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There's no denying that the explosion and subsequent fire at AM Pyrotechnics in rural Polk County last week caught everyone's attention, as evidenced by both local and national news coverage.

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The Bolivar R-1 School District officially closed the books June 30 on the 2017-18 school year. In doing so, it simultaneously opened up a whole new world of possibilities for its students via the passage of a fiscal 2018 budget that keeps the focus on curriculum.

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This will sound weird, but lately I find myself fantasizing about learning to knit. Even though I’m not a “crafty” person, I can’t get this image out of my head — me sitting serenely on the sofa, yarn in hand, needles at the ready, just knitting.

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This is one of those times when readers and advertisers of this and other newspapers can do something to help yourselves while helping your newspaper.

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A long-ago editor of the Herald-Free Press, when writing for our 150th anniversary section, identified some key players at a key time in Bolivar’s history.

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Many newly minted high school graduates are wondering if it will be worth it. Some college graduates are asking was it worth it? For the vast majority the answer is yes.

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American culture likes people who are “outdoorsy.” Society sees it as a healthy, wholesome way to live. Outdoorsy people are generally considered to be adventurous, energetic and down-to-Earth.

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Instead of penning a new column like she was meant to do, Jessica Franklin Maull decided to use the time instead to go fishing. She thought, after reading this column, you might understand — at least, that she comes by it honestly. This column was originally published June 9, 2017.

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Only a few souls took the opportunity Saturday afternoon to meet and hear four of the men — two Republicans and two Democrats — trying to unseat Congressman Billy Long.

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A Pew Research Center report released last week shines a light on an arena in which Americans find ourselves divided: information.

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Virginia Alice Cottey was born March 27, 1848, in a log cabin about 10 miles from the village of Edina in Knox County. Her parents were Ira Cottey and Sara Eads Cottey, and Alice was one of 10 children born to the couple.

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The James River Natural Arch, a.k.a. The Hootentown Arch, a.k.a The Inman Arch, had become a popular sight-seeing attraction by the latter part of the 1800s. After the photographed visit by Hurley residents on an Easter Sunday in the 1890s, the next documented-by-photograph group of visitors…

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In our laundry room, we have a small bin for “lost socks.” The irony here is that the socks in the bin aren’t lost at all. We know exactly where they are. It’s their twins that are missing, wandering around out there in the domestic black hole where I assume all lost things go, if for no oth…

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Were it not for my late brother, Russell, I might have never discovered the West of folklore, fantasy and cinema.

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So, why do we share article links to social media?

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School may be out for the summer, but there’s no shortage of proof that the kids of our communities remain in the center of area minds and actions.

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Of all the warm weather traditions — the vast majority involving ice cream — of my childhood, nothing said summer like the windows rolled down.