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Over a Cup of Coffee: Mary's taco soup and more

This week I received a recipe for taco soup from Mary Burnett, of Craig. Mary has contributed several recipes to this column, including some zucchini recipes, a recipe for autumn stew and others. I look forward to receiving your recipes, Mary. Thanks!

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The Bock’s Office: ‘Unbroken’ mangled by poor storytelling

If your favorite part of a war movie is anything that doesn’t involve bullets or punches flying, “Unbroken” may not be the movie for you. If the aforementioned is in fact your preference, and this film doesn’t fill your quota, perhaps professional therapy is the way to go.

Mike Littwin: Now that's blasphemy

We can, and do, all agree that the murders in Paris were horrific. But we don't have to agree on Charlie Hebdo.

Janet Sheridan: Celebrating the solstice

Now that Christmas is tucked away in my memory, where its bustle will fade and beauty improve, I find my only regret is paying little attention to the winter solstice on Dec. 21, the day nature turns.

Stephanie Pearce: The American Dream part 1, examining Common Core

One of the things that is important to me is keeping the idea of “The American Dream” alive for my descendants. When you know someone who chose to be here, you feel firsthand the passion in which this country was built. Luckily, my children both knew a man who came to this country from Syria, and he taught them the value of this dream. He loved this country and all the opportunity that it holds. I am so afraid that less and less of the values he held dear are being taught to our children today.

Lance Scranton: Maybe it’s your job!

Your career choice might be a real downer. A recent study reported in The Atlantic magazine indicates that depression can be directly linked to the type of job you choose and experts calculate the cost to the economy in lost production at $83 billion dollars a year! This is serious stuff and we all should be aware of the jobs that might cost us more than the benefits they promise.

Prather’s Pick: Another fantastic book by Jodi Picoult

I was running an errand in Craig the other day, and it was stormy. In fact, I was in a hurry, fearing that the weather might worsen and I’d face a blizzard on the way home. So, knowing that I needed a book to review for “Prather’s Pick,” I checked out the new selections on a book rack at the grocery store. When I saw “Salem Falls” by Jodi Picoult, I grabbed it up. I recently reviewed her latest novel, “Leaving Time,” which was awesome.

Senior Spotlight: 2015 offers a blank slate

Last year went out like a lion in some places with strong winds, snow storms and extra cold weather. The New Year has been welcomed in, and we are on our way into another year of smiles, tears, trials and triumphs.

Over a Cup: Seafood chowder

New Year’s Eve was quiet. I made clam chowder, and we had cheese, sausage and crackers to go with it. Soup was just what we needed on such a cold night.

Faith Column: Being sinful

The most popular Christmas song and the most famous one is White Christmas. White Christmas was written by Irving Berlin and was recorded by Bing Crosby and released in 1942. White Christmas is the best-selling single of all-time selling 50 million copies worldwide. Other versions along with Bing Crosby’s version have sold over 100 million copies.

From Pipi’s Pasture: It’s really cold

I’ve written several weather-related columns before, including those about the cold. But now it’s really cold, and the cold is what we’re all talking about. It’s so cold that…

Baxter Black: The manly art of...

People ask where I got my mittens, my saddle blanket, my wild rag, my dog’s muffler, my colorful selection of pot holders that hang in my tack room. I always change the subject, but the time has come to confess.

Lance Scranton: New Year, new outlook

I have celebrated the New Year 17 times in our fair city, am raising a family here, care deeply about our community and have high hopes for our small city not just to survive, but to thrive. I know you do too, and you want things to be better in 2015 and beyond and that all we need is the right plan!

Prather's Pick: A creative nonfiction book

“The Boys from the Bushes”, this week’s featured book by Lou Dean (Jacobs), is a carefully researched true story of three Oklahoma boys who competed in horse races that were held in pastures.

Senior Spotlight: Gray days and sad news

When I got up Dec. 19 and opened my bedroom drapes, I thought, "What a gray-looking day." Little did I know how gray it would get. My daughter usually comes by to visit after work, but on this day, she called me to say that she wouldn’t be over because my great-granddaughter's boyfriend had died in an accident that afternoon.