Breaking the news

Jam of the Week: “Bizness” by Tune-Yards

Every day, there are many things worth of our attention in Hamilton County. However, people across the state don’t often catch news that comes from our section of Iowa. That wasn’t the case last week when Governor Terry Branstad signaled his support for a bill allowing the use of cannabis oil to treat chronic epilepsy.

It’s always worth paying attention when the Governor comes to town. While many of the things he talked about were recapping items in the past legislative session, he tends to share interesting context on those bills and other things happening at the state level. For someone who follows the political game like myself, such a town hall is all I need to stir from my sleep and get moving.

I expected much of what was discussed at the meeting. That included the cannabis oil bill. Controversy surrounds any legislation about medical marijuana, and this limited form was no different. In the time leading up to the town hall, Branstad had weighed the pros and cons of the bill with reporters. However, he maintained a strictly neutral public stance in those talks.

When Branstad said it was very likely that he would sign the legislation, my eyes lit up as I heard the news drop right in front of me. Most of my following day was a blur of writing and editing to get the news out as soon as possible and then refine it for the paper. About as soon as the story was complete and I had a chance to breath, the news came to be picked up elsewhere. First, it was one television station’s website, and it continued to more news outlets than I could count. I was very pleased to see The Daily Freeman-Journal come up as the news source that brought the story to people statewide through the Associated Press.

It almost seems silly to have been as excited as I was at the time. The story that came up was just a few paragraphs written up from an AP staff member and posted on their website. Still, it was rewarding to be that spark that lit the fire. It was a personal first, and I’m interested to see if the Governor follows through with his early signs of support.

Still, I can’t use that excitement as a great excuse for not having a new recipe to bring to the table this week. I’ve been focusing more on eliminating the unhealthy things from my regular grocery list. Yes, we all know that good ranch sauce turns carrots from an average vegetable to a prime example of the earth’s bounty, but it sure isn’t healthy.

While looking for other healthy items to add to my list, a friend suggested I try a couscous. Supposedly, it’s pretty healthy and is pretty easy to prepare. I’ll be looking around for a good recipe which includes it during what I expect will be continued cold weather this week.