Local/state briefs

Amateur Radio ‘Field Day’ June 24, 25 demonstrates science, skill, service

Members of the Murray County Amateur Radio Club will participate in the national Amateur Radio Field Day exercise June 24 and 25 at Avoca ballfield. The MCARC was established in 2009 and covers Murray, Lyon, Lincoln, Pipestone, Cottonwood and Rock counties. Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of amateur radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

For over 100 years, amateur radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2016.

“It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of amateur radio during a communications outage.”

“Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology and numerous other scientific disciplines and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.”

Anyone may become a licensed amateur radio operator. There are over 725,000 licensed hams in the United States, as young as 5 and as old as 100. For more information about Field Day, contact murraycountyradioclub.com or visit www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio.

Western Fest Stampede Rodeo is June 22-24

Granite Falls is honored to have a long 28-year history of putting on a big PRCA rodeo for the area community. Western Fest Stampede Rodeo is at 7:30 p.m. June 22-24 at LeeMar Ranch in Granite Falls. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

The Western Fest committee announces some record-breaking numbers of rodeo contestants this year. There will be 448 contestants that will compete from 17 states. This is the largest number of contestants ever. There will be 28 bareback, 41 saddle bronc, 56 tie down ropers, 78 steer wrestlers, 51 team roping teams, 121 barrel racers and 65 bull riders. Every event from Bareback, to team roping is filled, all three nights.

Local contestants Lan Goebel, Levis Berends, Brett Stall to nationally-known rodeo names like Tim O’Connell, Casey and Ty Breuer and Lisa Lockhart will participate. Hometown hero and national rodeo champion Tanner Aus will be riding bareback in the rodeo in Granite Falls on Friday night, June 23.

Advance Rodeo tickets will be sold until noon Wednesday, June 21, at Citizens Alliance Bank, Granite Falls Bank, Hoffman & Brobst, Thrifty White Drug, GF Chamber of Commerce.

Authorities say remains not those of missing Argyle woman

WARREN (AP) — Authorities say human remains that were found on the bank of the Red River are not those of an Argyle woman who went missing more than 20 years ago.

Marshall County Sheriff Jason Boman said the remains have not been identified, but dental records confirm they are not those of Veronica Safranski.

The 40-year-old Safranski was last seen leaving a Halloween party at Mick’s Bar in Warren on Oct. 30, 1996.

Authorities revisited Safranski’s case after two men who were fishing on Saturday found bones and a skull on the river near Oslo.

Boman said the Polk County Sheriff’s Office will continue their investigation to identify the remains.

Bar destroyed in Morrison County’s Sobieski

SOBIESKI (AP) — Four people escaped injury when fire destroyed a longtime bar in a small Morrison County community.

Part of Herbie’s Bar in Sobieski was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrive Monday shortly before 7 p.m. About 70 firefighters from at least five area departments responded. The four inside the bar when the fire started quickly escaped.

WJON reported the bar is a total loss. Sobieski is about 5 miles southwest of Little Falls.