Articles By: Joey Young

Economic cooperation needs to happen for county to prosper

The end appears to be near for the Marion County Community Economic Development Corp. (MCCEDC) with the City of Marion pulling its financial support for the organization. Maybe this will be a good thing and maybe it won’t, and rather than getting into the complexities of that organization and how it runs, it would be more useful to keep an […]

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Don’t close the door on transparency

The Marion County Commission has a transparency problem. Plain and simple. Whether they are holding secret, hotel meetings to introduce potential employees or misusing executive sessions to discuss taxpayer money behind closed doors, the commission has a tendency to box out the public. But it’s not too late. Like any other problem, the first step to recovery is to simply […]

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Marion County should capitalize on its natural resources

Marion County has a lot to offer. Surrounded by counties much larger than itself, Marion County has something none of those places have: the scenery and the reservoir. That is what Marion County should be building its approach to economic development around. The appeal of a big company locating to Marion County is something anyone can get excited about. The […]

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Free Press moving on after 20 years of leadership from Ratzlaff

A new era is ahead of us at the Free Press. Our editorial leader, Don Ratzlaff, has taken a position at Tabor College, which leaves some very large shoes to fill for the first time in 20 years. Don helped start the Free Press, along with Joel Klaassen, two decades ago, and both of them have been a fixture on […]

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Social media trolls ruining positive uses

I would quit Facebook tomorrow if I didn’t think it would hinder my job and the relationships fostered because of it. I am just sick of it. Facebook, Twitter, Snap­chat and the like are a cancer on society. They allow us to keep up with friends from a distance and share photos and things that genuinely are positive, but with […]

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Wal-Mart?s closing is no grand victory

As the news of the Hillsboro Wal-Mart closure became public, my phone started blowing up with messages of congratulations through text, email and phone conversation. My opposition to Wal-Mart locating in Hillsboro, its value to the community, and our refusal of advertising dollars from Wal-Mart, has a lot of people thinking we were jumping for joy in the Free Press […]

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Loyalty renewed with success

I was done with this year?s Kansas City Chiefs. I was so done that I went on a written tirade and publicly declared the team left for dead after losing a home game to the Chicago Bears. Sitting at 1-5 with another season headed for a high draft pick, I was gearing up for basketball season and hoping 2016 would […]

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The familiar machine rolls on

Anytime something terrible happens, the machine starts going again. It?s almost tragically comical at this point. You can count down the moments as if they are predetermined and orchestrated by some expert puppet master above us just pulling the strings to lifeless, thoughtless bodies. When the attacks on Paris occurred, I was late to the news. I was sitting in […]

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Bonding time with the bands

From long road trips to a quick trip to Hutch?in?son from our home in Buhler, my parents always had music on in our vehicles while I was growing up. We would play games trying to guess the artist and song title before the others, but mostly we just enjoyed the music. We listened to a wide range of music, from […]

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Tough start but a good ending

We had missed our detour, increased our drive by about an hour, almost ran out of gas, and hit not one but two possums. I was starting to think maybe I wasn?t meant to give a good keynote speech the next morning at the Mid-America Newspaper Conference in Lake Ozark, Mo. A few weeks ago I was asked to speak […]

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