Opinion

Campfire safety

Local Columns

While controlled burns and even natural fires can serve a purpose in regenerating habitat this time of year, unintended blazes sparked by careless use of fire can cause unwanted damage to property and potentially threaten the lives of both wildlife and people. Knowing how to properly manage a ...

Other Views

Editorials

Syria: Hold Assad, Russians accountable The targeted strike at chemical weapons facilities and related locations in Syria were justified and overdue. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has for too long been allowed to inflict terror on the world and brutal violence on his own people. For too ...

Gorsuch strikes blow against administrative state

Editorials

Last week, one week after the first anniversary of Neil Gorsuch’s ascension to the Supreme Court, he delivered an opinion that was excellent as it pertained to the case at issue and momentous in its implications pertaining to the institutional tangle known as the administrative state. If he ...

Still the safest way to travel

Editorials

For white-knuckle flyers like me, this week’s tragic accident aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Texas reinforces our worst fears but also reassures us that flying remains the safest means of travel within the United States. I fly 100,000 miles a year, despite my phobias, ...

Homesteading on the Great Plains

Local Columns

Part I Thousands of wagon trains traveled through the central plains before pioneers thought of actually settling here. The prairie was treeless and matted with dense sod that made turning over the soil for planting a formidable task. And the climate ran between extreme cold and extreme heat. ...

Ryan’s legacy: tax bill that benefits rich

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: The editorial (Independent, April 18), “Ryan’s Frustration,” criticizes people dependent on government programs to survive. Millionaire Paul Ryan has bashed those less fortunate citizens for years. The editorial author ignores the fact that Ryan’s legacy will be the ...

Star hopping in the spring sky

Local Columns

Finding your way around the southwestern Minnesota night sky can be really intimidating, especially if you’re new to stargazing. The best way to learn the constellations is to use the ones you can recognize to help you find the ones you’re not familiar with and the ones that aren’t as ...

Weathering the weather

Local Columns

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a meteorologist. I would watch Dennis Feltgen on KSTP and was just fascinated with the weather. I wasn’t too crazy about thunderstorms though. Plus I wasn’t a big fan of snow and cold. But my dreams were dashed when I realized I needed to be good in math and ...

On the Porch

Local Columns

The Lyon County Museum is hosting the 3rd annual “Museum Expo” on Saturday, April 28. This free event starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The Expo is a great opportunity to visit with staff and volunteers from area historical societies and museums to learn more about the history in their ...

3 steps to handle market volatility as you approach retirement

Local Columns

Swings in the stock market can cause emotions to run high, particularly for investors who are approaching retirement. And for good reason. Recent research from Ameriprise Financial uncovered that the biggest financial setbacks American investors have experienced in their 50s through their 70s ...

Tales of Kirby vacuum salesman

Local Columns

I came home a little early that evening, and there he was. Standing in my own living room. My wife had betrayed my trust. She had violated the sanctity of our home. There was a grinning salesman in my house. And not just any kind of salesman. It was the dreaded Kirby vacuum salesman. I ...

Nelsen discovers a perfect fit with the Vikings

Local Columns

Small towns are full of big dreamers. The Cottonwood County town of Westbrook is no different. It’s a farming community about 43 miles southeast of Marshall with a population of 739, according to the 2010 census. In 1981, a blonde 10th grader was making small headlines in her hometown ...

Short takes

Editorials

Remembering Beatrice Patzer SIDEWAYS THUMB: Monday was a sad day for Marshall after the announcement that Beatrice Patzer died at age 88. She and her husband, Archie, purchased the Gamble’s hardware store in Marshall in 1967. Gamble’s original location was at 348 W. Main Street, which ...

Time for financial ‘spring cleaning’

Local Columns

The days are longer and the temperatures are warmer — so it must be spring. For many of us, that means it’s time for some spring cleaning. But why stop with sprucing up your living space? This year, consider extending the “spring cleaning” concept to your financial environment, ...

Ask a Trooper

Local Columns

Question: I heard the Minnesota State Patrol is carrying around some stuff to help people that might have an issue with opioid abuse. Can you talk more about that? Thanks for all you do! Answer: A Minnesota state trooper’s job is surprisingly varied. Sure, you’d expect them to patrol the ...

Not doing enough to identify youths with problems

Editorials

Are we doing enough to identify children coping with emotional upheavals before they harm themselves and others? Obviously not. On Monday, an 8-year-old student took a knife to school in Sauk Rapids, Minn. He slashed three other children before an adult disarmed him. All three victims ...

Ryan’s frustration

Editorials

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said this week he is leaving Congress because he doesn’t want his children to reach adulthood having experienced only a “weekend dad.” After 20 years in Congress, Ryan’s decision is understandable in that light. But one wonders if Ryan, ...

Deterring use of chemical arms

Editorials

Syria was not the only, or even the most important, target in Friday’s attack on chemical weapons facilities in that country. The focus was on deterring use of such fearsome armaments by any nation. Bashar Assad, Syria’s murderous dictator, has used chemical agents on his own people in ...

Let’s talk!

Local Columns

What do you like to talk about? Of course, the answer to that question is as numerous as the number of people to whom you ask the question. Maybe you like to talk about the weather (we Minnesotans like that topic), the sports scene (Go Twins!), fishing (it’ll happen one of these days), ...

Make-over cauliflower cheese soup

Local Columns

On a recent Friday night trip to the grocery store, the snowy-white heads of cauliflower caught my eye in the produce aisle. They looked very fresh without a blemish on them, the price was right and so into my cart it went. On the commute home, my mind was on that fresh cauliflower and what my ...