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Can't Happen

Now, a new change to Paycheck Protection Program paybacks is being floated in D.C. It can't happen, Brad Hicks says in his weekly On the Side column. What is it? See the column in the Sept. 3 Kossuth County Advance.

Kossuth EMS operation is growing

Kossuth County EMS continues to move forward running the Kossuth County EMS System. The past few months have been challenging with the pandemic we are experiencing, but we have and will continue to make this goal a reality. 
Read all of the Our Kossuth County column, this week from Philip Albers, on the Kossuth County EMS program, in the Sept. 3 Kossuth County Advance.

Of Shakespeare, and English love of parks, dogs

... It is always enjoyable to immerse ourselves into the local culture whenever possible. We feel that we get a better insight into how people live. It seems that wherever we have been, people live, love, laugh and play. They gather together in groups large and small, to socialize and enjoy life in their own way, content with who they are and where they call home. I am reminded of a song my father used to sing.

Seamus, part two, or, Houdini will never be dead

... His Houdini traits have also manifested themselves in his ability to jump over the nearly-6-foot chain-link fence in our back yard. He doesn’t go far – just trots around the house and waits to be let in the front door. On one memorable occasion, I came home from getting my hair cut to find him, not in the house where I had left him, but in his crate with the door latched. I asked him how he did that, but, like the original Houdini, he refused to share his secrets...

Tradition: Passing down treasures of faith we should keep

... Thus, while our ancestors weren’t perfect, their works and their faith are still treasures worth preserving so that we (and our descendants) may benefit from them. It’s worth looking at the saints who’ve gone before us, so that we might emulate their character and virtue. We study their writings so that we might learn from them and know what they knew. ...
Get all of the Rev. John Koopman's Families of Faith pastor column in the Aug. 27 Kossuth County Advance.

A father's WWII heroism

In "40 Thieves on Saipan," Joe Tachovsky brings to life the antics and humor, horror and heroism of his father, Lt. Frank Tachovsky, later retiring as colonel, and his men who spearheaded the invasion of Saipan June 15, 1944. Tachovsky sought out his father’s former Marines and, after contacting Bob Smotts, Roscoe Mullins, Bill Knuppel and Marvin Strombo, found a wealth of information for this no-holds-barred memoir. 

Postal posture

Welcome to the party, Congress! Where you have been? I suppose on recess, campaigning, writing and selling books, taking stock tips, reconfiguring the tax code to benefit your friends and such. OK. Maybe that’s a little harsh. Maybe... 
Read Brad Hicks's On the Side column about funding the postal service and politics in the Aug. 27 Kossuth County Advance.

stratford upon avon - raining cats and dogs?

...There was no ceiling and the smoke from the fire wafted up through the reed or straw thatched roof. The passive benefit was that the smoke kept birds and rodents from making a home in the thatch. Later, when the fire pit was replaced with a fireplace, smoke was carried out above the roof and birds and rodents moved in. The birds and rodents became easy prey for dogs and cats that managed to get onto the roof. When it rained hard, the thatch would get slippery enough that ...

Destination Algona! Making it happen

Let me tell you a personal story that ties to the importance of restoring the Carnegie library into the Carnegie Centre for the Arts: One very cold January day, Harley, my son Josh and I were driving home from San Antonio after attending a disappointing bowl game the night before. After traveling for quite some time with two grown men rehashing every single football play, I saw a green sign listing Waco, Texas, as one of the cities on our route.

How do you answer? My only comfort is...?

It was a good run, but no one ever anticipated the animosity of man against man in the streets of Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle. It was a good run, but no one ever anticipated a virus that would close schools, shut down business, and leave countless dead waiting to be placed in funeral homes.


Lawlessness reigns in some of our nation’s largest cities. Innocent people are the victims of crimes that involve the burning of their cars, the destruction of their businesses and in some instances the killing of their family members. There is no excuse for it.
Read Brad Hicks's On the Side column in the Aug. 20 Kossuth County Advance.

Where does sweet corn get its sweetness?

As I was visiting with my dad on the phone a few weeks ago at the peak of sweet corn season, he remarked that one of the sweet corn hybrids he planted “tasted a lot sweeter” than the others. Having never really noticed a huge difference myself, this statement made me curious. After running an experiment, I agreed that all three of the sweet corn hybrids dad planted had slightly different tastes to them.

Love-hate relationship with all things cyberspace

There are many things I love about computers and cyberspace. F’rinstance, being able to FaceTime or Zoom with our scattered kids and grands is wonderful. Out of the blue, 6-year-old Molly will get loose on her dad’s cell phone and FaceTime me, offering to give me a tour of her house. She always offers to give me a tour of her house, and I’m always happy to watch.

Creating a safe place to receive care

Change is always the name of the game in health care, but these past few months have been one for the books! Finding new ways to serve our patients and respond to the needs of our community have been priorities at Kossuth Regional Health Center. We’ve always maintained a very clean organization and our staff members are diligent in their attention to detail. That has certainly been important as we respond to the myriad changes.

On the Side: Unemployment

...This is where this column becomes extremely personal.
Eight years ago, at age 50, after 23 years with the same employer, I was fired without warning...
Read Brad Hicks's column in the Aug. 13 edition of the Kossuth County Advance.

Where do you turn when life has you down?

So what should I write about when I feel like I’m at a loss for words? I’d really like to write about loving your neighbor, but Pastor Cowell had a nice treatment of that in a recent article. Where do you turn when life has you down? There are a lot of places we can go, right? When life has us down we can turn to alcohol or drugs, we can turn to politics, we can turn to food or relationships with others. 

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