Local Columns

Smoothie sensations

Creamy, dreamy, delicious... and, of course, nutritious” was the intent of the National Dairy Council’s recent smoothie contest this past summer. They invited entrants to submit a smoothie recipe that contained a full serving of a dairy food. This could include fluid milk, yogurt or other ...

He’s back!

The Irish folk story goes like this... Once upon a time, there was a man by the name of Stingy Jack. He was known far and wide as the stingiest man on the Emerald Island and the good folks of his area learned not to trust him. They didn’t trust him because he would invite people to drink ...

The October garden

October blew in on a wild bronco of bone-chilling rains, a killing frost and a spiteful spattering of snow thrown in for good measure. The 10th month continues to maintain its reputation as a mass executioner of gardens. As inevitable as all of that may have been, it’s always somewhat ...

Target tips

A great target shooter is a great field shooter. The ability to hit a clay streaking away at 43 miles per hour correlates closely with the same form, pivot, focus and follow through necessary to hit a rooster flushing into the sky, a ruffed grouse rushing down a forest path or a group of ducks ...

School days

In the “olden days” most schools consisted of a one-room building that sat out on the open prairie. There was no electricity, no running water, two outhouses and one teacher for about 30 students from grades one through eight. School lunches were packed by mothers and consisted of ...

Social Security and Medicare, working side by side

District manager Social Security and Medicare have worked side by side for decades. Both programs have improved the quality of life for millions of Americans. Social Security reaches almost every family and, at some point, touches the lives of nearly all Americans. We’re with you ...

The truth about celestial photography

My first love as it has been for over 50 years is still visual astronomy and always will be but about 10 years ago I added the dimension of astrophotography mainly thanks to the blossoming of better and better astronomical digital cameras and innovated adapted optics. As good as you can observe ...

The amazing story of an American staple

The amazing story of an American staple His name is Steve Henson, and his little-known story is the personification of the American Dream. You’ve probably never heard of Steve Henson, but you are aware of his legacy and impact on the American way of life. Steve was from the little town ...

‘Every Note Played’

I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry. I mean, there are books that I can’t put down and will finish in a day or so, but to have tears flowing down my cheeks? It’s been a long, long time, if ever. I’m usually stoic when it comes to book reading, but all it takes is that one ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: When troopers pull over a vehicle, why do they approach it on the traffic side rather than the passenger window?  I have observed some other law enforcement agencies approach from the passenger side and thought it made sense from a safety perspective. Answer: Officers are trained ...

The Great Pumpkin

For many, when we first think of pumpkins, we picture fall décor, pumpkin pie and jack-o’-lanterns. However, in addition to being carved into fun, Halloween decorations and enjoyed in pie at Thanksgiving, pumpkin can be enjoyed in other ways too! With October being National Pumpkin Month and ...

Ugly but beautiful

Why do we think someone or something is ugly? Is it simply because we don’t want to “see” past the ugly? Or is it because we’re afraid that seeing that ugly something/someone will remind us of something ugly in our past? Perhaps we’re unsettled about ugliness because we don’t ...

A Nobel experience

Gustavus Adolphus is a picturesque little college that sits upon a hill at the edge of the picturesque town of St. Peter. When my wife and I recently visited Gustavus, the autumn trees were turning gold and scarlet and a dozen clean-cut college students were playing volleyball on an emerald ...

Opener lessons

Every pheasant season — and every opener — teaches me something. This year, hunting solely public-access parcels near home provided even greater insight into the need for areas for all and how hunting them can provide surprising starts and fitting ends to an adventure. When my group of four ...

Books and Beyond

Eudora Welty wrote the acknowledgements to her book “One Writer’s Beginnings” in 1983, the year she gave the material as three lectures at Harvard University. The book was published in 1984. She may be best known for “The Optimist’s Daughter,” published in 1972, which won the ...

Bringing in the sheaves

Part II Those who worked in the harvest fields ended up with sore muscles, blisters on their hands and black dust on their faces. There were no showers at the end of the day, unless an innovative farmer rigged up a makeshift shower in the back yard or took a dip in the stock tank to rinse off ...

The delightful dolphin is a must see

I’ve been meaning to tell you about the tiny constellation Delphinus the Dolphin for a while now but with everything else going on this year like close approach of Mars I just haven’t got to it yet but now’s the time while it’s still available in the early evening sky. A little under ...

Maplewood State Park

It was cold, gray and cloudy as we headed north toward Maplewood State Park, which is near Pelican Rapids. The park is almost three hours from Ross’ place in Wood Lake, so we didn’t arrive there until 3 p.m. The Friends of Maplewood State Park is hosting its annual Leaf Days this past ...

A simple chuckle, a troubling commentary

A simple chuckle, a troubling commentary It was the saddest chuckle I have ever heard. And at the same time, the most troubling commentary on our current political state of affairs. CBS News correspondent Chris Pelley was interviewing Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons, two members of the ...