Local Columns

Sharing a special gift during holiday season

Lila Jeseritz walked up to my cubicle inside the Independent office holding up a newspaper clipping. I could tell it was old. The paper itself was brownish in color. “This ran in the Wood Lake paper years ago,” Jesertiz said. “You can run it if you like.” I gently took the clipping ...

Hiking and reading

I couldn’t pass up a good Cyber Monday deal a few weeks ago. Amazon was advertising Kindle Unlimited at 99 cents for three months. That’s like 33 cents a month for books! I had a couple of bucks left on a Visa gift card to cover the cost, so one late night I signed up and immediately ...

Ask a Trooper

By Sgt. Troy Christianson Question: What is the penalty for an expired health card while driving a commercial vehicle such as a semi? Answer: A current health card is required for vehicles over 10,000 pounds. If the driver’s health card is expired, the driver would be subject to a ...

Handling diets during the holidays

The holiday season is in full swing and the menus are being planned. I put out the request to my kids and family for what they wanted to see on the menu for our holiday meals and they responded with many of our annual traditional foods as well as some of their personal favorites. If you’re ...

Tree and me

Sometimes I feel like a tree. It’s not the majestic sequoia tree I feel like. It’s not the mighty oak nor the sturdy northern pine that I feel like. And it’s certainly not the magnificent maple tree. No, the tree I sometimes feel like is Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. As some of ...

Know Before You Go

SW MN Private Industry Council Know Before You Go — Today’s labor market is very different than it was 20+ years ago when many of us as parents, teachers, and community leaders were making decisions about our careers. In our diverse economy, there are many ways to achieve workforce ...

Merry and bright

First ice often brings with it some of the fastest fishing of the year. Whether it’s panfish, walleyes or pike, many species still have that late-fall feedbag on as the hardwater season starts and they’ll aggressively take after spoons, jigs and active offerings that catch their attention. ...

A Cooley Christmas

My dad once told me that when he was a youngster, country folk commonly created their own entertainment. They would never dream of ordering a pizza over the Internet or using a streaming service to pump music into their homes or zoning out on the couch as they binged on the latest Netflix ...

Understanding Social Security disability benefits

District manager Disability is something most people don’t like to think about, but the chances that you’ll become disabled probably are greater than you realize. Studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement ...

Amos W. Muzzy

Part III: The arrival of the following men had much to do with the future growth of Lyon County. On the first day of May of1869, 10 men set out from Olmsted County in search of new homes: C.H. Whitney, C. H. Upton, E. G. Bascomb. T. S. Eastman, V. Eastman, W. S. Eastman, O. A. Hawes, R. ...

Celestial meditation and a close encounter with a comet

Stargazing is so great for the soul. Have you honestly spent the better part of the evening under the stars, just lying back on a reclining lawn chair? You can actually enjoy anytime of the year but I think this time of year is so great. Just layer up and head outside! With the long nights you ...

In ironic twist, judges give Trump legal carte blanche

As part of its “first in the nation” distinction regarding the presidential primary campaign, Iowa plays host to its fair share of candidates seeking the highest office in the land. So it was no surprise on a chilly, January evening in 2016, one of the Republican front runners stood at a ...

15 years and counting

This past Sunday was a bit of an anniversary for me. Back in the fall of 2003, I learned, at age 31, that I had a congenital heart defect. It seemed like just last year when I got the news. I hadn’t been feeling well and went to the clinic to get checked out. Honestly, I rarely go to the ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: If a person has a permit to carry in Minnesota, can they transport a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle? Answer: The permit to carry law applies only to handguns, so the answer is no with some exceptions. MS 97B.045 — A person may not transport a firearm in a motor vehicle ...

Child identity theft: A hidden but real danger

Chances are you shred or secure any paperwork that contains personally identifying information, such as your Social Security number or birth date. But do you do the same for your children? You ought to. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ...

Wine and song

Research tells us that listening to music has multiple positive effects on us. Music soothes us, energizes us, makes us laugh and cry, heals us and brings us together. To the listening public, there are three elements that carries music home to us. First, there’s the beat and that’s ...

Signs of weakness

Every year about this time there are stories in the headlines that have most people shaking their heads. A truck goes through the ice, a towable shack house sinks during an untimely warm-up, or an angler unfamiliar with the elements of a body of water finds himself in trouble. While most of the ...

A garden Christmas

Christmas would be much more enjoyable if it didn’t come at Christmastime. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the Yule season just as much as when I was 9 years old and was convinced, despite mountains of incriminating evidence, that I’d avoided landing on Santa’s “naughty” list. The ...

Amos W. Muzzy

Part II: The village of Lynd was laid out by Mr. Muzzy on the south side of the Redwood River on section 33. In 1871 he sold out to W. T. Ellis who put up several buildings. Case describes Ellis as quite a character. “Governed mostly by impulse, he was always ready to preach a sermon, run ...

Beware of scammers

District manager In the digital age, frauds and scams are an unfortunate part of doing business online. During the holiday season, Social Security has traditionally seen a spike in phishing scams, and we want to protect you as best we can. We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid ...