Local Columns

What’s smarter — paying off debts or investing?

If you’re just starting out in your career, you will need to be prepared to face some financial challenges along the way but here’s one that’s not unpleasant: choosing what to do with some extra disposable income. When this happens, what should you do with the money? Your decisions could ...

A history lesson on walls

The Great Wall” opened at theaters in North America Feb. 17 after having opened in China on Dec. 15, 2016. The movie stars the famous actor Matt Damon as an European mercenary searching for some black powder. The action takes place during China’s Song Dynasty approximately 960-1280 CE ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: We live in Minnesota but travel south for several winter months. Many other states only have a rear license plate. Why does Minnesota have two? Thanks! Answer: Minnesota state law required two license plates on your vehicle with some exceptions. Some vehicles are allowed to ...

One fish, two fish…heart healthy heroes

February is American Heart Month. Your heart health is dependent on your lifestyle habits. One of the most important behaviors is diet. One specific dietary habit in need of improvement in Americans’ eating patterns is increasing consumption of seafood. Current advice from our government ...

When ciao becomes buongiorno

Blame it on a glass of Chianti. Many moons ago and on a different continent, I tasted my first glass of Chianti wine and at first, we just greeted each other with ciao! Many moons later and on this continent, Chianti and I have become good friends and now we say buongiorno to each other. ...

A mild midwinter

As I write this, the area where we live is suffering an extended spell of mild midwinter weather. I say “suffering” because, as we in the Midwest all know, no nice weather ever goes unpunished. We’re going to pay for this; it’s just a matter of when and how. I go for my daily ...

The shift is on

The flock rose and fell like a slow pulse, banking and turning against the southerly gusts. They made the sky look like static on an old black and white TV screen long after the daily programming had stopped and the national anthem signaled the end of the broadcast day. The growing crowd ...

New southern Minnesota WMA will be a ‘Buetiful Thing’

PART II: “A NEW MINNESOTA The post-World War II era witnessed extraordinary changes in farming. Horses had been almost entirely replaced by tractors, and the country was hell-bent on putting as much land as possible under plow. ‘Drainage, there was so much drainage going on, it was ...

Receiving housing benefits? A trip to Social Security may not be necessary

District manager Social Security is constantly evolving to make your life easier. If you are currently receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and are reapplying for benefits, or are assisting someone with their application, a trip to the Social ...

Shrink down the universe

In the history of this humble little star watching column I’ve thrown a myriad of numbers at you about the sizes of the stars and planets available in our night sky and the tremendous distances between them. The numbers can get so big that it’s pretty much impossible to truly grasp their ...

Losing my head over Dmitri Shostakovich

There was long silence inside the Southwest Minnesota State University Campus Religious Center before Dr. Daniel Rieppel finally struck the key on the piano hard. He struck the key hard again and again. The intensity then subsided with some meek plucks at the violin strings by Brian ...

Your Health Be where your feet are

Be where your feet are. It seems simple enough, right? How can you not literally be where your feet are? Well, just think about how many times you find yourself having a conversation with someone and thinking about what to say next, how long you have before you need to go or what you have to ...

A candlelight hike

Last Saturday I wanted to try something different. Around Valentine’s Day Ross and I have attended the Chocolate Affair in Minneota. It’s been our standing date for years. But I noticed on Facebook that Lac qui Parle State Park was having a candlelight hike on Saturday. I’ve been wanting ...

On the Porch

With the unseasonably warm weather occurring now, one can’t help but think of spring and later summer approaching. One summer tradition in Marshall is the Marshall Municipal Band concerts at Liberty Park on Wednesday evenings. The Marshall Municipal Band has played in the bandshell in the ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: My husband was driving while I was a passenger and an elder man driving ran a stop sign and cut in front of us. My husband honked his horn to alert the driver prior to him attempting to come into our lane. However, he did not appear to hear us. Fortunately, we were able to avoid being ...

Help your pulse with pulses

Pulses are the edible seeds of plants in the legume family. The most common pulses are dried beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas. Both economical and sustainable, pulses are a great way to add filling protein and fiber to your diet. Pulses’ unique fiber makeup has been linked to lowering ...

Same old…same old

It’s interesting that, at times, what’s new is...old. One of the more popular greetings used today is “What’s new?” and I would bet even money that most of us have answered that query by saying “Oh, the same old, same old.” Of course, what we are trying to relay by that ...

Aquatic squatters

You know that the housing industry is booming when new homes start popping up in the middle of a bog. In one of my fields there’s a slough and out in the slough there’s a burgeoning housing development. A dozen new domiciles have been erected in the swamp since last summer — and all ...

The ice derby

There’s something mind-boggling about a couple hundred, or a couple thousand, or maybe more than 10,000 anglers huddled on the ice, staring at their bobbers, electronics and the slush melting around their one hole; hopefully that lucky spot in a grid of many, many similar holes. The fact that ...

The year 2017 brings changes to ‘full retirement age’

District manager Every worker’s dream is having a secure retirement to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow. Part of that commitment is ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when you make your retirement ...