Spencer Daily Reporter Opinion http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/opinion/ Opinion headlines from the Spencer Daily Reporter newspaper in Spencer, Iowa en-us Diverting public money for private education is a mistake http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398906.html The Republican-controlled state Legislature, along with Gov. Terry Branstad look to expand school choices for parents by diverting public money into education saving accounts. This would be a... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:16:14 -0500 Guest Commentary http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398905.html The Washington Post recently ran an article that claims more white middle-aged working class people are dying today from “Diseases of Despair” — alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide then of past... Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:13:35 -0500 In praise of the hot bath http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398121.html While I'm loathe to admit it, I am no longer a young woman. While the spirit is willing to do lots of crazy things, the body is weak. The creaking knees and sciatic pain are a fact of life. I've been... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:31:55 -0500 Fear in the information age http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398120.html It was Machiavelli who proposed the notion that, ultimately, it serves a leader better to be feared rather than loved when it gets down to brass tacks. In the information age, we've been told to be... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:31:03 -0500 Guest Commentary http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398118.html According to the latest agricultural census, the average age of the American farmer is 58 years old, and it is trending upward. Meanwhile, there are more mouths to feed and people to clothe than... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:04:57 -0500 Patchwork Quilt http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398111.html With more and more talk about smart homes and smart-home products becoming increasingly available to the average consumer, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. With everything from motion detectors,... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:38:33 -0500 Clover Corner http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2398110.html Austin Crew has been an active member of the Meadow Motivators 4-H Club since he was able to join in third grade. Today, Crew discusses what leadership means to him. --- As the great John F. Kennedy... Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:32:49 -0500 More of the son and less of the father http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397643.html At the time of writing this, I have no idea if UCLA topped Kentucky to move on to the Elite Eight. I also don't care. Perhaps I should since I believe I picked them to reach the Final Four, but I... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:52:58 -0500 Christian takeaways from ‘The Shack’ http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397635.html I had the opportunity to catch “The Shack” last week and had planned to review it, but decided instead I would reserve my comments for this space. The popular book turned film tells the story of a... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:09:29 -0500 It’s a sign of the times http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397632.html There’s an old sailor’s superstition that you should not whistle while at sea. The thinking was, if sailors whistled, the wind would take it as a challenge and refuse to blow, slacking the sails and... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:57:17 -0500 Legislative Update http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397631.html On March 14, the Revenue Estimating Conference met to establish their revenue projections for FY2017. Their projections provided a troubling budget forecast: the previous estimates were inaccurate by... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:54:28 -0500 The Johnson Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397630.html It was a picture of things to come as the Iowa Senate approved a voter identification plan aimed at protecting the "integrity" of future elections. Debating along party lines, and then voting 26-21... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:50:42 -0500 How to handle life adversities http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397181.html In just a few weeks we will be observing Easter. I think that it is safe to say that Resurrection Sunday or Easter, as it is commonly called, is the most important holiday that the Christian Church... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:45:33 -0500 CommStock Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2397186.html A Bloomberg story on JBS said that since 2005 the Brazilian meatpacking company "bought more than a dozen companies for $14 billion in cash, stock, and debt to become the biggest meat company in the... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:32:16 -0500 The Electoral College is an outdated way to pick a president http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2396898.html It is time to elect our next U.S. president by national popular vote, replacing the broken electoral college system. It is outrageous that the winner of the popular vote has not become president in... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:45:07 -0500 In defense of the rowdy movie theater http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395984.html There's a fantastic scene in Scorsese's sophomore feature, "Mean Streets," where young Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel have to lay low for a while. They end up sprawled out in a movie theater, chain... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:08:03 -0500 Change brings challenges and joys http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395982.html While a Greek philosopher said those words around 500 BC, they ring as true today. As much as we would like things to stay just the way they are, for a perfect moment to be frozen in time, it never... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 18:57:08 -0500 Postal potatoes http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395599.html There isn't much use in myself bragging about how well I'm doing with my bracket this year — mainly because I'm in last place in the entire office. So far, most babies would point and laugh at my... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 22:27:31 -0500 The value of local history http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395580.html Friday morning, I had the opportunity to sit down with Eric Johnson of the The Arnold Group to discuss an upcoming exhibit scheduled for the Clay County Heritage Center focusing on the automotive... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:02:13 -0500 Legislative Update http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395579.html HF 563 is a bill I sponsored, and I am so proud to say we were able to pass it off of the House floor on Wednesday of this week. This bill requires coaches to know how to do CPR. Additionally, this... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:55:48 -0500 The Johnson Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395578.html Thanks to all who attended last Saturday's town halls in Spencer and Spirit Lake. The large crowds are evidence that many northwest Iowans are concerned about the extreme agenda being foisted on them... Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:49:39 -0500 A church that fits our needs http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395197.html Americans love to shop. We are bombarded with advertising designed to lure us into buying products that will fill specific “needs” we have in our lives. Our consumerism often spills over into our... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:19:18 -0500 The CommStock Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2395196.html Wasn't it a hoot that Nancy Pelosi didn't want to vote on the GOP heath care plan until the costs and numbers covered were determined? That was a turnaround to voting on the Affordable Care Act when... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:16:35 -0500 Stand your ground provision will increase violence http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2394886.html The Iowa Senate is currently discussing a law that would allow people to use deadly force if he or she believes it is necessary to avoid injury or death. The legislation relies on an estimate of... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:09:18 -0500 Celebrating sunshine and those who ensure it http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2394120.html It's fitting that we are celebrating Sunshine Week in Iowa and around the nation March 13-19. After all, we "sprang" forward on Sunday, which added a little extra light into our lives. Sunshine Week... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:08:49 -0500 Guest Commentary http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2394119.html According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, 294,000 adult Iowans experienced a problem related to their gambling in the past year, potentially creating significant social and economic costs... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:58:13 -0500 Patchwork Quilt http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2394116.html Each year during March, we celebrate National Nutrition Month by focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. “Put Your Best... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:42:30 -0500 Clover Corner http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2394105.html Today I have a guest writer, Gary Wright, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm and agribusiness specialist. Wright discusses the upcoming event for woman in agriculture program, “Annie’s... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:23:43 -0500 Let the madness begin http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393698.html Sentences like this next one are loaded with recency bias because by all means I love October's offerings, and June provides basketball nerds like myself piles of entertainment. However, March might... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:40:00 -0600 Let’s Talk About It http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393681.html Now that the new year is well along, I thought it might be good to check in on the core values that guide many of us today. Civil discourse opportunities such as this column, and the fledgling... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:03:20 -0600 A time of transition http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393685.html The editorial department at the Spencer Daily Reporter is in the midst of a major transition which began on Wednesday of this week as our new staff members settle in and learn their way around and we... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:41:43 -0600 Legislative Update http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393684.html Pursuant to Iowa Code, the Iowa Hospital Association is required to collect the health data that hospitals collect from their patients for the Iowa Department of Public Health. The two entities have... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:36:47 -0600 The Johnson Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393682.html Lights, camera ... action! Will the past, as they say, be prologue? I'm referring to this Saturday's town halls set for Spencer and Spirit Lake. Of late, these opportunities for northwest Iowans to... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:16:07 -0600 What worship involves http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393323.html Since many Christians participate more frequently in worship during the Lenten season, it might be a good idea to consider what worship involves. In worship, man ascribes worth to God. In worship,... Thu, 09 Mar 2017 22:03:05 -0600 The CommStock Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2393317.html The ethanol/biofuel industry had an interesting escapade to review. White House officials reportedly engaged with Bob Dinneen who heads the Renewable Fuels Association informing him they were working... Thu, 09 Mar 2017 21:57:53 -0600 Clean out your desk http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2392975.html I said my goodbyes last week. This puts me in a bit of a pickle. Metaphorically, this column is that point in a conversation where there's basically nothing left to say, someone scruntches up their... Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:56:36 -0600 Let’s Talk About It http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2392171.html Kindness seems to have become a buzzword in news stories, social media and publications. There are news stories and public service announcements highlighting people who step forward to help someone... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 21:49:42 -0600 Going a little March mad every year http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2392173.html While I probably don't hit the mold of a "typical" March Madness addict, my family will quickly set you straight. For the next month, beginning with conference tournaments this week, through... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:45:23 -0600 Guest Commentary http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2392172.html The Affordable Care Act has made good-quality health insurance available to thousands of Iowans who could not otherwise afford coverage. The benefits have been felt statewide, including in rural... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:40:52 -0600 Patchwork Quilt http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2392152.html It’s time to turn the clocks ahead and lose an hour of sleep this month when daylight saving time kicks in at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12, in Iowa. With that, it’s also time to remind everyone to test... Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:09:44 -0600 Going south for the winter and every other season http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2391681.html A couple of weeks ago I accepted a reporter position at a newspaper in Guthrie, Oklahoma. This job means I will be living in my home state again for the first time in five years, so you could say I... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 21:14:50 -0600 Witnessing the Greek Freak http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2391672.html Last Friday night the Milwaukee Bucks, led by alleged human being Giannis "Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo, opened up their home game against the Utah Jazz with an early 11-3 run only to see it get... Fri, 03 Mar 2017 20:42:08 -0600 CommStock Report http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2391283.html "David, and whoever else reads this stuff. What I'm telling you is true. Yesterday I'm flying to the USDA outlook conference (in Washington, D.C.) and sat with a very nice lady who is in charge of... Thu, 02 Mar 2017 21:05:27 -0600 Now we’re in it http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2391277.html Yes, friends, we are now in what is called the season of Lent, a 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter. It excludes Sundays because every Sunday is like a little Easter where Christians... Thu, 02 Mar 2017 20:56:19 -0600 A matter of trust http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2390988.html Word has been getting around. A few people have stopped and asked me about it while I've been out on assignment. It is true. I will be leaving the Spencer Daily Reporter next week. The good news is I... Wed, 01 Mar 2017 21:10:06 -0600