Should Iowa have more official state symbols?

Should Iowa have more official state symbols?

Gazette Column
National average is 22; Hawkeye State has six Tennessee’s failed attempt to codify the Holy Bible as its official state book made me wonder about Iowa’s official items. Relative to other states, we have very few state symbols. One of the first acts of the General Assembly in 1847 was to adopt the state seal, which pictures a citizen soldier standing on a wheat field, surrounded by farm and industry implements, with the Mississippi River in the background. An eagle is overhead with a scroll of the state motto: “Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” The motto itself is not singularly official. It was the work of a three-member Iowa Senate committee, and has been incorporated into the official flag and seal. Fifty years later, the…
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Veteran death is shameful

Veteran death is shameful

Gazette Column
Statistics are just numbers on a page, something we read before shaking our heads and moving on to the next thing — until they strike close to home. It has been a week since the frozen body of Army veteran Richard Miles was found in Water Works Park on the western side of Des Moines near Gray’s Lake. There was no apparent trauma. His clothing was not cut or ripped. He wore no coat or shoes, although a single shoe and jacket were discovered nearby. The 41-year-old had served three tours in the Middle East, beginning in 2002. Friends, co-workers and family members believe he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was not receiving the level of care he needed. According to a timeline of Miles’ final days provided…
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Reynolds special guest at ‘Pastors Policy Briefing’

Reynolds special guest at ‘Pastors Policy Briefing’

Gazette Column
Iowa Renewal Project event offered free to Iowa's faithful An invitation, stamped with the return address of a West Des Moines UPS Store mailbox, went out this week to Iowa’s faithful. Those who received the call will have an opportunity to hear privately from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and various other conservative leaders at a two-day, all-expenses-paid Pastors Policy Briefing scheduled for March 9 and 10 in Des Moines. “Meals and lodging are complimentary and will be provided by the Iowa Renewal Project,” reads the invitation. It is hardly the first time a Pastors Policy Briefing has been held in Iowa or other states key to the presidential nomination process. The closed-door meetings have been a shadowy part of the…
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