Community Voices

Ask a trooper

Question: Is it legal for local police or State Patrol to make regular traffic stops with an unmarked vehicle (no markings at all) or does the vehicle have to be a certain color or have some kind of markings? Answer: You might be aware of some posts on social media that say, according to ...

Tax time volunteers put the ‘FUN’ in refund

Tax time is coming again! If you would like a time-limited volunteer opportunity, helping people at United Community Action Partnership’s free tax clinic is for you. United Community Action, in partnership with the United Way of Southwest MN and the MN Department of Revenue, the Internal ...

One fact you should know about disability

District manager Disability is something many people aren’t faced with in a direct way. The reality is, a 20-year-old worker currently has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. That makes Social Security disability benefits something you should learn ...

Catherine Jones Thomas

Part II At the age when people of our generation are starting to think about retirement Catherine Thomas was still working hard and facing the hardships of pioneer life. Throughout her diary we get a picture of a tired, sick and worn-out woman, but one must search to find mention of why ...

Thirteen fearless things to know about your Social Security number

District manager While many of us look forward to Friday, with its end-of-the-workweek designation and our weekend plans, certain cultures consider it an unlucky day. Some people, suffering from triskaidekaphobia, are truly terrified of the No. 13. Combine the two factors and it’s not ...

‘Quackers’

Local volunteers across southwest Minnesota participated in Read for the Record earlier this week. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota locally coordinated Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, again this year. One hundred seventy volunteers read “Quackers” at 20 schools, nine libraries, 11 ...

Making an impact

I lost my father to cancer last week. An expected conclusion in his cancer battle but nonetheless a sad and sobering event. I had many months to consider and prepare for this unavoidable event and was well prepared for the sadness but had never considered the positive aspects, which can be ...

A busy month at SMSU

October is one of the busiest months of the year when it comes to students and the college search process. Hundreds of prospective students and their families take advantage of the various college visit opportunities and events that fill the calendar at SMSU. Students have the chance to come ...

National Principal’s Month

Each year, the month of October is designated as National Principal’s Month, and I would like to take a moment to recognize our principals and assistant principals. They include Darci Love and Jim Gagner (Park Side), Jeremy Williams (West Side), Mary Kay Thomas and Jeff Hansen (Middle ...

The holiday season

It’s the holiday season! A time to celebrate. As we all celebrate my mind contemplates how diverse and different he celebrations are throughout the month. Each unique. Each special. This month at the center, we are celebrating the season too! Join us for the following events! Join us as ...

On the Porch

The history of farming in Minnesota from 1850 to the mid-20th Century can be divided into three periods. From 1850-1870, farmers engaged in subsistence farming, which means that farmers were just getting established on their new land. From about 1870 to 1895, most farmers put nearly all their ...

Barns

Part III: Anyone who grew up on a farm is very familiar with this imposing structure, which was really the centerpiece of a farming operation. There was the sight of the barn as I tried to make it out in the darkness of the night or in the blinding snow; there was the smell of the barn that ...

A calculated retirement

District manager Calculating when you should retire requires evaluating all sources of your retirement income. There are many factors to consider, including your personal retirement goals. With multiple factors affecting your decision, sometimes it’s difficult to see the big retirement ...

Small grants, big impact

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota unites people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities. As part of our grant funding portfolio, UWSWMN sets aside funding each fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to provide small grants to eligible nonprofit organizations in our service area. The ...

Y bits and pieces

With the onset of cooler weather the Y starts to heat up. The first week of October is our annual member appreciation week and will include an Open House for all community members on Wednesday beginning at 5 p.m. All full-time staff will be available through 7 p.m. to discuss membership, ...

Becoming a member

It’s fall! The leaves will soon become an array of brilliant colors. Each leaf uniquely changing and turning color on its own nature’s timeline. Leaves changing is a reminder that it is membership time at the center! Fun time of year, when we’re able to connect and interact with all of ...

The first few weeks of school

The start of each new school year is exciting for many reasons. We get to welcome new and returning staff back to work, we have the opportunity to get students back into the buildings, and there is just a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. When school is out during the summer months, it gives ...

What is Rotary?

Rotary is a service club that started in Chicago back in 1905 by Paul Harris. The motto for Rotary is “Service above Self.” One of Rotary’s biggest accomplishments to date is its Polio Plus Campaign. Last year, less than 100 cases were reported worldwide. Since the first vaccine in 1979 ...

50 years at SMSU

For the last 50 years, many faces have graced the halls of Southwest Minnesota State University. Faces that have brought curiosity, debate, and an overwhelming desire to teach and learn. These faces shaped and defined an institution that today serves not only as an educational hub for southwest ...

Social Security is there for those who served our country

District manager The men and women who served our country in the military can count on Social Security to be there for them throughout their lives. Active duty military members earn credits toward Social Security retirement benefits. Wounded Warriors can receive expedited handling of ...