Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 09 September 2008 14:16The surprise report at Monday’s county commission meeting that 47 bridges in Marion County have been been found to be unsafe for a school bus to cross was aptly described by the commissioners as “a bombshell.” Another metaphor might be “a straw”—as in the one that broke the camel’s back. Marion County has been accumulating a pile of infastructure challenges over the past couple of years, and the load is weighing heavy.
To name a few, the county jail is in need of major repair...
Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 19 August 2008 13:51The Olympics always provide some good television. There’s way more to see than we have time for, but I like the sports competition I am familiar with, like track and field, swimming, gymnastics. I liked basketball before the pros took it over.
Especially interesting to watch this year was Michael Phelps, with his eight gold medals, and the sprinters—both men and women—from Jamaica.
I don’t know how many people noticed it, but a photo of men’s 100-meter-dash winner, 21-year-old Usain Bolt of Jamaica, showed that his left shoe was untied at the end of the race. I wonder if it was that way from the beginning? It didn’t matter. And that he slowed down before the finish and still won in world-record time was even more...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 02 September 2008 14:03
The annual migration of Tabor College students gives a sense of wholeness to the start of a new school year. Classes on the Hillsboro campus were set to begin on Monday night.
These students will be part of history as the college community celebrates its centennial with a variety of activities over the course of the year. The celebration will climax on homecoming weekend, which is the first weekend of October.
Students, we’re glad you’re here. We hope this year will be a growing and enriching experience, whether it happens in the classroom, on the sports field or court, or in the various housing situations with fellow students. We consider you an important part of our community. —DR
Written by Joel Klaassen Tuesday, 12 August 2008 14:02With last week’s edition of the Free Press we have completed a full 10 years of publishing a free community weekly newspaper. It feels good.
We have many people to thank for our longevity. Our first edition on Aug. 12, 1998, included contributions from Natalie Roth, David Hanigar, Diane Steiner, Andy Johnson, Connie Faber, Ellyne Wiebe, partner Don Ratzlaff and me. Tina Groening joined us shortly thereafter and has been with us ever since.
We will post a pdf of that first issue on our Web site this week if you would like to see what was going on back then. The closing of the DFA plant was a huge lead story to get us on our way.
Many other people have been on board through the years, as well as several behind-the-scenes supporters...
Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 26 August 2008 14:16Sen. Pat Roberts was right about at least one thing during his extended monologue at the so-called “listening tour” stop in Hillsboro on Monday: We are living in tough times. He was speaking of the national scene, where any number of issues seem too complex for conceivable solutions and any number of programs need to be reformed, rethought or refused.
But the issues are not much simpler at the local level. High fuel prices inflate budgets for municipal services, which for most entities leads to tax increases that will only make our communities and Marion County less attractive to new residents that we so desperately need to increase the enrollment of our schools that are facing budget cuts of because declining numbers and high...
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