of, in a presidential election cycle, for GOP and Democrat candidates alike to completely ignore the second largest tourist attraction in the state of Iowa...
Presidential behavior (09/18/15)
Thursday night, CNN got its highest-ever ratings as 23 million-plus tuned in to watch the second debate between a field of the "top 11" candidates in the ever-growing Republican presidential field. And the debate format welcomed a great deal of back-and-forth and one-on-one fights between the candidates...
Skin tone doesn't determine life value (09/11/15)
Black lives don't matter. If that ruffles your feathers or makes the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up -- hear me out. Black lives don't matter. All lives matter. Regardless of the pigmentation of your skin, your life matters. My life matters. The lives of children still inside their mother's wombs matter. They all matter in the eyes of God and they should all matter in your eyes as well...
The men in blue -- honoring law enforcement (09/04/15)
So Friday, my wife and I sported blue, as did many other Americans as a show of solidarity and support for law enforcement nationwide. Obviously, I'm aware not all law enforcement is outfitted in blue as both our Clay County Sheriff's deputies, Spencer Police officers and Iowa State Patrol all wear colors other than blue ... but in this case, it is definitely the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law that counts...
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 ญ -- to fight childhood obesity. The piece out of Des Moines ญ -- 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...
Randy Cauthron
One Man's Perspective