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Sun Editorial: Diverse voices offer advice to grads
May 18, 2017
Get a good higher education. Work hard. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Living in Iowa: With all the tasty, nutritious stuff in nature, why do gnats bug us?
by Dan Brawner · May 18, 2017
I was working outside yesterday, enjoying the beautiful clear spring weather, when suddenly a cloud appeared overhead. It was a small cloud, but it was my own personal cloud. And, instead of rain, it was full of gnats.

Sunny Side: Living like it was 100 years ago
May 18, 2017
Editor's Note: Lisbon third-graders were invited to write this week's Sunnyside. Our grade took a field trip to 1907. Two weeks ago, Lisbon Community School's third-graders went to Usher's Ferry in Cedar Rapids.

Mount Vernon 'raised the bar' with waste diversion work at Chalk the Walk
by Aaron Hanson · May 18, 2017
Mount Vernon hosted its annual Chalk The Walk May 6-7 with a bit of a twist. This year the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) contracted with The Compost Ninja, a waste diversion service, to work toward a zero-waste event.

Musings: Shopping local, outdoors-style, through new endeavor
by Jake Krob · May 18, 2017
Call it shop local, outdoors style. Or check your backyard first.

Sun Editorial: Volunteers an inspiration to focus on serving others, investing in community
May 11, 2017
Everywhere we turned in recent weeks, we saw volunteers.

Living in Iowa: Semi driver crushes antique bridge, with GPS to blame
by Dan Brawner · May 11, 2017
Last Friday, a semi-trailer carrying grain and weighing 30 tons headed onto the Daleys Bridge on the Upper Iowa River, east of Cresco. And squished it. This should not have come as a complete surprise to the unnamed driver because the 100-year-old bridge had a posted weight limit of three tons, excluding any vehicle heavier than a full-sized pickup. The driver presumably saw the warning sign, but explained to authorities that he was only following the directions on his GPS. (Lucky for him, his GPS didn't tell him to drive into the Pacific Ocean.) Estimates for the repair are expected to be in the range of $900,000.

Sunny Side: Direction giving, volunteer style
May 11, 2017
My dad is a native of Chicago. When we visited my grandmother and uncles there, he and they would spend far too much time talking about directions and the best ways to get from one place to another.

Musings: Uptown mural sets the stage for other improvements
by Jake Krob · May 11, 2017
"Wait. What? You got to go on the first day. You're lucky." Our daughter Ella, a fifth-grader, was quite envious last week. Son Cooper, a second-grader, and his classmates were among the first local schoolchildren who put their permanent mark on what's long been a big, ugly concrete wall uptown.

City should 'ditch' franchise fee
by Bill Niemi · May 11, 2017
The proposed City of Mount Vernon 5 percent franchise fee (tax) on our Alliant bills has focused our attention on necessities. The political environment has become sharply hostile to the needs of the poor, sick and elderly; now we are considering taxing a necessity, our household energy, for unspecified purposes that the city will decide at their discretion.

Sun Editorial: Community has right attitude to address changing business climate
May 4, 2017
Word of a business closing always comes with a bit of fear.

Living in Iowa: Before making policy decision, ask 'What would Jackson do?'
by Dan Brawner · May 4, 2017
Donald Trump's hero is our seventh president, Andrew Jackson. Not that he knows much about Old Hickory, but he seems to like the cut of his jib (if he knew what a jib was) and feels they are somehow kindred spirits. On Monday, in an interview with the Washington Examiner's Salena Zito, Trump went off on a tangent saying Jackson had been "really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, 'There's no reason for this.'"

Finding time for self care
by Matthew McDermott, Sun Intern · May 4, 2017
Our day-to-day lives are filled with errands, jobs, activities, responsibilities and commitments - there is no point in denying it.

Musings: People want what we have: housing action needed soon
by Jake Krob · May 4, 2017
The stories seem to have been more plentiful in recent months.

Cornell dining experienced opened eyes to marvelous young people today
by Anita Pitcher, Dixie Mackie and Kay McGuire · May 4, 2017
We hear so much these days about the insensitivity of our youth. How they are only concerned about themselves. How they can't communicate except by texting.
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