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I don’t like sounding like Andy Rooney, but here goes: You know how Americans get caught up in using a word over and over, and then that word means nothing? You know, like “Awesome”?  Every person within hearing distance said “awesome” about everything. The dance was awesome. The party was a…

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When I agreed to write this column several months ago, I never imagined I’d be writing it in the middle of a pandemic. Most churches in the area have been closed now for at least a week. And none of us can be sure when we will be able to gather again as we are used to. For a religion that ha…

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If you have been following my column, you know one of the things I planned to work on this year is building upon my inner peace. Well, I asked for it and I got a pandemic. That will force you to either find inner peace pretty quickly or lose all control.

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The 1882 History of Pettis County details the origins and work of two of Sedalia’s Presbyterian churches — Broadway Presbyterian Church on West Broadway between Osage and Kentucky avenues and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Osage Avenue near Seventh Street. It only briefly mentions ano…

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It brings me no joy to write this. My heart has been heavy all week, thinking about the job I have before me. What follows is not a gleeful denunciation. It is the fulfillment of a sense of duty to the reader, and my community, to make you aware of the disservice that has been done to us by …

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Though my mother called me “Cassandra” because of my innate ability to know when things are going wrong, my prescience extends to good things, too. For instance, because of all the bad news about coronavirus and COVID-19, I found myself wistfully pining away for Hallmark Christmas movies. Vo…

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In April, for the first time in 30 years, our address will change. That’s right. We’ve sold our house, and, as I expected, I have mixed feelings about it. We’ve lived here for our lifetime, and it is hard to believe that we’ve come to the time – namely older – when moving on is the right option.

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Coronavirus panic has arrived in Pettis County. I knew the moment I walked into Walgreens the other day. They are all out of surgical masks.

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Why should I go to church? That’s the question that some people ask themselves week after week. Recently I was on vacation in central Florida and met a man from Sweden. When he discovered that I was a minister he had several questions for me. He was curious as to why it was important to go t…

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The 1882 History of Pettis County describes in great detail the origins of the Old School Presbyterian Church, otherwise known as First Presbyterian Church. It briefly mentions another Presbyterian Church that existed as a result of a schism in the Old School Presbyterian congregation. It al…

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Coronavirus. COVID-19. Are you tired of hearing about it yet? I certainly am.

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I am overjoyed to announce that I am two-and-a-half years cancer free this week. Once again, I made the worry-filled trek to Overland Park for testing. Once again, I did the same old dance of needle stick, CT scan, waiting, exam. And once again, I slipped the clutches of cancer. 

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As we pack our lives into boxes, we’ve had fun looking at what we’ve accumulated over the years and then forgotten about. Because this is Women’s History Month, and this is the 100th anniversary of women’s being magnanimously recognized by the men in charge as real people and charitably bein…

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There is a story in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 7, where Jesus raises a woman’s son from the dead. In the story, Jesus arrives in the town of Nain and encounters a funeral procession. The one who has died is the only son of a widow. She has lost her son and with him, everything. In the first…

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The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You’ve heard this once or twice throughout life and for good reason. 

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In the 1850s, the northern part of Pettis County saw an increased number of affluent settlers. They were referred to by the local residents as the “Heath Creek aristocrats,” as they settled near Heath Creek in the Georgetown area and because they had the wealth to buy large acreages, erect f…

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Ah, March. What a great month. Spring. Mud. Daylight savings time. Mud. St. Patrick’s Day, tournament basketball. Mud. And tornadoes! I see that Accuweather is predicting the lower Midwest will have a higher than normal number of twisters this spring. 

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Do you ever feel as if you are in the middle of a hurricane – not the eye, where things are calm, but in the middle of the vicious, whirling winds that hurl debris and tons of water farther than can be seen? That’s where I am. Here’s a piece of advice: Don’t ever wait 30 years to move. And i…

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As a freelance journalist, my stock in trade is words. But my interest in words goes beyond those I use in my articles.

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Bill Chapman is one of the reasons that Team SCREAM, the Smith-Cotton High School competitive robotics program, will again be competing in the FIRST Robotics World Championships in April in Houston.

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The early settlers of Pettis County practiced many religions, but most followed Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or the Disciples of Christ theology. Often denominations worshipped together or shared a meeting place. However, when a group of those who practiced a certain theology could rais…

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Social media has become as common as sliced bread over the past twelve years. It has brought with it a new form of communication that is lightning fast and is read and heard by more people than we will ever know. Gone are the days of having to pick up the phone or visit someone in order to s…

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Sedalia celebrated its centennial in 1960 with a number of activities. A parade featuring marching bands and floats showing aspects of Sedalia history cruised down Ohio Avenue. Beauty contests chose Miss and Mrs. Sedalia. Bearded men created a group called “Brothers of the Brush.” High schoo…

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With the addition of the anticipated Heckart Community Center, we will also gain a new MSHSAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association) certified swimming pool. This pool will be utilized by the Sedalia School District 200 for training and swim meets throughout the school year.

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It was an instantly infamous political quip, like Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” or Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women.”

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As I’ve mentioned before, a pending change in seasons ignites my desire to cook. I’ve been trying to do my pre-spring cleaning in the kitchen, and when I do that, I find little treasures lurking in the most unusual places. For instance, when I took my cookbooks off the shelves, I found recip…

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As we gear up for the 2020 elections, voters in both the Show-Me State and the Volunteer State will be flooded with election-related information. This includes anything related to voter registration, polling locations and times, absentee ballots and other election questions. That’s why Tenne…

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In the years before the Civil War, maintaining a relatively equal number of slave states and free states was considered important, as votes in the U.S. Senate where each state had two votes could affect U.S. policy. In addition, Missouri was concerned that the possibility of Kansas, which wa…

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Have you ever thought about “Who” you are versus who you “Are?” 

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There are many terrifying things about chemo. It is a poison. It is meant to terrorize and kill your fastest-growing cells, forcing cancer to tap out after an onslaught of sheer cruelty. This scorched-earth tactic has wide-ranging effects for other parts of a patient’s body. It turns your st…

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The drawn-out impeachment process concluded on Feb. 5, when the Senate voted to acquit President Trump of both articles of impeachment sent over by the House of Representatives.

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I recognized the voice on the other end of the phone even before she identified herself. It was a defendant, one of my “regulars.” Before I could even begin to tell her that I couldn’t talk to her because she was a defendant, she burst in, “I want you to know that I’m related to the mayor, a…

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The issue of slavery and its continuance as a policy in the United States was a major issue during the lifetime of Gen. George R. Smith, who responded in contradictory ways to the issue.

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I recently began reading back through some of the columns I had written more than eight years ago in order to reflect on what was happening in my life at that time and how I was communicating those things to readers. I found myself amazed by the way in which things have changed in eight years.

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Since six months had elapsed since Brian Smith announced his construction company had purchased the Trust Building and will renovate it, I sat down with him recently to discuss how things were coming along.

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When I was running for office, I connected with voters the old-fashioned way: I mailed letters, telling people about my qualifications and asking them to consider voting for me. I also sent stamped postcards asking people to return them if they would volunteer or donate to my campaign. Gener…

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Between the Iowa caucuses, the State of the Union address, and the Super Bowl halftime show, I am damn tired of opinions this week. Aren’t you? I’m tired of reading other people’s opinions, listening to them, considering them, arguing with them. I’m even tired of my own opinions, God help me…

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Everyone needs someone they can talk to and students in the Pettis County R-V School District have a knowledgeable and caring sounding board in Katie Walker.