Local Columns

The total lunar eclipse drought is over

I want you to do anything you can do to make sure we have clear skies. This Sunday night pray, mediate, hold a hair dryer to sky, whatever ever you can do leave the skies clear enough to see the first great total lunar eclipse in southwestern Minnesota since late September of 2015 and it’ll ...

Chances for a wall, legal pot and Shopko

After driving into winter storm Gia last weekend and watching another round of winter weather roll into southwest Minnesota Friday, my appreciation for the accuracy of 21st century meteorologists continues to increase. While I have no quantifiable data to support this, it would appear the ...

Bison at Minneopa State Park

Ross and I were trying to figure out what to do this past Saturday. He eventually came up with the suggest of “Want to go see the bison in Minneopa?” He doesn’t have to ask me twice as I enjoy going to Minneopa State Park, especially with the waterfalls and the bison. I really wanted to ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Who is responsible for making sure the roadway is cleaned up and free from spilled liquids, glass and other car parts from a crash?   Answer: I have noticed that responding agencies and tow companies usually work as a team to treat the injured, direct traffic, investigate the ...

How to choose the right yogurt

Remember when shopping for yogurt was as simple as choosing a flavor you like? Now there’s Greek, Icelandic, full-fat, organic, low-sugar and all sorts of combinations to choose from. Here, we’ll share the major differences and a few pointers for selecting one that works for ...

May The Force be with you

It was a universal power in a fictional universe and it introduced many of us to the dark side. The mega cinema hit “Star Wars” brought many of us face to face with The Force — both its light side and its dark side. In the movie’s terminology, the light side of The Force was good and ...

New winter excitement

It used to be that the middle of January was a dead time for me, a melding together of quiet post-holiday nights ticking away in front of the tying bench punctuated by frantic weekend searches for perch or walleyes on hardwater in an attempt to overcome the slowing mid-ice bite, all while ...

Growing up in a barn

I feel sorry for urban children. Most of them seem to lead normal lives, although what passes for “normal” nowadays often means being attached to a video game console immediately after emerging from the womb. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out how to operate common household ...

What goes around comes around

The kinds of food we eat have changed over the decades, and how we prepare these foods has also changed. Consider the fact that home canning of fruits, vegetables and meats was how foods were not only prepared but saved for future use. Then as these items became available at the grocery stores ...

Disagree with your disability decision?

District manager Social Security is here to help secure today and tomorrow by providing benefits and financial protection for millions of people. This assistance allows people with severe disabilities and health conditions to take care of the necessities of living, such as food, shelter, ...

Taurus the Bull, defender of the Seven Little Sisters

In my view the best looking group of constellations, what I call Orion’s Gang has taken full control of southeastern portion of the early Marshall evening sky. You can’t help but notice that congestion of bright stars. Nowhere else in the night sky at any other time of the year will you ...

Health care mergers — good or bad?

he Avera signs were already up at the ACMC clinic on Carlson Street in Marshall when Avera Marshall and Carris Health Marshall held a press conference a week ago to announce and explain the merger between the two southwest Minnesota health care providers. On Tuesday, I attended the Marshall ...

A winter hike at Sibley

Last weekend I stumbled across a meme that said “Only in Minnesota can 40 degrees bring so much joy to so many people.” And this past Saturday I could relate to that as the temperatures were around 40-something. The day called for a hike outside; we just needed to figure out a location. ...

Window and door draft blockers can help keep your home cozy and warm

Simple draft blockers help prepare your home or apartment for the season’s extremes. Before cold weather comes along, take time to insulate your home or apartment to help lower your heating bill and keep the winter chill outside. A single pane of glass can lose nearly ten times as much heat ...

New year — new foods?

We have another holiday season past us and a new year to look forward to. Often that means making resolutions and many times that involves resolutions to improve our eating habits. It is interesting that the practice of making New Year’s resolutions comes so closely on the heels of a holiday ...

Goodness

One never knows when goodness will appear. It all started when I was invited to host a wine tasting at a party honoring a birthday, a couple of near birthdays, a retirement and good friendships. The wine tasting I could handle but I only knew about half of the people attending and, those I ...

Wintertime diversions

Back in the epoch known as B.C.E. —Before Computerized Entertainment — the human race had to create its own diversions. It’s important to have diversions during our interminable northern winters, when cabin fever can grip an entire household. Cabin fever can raise stress levels to the ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I have noticed cars that can't be seen in the day when they fail to turn on their lights when it is snowing, raining or foggy. Can you please explain how dangerous it can be and what the law is that covers this? Answer: Minnesota law states that every vehicle on a roadway shall ...

A good start (again)

With the recent passage of the Farm Bill by Congress and its execution by the President, three million more acres have been added to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), bringing the total under the set-aside system’s cap to 27 million acres to be phased in by 2023. Stuck at around 24 ...

What are my life insurance options?

So maybe you’ve thought about life insurance but aren’t sure where to begin, or the options seem too overwhelming. Patrick Blevins, State Farm agent in Lexington,Virginia, helps customers with their life insurance needs every day, and he’s here to help break it all down. Short Term vs. ...