Local Columns

Getting to know the new governor of Minnesota

With his first term just starting last month, we are all getting to know Gov. Tim Walz. My first up close experience with the governor occurred a couple weeks ago during the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s annual convention in Bloomington. I walked out of the Grand Ballroom inside the ...

Adventures in exercise

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week is Feb. 7-14. Being a CHD’er I honestly should observe this in some fashion, but admittedly I don’t. One way is to share a few facts, so here’s some. According to the website www.mendedhearts.org, congenital heart defects are the most common birth ...

Life insurance you could put to use now

How could your family benefit from whole life insurance now? The money you spend on permanent life insurance may be used to pay death benefits to your loved ones, or to help you financially during your lifetime. Look to whole life insurance ...

Valentine preparations

There are those who believe that our Valentine’s Day tradition began in 1620 when Rudolph Valentino, weary and bedraggled from his heroic journey to a local shopping mall, stood on Plymouth Rock and, reading from the original Magna Carta, proclaimed, “Every man shall be free to determine ...

The lean green bean

The previous two articles I wrote for the nutrition column have been about different types of beans. The first article covered the health benefits of starchy beans such as black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans. The second article was focused on coffee beans. This week, I am going to wrap up ...

People are…?

People interest me. They interest me because like the colors of the rainbow — or the sundogs we’ve been seeing recently — people cover the behavioral spectrum. Some of us are good and some of us are noncommittal and some of us are, well, to be polite, stinkers. It’s in the watching ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: If I sell my vehicle to a private party, what do you recommend I do to protect myself in the event the new owner gets into a crash or is arrested prior to them transferring the title into their name? Answer: If the vehicle you sold is involved in a hit-and-run or pursuit and the ...

A spring sampling

In the waning afternoon light of a warm Friday where the high temperatures spiked into the low 40s between last week’s bone chilling outbreak of Polar Vortex media hype and the next cold slap forecast to hit the area, I stood on the edge of open water. While it felt like spring in the calm ...

Books and Beyond

Last fall I saw Anne Lamott’s 2018 book title “Almost Everything: Notes on Hope” in the “New at the Library” feature in the Independent. I’ve read her books for years. “Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith,” c 1999, was my first one. I think it was 20 years ago when friends ...

Get your Social Security benefit statement

Tax season is approaching, and Social Security has made replacing your annual Benefit Statement even easier. The Benefit Statement is also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S. Now you can get a copy of your 1099 anytime and anywhere you want using our online services. A Social Security ...

Taunton

Part II In 1967 the Peavey Elevator burned to the ground when a fire broke out under the floor of the wooden elevator building, bringing fire departments from Taunton, Minneota, Porter, Canby and Marshall. The $75,000 blaze could have been worse, as explained by Alice Bertemes, “We’re ...

Prime time winter stargazing

Wintertime is a wonderful time for stargazing, the super bowl of stargazing as far as I’m concerned! Don’t wait until warmer weather to stargaze. If you received a telescope under the Christmas tree now’s the time for you to have it take in its first light. Too many people wait until ...

Alligators sometimes eat their own

Call it a guilty pleasure. When the reality TV show “Swamp People” first came out, my wife and I enjoyed it more than we should. Set in the “swamps of Louisiana,” TV crews followed around groups of hunters during the annual alligator season. Typically, two-men hunting crews decked ...

Reading recommendation

So has it been cold enough for ya? My Jeep was hesitant in starting Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but I managed to get it going. Even though I live just a few blocks from work, it was downright boneshakingly cold out there. I piled on the layers, even if I was going so far. I never know ...

Cooking with pressure

Sometimes we may feel like we are cooking under pressure when we have tight deadlines and hungry mouths to feed. But in this case I’m referring to cooking with pressure — an electric pressure cooker to be exact! Two years ago for Christmas I received an electric pressure cooker as a gift, ...

Expectations

The hope was for the teams to win. It was time to attend a couple of local high school basketball games. Both the girls and boys teams were playing that night and I expected them to win but the games took me somewhere else. I took my usual seat off to the side and against the wall and the ...

Lost and found

With a 2-year-old and a just-turned-5-year-old running my house now, things go missing, particularly the remote lovingly named “Alexa” that connects to the Amazon-based lifeline of 22 minutes of peace and quiet in the form of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” which for those of my ...

DIY tips for winterizing your home

Is your home or apartment ready for the upcoming winter months? No matter where you live, winter can signal a dip in temperatures and the possibility of unpredictable weather, including inches of snow and dangerous ice. Winterizing — from climates that expect snow and below-freezing temps ...

Hard water fishing

Travel south from our area and you’ll eventually find yourself among people who are very different than us. People who, when they hear the words “ice fishing,” envision retrieving the cubes from their mint julep. Upon hearing the words “ice shack,” these folks will probably think ...

Taunton

Part I “It occurred to me when I rolled into Taunton late one afternoon that the town’s original name of Lonesome seemed somewhat appropriate. There were a couple cars parked in front of the Corner Café, but with the bank and post office closed for the day, Main Street was more or less ...