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Columns

  • By RIck Peterson, general manager
    September 06, 2023
    I don’t know if you believe in coincidences, but here is proof they do happen from time to time. Last week Mary and I happened to be at the horse races in Des Moines, Iowa. So the Monday morning office conversation centered around horse racing. During the conversation I asked if anyone knew the distance of a furlong. Not sure why, but at the time nobody googled it, so the furlong question went…
  • By Brenda Winter, columnist
    September 01, 2023
    “How about zip lining?!” I said with the confidence of a person who did not know what she was talking about. My three besties and I all turned 60 this year. To celebrate, we took our second “significant decade birthday trip.” This time we went to Montana – land of big skies, grizzly bears and zip lines. I didn’t actually want to go zip lining. I just wanted to be the kind of person that other…
  • By Sgt. Troy Christianson
    September 01, 2023
    Question: We are well into summer, but can you please talk about some basic vehicle checks? I stopped to help someone who had broken down alongside the road the other day, and they had no clue to what I thought was common sense stuff: coolant, fluids, battery maintenance and lights. Thanks for keeping people informed. Answer: As a state trooper, we see a lot out on the highways, and I am always…
  • By Greg Hoogeveen
    August 23, 2023
    Did you know there are 108 double-sided stitches on an official major league baseball? The first and last stitch are hidden. My daughter, Tayler, and I were recently going over ideas for my next column when she asked if I knew any weird facts about sports that may interest my readers. I wasn’t sure what to say but quickly started rummaging through the web for content.  Here are 10 facts I…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    August 23, 2023
    A young couple showed up on our porch in June with a gift. “We have something we’d like to give you,” they said in a phone call earlier that day. Their business is Twisted Farmers Fab, which specializes in custom metal art — commercial signs, personalized wall hangings, fire pits and, their latest, hanging wind spinners. On this warm summer evening they handed us a heavy metal circular wind…
  • By Rick Peterson, general manager
    August 22, 2023
    I chalked up another birthday earlier this week. The years go by fast with age, as most of you know. Funny thing about getting old … my thoughts aren’t so much on the future but more on remembering the past. Mary and I took our two granddaughters to Arnold’s Park a couple weeks ago, and boy, did that bring back some memories. The Arnold’s Park memory that came to mind was while growing up in…
  • By Mavis Fodness, reporter
    August 15, 2023
    As I stood at the starting line of the Celebrity Donkey Races at the county fair, a feeling of doubt came over me. Doubt that I could even get on this animal’s back. Doubt that Ex-Lax (the donkey’s stage name) would even want me riding him around the course. I was wrong to doubt. When organizers announced that the women riding in Heat 3 were to go counter-clockwise around the course, I gained a…
  • By Jason Berghorst, reporter
    August 08, 2023
    “Thanks for coming!” Maybe you’ve heard or said those words recently or often in your life. I sure have. I’m a “thank you” sayer.  I’ve thanked police officers after pulling me over and even said thank you to another driver who hit my car in a parking lot.  To be fair, the thank you was at the end of our interactions after the accident. I was thanking the man for taking responsibility, working…
  • By Rick Peterson, general manager
    August 08, 2023
    Today, Thursday, our youngest grandchild, Ellee, turns 6. Like all grandparents, Mary and I are proud as punch of all our grandkids. Those of us that make up our morning coffee group that are grandparents share stories (brag) about our grandkids at least once a week. Most of the stories are sports-related or how old they are or what grade they are in school, or recently, where they might be going…
  • By Brenda Winter, columnist
    August 01, 2023
    Dad and I hold our forks in mid air, staring into space the way people do when they sample food. We’re trying to figure out Mom’s potato salad recipe. Potato salad was Mom’s premier dish. Her barbecued chicken was good, and so was her apple crisp, but nothing compared to the potato salad. It was the German version – heavy on the mustard and onions. She used Miracle Whip, not mayo. A little salt…
  • By Wyatt VanSteenberg
    August 01, 2023
    I have been on a journey to lose weight over the course of two years dating back to September of 2021. For background, I am 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 275 pounds at my heaviest. I am down 75 pounds and currently weigh 200. This isn’t my lightest so far, but it is where I am today.   I’ve been working as an ad sales rep at the Star Herald over the past year, and I really wanted to use this…
  • By Gracie Rozeboom, Star Herald advertising and design intern
    August 01, 2023
    On Saturday my family and our Verne Drive-In family of workers hosted the first annual “Carson’s Cause Car & Truck Meet” to raise awareness about brain health and suicide prevention. It was a chance to remember Carson Ehde who died last fall from suicide at age 21. And it was a chance to raise money for the foundation we started in his memory. I poured my whole heart into this event — because…
  • By Greg Hoogeveen
    July 27, 2023
    This week is the 2023 Rock County Fair, and it’s a big week for the sports guy at the Star Herald. I have committed to being on the Star Herald teams for Wednesday night’s Donkey Races and Friday Night’s Ag Olympic. Being a city boy with limited barnyard experience, I am a bit scared and excited to see how these events go. Growing up, I have had the opportunity to ride a pig or two at a relative’…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    July 25, 2023
    Office chatter at the Star Herald has been entertaining this week. “I’m definitely wearing a cowboy hat,” I said. “I think I can turn some jeans into Daisy Dukes,” Greg chimed in. “But wait — then you’ll need chaps. Where can we get those?” Mavis, a seasoned horse rider, volunteered to bring her wardrobe to work. We discussed safety. “If the air quality is poor, I’ll have my inhaler handy.” And…
  • By Rick Peterson, general manager
    July 25, 2023
    If you don’t know it’s fair week, you must be living under a rock. The four-day event actually takes months of planning and preparation by the volunteers that make up the Rock County Agricultural Society. The behind-the-scene work is so good you don’t even notice it. I mean that as a compliment. You probably won’t notice the freshly painted buildings, the new additional sidewalks and the upgrades…
  • By Scott Rall, outdoors columnist
    July 18, 2023
    A few weeks back I spent some time in this column running through the basics of shooting at long-range targets. I am no expert on this subject matter but certainly have gotten bit by the long-range-shooting bug. What prompted my entry into this discipline was an introduction to a gentleman by the name of Todd VanLangen. Todd is a 25-year veteran of the Army Special Forces unit where he spent 13…
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