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Opinion

Raspberries after the rain

By Dean Close · 10:06pm June 14th, 2016
Life ain’t always funny When the sky turns unsunny And the blue up above Turns to black The wind and the lightning Can be utterly frightening As the water Leaves its muddy tracks But when windows do rattle As rain drenches the cattle And your little kids Jump in your bed An outdoor phenomenon Keeps right on growing on Offering more proof that God is not dead While most creatures cower From the cold falling showers Below the tops of the trees The water that splatte...

Letter to the Editor: Thank you to voters

By Vinton Today · 8:35pm June 13th, 2016
Dear Editor, Thank You to all voters in the Republican Primary who voted for me. Please vote for the Republican Candidates in November. Thomas Wiese

Letter to the Editor Trump racist or judicial bias?‏

By Vinton Today · 11:42am June 8th, 2016
Editor, I am not in any position to defend Mr. Trump shooting off his mouth. But, I know what he was talking about – judicial bias! This judge is/was a member of decidedly racist Latino organizations. It can certainly be suspected that this judge has a bias against a rich businessman. I am relating this story about a good friend of mine.

Letter to the Editor: Sheriff Candidate Support

By Vinton Today · 7:30am June 6th, 2016
Dear Editor, I support Vince Snyder for Sheriff of Benton County. As the Chief Deputy US Marshal of the Northern District of Iowa from 1991 to 2002 and then as the United States Marshal from 2002 until 2006, part of my duties was to hire competent Special Deputy US Marshals (guards) to assist full-time Deputy US Marshals in the transporting of federal prisoners to and from US district courts and prisons.

The Smart Alek’s Somewhat Serious Guide to Graduation Clichés

By Dean Close · 10:09am May 27th, 2016
Life does not consist of the number of breaths we take, but of the number of moments that take our breath away. Like when the water in the shower suddenly turns ice cold. Throughout the next few weeks, high school (and college) seniors – witnessed by millions of their friends and family members -- will sit in hard chairs and stuffy robes in hot gymnasiums, listening to graduation speeches.

Eggs, Puppy Dogs, Tassels and 24 Years, Trust me they ARE related

By Valerie Close · 12:06pm May 25th, 2016
A few weeks ago as I babysat our granddaughters, I had a flashback to my days as a homeschool mom who didn't get to send the kids to the breakfast at school: Me: Who wants eggs for breakfast? 2 little girls chorus: We want BROWNIES! Me: Well, I'm going to make some yummy scrambled eggs.

Advice for the Class of 2016 to always remember, and never forget

By Dean Close · 8:01am May 25th, 2016
Congratulations! Today is your day! Dr. Seuss lovers will recognize those five words as the beginning of his book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go," which after 25 years is still a favorite graduation gift item -- and still ends up in many graduation speeches. That book will forever be the best graduation speech anyone could ever share with those about to leave high school or college.

A question for the Class of 2016: Then what?

By Dean Close · 2:00pm May 23rd, 2016
Every year, high school and college graduates gather in a big stuffy room, wearing silly-looking outfits, hear the same once-inspiring, but now worn-out songs, and listen to a somewhat notable person try to offer encouraging – and hopefully, original – words about the future. Every year, we writers and columnists share similar advice.

I'm sure he's a 'fungi' and all, but he has no 'morels'

By Valerie Close · 9:37am May 6th, 2016
It's mushroom season. I'm not a hunter, but I know how to cook them and enjoy them. Yesterday, my hubby brought in a haul. I knew there was no way that I could eat them all, and the gal that introduced me to them had an accident so she isn't able to tramp through the woods this year to find them for herself.

A precious 4-word promise...

By Dean Close · 5:36am April 27th, 2016
“Out of the mouths of babes.” “And a little child shall lead them.” It amazes and inspires us, when in the toughest of times, some of the best ideas for handling these painful days come from children. The death this month of 11-year-old J.R. Clapp of rural Vinton is another one of those tough times that have come way too often to this area in the past couple of years.

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