From the category archives:


RATSKIN’S RUMBLINGS: Nov. 19, 2014 – Let’s cool it with the ‘fire him’ talk after difficult losses

November 19, 2014 Amana Colonies news

By BRIAN RATHJEN I have watched with despair the state of our football programs that some of us hold dear. And I don’t mean what’s happening on the football field. I mean, what’s happening on sports pages in daily and weekly newspapers, the blather on sports talk radio and on social media and private blogs. […]

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This has been one spooky investigation

November 18, 2014 Agriculture News

One of the bright spots of being in the newspaper industry is meeting and working with a number of different people on stories of all kinds. Recently I’ve been lucky to go along with a local paranormal investigation group on a couple of their investigations. Those have been hard stories to cover and write, but […]

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Thanksgiving memories and Black Friday

November 18, 2014 On The Road Again

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of my mom, dad and the many wonderful family gatherings we enjoyed through the years. Most years my family spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents on my mom’s side. There was always plenty of family time, football on television, good food and lots kidding and horsing around. I’ll never […]

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Sour Grapes — a few week’s worth

November 15, 2014 Sour Grapes

Nov. 19, 2014 Veterans I think that for three weeks in a row we’ve featured benefits for area people. It’s amazing the turnout I’ve seen for some of these events. I’ve always said, if you want to see a small town get bigger, just ask for help. People will turn out. *    *    * Dabbling […]

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Political ads are gone. What? Black Friday ads?

November 11, 2014 Agriculture News

Do you hear that? I don’t either. No attack political ads, no begging for our vote, and … well, no political ads on television or the radio. I’m not getting many emails or text messages from candidates, their supporters, the political parties or some taped statement from a sitting politician. It’s nice and quiet. Now […]

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Oddball gadgets, Christmas traditions and giving to others

November 11, 2014 On The Road Again

Now that the election is over with, it’s that time of the year when our mailboxes are stuffed with an assortment of on-line gift magazines and catalogs filled with holiday specials. It’s amazing how many companies there are selling everything from sportsman gear to jewelry, clothing and oddball gadgets of all kinds. Every time Debbie […]

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I’m really going to miss Diane

November 4, 2014 Agriculture News

I started crying about 7 a.m. It was Friday and very foggy and wet – moisture was in the air and was being kicked up by a number of trucks and cars going by. I was driving into work and was somewhere between Malcom and Grinnell and was going fairly slow because of the fog. […]

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Life lessons learned fishing on a river bank and photographing high school football

November 4, 2014 On The Road Again

I haven’t fished in several years, but the other day I decided to treat myself to a new fishing rod and reel. I got it to go along with my new tackle box I received for Christmas last year. My equipment is quite old and is in need of cleaning, repairing and in some cases, […]

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RATSKIN’S RUMBLINGS – Oct. 22, 2014: Apathy, lack of knowledge hinders youth’s participation in government

October 29, 2014 Amana Colonies news

Do I think it would be a good idea for area high school students to attend their local city council or school board meetings and then explain in class what they witnessed? Put me on the side that says, yes, they should. They would learn about civics, how government works (albeit on a small scale) […]

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RATSKIN’S RUMBLINGS – Oct. 29, 2014: Dealing with the loss of a co-worker, friend

October 29, 2014 Amana Colonies news

I remember how it was when I lost a colleague. When I worked for the North Scott Press, many of my duties were involved with sports. It’s how I got to really know Dearrel Bates, the longtime sports writer for the Quad City Times. To be sure, he was very honest about how games went, but […]

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