Reynolds to lead historic all-Iowa agricultural trade mission

Trip marks the first time all of Iowa’s farm groups have come together for a trade mission

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 30 announced that she will lead an all Iowa agriculture trade mission to China July 19-28. Traveling with her will be representatives from commodity groups and the Farm Bureau, emphasizing Iowa’s corn, pork, soy, beef, egg, poultry, dairy and turkey industries. Continue reading Reynolds to lead historic all-Iowa agricultural trade mission

The Fellowship and the Mosque

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

I had lunch last week with about 30 women – half of them were Muslims from a nearby mosque and half were members of a nearby Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The Unitarians were serving the food – chili and stew, green salad and pasta salad, brownies and velvet cake—in the dining room of their fellowship hall. The week before, the Muslims were serving the food – stuffed grape leaves, curried couscous, hummus, and baklava – in the dining room of their mosque. Continue reading The Fellowship and the Mosque

Letter to the editor – Roxanne Hanney

About Robert’s tale of the Edmund Fitzgerald as told by Colleen O’Brien

Just read this, and was swept up not just by the story itself, but by Colleen’s play-by-play description of Robert’s telling of it.

Her short sentences were full of impact; the emotion felt by Robert and conveyed to the listeners at the party carried through to the readers of Colleen’s article. Continue reading Letter to the editor – Roxanne Hanney


~a column by Colleen O’Brien

Do you name things in your lives? I mean, besides your children and pets? Things like cars and houses, rocks and birds, flowers and so forth?

I started doing this when I moved half a continent away from everyone and all that I knew except the man I married, so I figured it had something to do with homesickness or loneliness, the longing of it all. Continue reading Naming

Reason, anyone?

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

This Thursday, Governor Branstad will proclaim as Iowa Day of Reason, to coincide with National Day of Reason.

This is a laudatory action, and all Constitutionalists and separation-of-church-and-state folks no doubt can applaud. Continue reading Reason, anyone?

Letter the editor – Brian Phillips

Challenges and Successes

The challenges that any young person faces today are far different than ever before.  There are many variables:  desensitization to overwhelming violence, acceptance of profanity as the norm, exposure to crippling family dysfunctions, vulnerability to unsettling TV programs, subjection to questionable music lyrics, and the list goes on and on.  These are not isolated to Greene County, nor any other part of Iowa or the United States.  This is the new regular.  This is our current state of affairs in our country and many parts of the world to boot.   Continue reading Letter the editor – Brian Phillips

Letter to the editor – Adrienne Smith

To the editor regarding animal shelter

Dear editor,

I was not going to get involved in this, but I can’t walk away from it. It involves something near and dear to me.

There’s a saying that a person can be judged on their character by how they treat animals. I am very disappointed in the lack of interest that the city has in taking care of its homeless animals. That is the city’s responsibility. It’s a sad state of affairs, when building a new humane animal shelter is more controversial than building a casino. Continue reading Letter to the editor – Adrienne Smith

Branstad’s opening statement to Senate foreign relations committee

Gov Terry Branstad | GCNO file photo

(DES MOINES) – Today, Gov. Terry Branstad released his opening statement to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the Ambassadorship to China.  Gov. Branstad’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, is as follows:

Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and Members of the Committee,

It is an honor to appear before you today as President Trump’s nominee to be the United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that a boy from a small farm in Leland, Iowa, would one day have the opportunity to become, with your consent, the Ambassador to one of the world’s most influential countries and one of America’s largest trading partners. I am thankful to President Trump for his confidence and trust in me to take on this important diplomatic role. Continue reading Branstad’s opening statement to Senate foreign relations committee

The time of her life

~a column by Colleen O’Brien

With a life’s worth of degrees — BA in music education and therapy, Masters in social work, MBA in international business – that could make her an excellent living financially, 62-year-old Michiganian Lorrie Douglas found her passion as a volunteer in her areas of study. Continue reading The time of her life