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Often I miss the good old days of my farm boy youth. more
Fifty years ago, the world changed! more
Work at the Capitol is rapidly picking up in the 2024 legislative session. In this report, we’ll focus on the upcoming state budget, ongoing work to reduce taxes, the fentanyl crisis, and supporting after-school programs.  more
Right now, our nation is facing an unprecedented border crisis. In just December alone, more than 300,000 illegal immigrants were caught trying to cross our southern border — the most ever in one month and a 300% increase from December 2020 when President Donald Trump was in office. In total, there have been more than 10 million illegal border entries under President Joe Biden. more
The calendar may show February, and while Missouri still has another month and a half of winter ahead, this recent bout of warm weather has kicked spring fever into high gear. We all know more snow and cold weather will return, but it sure is nice to see the sunshine and think spring thoughts.  more
Dear Readers, more
Driving south of Buffalo one morning just a few days before the Missouri Conservation Department’s designated Eagle Days, Martha and I saw at least a half-dozen bald eagles, some aloft, some in trees. more
Now we combine two presidents' birthdays into Presidents’ Day as a legal holiday, but when I was growing up in central Illinois, we always celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. Lincoln's was a legal state holiday and meant a day off from school! For me, Feb. 22 is not only George Washington’s birthday but also the day in 1986 that my family moved into my present home, so it’s a very memorable date. more
I saw the Zizzers vs. Kickapoo girls basketball game on Thursday. We lost by a two and a three. The good news if we had played up to our capability we would have been within 10. more
The first needs of any settlers to the Missouri in the 1800s would be to find food, water, and shelter. Hopefully, most arrivals timed their stopping spot in good weather. Scouting for fresh water from rivers, creeks, or springs was one of the first requirements for any home. In the Ozarks, large and small springs and even small groundwater sources called seeps were bountiful due to the karst topography of the hills and valleys. more
Year after year, as I prepare to cover the annual Pink Out event hosted by the West Plains High School Lady Zizzers basketball team, a sense of anticipation and pride swells within me. It's more than just a game; it's a testament to the strength of our community, the compassion of our hearts, and the relentless spirit of those battling cancer. Under the leadership of Head Coach Scott Womack, the Pink Out event has grown into an incredible fundraiser that embodies hope, support, and the collective effort to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. more
Dear Readers, more
Each January, voting delegates from all around the country gather at American Farm Bureau’s (AFBF) annual convention. Appropriately themed “New Frontiers,” this year’s gathering was held last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. more
A better world! I’m not for sure if I know what that means. I know about the Tower of Babel story in the Bible when God intervened in the affairs of men, but I doubt if God is going to upset the apple cart, but we might be better off if He did. In regard to modern day technology, I call it A Consumed Life. more
In last week’s column, I was writing about the fact that my three-times great grandparents lived in the same area in Ozark County for years, but I couldn’t find any deeds or records that they owned any land. They all showed up on Census counts, so I know they were indeed living there. I didn’t quite know what to make of this. How can you live somewhere but have no ownership records? Were they there, or weren’t they? more
The first day of spring is three months away as I pen these lines with the season’s first seed catalog in hand. more
Hey there, let me tell you a story about a little adventure that unfolded right in front of my wall of windows. So, my office sits right on Washington Avenue, and due to some construction wizardry I pulled off a few months back, my desk area is now pretty much an extension of the sidewalk. It’s got its perks, you know, people-watching, being a part of the street's daily hustle without leaving my chair, that kind of thing. more
I hope you have all stayed warm and safe as those frigid temperatures blew through the state. The snow can be so beautiful but so treacherous as well. Here in the capitol, I’ve been busy at work for you. It’s only the fourth week of session so most of our time is spent in committee, hearing bills and debating policy.  more
My parents raised my siblings and me to show honor and respect, not only to our elders but also to our teachers, church leaders, police officers ... well, pretty much anyone in charge of anything.  more
About a month ago, my son, Max, forgot how to tie his shoes. He's been tying his shoes like a pro for more than a year now. So, he and his sister, Charlie, did what kids do these days — they looked up a tutorial on YouTube. The video combined with a quick refresher from my wife tied up the loose ends and Max was soon back in business.  more
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