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Busy week has more-than-a-race, a non-weather event and civility

There are days I can form complete thoughts and thus, complete columns. This is not one of those days.So here’s a few random thoughts to kick off the week.•••••The grocery carts were ready and the competitive juices were certainly flowing last Wednesday as the Tribune and KCZE-FM 95.1 The Bull squared off in a rivalry that Ohio State-Michigan and Duke-North Carolina can’t touch.OK, I admit the first sentence of this column is total hyperbole.The Tribune’s Dorothy Huber and Laurie Tiemessen and the radio station’s Bob Svec and Missy Pitzenberger had their grocery carts lined up and their lists in hand at New Hampton’s Fareway store.At stake was the traveling trophy that we at the Tribune had proudly displayed for a year after winning the Farm Bureau’s annual Grocery Cart Race in 2016.Halfway through the race, it was literally too close to call, but as I snapped pictures of the race (and maybe made fun of Bob Svec from time to time), one of the regular shoppers in Fareway pulled me aside.“The paper’s going to win,” she said.How did she know?“You’ve got two women shopping and God bless Bob, but everyone knows a woman is going to beat a man when it comes to shopping,” she said with conviction.Well, it turns out, she nailed it.Although Svec did claim victory — on the store intercom no less — it turned out he had failed to gather all the necessary items and the Tribune scored a come-from-behind victory to keep the trophy where it belongs.•••••In all seriousness, the race isn’t really the big story.Instead, it’s a way for Farm Bureau to emphasize the importance that farms play in feeding not only Chickasaw County but the world.And it also shows the organization’s commitment to our local food banks. By the time the race had officially been completed, the Nashua Food Pantry had a little more than $200 of items to stock its shelves and the Chickasaw Food Pantry here in New Hampton and the Fredericksburg Food Pantry were in line to receive $100 checks.There are those who have issues with Farm Bureau’s politics, but no one should quibble about our local organization’s involvement in our community.•••••I seriously hate writing weather headlines because my track record ... well, it isn’t all that good.Years ago, I wrote a headline that read something like “storm misses area.”By the time the paper it hit the streets, we had received about eight inches of snow in a six-hour period.So when I wrote the headline — “The blizzard that fizzled” — on Friday afternoon that graces the front page of this paper, I was understandably nervous.A few hours later, I left the office. And it was snowing like the dickens and a few minutes later, I received a text from our sports editor.“Ya had to go and put that headline on the page, didn’t ya?”Yes, I did, and fortunately, that heavy snow on Friday evening lasted less than an hour — proving that adage about a blind squirrel finding a nut is true.•••••Finally, hats off to the students of New Hampton High School, who conducted themselves with class and dignity during U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s visit to the city last Thursday.The Iowa Republican hadn’t had the best of weeks; at virtually every town hall meeting he held, he was met with large and angry crowds.Look, I get it. There are people who are angry and passionate and they believe Grassley is on the wrong side of a lot of issues.But there’s a difference between being passionate and rude, and it took a group of high school students to show that civility can be part of American politics today. 

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