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Posted December 26, 2013in Duffy

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Posted December 26, 2013in Cover Story

a Steve King year

Iowa’s new 4th congressional district chose its representative a year ago, and here’s what it got: a blizzard of sound bites that sometimes provoked national condemnation, partial successes on conservative priorities, and what could be a crushing failure on one issue, ethanol, that matters deeply to the district’s economy. Say

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Posted December 26, 2013in Locker Room

Ah, the power of fresh powder

Sledding is one of the most favored physical (outdoor) activities in the winter months. It combines resistance and cardio training that inevitably leaves everyone involved sweating through his or her snow-pants. And the best parts? It’s pointless to do alone, and it’s free. Just grab a sled, a saucer, an

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Posted December 25, 2013in Book Review

‘Divergent’ is more than a ‘Hunger Games’ knock-off

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books Review by Julie Goodrich                Simon and Schuster Oct. 1, 2013 $28 304 pp. “Divergent” is the next big thing in dystopic fiction — complete with conflicted heroine, dramatic setting, moral ambiguity and the ubiquitous passionate romance, this book will appeal to “The Hunger Games” fans. However,

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Posted December 25, 2013in Sound Notes

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its inductees for 2014. While there will always be annual talk of the snubs — no Hall for Deep Purple or N.W.A. — the group that did get in was entirely deserving: Nirvana became Hall of Famers in its first year of

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Posted December 25, 2013in Tech Talk

Rush-minute could soon end

One thing that denotes a city from a major metropolitan area is an extensive mass transit system. While Des Moines’ labor force may worry about our daily “rush minute,” cities like New York and Chicago have to worry about bus and rail schedules, not to mention full-on gridlock. Maybe Des

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Posted December 25, 2013in On The Tube

Honoring the wrong pianist

This year’s “Kennedy Center Honors” (Sunday, 8 p.m., CBS) celebrates jazz innovator Herbie Hancock, guitarist Carlos Santana, movie star Shirley MacLaine, opera singer Martina Arroyo and pianist Billy Joel for their contributions to American culture. I was going to maintain a discreet silence about the choice of honorees, having tired

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Posted December 25, 2013in Your Money

Paid for by taxpayers in… Polk County

Amount: $2,150 To: Lister Industries For: Purchase of parking barriers ($50 each) plus $100 in delivery fees.   Amount: $132.79 To: Loffredo Fresh Produce Company Inc. For: Purchase of bananas for the jail.   Amount: $789.50 To: Menard’s in Ankeny For: Purchase of 50 standard mailboxes ($15.97 a piece).  

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Posted December 25, 2013in Center Stage

New Social Club unveiled

A strong contender for Weirdest Theater Ever would be “Jerry Springer: The Opera,” which sets Springer’s sleaze to song. Now, where did I catch the show? Why, at the Des Moines Social Club. A few years back, the DMSC staged a choice selection, featuring cross-gender adultery. That was only one

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Posted December 25, 2013in Sound Check

Max Wellman “You Must Believe in Spring” Independent Lou Reed and Metallica got together a couple years ago to collaborate on an album called “Lulu.” It was an unmitigated disaster and arguably the worst album of 2011. “You Must Believe in Spring” isn’t an unmitigated disaster. But it is a

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