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Columns

  • Avoiding property tax penalties and other need to know information

    By Jason Denny

    County Clerk

    As property owners, we all dread the October mailing of tax bills.

    Over the past several years, our office has received questions regarding the process that goes into the assessment, calculation and collection of these bills. I thought this month was a good time to address this very issue.

  • Creative ways to increase your fruit and vegetable intake

    It’s healthy for us to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day but many of us don’t eat that many servings.

    Fruits and vegetables are important to our diet, because they provide necessary nutrients and are high in dietary fiber and low in calories, fat and cholesterol.

    The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

  • Worship God, not the world’s idols and morality standards

    It was a year on June 26 since the Supreme Court of the United States issued their landmark rulings regarding Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

    To say there were ripple effects would be inaccurate; it would be more precise to say that there have been waves of change across our nation since then.

    The rulings were not merely about whether or not gay people can legally marry. They paint a bigger picture. They are part of a larger narrative that humanity began to write the day our first parents willfully chose to disobey their Creator (Genesis 2 -3).

  • Memories are made at county fair

    I recall a young fellow huffing about the upcoming county fair where I was living several years ago.

    That cornball thing is a waste of time, he opined.

    I smiled at the poor misguided youth and told him that he’d completely missed the point. The fair, I said, was a field of opportunity.

    You can see sights you rarely see, eat foods you’d rarely eat and meet people you might never meet otherwise.

  • Why animal lovers should think twice about helping on the highway

    Emma Czornobaj, a Quebec native and self-professed animal lover, was found guilty Friday on two counts of criminal negligence for allegedly causing a crash that killed two people after stopping in the middle of a highway to rescue ducklings in 2010.

    According to buzzfeed.com, motorcyclist Andre Roy and his daughter Jessie slammed into Czornobaj’s parked car while she stopped on a highway to save ducklings when she did not see their mother. She intended to take them home and care for them.

  • Taking away the car keys: Talking first will help the transition

    The number of older drivers is on the rise.

    The number of adult children who are concerned about their parent’s driving ability and safety on the road is increasing.

    It’s hard to start a conversation about taking away the car keys. Caregivers worry about upsetting the parent and may not have access to alternative transportation.

    This isn’t a new subject but it just hasn’t gotten any easier to have this discussion.

  • Fireflies and honeybees take center stage on summer evenings

    Lightening bugs and tree frogs! I love them both!

    This is the time of year when 9 p.m. doesn’t seem so late. Many of us are just coming in the house at dusk to eat supper.

    Once you’ve filled your tummy, then take those weary bones back outside to the lawn chairs. Don’t let the TV get you because it’s Mother Earth’s audio/visual hour!

    While I love my morning wake up calls from my feathered friends, the sounds of the evening soothe me like no other.

  • Corn earworm can present a serious risk to several crops

    Corn earworms can be a serious pest of a number of crops, including sweet corn, tomatoes (a.k.a. tomato fruitworm), field corn and soybeans (a.k.a. soybean podworm).

    In years following a mild winter, we can have high levels of corn earworm that are able to survive in our soils as immatures. The result can be high populations early in the year. 

    However, this past winter we did not have a mild winter due to the Polar Vortex. So, overwintering survival of corn earworm was very low, and early season risk should be very low.

  • Recycling is a good thing that can only get better in time

    I’ve scratched my head so much these days that I’m sure my coworkers think I have dandruff.

    I don’t.

    What I have is a case of befuddlement.

    While looking up information about the county’s recycling program, I found negative references, critical letters and plenty of sour attitudes toward the infant program.

    Puzzling, at least to me.

  • Every family has been affected by cancer

    According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about eight million people die worldwide from cancer.

    The 1,000 luminaries lined around the American Legion Park Friday night for Relay for Life was a testament to fact that cancer touches every family in some fashion.

    My family is no exception.

    My grandfather John Smith died 4 years ago of lymphatic cancer. He was 78 years old.

    Seeing all the luminaries of mostly individuals who lost their battle to cancer made me miss my grandfather terribly.