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In recent years, our society seems to have redefined truth as something that changes or becomes obsolete, much like our electronic devices.

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I dread the “D” word. Just about all summer, all or parts of Texas County have experienced drought conditions. In drought conditions, many gardeners ask, “What are you doing in your garden?”

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We have heard through conferences, training seminars and videos the phrase, “911 Dispatchers are ‘multi-tasking Jedi Knights!’” 

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This week as Missourians celebrate 197 years of statehood, we rejoice our rich history and heritage as a land of growth and free expedition. Our slice of God’s country, appropriately located in the heartland of America, has been at the heart of American history, adventure, and producing qual…

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August is a time of year where the gardener begins to look forward to autumn. The days begin to be noticeably shorter. Temperatures in the evenings and mornings are cooler. The summer vegetable garden is producing, but production begins to taper.

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I maintain that God’s second commandment, “No false gods,” is summarized by the word “balance.”

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America, in her earliest days, was founded as a safe haven for religious people. After our founding fathers fought a revolution and established this liberty, many Europeans fled persecution of their faiths and suffered a long, perilous pilgrimage to America to find free land. A land of peopl…

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Our grateful nation owes a massive debt of gratitude to the veterans who have fought to protect our country and its freedoms. As I accompanied President Trump this week on Air Force One for his fourth trip to Missouri since becoming president, I saw how devoted he is to fight on their behalf…

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It’s been a while since I wrote a Chamber Chat. I apologize for that, and I will try to recap the first six months of this year.

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The July monthly meeting of American Legion Post 41 in Houston was thinly attended. 

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For Missourians, agriculture is the heart of our communities. The country roads of southeastern and south central Missouri weave together 19,000 farms, home to some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. This week I’m kicking off a thirty-county swing to hear firsthand from the farmers…

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There’s a summer term I dread: Heat index. If you think that you’re uncomfortable outdoors when the heat index is over 100 degrees, some of your garden plants aren’t too happy either.

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*Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a monthly column series produced by Texas County Emergency Services director Susan Hale and assistant director Terra Culley.

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In 2002, I made a decision to buy a horse with the intent to keep it until it died.

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When it comes to bugs in my garden, I spend time researching what kind of bugs they are. My research usually involves a dead bug in one hand and a book about bugs in the other hand. I am not an entomologist. However, as a gardener of a few years there are certain bugs that I can “count” on e…

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One of my favorite plants in my garden is my bottlebrush buckeye. I enjoy the big spires of white flowers that burst out each summer, looking almost exactly like bottlebrushes.

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I know for months I have been talking about Armed Forces Day and the Veterans Fair that was held at Houston’s American Legion Post 41, and it finally took place on May 19.

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Jobs are open, wages are up, unemployment is down, and Americans are optimistic about the future. The country has come a long way in the six months since President Trump signed historic tax cuts, which I was proud to send to his desk. The best is yet to come, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is…

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As the heat increases, our thoughts turn toward water. The Ozarks are a great place to enjoy water. Fishing and swimming in streams, rivers and ponds are an excellent pastime for an Ozark summer.

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The single greatest responsibility for public officials is the safety and security of the people they represent. In the 500 days that President Trump has occupied the Oval Office, he has been hard at work to make America a more secure country. He has reasserted American leadership on the wor…

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If you garden, you grow weeds. In just a small amount of soil, dozens to thousands of viable weed seeds may exist.

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It’s about time the United States Senate calls the bluff of the obstructionist liberals in their ranks and gets serious about finishing the people’s work. Just this week they took a step in the right direction by canceling Senators’ traditional August break – doubling down on their efforts t…

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I’ve never done an official survey but based on the “garden talk” I have with others, tomatoes seem to be the number one vegetable crop grown by home gardeners.

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Protecting innocent life. Whether just conceived or on your death bed, innocent life is something we must never stop fighting to defend. In the last two weeks some of the biggest strides in the fight to protect life have taken place, thanks in large part to a President who values the need to…

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The Memorial Day holiday is, for many people, the official beginning of summer. Observed on the last Monday of May, it makes for a three-day weekend that is anticipated months before the actual date. However, there is more to this holiday than backyard barbeques and friendly celebrations.

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With its unofficial observance dating back to the Civil War, this year’s Memorial Day on May 28th, 2018 will represent the 47th year we have set aside the last Monday in May to officially recognize those Military Members lost in service to the United States of America. The freedoms so many A…

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An herb bed is not complete without some annual herbs such as tarragon, basil and cilantro. There are also some “tender perennials” that are also nice additions to the kitchen and to the garden.

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Many cooks use herbs as a way to season or flavor food without adding a lot of salt.

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Tough negotiations. They were a staple of President Trump’s time as an executive and businessman and they have followed him all the way to the White House. Where predecessors have capitulated, the Trump Administration is proving a tough and apt negotiator when foreign leaders come knocking a…

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Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou (Ephesus) hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

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Biting insects can make the outdoors less than enjoyable. In the Ozarks mosquitoes and ticks come out once the weather warms up, and there’s nothing a gardener can do to prevent their arrival – even in the most beautiful of gardens.

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The comeback of rural America, ignited in large part by a President who understands that we are more than just flyover country on the way to Hollywood, has been joined in recent months with new optimism from American small businesses. Whether it be a result of reducing the federal tax burden…

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Whether you’re working on the farm, running your small business or taking care of your family, Missourians wake early every day and work diligently to make ends meet.

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Millions of American’s frustration with an outdated, broken and unfair tax code was met symbolically on Tuesday with news that their attempts to file their taxes online was currently ‘unavailable’ and that they should ‘come back on Dec. 31, 9999.” That’s right, the old, clunky and broken tax…

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A walk in the woods in the spring can be a rich experience for anyone that enjoys flowers. Besides the many native trees that are in bloom, the Ozark woodlands are also full of wildflowers.

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Every year, I am honored to have the privilege of nominating outstanding young men and women from southern Missouri for appointment to our nation’s finest service academies. In the spring, I am overcome with emotion when calling many of the same students to tell them they have been admitted …

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An alarming trend is increasing in the Show-Me State: the rate of violent crimes, a rapidly growing female prison population and the overpopulation of prisons and jails driven by recidivism. The female prison population in Missouri has grown more than any other state in the nation over the l…

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During holy week, beyond decorating and hiding eggs and spending time with our family, we celebrate Jesus’ life, death and most importantly His resurrection. As I reflect on the importance of Easter, I think about how new beginnings have benefited us all. While the Friday of the crucifixion …

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As a fourth-generation family farm owner, I know just how important agricultural operations are to Missouri’s economy and our rural communities. Missouri farmers are some of the hardest working people around, and it's a privilege to represent them in the United States Congress. Whether you g…

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Signaling that the priorities and values of the Midwest no longer take a back seat to those of the coastal elite, for the third time in less than eight months, this week President Trump once again visited our great state.

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Vegetable garden growing has grown increasingly popular for everyone to try – from apartment dwellers to suburban families. Growing a garden hasn’t really gone out of fashion in the rural Ozarks, but more and more people – even in the Ozarks – are growing their own veggies as a way to save m…

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One way to think about genuine religion is it is really about giving credit where credit is due.