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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014
A great, grateful ride (01/07/12)
In October 2000, when I arrived in Spencer, I was grateful. Grateful to be near my family members in northwest Iowa and appreciative of the opportunity to report again. Little did I know at the time, but my family would only become much, much larger...
Grade-alike talks don't have to polarize the community (11/12/11)
For the third time in 11 years, the question of whether Spencer should restructure its public elementary buildings has reared its head. It's an emotional issue because it involves our children, and requires us to trust the officials we've elected to do what's right on their behalf...
Which way are your fingers pointing? (06/25/11)
Years ago, a dear friend helped me realize that when my index finger is pointing at somebody else, more often than not I need to view how my other fingers are positioned. He helped me notice the rest of my fingers point back at myself, especially when my point is coming in a fit of anger or while I'm defending myself...
Could have been the best series in a long time (06/18/11)
It was a Stanley Cup Final in which every team that scored first won. The series, which featured close hockey games in Vancouver and blowouts in Boston, had the Boston Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Wednesday to win Lord Stanley's Cup in seven games...
Would you return a found $45,000? (05/21/11)
When he closed on his family's first home, Josh Ferrin never thought he'd make the discovery of a lifetime -- then give it back. Ferrin picked up the keys and, like many new homeowners, decided to check out the house. As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth that hung to an attic door caught his eye. ...
This country's royal couple getting hitched (05/14/11)
Move over Will and Kate. There's a new royal couple. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton are this country's royal couple. The reigning Country Music Association male and female vocalists of the year are tying the knot today in Texas. The country crooners met five years before Shelton performed the gentlemanly duty of asking for Lambert's hand in marriage. ...
Field of audiology not for me ... this week (05/07/11)
At times, I can get a bit stressed performing my job. But, according to a recent report from CareerCast.com, that's normal. The online site's 2011 probe into the most and least stressful professions recognizes that jobs in communication can be high pressure -- especially when handling crisis situations, producing with little or no time for preparation and working in dangerous environments...
A little of this and a little of that (04/09/11)
What a relief to have grass turning green, trees starting to bud again and people's moods elevating along with the rising temperatures. Spring is definitely in the air. For many people, such as myself, this also means sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose as the pollen count increases and allergy season follows suit. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, about 60 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies, and their prevalence is increasing...
Celebrating by being pampered with friends (04/02/11)
Because observing my birthday lost its special appeal a few years back, I'm grateful to have just experienced a bit of that lost celebratory spice again this year. That much needed spice, known as fun with girlfriends, happened this past weekend when I spent time with three dear friends from my college years...
Happy to not be mad in March (03/26/11)
I don't know about you, but I've sure had a weird month at work. I've caught bosses and coworkers having deep conversations and at times getting into rather heated arguments. Their topic? Results of the previous night's basketball games. Case in point: I walked into the newsroom Friday morning and quickly realized I needed to walk very gingerly. ...
Goodbye dollar bill? (03/19/11)
Are you ready to ditch some of your paper money? What if you knew switching from the dollar bill to a dollar coin could save the government billions? Would that help change your mind? According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, now is the time to really consider phasing out the paper version of the $1 bill, because replacing it with a $1 coin could save the government approximately $5.5 billion over 30 years. ...
Tour the jail, cast an informed ballot (03/05/11)
If you haven't already, please consider attending an open house today at the Clay County Jail and tour the building. Doors to the facility located at 409 First Ave. W., Spencer, will be open to the general public from noon until 4 p.m. Wheelchair users or those with other physical disabilities will only be able to tour the building's main floor due to its lack of handicapped accessibility...
Welcome to the World Wide Web (02/26/11)
Two local gems have taken the leap to make their glowing presences known to a worldwide audience. The Shayla Bee Fund and the Spencer Area Activity Center have filled special places in my heart over the last several years, and I'm happy to report they both have websites now...
State stage showcases several champions (02/19/11)
Respectful teenagers who praised one another for standing true to their convictions and having integrity have been showcased in Iowa this week. High school is a time in which tomorrow's leaders are developed. Spencer had four young men compete at the Iowa state wrestling tournament this week in Des Moines. Trevor Streuli, John Christopherson, Jack Randall and Kris Rhode represented their hometown well. Each deserves credit for winning efforts...
Atta girl, vampire slayer! (02/12/11)
I was greeted recently at a friends' doorway by their son. He approached in a somewhat stiff gait and greeted me with a crackly, "I'm a vampire." Not fully grasping what he was trying to tell me with his demonstrative, yet cryptic actions, the 7-year-old's explanation made sense when he opened his mouth wide, exposing a blackened, obviously dead front tooth turned in an unnatural position. Its successor was eagerly making its presence known, poking through his top gumline...
Walking for awareness (02/05/11)
Every person has a story to tell. I happened across the real-life tale of Erik Bendl this week and was inspired. The 48-year-old from Louisville, Ky., has chosen to walk thousands of miles across the U.S. with his dog, Nice, while pushing the weight of the world. Literally...
Walking the walk with sparkly shoes (01/29/11)
I am drawn to people who sparkle. Maybe my attraction rests in the hope that I will eventually one day emulate them. I feel blessed to have been invited to spend time with a room full of such individuals this past weekend. Over the past few years, I'd quietly watched several of them from afar...
Let's lead by example (01/22/11)
Initially, I had planned to write a fun column about a new iPhone application that scans snapshots and scores them on a scale of 1 to 10, with quirky explanations attached. But, after attending an anti-bullying assembly at Spencer High School Wednesday, I realized that this application, in the wrong hands, could make bullying even easier...
Blind faith in an underdog team (01/15/11)
A friend texted me with some exciting news last Saturday: The Seattle Seahawks had pulled a monumental 41-36 upset over the New Orleans Saints. She wasn't pleased with the victory over last year's Super Bowl champs, but I was. I've been a Seahawks fan since 1976 -- the year they became an NFL team...
Have you been 'OWN'ed yet? (01/08/11)
Appreciate her or not, a person has to be impressed with Oprah Winfrey's gumption. The 56-year-old media mogul recently launched a network. With a flip of the switch Jan. 1, Oprah Winfrey Network became available in nearly 85 million homes. Its highly-anticipated launch was in large part due to the pedigree of its founders -- the queen of daytime television and Discovery Communications...
Dancing around the Christmas tree (12/11/10)
I have a Christmas wish. It involves Judson Laipply. The 34-year-old motivational speaker from Bucyrus, Ohio, made a name for himself as "the Internet dance guy" in 2006. On his way to becoming a known speaker, the self-proclaimed "inspirational comedian" drew inspiration himself from watching others, including the many teachers he's had over the years, as well as from his vast array of experiences, which include working on a cruise ship, serving at a camp in Colorado, being a certified aerobics instructor, teaching college courses, being a published poet, part-time auctioneer and weekly columnist.. ...
Legalizing medical marijuana makes sense ... for some (12/04/10)
Former talk show host and U.S. Navy officer Montel Williams met with members of the Illinois House of Representatives this week to urge them to vote in favor of SB1381, a bill that would make Illinois the 16th state in the nation to allow chronically-ill patients to use marijuana with the recommendation of their doctor. ...
Thanksgiving Day reflections (11/27/10)
Gratefulness abounded in me on Thanksgiving Day as I took time to realize, and appreciate, how fortunate I truly am. After sleeping in a bit, the warm sun shone brightly as I jumped into my car to make an eagerly-anticipated trek to Grandma's for a big Thanksgiving Day meal. Over the years, this one-time perennial family tradition has made way for individual families celebrating amongst themselves...
An American royals confession (11/20/10)
I am among the dedicated royal watchers in this country. I confess it. It's hard to not read about, or watch, their latest celebrations and/or scandals. So, this week, when official word was released that Prince William had proposed and Catherine "Kate" Middleton had agreed to marry the Prince of Wales sometime next year in London, a sense of calm rushed over me...
A better reading experience (11/13/10)
Nearly 60 million consumers are projected to pay more than $2.8 billion for electronic books, otherwise known as eBooks, in 2015 -- up from 17.6 million people spending $966 million this year. According to USA Today's technology team, half of those book lovers will be turning digital pages on a dedicated eReader. The rest will be turning to computers, smartphones and tablets...
Yes, Kris, there are still random acts of kindness! (12/08/09)
Just as Virginia was reminded Santa Claus does exist in a newspaper editorial years ago, I've reconnected with the fact that random acts of kindness also still exist. The hustle and bustle associated with the holiday season was in high gear around town this weekend. While I attempted to capture a few of the holiday happenings as a reporter, I found myself in the midst of heavier than normal traffic...
Heaven on a Harley (09/22/09)
Kris Todd
Kris Todd