Columns

(but I definitely laughed)     It started as a seemingly simple photo contest. The City of Willow Springs invited high school students to submit photographs showcasing the town. About 30 photos were posted online for voting.  The picture that received the most votes was a striking view of...
Kids from 1 to 92, I have some great news: Santa Claus is REAL. He is as real as you or me, your grandmother or Abraham Lincoln. Like a lot of historical figures or members of bygone generations, the details of his life on earth have been embellished.  The Nicholas who would eventually become “...
To the anonymous, embittered person who is clearly a faithful reader of this publication: pluck up the courage to sign your name to your opinions, please. I do, as does Mr. Galebach, and so does the writer of every other opinion you will ever find on this page. If you have something to say, I...
Say what you will about Mountain View’s current mayor, Donnie Pruett, but his time as a public servant has inspired so many people to get involved in municipal politics. This is a great thing. This newspaper regularly covers three municipalities, and Mountain View is the only town that has...
photo credit: Ann Hines
This week’s wild resource is a little more advanced because it has several look-alikes, but it is so plentiful and so medicinally valuable that I decided it was well worth discussing. Turkey Tail’s benefits seem never-ending. It has been well-studied, so bear with me if the list gets a little...
photo credit: Ann Hines
When Shakespeare penned the words, “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” I’m sure he wasn’t thinking of multiflora rose. Ask any Missouri landowner, and they’ll tell you what a nuisance it is. It was originally introduced to the US from Asia in the...
photo credit: Ann Hines
Like the mimosa tree I wrote about a few weeks ago, pawpaws seem like they belong in the tropics rather than in the temperate-zoned Midwest. While the tree itself is not particularly remarkable, the fruits are something like banana-mango-vanilla-custard. Truly unique, and the largest native fruit...
I'm writing this column after one of the most vicious and unfounded attacks I've heard by a Missouri governor against a major Missouri news organization.   It involves the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story published Thursday, Oct. 14, about how a state Education Department website allowed access...
photo credit: Ann Hines
Black walnut is one of the most treasured flavors of my Missouri childhood, right up there with other regional favorites like poke, persimmons, and morels. The flavor is associated with my grandma’s cakes and cookies, homemade ice cream, and my grandpa’s “date candy.” Have you ever had a root...
photo credit: Ann Hines
I know what you’re thinking, “Get that flower away from me before I sneeze!” Guilty by association, goldenrod blooms at the same time as one of its cousins in the daisy family, ragweed, known to torment many a seasonal allergy sufferer. But unlike ragweed’s airborne pollen, goldenrod pollen is...

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Howell County News

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Willow Springs, MO 65793
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