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The Snoop 9.15.2013

These dog days of September have even got the varmints riled up. And apparently they’ve got something against preachers.
A couple of weeks ago, Mark Hatcher, pastor of Highway Church of the Nazarene, had an encounter with a bunch of hornets. He said the result was Hornets 6, Mark 0. The next morning Mark quoted Scripture to the winged pests, however: ”Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”
Then last weekend, we heard a similar story from Pastor Marty Blakey at Ava United Methodist. While cleaning up the garden spot, Marty was attacked by swarm of yellowjackets. Apparently, the little stingers won the first round, but word has it the battle is not over yet.
We talk about the Dog Days of Summer, but according to history the “Dog Days” have already passed. The Romans associated the dog days to the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).
In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days ran from July 24 through Aug. 24, or, from July 23 through Aug. 23.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional period of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending Aug. 11, also coinciding with the ancient rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are said to be the days of the year with the least rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere.
On July 23, the star rises and sets with the sun, and the ancients believed the star was so bright, it gave off heat and added to the sun’s warmth to make the days even hotter. Thus, the term “Dog Days of Summer” came to mean the 20 days before and after this alignment – July 3 to Aug. 11.
So, although it has been hotter and dryer than normal for this time of year, I guess we can’t refer to this period as “dog days.”
The Missouri Fox Trotters just wrapped up a week of Show and Celebration last Saturday with not one drop of rain during the entire show. Many would say that is a sure indication of a drought.
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I read an interesting article a few weeks ago in Editor & Publisher magazine. According to the Daily Times Herald in Carroll, Iowa, a judge barred a newspaper reporter from taking notes at a vehicular homicide trial.
The article said District Judge James Richardson told the reporter he could influence the jury in that they might think something is important if they see the reporter writing it down. (I thought the jury should consider all testimony important.)
The reporter, Jared Raney, was told to file an expanded media request, which is commonly required to use cameras, camcorders and other electronic devices in Iowa courtrooms, if he wanted to take notes on paper.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of such a ridiculous ruling in California or on the East Coast, but I’m surprised to hear of such a thing in Iowa.
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Missouri’s veto session of the state legislature was to begin Wednesday and is getting more attention than usual. Two key bills are being watched closely this year. HB253 is the tax bill that will supposedly either reduce the taxes we pay or reduce the amount of money that our schools get. The other, that is a concern to those of us in the newspaper business, is part of a gun bill. The law was intended to protect gun owners and those receiving conceal to carry permits. But the language says we can’t publish the name or picture of anyone who owns a gun. That eliminates a lot of folks in Douglas County.
I’ve been told by a well-known judge in our county (who shall remain anonymous) that we don’t have anything to worry about. But if the law is allowed to stand (it was vetoed by Gov. Nixon because of the errant wording) don’t be surprised if we call and ask if you own a gun before we put your wedding announcement in the paper. After all, an Iowa judge said a reporter couldn’t take notes “on paper.” Doesn’t get much more ridiculous than that!

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