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Last year, around this time, I entered the basement of the First United Methodist Church and immediately thought there had been some kind of mistake. I was there to sort donations for Wheels of H.O.P.E., the mobile food pantry, but where in previous months I had seen tables pretty well laden…

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Reflection is a good thing. It allows you to see where you’ve been and hopefully chart a better course on where you’re going. While on vacation recently I had a chance to think about the small community where I grew up.

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“Stop it!” President-elect Donald Trump, Jr. said directly into the camera, when 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl informed him that some of his supporters were harassing people of color. 

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We all read the bad news about forecasts of dropping state revenues in the upcoming fiscal year, presuming that the governor and Legislature can cut their way out of the current fiscal year with a constitutionally required minimum of $1 in the bank on June 30.

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When the temperatures in Kansas dip below freezing, two types of people usually surface — those who enjoy invigorating weather and those who tolerate the cold from inside. 

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For the farmers, ranchers and firefighters who live in Barber and Comanche counties, the possibility of another “living, breathing fire monster” is never far from their minds.

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This is not the first time when events did not occur as expected, and it won’t be the last. Attainment of an electoral college majority by Donald J. Trump was a narrow possibility given so many negative factors.  At times unusual things happen.

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If you are basking in that post-election serenity of not having your mailbox filled with direct mail suggestions on how to vote, and you no longer have campaign flyers falling out from behind the screen door when you are trying to get the groceries into the house, well, congratulations.

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JOHN SCHLAGECK is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwestern Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion. 

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Two, three and four decades ago, most farmers took great pride and pleasure in looking across their recently planted fields and seeing green seedlings emerging against a backdrop of black soil. That looked beautiful then. Still does.

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Proponents of organic, labor-intensive farming contend we should go back to the days when every family owned 40 acres, farmed with hay burners (horses) and applied no chemicals.

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Now, whether you are a fan of Democratic former Kansas Gov. John Carlin or not, he last week provided a little common-sense campaign advice that you have to hope all candidates for the Legislature are taking seriously.

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Oct. 6 marked the dedication of the first byway to exclusively celebrate agriculture in this country. Located in far western Kansas and named the “Land and Sky” scenic byway, it follows Highway 27 through Wallace, Sherman and Cheyenne counties.

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Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka, MARTIN HAWVER is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report. To learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com.

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The primary responsibility of our federal government is to provide for a strong national defense. In order to meet that requirement, our Armed Forces must be trained, equipped and ready to meet any challenge. Soldiers who are in good health, well-prepared and well-led are best equipped to de…

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There are inside-the-Statehouse maneuvers that most Kansans don’t have a lot of reason to take interest in — but which shake the ground inside the building where everyone is looking for a political or tactical advantage.

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Lack of understanding and critical thinking on the part of some in the environmental movement has compromised their effectiveness as self-appointed protectors and guardians of our planet.

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It’s made for a lot of news stories — though we’re betting they probably didn’t crowd the advertisements out of your local newspaper — this citizenship-voter business in Kansas.

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It’s a fall harvest for the record books. Corn, milo and soybean crops continue to bust the bins and pour into on-farm-storage and elevators across Kansas. Thousands upon thousands of bushels of these fall crops may end up on the ground or cement slabs temporarily.

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This state government/politics business is getting more and more complicated — and at some point hard for most of us grownups, who remember when air conditioning or even FM radios were options on new cars, to decide whether to spend much time fretting about.

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Without a doubt, livestock producers take care of their livestock. They continue to upgrade facilities, use the best animal feed and doctor their cattle, swine and sheep when the need arises.

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All eyes focus this week on the Kansas Supreme Court, which hears arguments on the school finance case that will determine whether the Legislature has adequately funded Kansas public schools.

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In the last month or so, we’ve seen a subtle but major change in the way a governor — who is not very popular with many Kansans in recent polls and is facing a Legislature for the last two years of his term that is going to be less conservative than he would like — makes policy for the state.

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It’s now officially campaign season — though some of us wonder whether the real high-intensity campaigning couldn’t be put off until maybe the first of October — and it’s also the time for figuring out just what breed of Republicans is going to be running things.

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Record crops, low commodity prices and stalled trade negotiations spell difficult times for Kansas farmers and ranchers in 2016.

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The conversations are endless. Consumers want and some demand to know the origin, safety and nutrition contained in the food they eat or feed to their families.

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Have mercy, campaign season is upon us and no one is safe. There are plenty of good people on all sides of the issues and backing every candidate. But these good people cease to be good when they demonize their opponents. 

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It’s probably a little early yet for most Kansans who watched the Kansas House and Senate primary elections to prepare for a dramatic change in culture brewing for the upcoming legislative session.

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Since I first bit into my first Buffalo wing in the early ‘70s, I’ve loved eating the spicy, tasty treat. 

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Well, the Kansas delegates are back and are probably sorting through the credit card receipts to see just how good a time they had—and how long they are going to remember and pay off — those trips to the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

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A wise man once said, If you don’t vote, someone else is voting for you on issues that are important in your life. This is particularly true as we head into the final stretch of the election season.

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If there is news from the just-completed Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the just-getting-started Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, it’s that Kansas politicians probably ought not talk much about what happens outside the state border.

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Yes, there was griping and angst last week when Secretary of State Kris Kobach, from hundreds of miles away, managed to pull at least 17,000 Kansans’ votes off state primary election — and maybe even general election — ballots.

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I recently read a public-service ad circulating by the American Academy of Dermatology that lists five ways to die on a golf course. The five ways include hit by a golf ball, run over by a golf cart, whacked by a golf club, struck by lightning and forgot your hat.

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It’s pretty standard for conservative candidates for the Legislature — mostly Republicans — to blast “Obamacare” as they have labeled the Affordable Care Act. It’s pretty catchy in some circles.

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Almost every farmer or rancher has said this in one way or another, “My life begins with the land.”

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There’s no doubt this country has a problem with mass violence. So do the Israelis, but they handle it much better than we do. Of course, they have the advantage, in that they are able to say out loud what is responsible for most of their casualties: Palestinian uprisings. A bus gets blown u…

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After a two-day special legislative session which adjourned in the dusk of Friday, we need to see just who won what, or at least who claims credit for what leading into the election season.

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