Local Columns

Beating the heat of summer before A/C

How did we cope with the extreme heat and humidity before we had air conditioning? I have thought of that more than once during this summer’s unrelenting heat. Well, to begin with we opened the windows and doors wide to let in any breeze that might come through — but only if there were ...

Ticket to work puts people back in the driver’s seat

District manager Social Security encourages people to rejoin the workforce when they are able. Ticket to Work is our free and voluntary program that helps people get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support services. This program is for people ages ...

Your best water source: Tap or bottled?

Water-related subjects such as weather, floods, drought or contamination are often featured on the news promoted to the public; the situation in Flint, Michigan is a case in point. These topics can be great concern throughout the United States and the world and significantly affect our daily ...

Shooting the moon

This Tuesday we’ll have our first full moon of astronomical summer over Marshall but for all practical purposes the moon will be pretty much full all week long. As much as full moons louse up the skies for real stargazing and astrophotography, two things that are near and dear to me, I just ...

Milking cows and playing polka

It was a case of mistaken identity. Actually it was my ignorance that got the best of me when I walked into the Wabasso Community Center on June 28 for the Lions 46th Annual Pork BBQ. The first thing I noticed when I walked inside was the tantalizing aroma of barbecue. Next I noticed the ...

Are you sure you’re pro-life … really?

How pro-life are you? Considering the voting demographics of the rural Midwest in general and southern Minnesota specifically, I’m going to assume most people who read this will be Republican. And one of the Republican tenants is opposing abortion. In fact, I believe it’s the singular ...

A three-day weekend

I was blessed with a rare three-day weekend this past weekend. And the weather cooperated all three days. Ross and I didn’t travel far as we did that the previous weekend, but we found things to do within a 100-mile radius of Marshall. Ross has been car shopping for the last few months, so ...

On the Porch

Summer in southwest Minnesota has a different meaning for everyone, but most people this summer will consume ice cream, which is especially tasty on hot summer days. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice ...

Sticking neck out at Girls State

There were a lot of girls sticking their necks out at Minnesota Girl’s State. On the first day of the program, unknowingly adorned with a predetermined Federalist name tag and a Bernie Sanders sweatshirt, I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. I walked into my dorm room and was ...

What can investors learn from the All Stars?

Next week, the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held in Marlins Park in Miami. If you’re a baseball fan, you may tune in to admire the skills and grace of the players. And if you’re an investor, you can learn some valuable lessons from the All Stars, including ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: What can be done about an aging family member when their driving skills become diminished and it becomes a safety concern? Answer: Older drivers in general are safe. As we age the risks behind the wheel increase with the possibility of declining cognitive, vision and physical ...

On a mission of conservatism

In a blocked off area inside the American Legion on Main Street Marshall a couple weeks ago, author Alan Duff spoke to handful of folks on the need to empower mainstream America. “I believe self-serving politicians and their accomplices are the greatest threat to America,” Duff told his ...

Fire up the flavor with grilled fruits and vegetables

It’s grilling season! What better way to fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies than to take advantage of the season. Grilling enhances the sweetness in both fruits and vegetables and, with the right techniques, will have your friends and family wanting more! Below are a few of my ...

I crossed the line

All of us, have at one time or the other, heard these words of warning: “Madam/Sir/Young Man/Young Woman, you have crossed the line!” Interestingly enough, even if it’s the first time we’ve received the warning, we know exactly what’s being said to us. We know because “the look” ...

Hayloft fun

Summer vacation has arrived, which means that schoolchildren are busily honing their math and spelling skills and assiduously practicing their cursive, especially the capital letter Q. Ha! Just kidding! The average school ager is doing everything he or she can to forget everything they have ...

July summer comfort stargazing

The stars and constellations of summer are well out of their winter slumber, and they’re waiting for you to enjoy them on a warm clear July evenings. Don’t let mosquitoes spoil your nocturnal fun though. Have the bug repellant at the ready. As I’ve told you before though, in most cases ...

A contract for the heart

Mandy Catron is not what you would call a typical romantic. The author of a book titled “How to Fall in Love With Anyone,” has also been a contributor to the New York Times column “Modern Love.” In a contribution to that column a couple years ago, Catron wrote about a first date ...

Five ways to get a jump on 2017 tax savings

With the April deadline for filing taxes behind us, it can be easy to put taxes out of your mind until next filing season. Before you do, review your financial situation to see if you could benefit from early tax planning. A little organization today may help you reduce your 2017 tax burden. ...

Books and Beyond

There are three photographs of cats in Thomas McNamee’s book “The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions,” c 2017. One is of Augusta, the black kitten who was a surprise visitor to the McNamee place in Montana when she was about three months old. ...

My cousin’s wedding

Last Saturday, Ross and I went to my cousin Sara’s wedding in the Haugen/Rice Lake, Wisconsin, area. It was a family reunion in a way as cousins and aunts and uncles I haven’t seen in a while were going to be there. I was really looking forward to this event since Sara made the “Bohemian ...