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Prather’s Pick: A rusty but trusty tractor

This year there has been a lot of flooding in our country, and that’s what I thought about when I found “Farmer John’s Tractor,” a children’s picture book.

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Lance Scranton: Congrats seniors — expect great things!

It’s that time again when our best and brightest get ready to enter the world after 12 or 13 years of public education. So often test scores are what we base much of our success on when describing the effectiveness of our schools. Of course, scores are important and worthy of discussion and concern because various snapshots of student learning do help us determine how best to serve their intellectual needs.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making Swiss Steak

This week I was thinking about how long it has been since I’ve made Swiss Steak. My husband Lyle experimented with making Swiss Steak years ago, and I have used his recipe for years — but not lately.

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From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s almost time

It’s almost time! In less than two weeks we’ll be moving the cows, calves and bulls to summer pasture. They’re ready, and so are we!

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Mike Littwin: The ever weirder Jon Keyser forgery scandal

The one sure thing about the weird petition-signature-forgery story was that it would inevitably get even weirder.

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Jonah Goldberg: Despite the rise of Trump, conservatism isn't dead yet

Sell your Adam Smith ties, everybody, and smash your busts of Ronald Reagan. It's all over.

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Prather’s Pick: An act of heroism — a true story

I don’t often review books about the military (I should) because I have a hard time getting through them, but this week I have an extraordinary book to recommend to readers. My husband Lyle brought the book to my attention; he had just finished reading it and thought it was written in such a way that I would enjoy reading it, too. He was right.

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Lance Scranton: It hurts

It’s not easy to write about things that most of us don’t want to talk about, don’t know how to explain or just don’t understand. This week began with tragic events that have shaken me to the core and sent my thoughts reeling in multiple directions. I’m hurt, bewildered, deeply saddened and I reach deeply into my faith to try and answer the toughest of questions when people are taken from our community under such excruciating circumstances.

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Jonah Goldberg: Millennials embrace socialism, but do they know what it is?

Socialism is having a moment. I'm not just referring to Bernie Sanders' surprisingly strong showing in the Democratic primaries. Various polls show that millennials have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism. And millennials generally are the only age group that views socialism more favorably than unfavorably.

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Clarence Page: Critics of black women cadets read too much in a gesture

West Point officials have decided against punitive action for 16 black female cadets who sparked nationwide controversy by posing for a group photo with their fists raised.

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Over a Cup of Coffee: Making carrot cake

The rhubarb is growing and soon I’ll be planting the garden. I can hardly wait for the luscious vegetables. This week, however, my mind is on carrot cake, one of my husband Lyle’s favorite cakes. This column features two recipes — one for cake without frosting and one with frosting. The frosting recipe, by the way, might be used with other cakes as well.

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From Pipi's Pasture: Days that are a little less than great

Sometimes things happen here at Pipi’s Pasture that make the days a little hectic. I’m not fond of negatives so I’d prefer to refer to those days as “a little less than great.” To illustrate, I offer the following examples, some of which actually happened this past week.

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Captain America’ — Let’s keep it civil, everyone

So far this year, we’ve seen the guy dressed like a flying mammal fight the man in the long johns and cape, not to mention the regenerating nutcase who should be subject to mattress tag penalties for removal of his mask. Who’d have thought the dude who carries around the red, white and blue circle squaring off with the genius in the crimson and gold metal suit would feel the most natural? Either way, so begins the summer movie season with “Captain America: Civil War.”

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Mike Littwin: The Elizabeth Warren v. Donald Trump Twitter wars

Give the Donald credit. He not only has driven a deep divide within his own party, he has also done his best to heal the divisions in the opposing party. Quite the feat.

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Janet Sheridan: My thoughts from Sunday

When I think of my mother, as I did on Mother’s Day, I see her in her mid-60s. She sits in her favorite rocking chair in a circle of lamplight that softens her wrinkles and highlights her brown hair. As she sews a button on one of Dad’s shirts, her wedding band, thinned by 50 years of wear, flashes in the lamp’s glow.

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