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Some thoughts on 'church hurts'

By Jessica Amendt - Discovery House Executive Director

Trail development and planning

Along with showcasing the previous year's trail projects and activities, the 2023 Dickinson Country Trails Annual Report features development and maintenance projects that are going into construction in the new year as well as projects in planning for the near future. Several exciting projects are on the docket and include completing a regional connection and starting a new one.

Budget talks on horizon as debate continues in Iowa Senate

This week in the Senate, we’ve been exceptionally busy with debate. Iowa being Iowa, we had highs of 70 and lows in the teens, but now the spring equinox has officially launched on March 19 with the promise of renewal and warmer weather. I continue to renew my promise of working hard for the constituents of District 5 to make Iowa a better place to live.

Iowa House Republicans have addressed mental health

Over the last few weeks I have addressed school safety. I have addressed arming staff and school infrastructure, both of which are important and both of which the state house has passed important bills over the last few months and sent them to the Senate for passage.

Q&A: Celebrate Ag Week

Q: What is the USDA Agriculture Census?


Fighting back against President Biden’s bloated budget and tax hikes

In my weekly column last week, I outlined my strong opposition to President Biden’s $7.3 trillion budget for Fiscal Year 2025. As I noted, this proposal would hike taxes on our families, farmers and businesses by $5.5 trillion, leave our country with a $1.8-trillion budget deficit for FY 2025 and balloon our national debt by trillions and trillions of dollars. It must be resoundingly rejected for the good of our fiscal health and financial stability.

Opening yourself to cross-love

By Carol DeSchepper - First Lutheran Church, Milford

House Republicans pass second school security bill

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Perry, Iowans have demanded workable and effective school security measures. A recent poll in the Des Moines Register indicated 60 percent of Iowans supported the House Republican plan to thoroughly train and arm school personnel who volunteer to serve in such a capacity inside school buildings. All Democrats present for that bill voted against it. Regardless, House Republicans have methodically moved forwarded with additional school security plans during

Bills beginning to pass through Senate

This week in the Senate, we continued our work on bills received from the House. This process is key to getting the bill ready for floor debate through discussion and amendment if necessary. Three of the committees I serve on, Judiciary, Commerce, and Workforce, all met.

Biden’s budget flunks fiscal test

Q: Any surprises in President Biden’s budget proposal?


President Biden’s $7.3 trillion budget is a recipe for disaster

More than a month after federal law requires, President Biden finally submitted his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2025 to Congress. The $7.3 trillion price tag alone is reason enough to throw this budget in the trash where the rest of President Biden’s trillion-dollar spending packages should have also gone.

New life and resurrection during spring time

By Sedar Shako - United Methodist Church, Harris and Lake Park

Wind, pipeline setbacks cause for concern

There is a trend that we’re seeing within our county. Dickinson County officials continue to propose ordinances relating to wind energy conversion systems and hazardous liquid pipelines that are far less restrictive than multiple other counties in Iowa.

Wind turbines - give me a break

Every week I read letters by someone who has an argument against wind turbines. Last week's letter extolling the view of the east side of East Lake Okoboji went over the top.

Apparently that person has never looked to the southeast from their place and seen the magnificent view of a huge condominium complex or driven across the bridge south of your place and looked to the west at the backside of an ugly condo project.

Why are the turbine corporations drafting Dickinson County’s zoning ordinances?

The existing wind turbine ordinance contains a list of general standards for the Board of Adjustment to consider, such as whether the industrial turbine development would be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare of the county and whether the development would be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property or diminish property values.

Zoning ordinances should be every resident's concern

Last summer, the Dickinson County Planning and Zoning Commission voted to form a committee to review the county’s industrial wind turbine ordinances. Now, the P&Z and Board of Supervisors are in the process of revising those ordinances. But wait! The county is not just revising its turbine ordinances – somewhere along the way, the county snuck in changes to the entire conditional use permit standards that would apply to any conditional use application, not just turbines.

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