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Pastor's Blog - “That’s Impressive”

By Zach Zajicek · 6:26am December 12th, 2014
A couple years ago, I read an article that caught my attention: “IBM supercomputers simulate 4.5% of the human brain, and all of the cat brain.” Reading further, the article revealed a paramount level of human ingenuity required to partially, yes I said partially, replicate our roughly 20 billion neurons and more than 200 trillion synapses that make up the ‘gray matter‘ responsible for our thoughts and body control systems.

Local Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony deserves large audience

By Dean Close · 6:00pm December 2nd, 2014
"This is amazing, but we should have had a lot more people here." I didn't catch his name, but the grey-haired veteran who stood up at the end of the very first annual Pearl Harbor memorial service at Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School was adamant that more people should have been there to learn about the history behind Dec.

It's the little things that matter

By Valerie Close · 11:42am December 1st, 2014
Yesterday was our day to visit the local homes for our elderly folks. It's always a highlight for me, and I try to remember that as I rush home from church, grab some lunch and head out the door again. There is never an audience more thrilled to see you, more willing to talk your ear off, and more appreciative of the effort you put into being there for them.

Media, reality TV and the Akhoond of Swat

By Dean Close · 10:55am November 28th, 2014
As writers, we often approach a topic knowing what we want to say, but feeling that something is missing. So in our writing, we do some research, hoping to stumble upon the information that will help us clarify what it is we are thinking or feeling. For me, today, it's the Ahkoond of Swat. I can hear you now, all of you: The Who? Of Where? No, you baseball fans, I did not mean to write "The Sultan of Swat," although I now understand the historical background of the Middle Eastern character who lent babe Ru...

How media mediocrity (or malfeasance?) helped fan the flames of Ferguson

By Dean Close · 12:18am November 25th, 2014
I was sitting with about a dozen local residents a while ago, when someone asked us to tell what local news station we prefer. Most mentioned the local ABC or NBC affiliates, and a couple confessed to preferring CBS’ local station. Not me. I briefly thought about going along and saying ‘7’ or ‘9,’ but I didn’t.

Letter to the Editor: Senate's Failure to allow Keystone pipeline

By John Stiegelmeyer · 6:59pm November 19th, 2014
The Senate failed to pass legislation to allow the building of the Keystone XL pipeline by only one vote. There is no question that a pipeline to transport Crude Oil is safer for the environment than shipment by rail or truck. Our government will miss out on income taxes on wages earned by manufactures, fabricators, builders and pipeline owners.

To the Editor: Consider the person wearing that military uniform

By Roger Beau · 8:34am November 17th, 2014
A post-Veterans Day reflection: On Aug. 12, 1972, after a one — year tour of duty with the 388th Combat Support Group in Korat, Thailand, I was discharged from the U.S. Air Force at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. With discharge papers in hand and wearing my Air Force uniform, I took a cab to San Francisco International Airport.

A world without you...

By Dean Close · 8:34am November 16th, 2014
Hey, you. Yes, you. We need to talk. I saw you the other day, as we gathered, yet again, to remember someone who died way too young. I caught that look in your eye that tells me you wonder if maybe it's your turn. It's not. You say life is hard – harder than you imagined.

To the Editor: Medicare price increase won't be known until after election

By Monte Railsback · 5:08pm November 2nd, 2014
I received this information from a Retired Marine Colonel from California and I had not opened my 2015 Medicare Handbook until she wrote me the following: Did you receive your Medicare Handbook for 2015 last week? If you have already received yours in the mail please turn to page 12 and go down to the bottom of the page and read Find out what you pay for Medicare (Part A and Part B).

To the Editor: Brad Anderson would help those who vote by mail

By Rose Huber Trafford · 12:56pm November 1st, 2014
To The Editor: The top priority of the Iowa Secretary of State ought to be increasing election turnout. Iowans care deeply about ensuring voter access to the polls and it’s time for a Secretary of State who agrees. I proudly support Iowa Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson. Since graduating college I have lived in six countries, but always maintained my permanent address here in Iowa.

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