I t is hard to imagine how horrific the events of this past Thurs?day were and how they played out in Hesston and Harvey County.

One can?t see it ever happening here and now it has.

I knew there were many people from Hillsboro, or those with connections with Hillsboro, who worked there. As the story unfolded, I learned of many more connections with Hillsboro.

When we first heard the news, we were on edge not knowing who the victims were and it had to be immeasurably worse for those whose children or spouses worked at Excel.

This tragedy could have been much, much worse had it not been for the Hesston police officer who bravely and single-handedly took out the shooter without backup.

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Some of the television coverage was overly repetitive, in my view. Hesston?s local newspaper coverage online, I felt, was the best information as soon as it became available. Facebook added quite a lot, in many cases, as family members posted information only they could know. Emails from our church were also enlightening.

Hesston is a resilient community, and with its past tornado experience in 1990, it will come through this tragic event, as they say ?Hesston Strong.?

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With the balmy weather Saturday, I took time to clean my shop, which had been gathering tools, woodworking supplies and more during this past winter. Or should I say winter months as I really don?t remember seeing any winter this time. Maybe it is because we were gone for the last part of December and most of January.

Maybe it is still coming in March and April, but I think those are spring months where the spring showers hit.

Daylight saving time is just a couple of weeks ahead.

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Recently, I have been cleaning up all of the papers that have stacked up in our office at home since June 1 last year when I had shoulder surgery. It?s no fun going through six months of receipts, etc., and filing them. And also sorting the ones that will be used for filing our taxes.

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I would really like to see our Congress solve the tax code mess once and for all.

That might end the corporate welfare that has been woven into our tax code during the past 50 years.

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I?ve been noticing that many of our U.S. senators and representatives have been serving, and I use the term loosely, 30 years or more. If you check the calendar, they aren?t working much of the time they are in Washington. They are in session about 10 days per month and have all of August and October off and most of November. If you want to see the calendar, here it is: http:// www.majorityleader.gov/ wp-content/uploads/2011/ 07/2016_ANNUAL_CALENDAR.pdf

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If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@ hillsborofreepress.com.