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I bought “Romney: A Reckoning,” by McKay Coppins, a while back, not knowing what to expect. The book reads like a novel: Coppins tells the story of a man who began his life admiring his father and how his father stuck to his principles, changed his tune during the middle of his life, but has returned to the idea that standing immutably for something is the right thing to do. more
Extreme cold weather has an enormous impact on animal energy demands. Wet weather also results in increased energy demands for livestock. To illustrate these points, I’ve formulated some beef cow diets for varying temperatures, hair coat conditions, and hay quality. more
At least once a day, I run across a room yelling, “No, no, no!” Then I lunge for the remote control, the way a soldier dives for a grenade before it explodes. more
In February 1931, in Birmingham, Alabama, officers arrested a 30-year-old man called Joe Haton, alias Joe Rogers, but really Joe Larkin, for robbing a cafeteria. After he confessed to his involvement in the robbery of Union Savings Bank in Sedalia, they notified Pettis County Sheriff Herrick. more
As we remember and reflect on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there are valuable lessons that should give us hope that we can overcome what we face today in a divided and teetering America. more
National Catholic Schools Week begins Jan. 28, which prompted me to have a chat with Nikki Howell, the new president of Sacred Heart School (SHS). more
It’s like bas relief on my brain. I was in my room in Kabul – whether it was Friday and my day off, or whether I was getting ready for work – and I called my mother. We usually talked on FaceTime, but that day, I did a voice call. Mother was sobbing. I was alarmed. What had happened? more
We are deep into winter with snow on the ground and a deadly chill in the air. Many of the days have been dark and because this is winter, the nights are long. It is in the middle of this dark and cold time that we celebrate the season of Epiphany, the revealing of Christ as the Light of the World. more
When Clarence Hamel and Grace Hamel appeared before Judge Dimmit Hoffman in February 1930, he allowed them to talk with court-appointed attorneys before they confessed to having been involved in the robbery of Union Savings Bank in Sedalia. more
One of the side effects of having an English degree is that I remember famous works of literature – but only the weird ones. The one I’m remembering lately is extra creepy. It’s a short story told by a narrator who insists he’s just nervous, not crazy. He’s anxious because he killed an old man for a bizarre reason: He couldn’t stand the sight of the old man’s “vulture eye,” – which is a pale blue eye with a cloudy film. more
I started to believe that America was the greatest country in the world at an early age, thanks to my first hero: Superman. For those who were not a fan, let me explain. more
Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon once famously said to David Frost in a 1977 interview, “Well, when the president does it … that means that it is not illegal” (tinyurl.com/3cv4x8bk). That statement in itself is startling, but what is more startling is to read his twisting, tortuous attempt at logic in the statements preceding that one, trying to justify the President’s doing something illegal in order to benefit himself. more
My grandfather works with his hands. Right out of high school, he married his sweetheart and bought an old dairy farm in west central Illinois. Though he didn’t work in milk cows, he and my grandmother raised beef cattle, sheep, horses and hogs, and grew corn, beans, wheat and hay. Though they have downsized the farm in recent years, they are still working hard today. more
February is the shortest month, but can go for a long time, especially this leap year. More wine is drunk in February in the U.S. than in any other month. Wonder why? L’amore! Or in English, love! more
The word “saved” seems to be suffering from misuse, abuse, and, in some religious circles, even nervous avoidance. It is a perfectly OK word, you know, used extensively by Jesus and the Apostles, as well as by millions of born-again Christians around the world. more
As Missouri legislators begin their 2024 session, they might want to consider a recent Missouri Supreme Court decision striking down a significant bill lawmakers passed in 2022. more
My mother is radioactive. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her. She’s dozing in a recliner, and the only hint that something is wrong is the sign on the door, which reads “Caution: Radioactive materials.” more
Law officers in Sedalia, Pettis County, Benton County, and Hickory County, as well as the Highway Patrol and the Burns Detective Agency, continued to search for the two young men and a young woman who had robbed Sedalia’s Union Savings Bank of approximately $700 on Dec. 18, 1930. more
We’ve turned the page on 2023, an event that used to be a lot bigger deal than it is today. more
The weathermen say we’re about to get walloped by a big ol’ snowstorm early next week. Or maybe just a few inches. Or nothing at all. more
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