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U.S. Capitol Protests a Little Too Close for Comfort

National Guard members at a barricade in Washington, DC. The Capitol can be seen in the background.

    Patriotism at its worst and patriotism at its best. In a two-week time span, the nation can witness this phenomenon.
    On Wednesday, January 6th, patriotism at its worst made the news for all around the world to see. Pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC, hoping to stop the counting of the electoral college and the formalization of Joe Biden who won the election held back in November. Property was destroyed, items were stolen, and lives were lost. In a location which deserves must respect and patriotism, this did not happen.
    On Wednesday, January 20th, the nation should see patriotism at its best as Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president and Kamala Harris the vice president. This should be a day filled with pro-American events. This year will not be as it should, partly because of Covid, and partially because of the activities two weeks ago.
    While this reporter can only read stories, watch videos and look at pictures from the storming of the Capitol and eventual inauguration coverage, she does know someone who resides in one of the most patriotic areas of the nation. Her cousin, Jeni Bezdicek lives 3-4 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. With views of the Capitol, White House, and Washington Monument from her building on Pennsylvania Avenue, Jeni is definitely in a perfect location to see the America at its best - and worst.
    "It is really tense and crazy here," said Jeni. "My anxiety is so high right now seeing everything going on and wondering what will happen tomorrow (Inauguration Day)."
    Jeni, owner of Bez Law, P.C., was working from home on January 6th. She could hear a Donald Trump rally being held on the Ellipse. The rally was named the "Save the Election" rally. Living where she does, this isn't something out of the ordinary. However, she could tell that this rally had more energy, and not in a good way.
    "I could hear Trump speaking at the rally from my home, and I knew it wasn't good," she said. "I saw the protestors walking to the Capitol and got really nervous cause they were more ramped up than normal. I also could see many with guns. I was scared. With the protests we had seen across the nation last year, I didn't know if my building was safe or if they would try to damage it. I sat on my bed and bawled."
    Jeni added that she has seen other protests, but they were peaceful protests and thus she had no reason for concern for her own life before the January 6th protest.
    With the inauguration scheduled for Wednesday, January 20th and the protests from the 6th still very fresh in the minds of many, Homeland Security has ramped up security for this year's inauguration. Bezdicek said that past inaugurations have had the checkpoint to enter the grounds at her building. This year, because of security concerns, the perimeter has been moved beyond this usual location. Jeni had already been working from home for the most part because of Covid, but now she is more confined, at least until the inauguration.

A fence closes off a road. In the background
is the Washington Monument. Inside the
fence are people who are preparing for
the inauguration.
    "I can't get deliveries, like packages from Amazon, because I'm inside the perimeter," she said.
    She has been watching barricades go up around her and has seen the National Guard which has been activated to support the security already in place. Among National Guard sent to DC are members from the 185th in Sioux City. She also said that snipers will be on her building and neighboring buildings. Snipers are normal for an inauguration because of the inauguration parade which normally begins at the Capitol and travels down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. However, due to the Covid, the parade is being replaced with a virtual parade which will include participants from all 50 states plus the U.S. territories. The parade had been cancelled prior to the protests. With no parade, the snipers, under normal circumstances, may not have been needed.
    This year, because of Covid, only 1,000 people will be at the inauguration instead of the usual 200,000. This restricted number is a bit of a comfort to Jeni.
    "I would be uncomfortable if they let people in," she said. "The bad people would blend with the good. I'm ready for it to be over."
    Hopefully with the inauguration over by the time you read this, the nation can return to some normalcy and respect for all, regardless of political preference, can return. And Jeni can get her Amazon orders.
    Photos by Jeni. Thanks!


Vanmatre Found

    On December 14th, home health service arrived at the apartment of Bruce Vanmatre for their usual appointment. However, he wasn't there. A little investigation turned into a much larger investigation and then a massive search.
    Around 4:00pm on January 13, 2021, a Mapleton resident found a body in their backyard. Police and Ambulance responded to the scene where they found a body still partially covered in a snow bank. After the arrival of DCI and the Monona County Medical Examiner, the body was positively identified as Vanmatre. The warmer temperatures melted the snow enough to make him visible. Bruce was transported to the Iowa State Medical Office for an autopsy. The investigation is ongoing.


The "Great" Blizzard of 2021

    Last week a large area of the upper midwest was under a blizzard warning, and we were included in that warning. While it was quite difficult to measure the snow because of the excessive winds, we estimate it at around 7" between


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Routine Checkups are the Best Way to Stay on Top of your Health

    Regular visits with a medical professional are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Too often people visit the doctor only when they are ill, as they may not realize just how essential well


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More Fans Can Attend Basketball Games

    For all remaining regular season high school basketball home games:
        1.) Participants, including players, cheerleaders, and coaches, may now have six guests per participant come


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CITY OF DANBURY REGULAR SESSION - January 12, 2021 - OFFICIAL/PUBLISHED MINUTES

    The regular January meeting of the Danbury City Council was called to order by Mayor Buth at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2021. Mayor Buth, Council members Simmons, Boyle, Scholl, Allen,


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MAPLE VALLEY-ANTHON OTO COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

    •Date:     Monday, January 11, 2021
    •Time:     7:00 PM
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School Board Seeking Insurance Bids

    The Board of Education of the Maple Valley – Anthon Oto Community School has approved bidding health insurance for the 2021-2022 school year. Anyone interested in bidding please contact Board Secretary, Shona Klingensmith


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Woodbury Republican Party Chooses Oficers

    At its biennial meeting to elect party officers held on January 12, 2021, the Woodbury County Republican Central Committee members voted by acclimation for the following officers to lead the local party for the next


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