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

  • Updated

The subject of the masks we wear used to be just an abstract discussion considered by poets and philosophers. Recently, though, it has become a very concrete, current issue on the minds of many. And, as with most topics these days, it has turned into a controversial political theme.

The Advocate last week contained the life story of Melba Coffee on its obituary page. While I never knew her, I can see that she was quite a remarkable lady with many achievements during her life. Among them were secretary of the United Methodist Church in Frankfort and deputy county clerk i…

In many other countries where masks are widely used or required, the COVID-19 infection rate has significantly dropped. Meanwhile in America, where masks have not been mandatory, we are reaching record rates of COVID-19 spread.

Given our apparent short attention spans, it seems we must be repeatedly reminded there are consequences to our decisions. And so it is with the never-ending Republican mantra calling for tax cuts.

While this country’s leadership has a long way to go in coming to terms with the bigotry that has plagued the U.S. since its founding, there are encourageing signs of change all around.

I won’t deny that I hate weeds. Sometimes I think I’m obsessed with them. As I stroll on any of the city’s sidewalks, I can’t help myself. I see a stray blade of grass or a sprig of dandelion and I find myself bending over to pluck it, knowing full well it will be back as early as tomorrow.

Note from editor Sarah Kessinger: My children grew up with John Babb in Topeka and we attended Grace Episcopal Cathedral with his family during our years there. In light of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, John recently shared his thoughts as a black man living in Kansas.

When driving east on U.S. Highway 36 through Marysville, you have likely noticed a large billboard with the following message displayed: “I am color blind – God.”

Kansas House District 106 Rep. Bill Pannbacker has announced he will not run for reelection. As a newspaper, we were disappointed to hear that Pannbacker was calling it quits after his first two-year term.

I don’t know if a governor could face anything more difficult than walking the line between saving lives in a global pandemic and saving businesses that put food on the table for Kansans.

A few years ago we lost our little lap dog Louie, who’d had many happy years with us. As empty nesters, we decided we wouldn’t hassle with another dog again.

Community bankers in Marshall County have stepped up in the last several weeks and shouldered the responsibility of keeping our business communities intact. They’ve been the conduits and local administrators for the federal CARES Act and its Paycheck Protection Program, known as the PPP. The…

It’s been a bizarre spring, to say the least, and at a local newspaper, perhaps as challenging as they come. We’ve been thrown off course by the disappearance of traditional community events and activities cancelled amid the threat of the pandemic’s spread. The Advocate hasn’t published a ca…

I was struck recently by two stories, within days of each other that show how the COVID pandemic has exposed the best and the worst in us. There is really no need to provide much more background information. We all know that COVID has closed businesses, kept us at home and even made us fear …

In an effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Linn County Health Department has asked businesses to keep track of patrons who visit their premises for the next month.

Former Advocate columnist Oretha Ruetti did extensive research on the effect that the 1918 influenza pandemic had on Marshall County. Her columns originally were published in 1998 on Jan. 1, 8, 15, 22, Feb. 26 and March 5. The columns later were compiled into one story, “The darkest chapter …

Mother’s Day weekend is approaching and this year offers a chance to consider what moms realy need across a nation battling COVID-19. It’s clear from reports so far that the virus disproportionately hits the poor. Why? Lack of access to health care.

Marysville resident Gina Miller, who put together a team of women to help her and husband Tony complete hundreds of masks recently for New York City hospitals, is still on the job.

Something happened to the boxelder tree in the backyard of the house where I grew up in Winifred, probably long before I was born.

Marysville’s historic corner Post Office and the nine other post offices across Marshall County are not just vital delivery services for rural residents and businesses, they provide 45 local jobs.

“Life was, for people who lived through that generation...more precious. It was like living through the Blitz. People began to know what was important in life and what wasn’t.”

Taking their cue from an irrational and impulsive president who has already declared he takes no responsibility for the current health crisis - and has done nothing over the last few weeks to disprove that statement - Republicans in Kansas are stepping up their criticism of Gov. Laura Kelly.

Kansas’ top health official was angered last week. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, expressed fury after Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman and Senate President Susan Wagle led Republicans on a legislative committee in voting to revoke the governor’s or…

This is such a gloomy and depressing time with schools and businesses closed, nearly a year’s worth of community events canceled or postponed for months, and normal informal gatherings no longer happening.  

Edit: I wrote most of this post last week before Trump’s statement on Monday about protecting Asian Americans. While it’s a step in the right direction, it comes off as reactionary to the backlash he received for the repeated and deliberate use of “Chinese Virus.” I give the president as muc…

First of all, as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic here at the local level, let us appreciate and be thankful for what we have in our area. With amazing health care clinical and support staff workers at Community Memorial Healthcare and in our nursing homes, public health, and our first respon…

Marshall County business owners have local banks ready to help them apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, which started late last week to gather applications for the forgivable loans.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues we at Kanzaland Radio certainly feel the added stress and uncertainty as community members and small local business owners facing new challenges presented every day.

With the COVID-19 pandemic going on right now it can be a little overwhelming and I’d like to address some concerns I’ve been asked about lately. 

Our world has been turned upside down over the past week, as we prepare for the novel coronavirus pandemic to arrive in our community.

There is a huge amount of advice out there on what to do during the coronarvirus pandemic. Newsletters, emails, the media and other forms of communication suggest what we could/should be doing during these days when most people have a lot more time on their hands than they’ve had before.

Monday is when Marshall County’s schools go back in session — this time online. It’s time to think of ways to give teachers a morale boost as they make the whiplash turn to e-teaching children they had in the classroom just a few weeks ago.

My son, Sam, and his wife, Jennifer, live and teach at an international school in South Korea. Since January, when the first coronavirus case was detected in that country, I’ve been obsessed with COVID-19 news.

Those throw-away plastic bags are in the news. Recently a bill was passed by a Kansas House committee that would, if signed into law, make it illegal for cities to limit or ban their use.

It is time for a renewed conversation about KanCare expansion. This year is clearly the most significant progress we have seen on Medicaid expansion to date in our state. Collaborative efforts led by Republicans and Democrats have been momentous. It is important that politics not get in the …

It doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago when opening day of pheasant hunting season was a pretty big deal. But my, oh my, how times have changed.