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Dear Readers, more
In elementary school, we all learned about the three equal, but separate, branches of government: the legislative branch to create our laws, the judicial branch to interpret the laws and the executive branch to implement the laws as written. However, much of that governmental lesson was turned on its head 40 years ago, with the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) Chevron ruling. That decision instructed the courts to defer to federal agencies’ arguments about the scope of their own authority, multiplying the power of federal agencies and growing the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers. more
Newspaper reporters don’t typically get much respect as writers. more
Recently, I was told by two different people that they read my column faithfully and really like it. Granted, it was at my church, but I really appreciated their comments. And I have heard this from people who are outside of my church or family. One woman told me that her husband never reads anything except my column. I understand this because my husband never reads anything either- and that includes my column. I would feel insulted, but I know the only thing he reads is an instruction manual or the news on his phone. more
Usually, this little corner of the newspaper is where I share my lighthearted musings, those random thoughts that don’t quite fit anywhere else but still feel worth sharing. Maybe it’s the concert I went to or the memories of my dad. It’s a space for the quirky, the light, and the often “pointless” thoughts that make life interesting. But today, dear readers, I need to veer off that path a bit. Don’t worry, I’m not about to dive into the murky waters of political endorsements or bashing, this column will never be a playground for political nonsense. But I did see something last night that troubled me deeply, and I think it’s worth discussing together. more
Although my colleagues and I keep busy year-round deciding the cases that come before us, many people may not be aware of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s many administrative responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is making sure attorneys conduct themselves ethically in providing legal services to the public.  more
Letters regarding political candidates to be voted on in the Aug. 6 primary elections must be submitted prior to 9 a.m. July 19. The July 20 issue of the West Plains Gazette will be the last date of publication of political letters to the editor, as absentee voting will begin July 23. more
A new novel to our branch, “Things I Wish I Told my Mother” is the story of a mother and daughter learning how to love and talk to each other – before it’s too late. more
Some days I want to give up writing, especially in pleasant seasons when I might otherwise be doing something useful outside. more
To call someone a liar in the Ozarks would be not only extremely rude but might be considered “fightin’ words.” But as Vance Randolph said in his book, “We always lie to strangers” Tall Tales in the Ozarks (1951) there is no harm in “spinnin’ a windy” or “sawin’ off a whopper.” He also said that there’s no harm in it “unless you tell it for the truth. Nobody is deceived except for tourists and furinners when a tall tale is told.” more
Progress is a funny word, isn't it? Webster defines progress as "1. : to move forward : proceed. 2. : to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage." But progress isn't just about definitions; it's about the tangible changes we see around us and the spirit of growth that propels our community forward. It's about the new businesses that open their doors, the old ones that expand, the community projects that bring us together, and the public art that adds color and joy to our lives. more
During July in the Ozarks, you’ll see a few combines rolling through the hills and valleys of cattle country. Farmers are harvesting fescue seed that will eventually seed someone's yard or hayfield. The small combines, Gleaners and an old pull behind Allis-Chalmers in our case, were once a beast in their own right, but they pale compared to the size and power of new harvest equipment. When these old machines were "put out to pasture," they found a second life harvesting fescue.  more
Dear Readers, more
You often wouldn’t know it from what we see on TV and social media, but the basics of a healthy lifestyle can be pretty straightforward. Try to walk or do other physical activities, eat a healthy diet of mostly plant-based foods, limit alcohol and, of course, don’t smoke. more
Saturday marked the end of an era in West Plains, as Aid Downtown Antiques closed its doors for the final time. The day was filled with emotion, nostalgia, and a sense of community that is rare in today's fast-paced world. It wasn’t just a store closing; it was the conclusion of a chapter that spanned five generations and left an indelible mark on the heart of West Plains. more
The number of candles on her birthday cake was evidence not only of the many years of struggles she had endured and overcome, but also of the triumphs she could reflect upon. She had remained steadfast through conflicts, poverty, famine, and heartache. She held her head high through the dark times, and her courage never wavered when her family came under attack. Threats to their hard-earned way of life only served to strengthen her resolve to do whatever it took to take care of her own. more
I have often written of my third great-grandfather, Capt. Peter Daly, an Irish-born soldier in the British army during the American Revolution who settled in Canada after the war. I’ve known Captain Daly’s story since childhood, as it was told me in letters from elderly aunts in Ontario, and long been proud of his loyalty to his homeland. more
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