Local Columns

Books and Beyond

I thought I’d read Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” for January. I like the title, and I know there’s a movie of the book. I started with McMurtry’s “In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas” — short pieces about his life in Texas. In the first essay he tells us about the making of ...

Who to contact: Social Security or Medicare?

Sometimes it’s confusing to know who to contact and for what. Social Security and Medicare offer related services, so people aren’t always certain who does what. This “cheat sheet” can help. Contact Social Security to: • See if you’re eligible for Medicare; • Create a my ...

Go the distance with the Andromeda Galaxy

How would you like to see the farthest thing visible to the naked eye? It’s possible, but you’ll need to bundle up and sit back on a lawn chair. Your neighbors may think you’ve cracked up sitting out there in the winter, but you’re on a mission! You’re out in the cold to find the ...

A criminal, an immigrant and a wall

By all accounts, he was true to his name: he was an ordinary Joe. Your typical blue-collar worker, Joe did whatever it took to provide for his family, mostly in construction. And he had quite a family — six children in fact, four boys and two daughters before his first wife died. Now, ...

Reading challenges

New year, new reading goals. That’s what a lot of folks on the Reader’s Coffeehouse Facebook page and Bitter is the New Book Club Facebook page have been talking about. One reader set a goal to read 1,000 books in a year. My jaw dropped. Then she decided to make it 365 books, one for every ...

Annual ups and downs

The end of the year and the start of a new one heralds not only a time to look forward at goals to be accomplished, but also to celebrate the seasons that have wrapped and analyze what went wrong, what went right and what lessons were learned to be relied upon in the moments of truth next year ...

Beans: Healthy and versatile

During the month of January, there are numerous food holidays celebrated. From Spaghetti Day on Jan. 4 to Blueberry Pancake Day on Jan. 28, there are many opportunities to celebrate various foods throughout the month as we start the New Year. One of the foods we can acknowledge during the ...

It’s all about perspective

As I write this column, this saying seems appropriate: “If you have not found joy in snow, you’ll have less joy in your life but the same amount of snow.” With our recent blowing snow and cold, it’s sometimes hard to find joy because of the many disruptions that occur due the snow ...

Ancestral archeology

Even when it’s deadly cold outdoors I will bundle up and venture forth for my daily constitutional. Perhaps a part of me wants to prove that I have the same mettle as my pioneer forbears. Except for me, a warm house, a mug of hot chocolate and 500 cable channels are just moments ...

Post-holiday thoughts

By the time you read this article, most people will have taken down and packed away all the remnants of this Christmas and have begun buying up items, on sale, to be used for Christmas next year. The commercialization of the holidays that begins earlier every year started this year before ...

Caring for children

District manager During the holiday season, most of us, regardless of our beliefs, focus on the children we love. Children are our future — we share our knowledge and talent with them — we pass on our values to them knowing they will share those gifts. Social Security safeguards ...

The dazzling diamonds of January complete with a lunar eclipse

Thee big event in the night sky this month is total lunar eclipse, or “blood moon” if you prefer. It’ll be the first one we’ve seen since 2015 and the last one we’ll see around here until 2022. So let’s hope and pray for clear skies on Sunday night, Jan. 20, as the moon ventures ...

The death of workplace romance

This is the story of two men and two romances in two very different times. The first man was instantly attracted to the woman when she walked into his place of employment. He had worked there for nearly 10 years and been promoted to a position of responsibility and authority. It was her ...

Utility fees explained — wastewater

As part of your monthly utility bill, two charges relate to specific city of Marshall services, the surface water management utility fee and wastewater (sewer) utility fee. This month’s article, an explanation of the wastewater fee. The city of Marshall owns and operates a mechanical ...

On the Porch

Burchard was a grain buying point on the Dakota Central division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, not far from the crossing of the Great Northern Railroad. It is on the southwest quarter of section 11, Shelburne Township, and is about six miles west of Balaton. The photograph ...

A couple of goals for 2019

As we come to a new year, my thoughts come to setting a goal or two. And mainly those goals revolve around reading and hiking. I think I’ll add a couple more to that — volunteering more often and trying a new craft. These sound like reasonable and achievable goals, plus I did a little ...

Ask A Trooper

Question: I know on the handicap placards, it is stated that they must be removed from hanging, while driving, but yet I see MANY hanging from mirrors, every day. I know you can’t hang fuzzy dice or other things from the mirror so I was just wondering about the handicap placards, since I ...

8 tips for buying and maintaining your car

Take your time Buying a new car is a big investment, so start by considering what type of car you need. Will it be used primarily for commuting? Driving kids to school and around town? Target the kind of vehicle that best matches your lifestyle. Do some research online to find out what the ...

A poll on recycling

Congratulations and a huge thank you to Tracy Food Pride for showing its environmental awareness in allowing the recycling rolloffs for residents in your Tracy community to be in your parking lot. The renewed commitment that the community of Tracy has for recycling (and reducing, reusing) goes ...

The tiny Christmas tree challenge

While there really aren’t any Christmas constellations in the Marshall sky this time of year, or any other time for that matter, there are two signs of the most wonderful time of the year among the stars. One is small and challenging to locate, and the other is large and very easy to ...