Local Columns

Shopping by catalog

How did the country housewife plan and get ready for the holidays 75 years ago? Well, all she had to do was thumb through the pile of catalogs that she had been receiving since early fall. She could order a “best quality,” bib-style apron in checks, figures, or stripes for a dime. Or she ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: What is the law about pickup trucks with the flashing amber lights? I noticed some of them traveling down the road when they are not actively plowing. Also, is there a law against plowing or blowing snow onto a public road? Answer: Minnesota state law says that a service vehicle ...

Decisions

They can make us smile, frown or fret. These things that can make us feel everything across the emotional spectrum are the decisions we make as we walk through life. Do you have any idea how many decisions you make everyday? It’s probably best not to try and count them — you’ll ...

Granola: Healthy or not healthy?

Granola is often advertised as a healthy option, and while it usually has a base of healthy ingredients, it can also contain large amounts of additives our bodies don’t need. When shopping for granola, there are a few things I like to consider, as not all granola is created equal. Here are a ...

March is the meanest month

March proved yet again that it’s the meanest month by smacking us with another bomb-cyclone-snowpocalypse. Thank goodness the state high school basketball tournaments are now over! If history has taught us anything, it’s that that the state tournaments are reliable blizzard triggers. We ...

Medicare: Rules for those with higher income

If you have higher income, the law requires an upward adjustment to your monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. But, if your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your Medicare income-related monthly ...

Five favorite crappie lures

One of spring’s first fish that anglers find schooling up in the shallows, rushing reed beds and staking out structure for spawning is the crappie. Whether black or white, these fish are synonymous with fast spring fishing, and knowing what to use for them can help heat up any chilly day. ...

A beehive, a manger, and two donkeys point to spring of 2019

Even though the weather may not exactly be advertising spring nothing can stop it astronomically. The vernal equinox is this coming Wednesday afternoon at 4:58 p.m. For the first time since last September the sun is entering the northern half of the celestial sphere. From now until late June ...

In shooting’s aftermath, who’s example will New Zealand follow?

Before there was Columbine, there was the Port Arthur Massacre. In 1996, three years before 15 people were shot and killed in the now infamous Colorado high school, a mentally disabled individual in Tasmania, Australia, opened fire in a crowded resort. Before the gunman was captured the ...

What I’ve been reading…

I keep biting off more than I can chew when it comes to reading. But it’s just so tempting with all the options out there. There’s e-books from the library, streaming e-books from Hoopla, physical books from the library and of course, the books that are already on my bookshelves and Kindle. ...

Blackout blues

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” goes the old Joni Mitchell tune. This is true for numerous things such as your car keys, the TV remote and your short-term memory. Something that everyone misses when it’s gone is electricity. Without electrical power, I would be ...

Spring into National Nutrition Month

Choosing nutritious foods and getting enough physical activity can make a real difference in your health. For National Nutrition Month 2019, in March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages people to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and activity habits. Each ...

What speaks to you?

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t answer that question and primarily because of the long-standing misunderstanding of what these two words mean. Our common understanding of an extrovert is someone who talks all the time, takes over the ...

Weird fish

A person never knows what’s lurking in various waters. I’ve seen tiger muskies caught in lakes where they’ve never been stocked and read reports of eels somehow making it hundreds of miles up small rivers and drainage ditches to waters far from their origin point. Gar have snapped at the ...

Get a replacement SSA-1099 tax form

Now that it’s tax season, you might be gathering all of your forms and documentation from the previous year. Sometimes getting all that material together — receipts for donations, business expenses, and travel — can be overwhelming. And losing one vital piece can take up time that you ...

We are all a bunch of wimps

Part II (Continuation of rescuing the cattle in the Blizzard of ‘52) We were finally ready to “weather” the storm. We took a few steps outside into the raging angry storm — and that’s as far as we got. This was the second day of the blizzard and the snow was deep. My dad was ...

The great belt of winter

Without a doubt, my favorite constellation in the sky is Orion the Hunter, the absolute king of the nocturnal winter skies. I’m certainly not alone here. When I ask folks at the beginning of my stargazing/astronomy programs if they can find any constellations, the most common response I get ...

Watching award shows

I’m not always one to watch award shows like the Oscars, the Golden Globes or the Grammys. But this year we happened to have the television on in the newsroom for both the Globes and the Oscars. It’s a long Sunday night of working, why not have some entertainment on in the background. And ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: What is the correct following distance? Everyone seems to be way too close behind each other. Answer: The only law regarding following distance pertains to vehicles pulling trailers. This includes trucks as well as semi-truck tractors with trailers. They must maintain a minimum ...

Follow your gut to digestive health

Did you know that trillions of bacteria live in the body? Most are helpful; some aren’t. The term “microbiome” describes all the bacteria that live in your body, mostly in your digestive system. When you have more good than bad bacteria in your gut, you’re in healthy equilibrium. ...