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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014
The hospital quandary
Posted Wednesday, January 29, at 11:22 AM
Comparison can't be helped. Since moving to the Chicago area last summer, I have, of course, been noting the many differences between old hometown and new. As you can imagine, the differences are many, but there are also some similarities, and one of them was in the news this morning...

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It froze on my parade!
Posted Tuesday, December 10, at 3:37 PM

"Don't bring around a cloudTo rain on my parade." All Barbra Streisand (in Funny Girl) had to worry about was a little rain. So what? You get out your umbrella and wring out your socks later. No big deal. She had nothing to fret about. It didn't rain on our parade Friday...

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St. Peter's musical Michael Jordan leaves the stage behind
Posted Monday, December 2, at 11:28 AM

Think about what it takes to play the piano: A mind that can manage two hands doing two different complicated things at the same time, hands that can do two different complicated things at the same time, and (this is key) fingers with the strength and dexterity to do what the mind and hands have in mind...

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'Brother against brother' is more than a textbook cliche
Posted Friday, September 13, at 11:54 AM

As school children, many of us learned that the American Civil War often pitted "brother against brother." For my part, that sounded pretty horrible, but I don't recall dwelling on it much. Those brothers were long gone, ancient, generic historybook characters. It didn't occur to me at the time to imagine what it would be like if I was in one uniform, armed, instructed to kill anyone in the other uniform, and my actual brother was wearing the other uniform...

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Breaking news: Confederate & Union troops approaching Marshall
Posted Thursday, September 12, at 2:16 AM

Local officials have received reports that Col. Shelby's Iron Brigade could be headed toward Marshall. The southern cavalry unit has been causing havoc for the federals all along its route through southwest Missouri, and according to the latest reports, the riders were headed toward Boonville...

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Thank you, Marshall!
Posted Wednesday, August 14, at 3:49 PM

This is long overdue: I want to thank everyone in Marshall -- and especially the folks at the Marshall Democrat-News, Marshall Cultural Council and Marshall Municipal Band -- for the wonderful send-off a few weeks ago. I was touched and grateful for all the kind words and good wishes...

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You might not think so based on recent weather, but winter is doomed
Posted Tuesday, March 5, at 3:37 PM

Spring (With thanks to Lucy Fletcher for the idea!)...

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'Ask the Superintendent' forum provides a chance to learn about Marshall Public Schools
Posted Tuesday, September 18, at 12:46 PM

Public officials often say they like to hear from constituents. Citizens often say they want public officials to hear their concerns. Getting the two together isn't always easy or automatic. The Marshall Democrat-News and new Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Ryan Huff are planning to try something that hasn't, as far as we know, been done before in Marshall -- an online public forum to bring a public official and constituents together...

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National Register of Historic Places: Strings attached? Not necessarily
Posted Wednesday, August 1, at 9:33 AM

The Saline County Historic Preservation Commission is in the process of considering a nomination to place the old Fitzgibbon Hospital, 868 S. Brunswick Ave., on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the first nomination in 24 years for a Marshall place to be nominated...

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Marshall's Civil War battle
Posted Saturday, July 14, at 10:02 AM

Editor's note: This story originally was published in The Marshall Democrat-News Newcomers' Guide, 2008 edition. As with many Civil War events, the Battle of Marshall remains one open to interpretation, with gaps in what we know, competing theories and some speculation about what happened and what significance the incident had. ...

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Health care is key to economic health
Posted Monday, June 18, at 5:47 PM

I ran into a friend at the farmers' market a couple of weeks ago, someone I hadn't seen in months. He said his job had him traveling all over the western U.S., and he was not home for long between trips. He described the wonderful places he'd seen, but then he noted that none of them was without drawbacks: horrendous traffic jams, bone-dry terrain, etc. He said, "I've never been so glad to live in Marshall."...

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Guinea pig votes
Posted Tuesday, February 7, at 4:39 PM

The presidential primary election is not likely to make history for voter turnout -- unless perhaps for the lack of. But in Saline County, this election will be remembered as the first time touch-screen voting machines were available at polling places...

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Happy birthday, Bob James
Posted Monday, January 30, at 10:23 AM

For his 72nd birthday (Sunday, Dec. 25), I wish I could give Bob James a particular gift that is too big to wrap and certainly beyond my power to give: I would like to untether his reputation from the "smooth jazz" label that is so often applied to his work...

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Agenda for meeting: Jazz it up!
Posted Monday, January 30, at 10:22 AM

There will be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, in the Marshall Public Library meeting room. The subject: Creating a jazz festival in Marshall. Why? July 28 "red dog" posted a comment on The Marshall Democrat-News website responding to the news that Marshall Cinema would close in a few weeks:...

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Dancing on the keyboard: The latest from Bob James
Posted Monday, December 5, at 5:30 PM

Four hands, two people, one keyboard. Bob James' latest recording is a small dance across an ivory stage as he and Keiko Matsui together create a rich, beautiful sound. "Altair and Vega" seems to be fusion of classical piano with sparkles throughout of jazz-influenced improvisation. It moves between catchy, lilting melodies and powerful, moving passages...

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Can the Girl Scout cabin be saved?
Posted Thursday, December 1, at 10:21 AM

The Girl Scout cabin at Indian Foothills Park is in some danger of being lost, as Marshall Democrat-News staff writer Sarah Reed reported yesterday. It might be tempting at first glance to assign "good guy" and "bad guy" labels for those involved in the use and care of the cabin, but I hope everyone resists jumping to those kinds of conclusions. ...

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Dress right
Posted Wednesday, November 30, at 12:20 PM

On Facebook yesterday an acquaintance posted a timely quote: "There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." He allowed as how that was a good observation, having just returned from a run during which "the rain started to harden as I arrived home."...

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Another Valley football great is lost
Posted Wednesday, October 19, at 4:56 PM

Thomas "Tim" Wright died in March. Mr. Wright has not lived in the area for some time, but there might be a few Missouri Valley College football fans who remember him. He graduated from Valley in 1952 and played under famed MVC football coach Volney Ashford...

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The streets are alive with the sound of music
Posted Thursday, July 7, at 5:47 PM

The best cities have fertile sidewalks -- such fertile sidewalks that musicians sprout from street corners and entertain passersby for hours, filling the air with music. This observation is from a previous life when I traveled often. I've been to places like New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Nashville and more...

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Zookeeper seeks lonely musical instruments
Posted Tuesday, July 5, at 4:46 PM

I'm looking for lonely musical instruments -- specfically, an abandoned banjo or a dusty fiddle or a guitar that's been in exile in the back of the closet under a pile of old clothes for years. Why? When I lived in Champaign, Ill., a group of musicians the public library hosted an instrument petting zoo. It was just like a regular petting zoo, but instead of kitties and puppies, chickens and goats, they had banjos and bongos, fiddles and drums...

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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.