Local Columns

Get set for gun season

In just a couple of weeks, hunters’ visions will shift from flushing or cupped wings to antlers bobbing up and down through the trees. The fast-approaching firearms deer season never fails to ambush a few who push their bird hunting or late season fishing right up to the start of the most ...

Trails to highways

Part I The following history is taken from the centennial publication titled “Tracy’s First Hundred Years,” written by Merrill Starr and published in 1971. This book is presently not available for sale, but there is the possibility of republishing it at some future date. These types of ...

Chocolate bars and baseball cards

With the 2018 World Series just around the corner, I recalled a professional baseball-related event from my childhood. It was a “Golden Birthday” for a friend, 1987 Marshall High School graduate Mike Taylor. I was one of about a dozen guests. His mother, retired Marshall Public Schools ...

Why Social Security retirement is important to women

Social Security plays an especially important role in providing economic security for women. In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. But, women face greater economic ...

Dot to dot puzzles in the heavens

When you gaze upon the Marshall night sky, especially in the dark skies of the countryside, you can allegedly see all kinds of people and creatures up there. Right now there’s a disgraced hunter turned hero, two bears, another mighty hunter chasing the bears, a goose, a giant scorpion, a ...

On the bison range

Last Saturday afternoon found us racing toward Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne to hop on board the “bison buggy” for the 3 p.m. Prairie and Bison Tour. This is something I’ve been wanting to do all summer after the Minnesota DNR announced it. It just never really worked out until ...

Can you count on a bountiful investment ‘harvest?’

We’re officially in autumn — the season when we bring in what we planted in the spring. But the concept of planting and gathering isn’t confined to agriculture. In fact, it can be used in many walks of life, including investing. So what can you do to help work toward a successful ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Other night my coworker got pulled over and was given warning about ride height. It was not slammed to the ground but the trooper said that it was illegal. What is the MN state law for ride height?  Answer: Minnesota law states that if a vehicle’s suspension has been altered by ...

Smoothie sensations

Creamy, dreamy, delicious... and, of course, nutritious” was the intent of the National Dairy Council’s recent smoothie contest this past summer. They invited entrants to submit a smoothie recipe that contained a full serving of a dairy food. This could include fluid milk, yogurt or other ...

He’s back!

The Irish folk story goes like this... Once upon a time, there was a man by the name of Stingy Jack. He was known far and wide as the stingiest man on the Emerald Island and the good folks of his area learned not to trust him. They didn’t trust him because he would invite people to drink ...

The October garden

October blew in on a wild bronco of bone-chilling rains, a killing frost and a spiteful spattering of snow thrown in for good measure. The 10th month continues to maintain its reputation as a mass executioner of gardens. As inevitable as all of that may have been, it’s always somewhat ...

Target tips

A great target shooter is a great field shooter. The ability to hit a clay streaking away at 43 miles per hour correlates closely with the same form, pivot, focus and follow through necessary to hit a rooster flushing into the sky, a ruffed grouse rushing down a forest path or a group of ducks ...

School days

In the “olden days” most schools consisted of a one-room building that sat out on the open prairie. There was no electricity, no running water, two outhouses and one teacher for about 30 students from grades one through eight. School lunches were packed by mothers and consisted of ...

Social Security and Medicare, working side by side

District manager Social Security and Medicare have worked side by side for decades. Both programs have improved the quality of life for millions of Americans. Social Security reaches almost every family and, at some point, touches the lives of nearly all Americans. We’re with you ...

The truth about celestial photography

My first love as it has been for over 50 years is still visual astronomy and always will be but about 10 years ago I added the dimension of astrophotography mainly thanks to the blossoming of better and better astronomical digital cameras and innovated adapted optics. As good as you can observe ...

The amazing story of an American staple

The amazing story of an American staple His name is Steve Henson, and his little-known story is the personification of the American Dream. You’ve probably never heard of Steve Henson, but you are aware of his legacy and impact on the American way of life. Steve was from the little town ...

‘Every Note Played’

I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry. I mean, there are books that I can’t put down and will finish in a day or so, but to have tears flowing down my cheeks? It’s been a long, long time, if ever. I’m usually stoic when it comes to book reading, but all it takes is that one ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: When troopers pull over a vehicle, why do they approach it on the traffic side rather than the passenger window?  I have observed some other law enforcement agencies approach from the passenger side and thought it made sense from a safety perspective. Answer: Officers are trained ...

The Great Pumpkin

For many, when we first think of pumpkins, we picture fall décor, pumpkin pie and jack-o’-lanterns. However, in addition to being carved into fun, Halloween decorations and enjoyed in pie at Thanksgiving, pumpkin can be enjoyed in other ways too! With October being National Pumpkin Month and ...

Ugly but beautiful

Why do we think someone or something is ugly? Is it simply because we don’t want to “see” past the ugly? Or is it because we’re afraid that seeing that ugly something/someone will remind us of something ugly in our past? Perhaps we’re unsettled about ugliness because we don’t ...