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I don’t know about you, but last week’s dark, gloomy and rainy weather had me feeling in a similar mood. I could live with that during the week when I am at work, but come on Mother Nature, you couldn’t have warmed up a little for the weekend?

Every summer my family rents a cabin in Minocqua, Wis. to rest, relax and spend time with my extended family. I look forward to this mini-vacation every year. There is no – or little – work, swimming, relaxing on the dock and a little retail therapy. I return to work rested and happy.

Last week I was pondering the many freedoms we celebrate, and a cynical thought struck me. “Are we really free? Because it seems to me that the only freedoms and rights we have as citizens are the ones the government specifically tells us we have. Why must we fight for equality? Why does one…

Well, the fresh hell that was the 2016 Presidential election is over, but as your resident cynic, I have no doubt that the next four years will be strife with turmoil and uncertainty. This election cycle has been one for the history books, and my guess is it will be a focus of high school hi…

The concept of having a community pool in Jordan is not new. I was recently perusing the Jordan Independent archives and came across a front page article in our Oct. 1, 1986 newspaper. “Input sought on swimming pool; community auditorium” the headline reads. The article states that they will…

I have penned this week’s editorial from inside the confines of a beautiful rustic cabin, nestled in the woods and on a peaceful lake in Minocqua, Wis. After the hectic and stressful week covering the Scott County Fair, a well-deserved vacation was in order. A little sun, fun with family, je…

There is a new craze sweeping the nation, and no, it is sadly not a return of the Jitterbug. Children and adults alike have succumbed to a new illness, one without any cure – Pokémon GO fever. Symptoms include eyes fixated on a cell phone screen for long stretches of time, aimless wandering …

Unless Mother Nature has decided to be a real cruel mistress this year, I am pretty confident that the cold, snowy weather is behind us and I am looking forward to nice, sunny days. This is also the time of year that I kick off my racing season. Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, the Illuminight 5K…

These last few weeks have been pretty hard on me. Not that there is anything wrong in my personal life, but there are things wrong in our society, things that both anger and frustrate me. I will set aside Westboro Baptist members protesting the funerals of the Orlando victims. If there is an…

On Monday night, the Jordan City Council voted 6-1 to approve the second reading of a food truck policy. The last time the issue was voted on, the council imposed a restriction that would allow each food truck to come to town three days a month.

I am quite good at poking fun of myself. I figure that if you are going to occasionally rib or tease others, you should be able to poke fun at yourself as well. Some call it self-deprecating humor, I call it laughing at myself.

The issue of whether or not to allow food trucks in Jordan was one of the latest issues presented to the Jordan Planning Commission and the Jordan City Council. The council approved the first reading of an ordinance on Monday night, but each food truck will be limited to one weekend a month,…

If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you know that apparently one of the biggest issues facing our society is what bathrooms trans people should use. I accept and respect other people’s opinions and want to share some of my own thoughts on the matter.

Have you ever felt like fate is getting its jollies by playing mean tricks on you? I know I have. You may have heard of Murphy’s law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Well, my life has been plagued with so many instances that I have penned Wittrock’s corollary: If Murphy’s Law is in eff…

The older I get, the more impatient I find myself becoming. The list of what makes me impatient varies, but it can basically be summed up this way: If your behavior – words or actions – are rude, disrespectful, bigoted, racist or otherwise hateful, chances are good I am going to become impat…

My brother once accused me of seeing the world in black and white. I rebutted that it was not true. I see the world in many shades of gray. But black and white are needed to create those shades of gray, and so I do believe that there are individuals who lean more heavily black or white.

I like exposing myself to different aspects of our world. I have said before that when we open ourselves to exploring new cultures, countries or even different aspects of our own community, we receive an education that cannot be taught in any classroom.

As the days go on and I get older, I find myself jealous of little children. Don’t get me wrong, being an adult is great, but if there is one thing I miss from my childhood, it is nap time. I have found myself puzzling how little children, who are often full of energy, get nap time during th…

The Presidential election is eight months away, and you know what that means: the mud-slinging and attack ads will only be heating up. This election has me cringing inside, but also contemplating a changing future and path in politics. Two of the candidates could not be more different, and y…

It is that time of year again, when Friday night means the enticing aroma of fish fries. As a Wisconsin native, Friday night fish fries were a pretty big thing. Although in my parents’ house, it usually meant cooking a frozen pizza (also a tasty tradition), occasionally my mom would bring ho…

I have been called “not romantic” in the past, and if truth be told, it probably will not be the last time. I tell people that I am too practical to be romantic. For someone who is creative by nature, both my feet are firmly grounded when it comes to affairs of the heart.

This past weekend was a success on all accounts. Although I was out of state, a little birdie whispered in my ear that the Jordaness Lions bowling fundraiser raised more than $4,000. The proceeds will support a number of worthy charities, including the Jordan Food Shelf, the Minnesota Diabet…

A person’s real wealth cannot be measured by the amount of possessions he or she has acquired, nor by the amount of money in a bank account. Many people chase material wealth, but the real measure of a man or woman is found in the number of lives touched. In truth, Mike Shaw was a very wealthy man.

The new year has come, and in my world that means...it will soon be luau time! I am a little sad that I will be missing the Jordaness Lions bowling fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 23. I do have a lot of fun bowling and cursing that dreaded five pin. I do have a nickname for that pin, but, well,…

Christmas is always my favorite time of the year. As a child, I looked forward to seeing those decorated presents under the tree. As an adult, the presents are nice, but more than anything I look forward to spending time with family and the traditions that we have shared throughout the years.

‘Tis the season for love, compassion and understanding. If truth be told, we should be practicing those ideals throughout the entire year, but it seems like the Christmas season is the time when they really get emphasized.

Lights. Camera. Action! That was my checklist on Saturday evening for the JordanDazzle Parade, and dazzle they did. I walk downtown Jordan every day, but Saturday was different. The lack of snow may have some confused that Christmas in just around the corner, but the impressive light display…

I do not know about the rest of you, but I have some mixed feelings about this relatively new Facebook feature that shows you your memories or posts from previous years. Last week it reminded me that I spent last year’s Veterans Day covering the parade and band and choir performances in New …

National Bullying Prevention Month is coming to a close, so this will be my final installment in this series. In the past four weeks, I have shared a part of my story, my childhood, with you. My goal was to start the conversation about not just bullying, but how it can directly affect someon…

It is that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is chilling and yards are beginning to be decorated with spooky ghouls, goblins, skeletons and pumpkins. But please, if you see a brown-haired lady walking down the street with a stiff gait reminiscent of an extra on “The Wa…

For about 12 years, I struggled with depression and dark thoughts. Happy moments were brief breakthroughs in the mist, but they never stayed for long. I fought every day, tooth and nail, against the doubtful thoughts that plagued my mind.

My columns this month are going to very different, very personal. A journalist’s job is not always easy. We have to shine a light on some of life’s darkest moments. This is one of them, but if my story can give hope to even one person, it will be worth it.

Your children and grandchildren learn a lot from you. They are constantly watching, observing and listening. The lessons you teach them will be remembered long after they are grown and out of the house. They may grow out of some of the passions or interests you share with them, or they may d…

Moving to a new city can be challenging. There are new faces to meet, different service organizations, businesses and recreation programs. As someone who has now lived in three different cities in the past five years, I know how challenging it can be to start over. I am very hopeful that my …

I was 9 years old when my parents purchased their first house. The woods offered many opportunities to explore and find “treasures.” Have you ever heard the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” I took that to heart. Previous owners had discarded their unwanted household items…

Those of you who have run into me in the past couple of days might have noticed my stiff and stumbling gait. Do not fret, I have not become a zombie, and sadly, I have not received the call to appear on “The Walking Dead.”

Life is a series of lessons, rewards and consequences. As the daughter of two educators, I know how valuable a good education can be. Education has the power to open doors and challenge a person to think for themselves, not just accept what people tell you at face value.

I was living in a boxcar when I was 8 years old, babysitting at age 9 and had evolved to solving mysteries with two friends when I was 10. In recent years I have helped save two nations, flown with dragons (and saved their world) and even met the ancient Olympian gods. I have cast spells on …

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