Local Columns

Sugar and sugar substitutes

With many people trying to reduce the amount of added sugar in their diets, the use of sugar substitutes has been on the rise and such sweeteners can be found in a multitude of food products. From ice creams and yogurts to granola bars and beverages, sugar substitutes such as sucralose and ...

What does your name tell us about you?

“Hi! What’s your name?” How many times have you been asked your name? Of course, the answer from all of us would be many times in numerous situations. Our names identify us — how’s that for a shocker? But how often do you think of why you received your name? Most of us didn’t ...

Recycling rules

Recycling can be confusing because we do not have a standard set of rules for the United States. Residents must be aware of what the rules are for their community. Generally speaking, these rules can be found either on a city webpage or on a county webpage. The rules that residents have in Lyon ...

Connect with Social Security on social media

District manager We strive to keep you informed with accurate and helpful information. Over the last decade, Social Security’s communications strategy has evolved to include electronic messages, through our social media channels. You can share Social Security information, including ...

Positively

As I staked out the long-term forecast and searched for some bright spot in the near future — hopefully for the upcoming holiday weekend — I caught a fragment of the interview with David Letterman that was going on in the background noise of the television morning show, in which he and the ...

The lawn zombie

It returned again this spring like a lawn zombie. The sinkhole near our house came back even though I had vigorously disinvited it. We’re not talking about a car-eating crater. It was merely an earthen pothole, albeit one that could tip a riding lawnmower, afflicting its operator with no ...

Be careful what you wish for when embracing ‘pro-life’ manta

Pam and David were expecting their first children, twin boys, when Pam’s water broke just four months into the pregnancy. She was rushed to her small, rural hospital where their family physician quickly decided the emergency was beyond his abilities and transferred them to a university ...

Polaris, center of the celestial pinwheel

Ask an average person to name a star and chances are they’ll come up with the North Star. Without a doubt that’s one of the best known stars in the night sky, but “North Star” is just a nickname. Its actual name is Polaris. If you really want to know, Polaris also has a scientific name ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I moved to Minnesota from Arizona about a year ago and I have a car that has tinted windows. What is the window tint law in Minnesota? Answer: Even if your previous state allowed tinted windows, you will now need to comply with Minnesota law: No vehicle can have any tint to the ...

Beef — It’s What’s for Dinner

Many of us have likely heard or recall the popular phrase, “Beef — It’s What’s for Dinner.” It was the successful campaign slogan for the beef industry back in the 1990s. With Memorial Day right around the corner and the grilling season ready to start in earnest, many of us find beef ...

First steps

Life is a series of first steps. Well, not all of life’s steps are first steps but there are those moments when we do take a first step to: forgive someone, toward either mental or physical healing, when we enter a classroom and are introduced to an idea that’s foreign to us, when we are ...

Spruce up your financial plan with Social Security

District manager Now that tax season is over, it’s probably a good time to evaluate some financial “best practices” for the rest of the year. A good spring-cleaning can clear out the clutter to let you see a clear path for your future. Social Security is always here to help. Even if ...

Close enough to perfect

The running joke every Sunday, when the more than 200 students on our six area Clay Target League teams get together, is that it’s easy to tell it is our shooting day. This spring, conditions have been, without fail, the worst of the week on our designated afternoon at the gun club. Winds of ...

‘Pomp and Circumstance’

The circa 1956 “Peanuts” comic strip features Schroeder at his piano with Snoopy perched atop the instrument. The dog is so moved by the music that he soon bursts into tears. In the final panel, Schroeder wryly observes, “Nothing affects an old grad like the playing of ‘Pomp and ...

Telescope do’s and don’ts

I usually write about telescope do’s and don’ts around the holiday season, but I thought for a change I’d write about it now. After all, it’s a lot more comfortable this time of year for stargazing. The tradeoff is that the skies don’t get dark until much later in the evening. If ...

A walk in Kilen Woods

So we had a rare 70-degree day this past Saturday in the midst of the cold, dreary and sometimes rainy stretch, which prompted Ross and I to decide on a somewhat nearby state park. It had been a little more than four years since we've been out to Kilen Woods State Park, which is near Windom, so ...

Under pressure

The world is filled with all sorts of pressures. Some of them are beneficial and some are nothing but a pressurized pain in the keister. Take hydraulic pressure. It can be a force for good, such as when pressurized oil activates a cylinder on the tow truck that’s hoisting your car out a ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you please explain the new hands free cell phone law? Answer: Under the law, you may not hold your phone in your hand and cannot use it at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos stored on the phone, using non-navigation ...

Reduce sewer or drain losses in your basement

No one wants to experience sewer backups in the home. Like many questions regarding home maintenance, when it comes to sewer problems, prevention is the best solution. Considering how much damage can be caused by water in your basement, it makes sense to spend a little time testing out your ...

5 reasons we should all be eating more berries…and not just in the morning

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are taking over the produce department — and who’s not excited about that? They’re basically nature’s way of helping us lower cholesterol and fight disease in the most delicious way possible. Here are five reasons why you ...