Local Columns

Ask a Trooper

Question: Is it legal for local police or highway patrol to make regular traffic stops with an unmarked vehicle (no markings at all) or does the vehicle have to have some kind of markings? Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol has 15 unmarked squad cars operated by troopers whose primary job ...

Reading starts with comic page

What part of the newspaper do you read first regardless of whether the newspaper is of the paper variety (my preference) or the electronic variety (on a tablet, computer, or phone)? Some might say that I continue to live in my childhood by having a preference for the comic pages, but I ...

Cauliflower pizza — that’s different

A recipe that came across my home computer a couple of times last week was for pizza with a crust that was made from cauliflower. In typical Minnesotan-talk, you might remark, “That’s different!” It sounded interesting to me, but seemed like more effort than I wanted to expend since pizza ...

Le magnifique

There are things in life that literally stop you in your tracks. For instance, a Sequoia sempervirens — better known to us as the California redwood tree. These old beauties can exist for between 1,200-1,800 years and can reach heights of over 375 feet. As we know, they are so big we’ve ...

An inauspicious start

It was an inauspicious beginning. An average person would have bailed immediately. But the woman who was with me wasn’t an average person; she was my brand-new bride. We had been married for only a few hours when we returned to our dairy farm to discover that our Holsteins had broken out of ...

Gopher it

While my own speed has never been hare-like, or cat-like or really like any fast animal in the natural world, I felt speedy as I made the turn on my first morning run of vacation with a pace of 7:40, a full 20 seconds faster than my usual average. I’d give some of it back on the last three ...

Minnesota: A theater of seasons

Why do we live here? Marshall and southwest Minnesota have been in the national news over the past several weeks as an outpost of desolation due to cold temperatures, blizzards and closed roads. Most would say that we live here because this is where our jobs are. But who decided this area would ...

Planning will help you see green in retirement

District manager Social Security has been a cornerstone of financial security for over 80 years. As you might already know, a lifetime of measured discipline can ensure a comfortable retirement. Social Security can help you plan, save and see plenty of green in your golden years. ...

Dealing with ‘alternative facts’ in today’s world

The news clip shown on the screen inside Charter Hall room 217 on Monday brought me down memory lane to the now famous confrontation between the press and the Trump administration. “You did not answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in ...

Leasing or buying: Which option is right for you?

What’s the best route to acquiring a new and reliable set of wheels? Choosing the make and model of the vehicle you wish to drive, as well as other factors like amenities and mileage are important. However from a financial standpoint, one of your most important decisions is whether to lease ...

Students get healthy choices for school lunches

Not everyone notices, but I suspect that a great deal of passion and dedication goes into serving school lunch to countless students every day. I doubt that has changed, but the quality of the food served had made an amazing transformation over the years. I came to realize this when I was ...

Your Health Smart supermarket selections

While shopping at the supermarket this weekend, my mom and I got into a disagreement over which yogurt is better. Mom said Fage Greek yogurt is the best even if it contains brownie pieces. Her logic: If it has the word “Greek” on the packaging then it’s good for you. My mom is an ...

On the Porch

In the last few weeks, I have mentioned projects the Lyon County Historical Society is working on. One of the projects is gathering information on Norwegian immigrants who settled in Lyon County for the upcoming traveling exhibit, “New Land, New Life: Norwegian Immigrants in Minnesota ...

Acoustic Eidolon

A few weeks ago I interviewed one half of the duo Acoustic Eidolon — cellist Hannah Alkire. Her musical journey started at age 4 when she started learning the piano. Then she asked her parents for a cello at age 8 after watching a concert. According to her online biography, she was in her ...

6 key health savings account benefits

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) help those enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans (HDHPs) pay for qualified medical expenses. But you can also use an HSA as a savings vehicle. Here are six ways to make the most of it: 1. Roll over remaining funds year to year. (You can do it ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you talk about the open bottle law in Minnesota? Can a person have an alcoholic beverage while operating a boat on a lake? How about if you are a passenger in the back of a motor home? Answer: It is against the law for any person to consume alcohol in any vehicle while on a ...

Bracket snacks

There is a good amount of madness in March! Chances are you are going to munch on food while watching those games. Typically, during game-watching parties we reach for high-fat foods. Chips, dips, fried chicken wings and many other popular game eats can pack a lot of calories. One rule of thumb ...

Slàinte!

I can still see his eyes. We were sitting in his living room, enjoying a cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream and having a conversation about St. Patrick’s Day. My friend is an Irishman and very proud of his heritage. I was graced with his presence because for a number of years, we worked ...

Beef tenderloin gets a festive remake

Associated Press (AP) — As much as I love prime rib, beef tenderloin is much easier to prepare, easier to carve and the leftovers are good cold. The only challenge with beef tenderloin is that it is lean (little to no fat) and it is best served rare. I wanted to do something that ...

Automotive memories

Among the many things that attracted me to my wife when we first met — her smarts, her looks, her superhuman ability to put up with me — one of the leading factors was that she owned a car. I am using the word “car” loosely here, as the vehicle she owned when we met was a Ford Pinto. ...