Local Columns

Grasshoppers brought disaster to Lyon County

Part II When these Marshall people reached the Redwood River, at the farm place known as the Muzzy flat, the horses refused to approach the usual fording place, due to the fact that the ground before them, of about 20 rods wide and a large distance long, was covered with locusts that were ...

Your retirement planning starts with Social Security

District manager Right now is the perfect time to start planning for a secure, comfortable retirement. And you can count on Social Security to help you begin the process. First, we encourage you to set up an online my Social Security account so you can verify your lifetime earnings ...

It’s solar eclipse time

Thousands and thousands of sky watchers including yours truly have waited a long time for this Monday’s total solar eclipse. There are many people traveling to the narrow band of totality that stretches diagonally across the 48 contiguous states from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s no more ...

Let communities decide fate of statues

If you blinked, you would never see the town of Laclede, Mo. This community of 400 is by all appearances, just like every other sleepy little town in the Midwest; an anonymous face among the thousands dotting our rural landscape. But this town has a former resident who sets it apart from ...

The fair and Czech Fest

Thankfully the weather held out Saturday afternoon as Ross and I headed to the Lyon County Fair. I went toward the 9/11 Never Forget exhibit, which was seeing a good crowd. Parents were pointing out to their kids the different photos and stories. I spent time looking at the items from the New ...

On the Porch

Tidemand (Tideman) Jensen Klevgaard was born in Norway on Dec. 24, 1821. On March 22, 1856, he married Marit Torsdatter Gansager. Marit was born in Norway on July 23, 1832. Tideman and Marit came to America in 1866 as part of a large wave of over 15,000 Norwegian immigrants in that year. With ...

How can you leave the legacy you desire?

You may not see it in the greeting card section of your local drugstore, but August is “What Will Be Your Legacy Month.” So it’s a good time to think about the type of legacy you’d like to leave. Of course, “legacy” can mean many things. In the broadest sense, your legacy is how ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you drive in a bike lane? For instance, use it for a right turn lane?  Answer: No, motorists are not allowed to drive in the bike lanes. The solid white lines on any road mean do not cross. There are designated areas where the solid white line is converted to dashed lines and ...

Being a target of a scam is no laughing matter

I was sitting at my desk inside the Independent office Tuesday afternoon when my phone indicated I had an incoming call. I looked down at it and saw “Mom” on the screen. My mind began racing immediately. It would be unusual for my mother, who lives in Wisconsin, to call me when she knows ...

Mindful eating

What does it mean to eat mindfully? Mindful eating means paying attention to your actual eating experience — while at the same time enjoying it. It means submersing yourself fully into your meal, without multitasking. This can be tough in today’s fast-paced world. Many studies have shown ...

A sense of community — a sense of cause

I understand it. I’ve seen it, heard it and I’m still always amazed by it. What is “it?” A sense of commitment that leads to a sense of community and cause. Within the last two weeks, I’ve experienced both in very different settings and, in both instances, I was amazed. Tyler, ...

An evening with Keillor

The elderly gentleman strolled out onto the stage wearing a tan suit and bright red shoes. As the packed auditorium applauded, he launched into a hilarious song, each verse of which ended with the refrain “up in Minnesota.” So began our evening with Garrison Keillor. I first became ...

Summer holiday

My favorite holiday comes in mid-August. No, not National S’mores Day or International Beer Day (close runners-up though), but that day, after the hustle-and-bustle of summer activity gives way to a warm, lazy Sunday afternoon when I can unwrap my favorite late-summer present — the memory ...

Grasshoppers brought disaster to Lyon County

Part I: Grasshoppers, also known as Rocky Mountain locusts, swept down upon Lyon County and southwest Minnesota in the millions beginning in 1873 and continued to do so for the next two years. They devoured the crops and brought disaster to most residents. The country became bankrupt; ...

Being aware of fraud is first step to avoiding it

District manager When it comes to doing business with Social Security online, there is little to worry about—all of our online services are protected by strong Internet security protocols and you should have confidence that they are safe and secure. But, there are other ways identity ...

Enjoyable fair opportunities provide healthful activities

Over the past summers I have enjoyed using this column to discuss the healthful aspects of life’s opportunities which are presented to us in our local and state environment. For example, we have enjoyed another season of the Marshall City Band concerts in Liberty Park; thanks again to Mr. ...

Communicating with your siblings about money and aging parents

Many adult children are called upon to help their aging parents as life changes set in, yet only 65 percent of siblings report talking about money with one another, according to research by Ameriprise Financial. While only 15 percent of siblings have conflicts over money, when siblings do spar ...

Your Health To eat organic or not to eat organic…

A lot of people seem to be leaning toward purchasing organic foods these days. Is this just a fad or is it actually a healthy and beneficial change to make for your family? Whether it’s milk, eggs, or chicken broth, is organic the way to go? Grocery shopping is expensive; I don’t need ...

Statement on wheels hard to miss

Chris Berghorst has spent most of his life making a statement. During his high school days in Canby he drove a souped-up 1949 Ford pickup he renovated himself. It was so popular, that it was used in the senior class picture. Today his statement car is not quite so flashy. But it is an ...