Street Smarts

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Guest Columns

Recently, in a News-Press Ping Poll the question was asked, “Should more resources be used to treat mental health in the St. Joseph Community?” A resounding 86 percent said, yes. They are right.

When I was a tyke, I always freaked out over the possible presence of “cat hairs and goims.” (Why a Tennessee farmboy pronounced “germs” like a hooligan in a 1930s movie set in Brooklyn, I’ll never know.)

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Recently, editorialists of the News-Press authored an opinion piece entitled, “Remain cautious on Medicaid expansion.” The editorial concluded by opining that Medicaid expansion will cost too much and that all our legislators need to do is to make our state’s Medicaid system more efficient, …

As the mayor of Weston, Missouri, I believe in small, conservative government so my constituents can lead their lives freely in our beautiful town. The Missouri General Assembly is full of people who also claim to be small-government conservatives, but they sure like to tell us what to do.

History will record that Eric Greitens announced the end of his governorship in the grand ceremonial office on the second floor of the Missouri Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. At Family Guidance Center, we want to shine a light on mental health all year long.

I recently got a call from a major donor in Missouri politics about a controversial bill that was before the General Assembly in Jefferson City. Sixty percent of my constituents who had contacted me asked me to vote against the bill. This donor found out, and he offered me $35,000 to vote “y…

WASHINGTON, D.C. — I am a proud native of St. Joseph, but for my entire adult life I have lived in Washington, D.C. I span two worlds, with one foot planted in the Midwest of my youth, and another on the East Coast where I work and raise my family.

For those of us living or farming near a river, the threat of flooding always is in the back of our minds. We do our best to prepare for floods and expect the federal government to do the same.

Seat belts save lives. It’s a proven fact, but they must be worn properly. Current law in Missouri requires everyone in the front seat of a passenger vehicle to wear a seat belt.

The recent emphasis by the St. Joseph School District to promote better attendance is laudable. I am pleased to see the improved attendance resulting from the Strive for 5 program.

Timothy Vaughn dutifully cheered the University of Missouri for a decade, sitting in the stands with his swag, two hot dogs and a Diet Coke. He estimates he attended between 60 and 85 athletic events every year — football and basketball games and even tennis matches and gymnastics meets. But…

Missouri shares a border with eight other U.S. states and no foreign countries, but our economic well-being is intricately tied to foreign trade and robust engagement with the world.

Given the uproar over Ivanka Trump’s sitting in for her father at the “adult’s table” at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this summer I’ve been thinking about why it is that we seem so eager to cry “nepotism” where family enterprise is concerned.

We recently enjoyed a vacation to the Northwestern states, where we visited many towns and cities and had the privilege of driving through both business and residential areas that clearly had respect and pride for their communities.

There have been several recent news stories about a study from the Pew Research Center that found a partisan divide regarding the perceived value of colleges and universities. As the executive director of the association of the 15 presidents and chancellors of Missouri’s public universities,…

Missouri stands on the brink of prematurely expanding Medicaid managed care statewide at the detriment of very vulnerable patients. It does so through a process that was highly irregular, if not illegal. As is too often true in the Missouri capital, a member of a key legislator’s staff is no…

President Dwight Eisenhower’s biggest contribution to American — and global — history came roughly nine years before he ever took residency in the White House.

Voters sent a message to Washington and elected officials from across the country on Nov. 8. They gave Republicans control of both houses in Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade.

The week of Sept.11-17, 2016, has been designated by congressional resolution as Arts in Education Week. For these seven days we will celebrate the powerful influence that dance, music, theater and visual arts can have on the lives of students and communities alike.

For the time being, it seems plans to tear down Kansas City International Airport and build a $1.2 billion new terminal have been shelved. Public polling indicated about 60 percent of city voters, whose approval was required for a bond issuance, remained opposed.

When I was appointed interim president of the University of Missouri System last November, after three decades of serving in academic and leadership roles on our Columbia campus, I was both honored and humbled by the awesome responsibility before me.

The Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC) wants to raise the beef checkoff assessment that cattle producers pay from $1 per head to $2 per head. This would mean Missouri cattle farmers would be paying more than $4 million every year in beef checkoff fees.

Living in a persistent state of poverty leads to poor health. Thus, the overall health of a community can be improved by helping its impoverished citizens overcome barriers that keep them in a persistent state of poverty.

This week marked the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The event changed our country forever, and to this day still reminds us that we have to confront our enemies overseas before they can confront us at home.

Many times when we hear the word “suicide,” we think of someone far away from our own lives — someone who didn’t ask anyone for help until it was too late. Or, we shake our head and assume there were obvious clues that we all missed.

The media attention given to reality television’s Duggar family and the actions of their eldest son, Josh, when he was a teenager, raise numerous issues regarding sexual behavior problems in youth, and how parents and caregivers can appropriately respond.

Before the state legislative session ends on May 15, Missouri’s lawmakers must tackle a number of important issues. One that hasn’t yet received much attention is the repeal of the state’s antiquated “certificate-of-need” laws.

The world is becoming ever more complex, and as a consequence, the need for education after high school has never been more essential to our quality of life.

The way St. Joseph pays for street construction and maintenance has changed over the decades.

On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered the remnants of his once tireless troops to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House.


When the Shop St. Joseph campaign was launched in 2007, organizers talked about keeping retail dollars from gravitating to Kansas City during this all-important sales period.

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Farmers might have felt a sense of foreboding after seeing President Trump and Nancy Pelosi sparring earlier this week over a border wall and a possible government shutdown.

Be patient, eventually the sun climbs higher and a mild breeze snaps the cold that grips our city this time of year.

Every month, the typical Missourian spends more money to maintain a personal cellphone than to maintain roads and bridges in the state.

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Prior to the George H.W. Bush funeral, a powerful moment emerged when former Sen. Bob Dole struggled to stand from his wheelchair to salute the former president’s flag-draped coffin.

Anyone who’s ever waited, waited and waited a little longer for a plane’s door to finally open surely knows the feeling of frustration that comes with commercial air travel.

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St. Joseph can point to numerous historical luminaries since the city was founded 175 years ago.

The Internet continues to make an impact — for better and for worse — on our daily lives. It should be no surprise that it has had the same effect on the way a community fights crime.

The St. Joseph City Council faces a paradox that’s familiar to anyone who ever considered new windows, insulation or other energy-efficient improvements for the home.

When Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency, it was clear that his protectionist message would play well in St. Joseph.

A few months ago, businessman Pat Modlin gave an interview to News-Press Now about all the projects that were unfolding in our city’s Downtown.

The short story “All Summer in a Day” describes life in a fictional colony on Venus that only sees the sun on rare occasion. As one would imagine, it’s quite an event.

The “Imagine St. Joseph 2040” initiative shows just how much has changed for a city like ours that’s trying to create jobs in an increasingly competitive environment.

Balancing the rights of victims and the accused appears to be a Herculean task when investigating sexual misconduct allegations in today’s charged political environment.

It’s hard to imagine why — or how — the devices we carry around all day could have access to even faster Internet speeds, but that’s exactly what a 5G network promises and delivers.

Earlier this month, the News-Press published a story on the one-year anniversary of the crushing defeat of Proposition 1.

Commercials in the 1970s showed football players and rodeo stars putting a pinch of chewing tobacco in their mouths with the adage, “smokeless is the only way to go.”

History records that Army Pfc. Jesse N. Funk, a native of Harrison County in Northwest Missouri, rushed onto a battlefield near Bois-de Bantheville, France, facing constant enemy fire, and pulled two wounded Americans to safety. He would survive World War I, which ended 12 days later, and be…

Missouri voters could be forgiven for needing a clothespin while voting on the myriad of statewide ballot issues in Tuesday’s general election.

St. Joseph grew from improbabilities. Perhaps founding father Joseph Robidoux could see a prosperous future community in the remote collection of huts around the Blacksnake Hills, but the hard work of pioneer life no doubt occupied his days. The luxury of setting goals, making plans and orga…

This is one in a series of editorials commenting on candidates and issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Editorial Board shares its opinions for the benefit of interested readers; we invite your opinions as well.

This is one in a series of editorials commenting on candidates and issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Editorial Board shares its opinions for the benefit of interested readers; we invite your opinions as well.

This is one in a series of editorials commenting on candidates and issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Editorial Board shares its opinions for the benefit of interested readers; we invite your opinions as well.

This is one in a series of editorials commenting on candidates and issues on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Editorial Board shares its opinions for the benefit of interested readers; we invite your opinions as well.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.