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Sun Editorial: Commemorate Memorial Day
May 25, 2017
"People just don't understand Memorial Day anymore."

Living in Iowa: A chance encounter with a fawn gives a glimpse into a beautiful, yet separate, world
by Dan Brawner · May 25, 2017
Last week, not long after Mother's Day, my mom and I were walking through her flower garden to see what had recently come into bloom (while trying hard not to notice the weeds). And there, in the middle of the iris bed, something unusual had sprouted up. It was brown with white spots. And it spoke to us.

Sunny Side: Family tradition imparts advice for graduates
by Nathan Countryman · May 25, 2017
This past weekend, my cousin Isabella graduated from high school in Dike-New Hartford.

Guest Column: Mental health awareness should also highlight link to substance abuse issues
by Jeffrey Meyers · May 25, 2017
Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month, an initiative undertaken by the Mental Health America organization to educate and highlight the issue of mental health challenges. A recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that nearly one in five Americans have a mental health condition. The specific issues themselves can vary a great deal, such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Musings: Three retiring professors make Cornell, MVL special
by Jake Krob · May 25, 2017
We Mount Vernon-Lisbon residents often think of the impact of Cornell College from an economic development and social point of view.

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.
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