Local Columns

Remembering Gus

One summer evening some years back, the phone rang and an unfamiliar voice asked for me. I informed the caller that I was the guy in question. The man on the other end of the line introduced himself as Clair “Gus” Gustafson. Even though I generally don’t talk to strangers, Gus and I ...

How to help habitat now

Numbers are down across the board for pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge in the upper Midwest. In states like North Dakota and Montana, it was the persistent drought this summer which hurt hatching chicks straight out of the egg. In Minnesota, a rainy spring in the state’s ...

Shoot high for celestial treasures

This week in Starwatch I want to go sky high to dig for some of the great visual treasures waiting for your eyes. And now that it gets darker a lot sooner in the evening it’s easier to get out there and stargaze before the sandman starts working on your eyelids. You can spend a lot more time ...

Is there a right time to take Social Security?

Social Security benefits are a cornerstone of retirement income for many Americans. Yet, deciding when to start collecting benefits can be a puzzle, and the solution is different for everyone. You can claim Social Security as early as age 62, or delay it until your 70th birthday. The longer you ...

When in Ghent, toss that Rolle Bolle

I placed the small black wheel in my hand and started to lunge forward with my left leg to let it go. But Rick Mischke stopped me and gave me some friendly advice. “Place three fingers underneath,” he said. He reminded me that the surface of the wheel sloped to one side. My left leg ...

At the Minnesota State Fair

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Minnesota State Fair set an attendance record this year, nearly 2 million people. That included 171,299 on the last day of the 12-day run, Labor Day. There were also more than 35,000 entries in the ag and creative competitions. So Ross and I headed ...

On the Porch

The photograph featured this week, which is in the museum’s collection, shows a train wreck that occurred in June of 1907. The train wreck was on the Great Northern Railroad near Lynd. The following account is from the June 10, 1907, edition of the Marshall News-Messenger. “The Sioux ...

13 ways to protect your home when you travel

You’ve packed up your suitcase and booked your itinerary, but before you board the plane, take the time to protect your home while you’re on vacation. July and August are popular vacation months, and not surprisingly, they’re also the months when home burglaries peak. To fully enjoy ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I have a question about the Minnesota State Patrol Blood Relays. Recently, one was performed from the Twin Cities to Red Wing, MN. Why did it involve three patrol officers? I know this isn’t a great distance and have just been wondering what rules or regulations dictate how this ...

Fat basics 101

For years, we have been told to eat low-fat or fat-free foods, but is this recommendation really the best choice for us? What about those “healthy” fats? The topic of dietary fats can be very confusing, but knowing the difference between saturated, trans, polyunsaturated (omega-3s and ...

Don’t be shy

They were the longest wherever I went. They were subject to constant viewing and continually referencing. They were my feet. In an age when most youth and adult’s feet sizes where within the size range of 6-10, I walked around on size 13s. They were that size in fifth grade and made a ...

Driving the ‘A’

I recently needed to move some large round bales of hay, which gave me an excuse to drive my 1949 John Deere “A” tractor. Certainly there are easier ways to move bales other than with a two-cylinder tractor and a two-wheel cart. But I’m Norwegian, so doing things the easy way is against ...

Health care madness

It seems that I have reached the age where I do a lot of visits with doctors not just in Marshall, but trips to Sioux Falls, S.D., Willmar and Minneapolis. I suspect that I could do a better job of documenting those trips out of Marshall so that I could deduct them on those IRS forms, but it ...

Grasshoppers brought disaster to Lyon County

Part IV: Lyon County residents were finally forced to admit that they needed aid and finally made application for a portion of the $5,000 appropriated. The Saratoga settlement received $250 from the governor in early March which was distributed among the needy. Many of the county farmers ...

Sense of the hunt

Amid on-again-off-again training for an upcoming half marathon (which will be run at a leisurely pace this year, I can assure you) I found myself headed to the stand in the white glow of my LED headlamp for the opening of North Dakota’s deer archery season. Stiffness in my legs and left hip ...

Grasshoppers brought disaster to Lyon County

Part IV: Lyon County residents were finally forced to admit that they needed aid and finally made application for a portion of the $5,000 appropriated. The Saratoga settlement received $250 from the governor in early March which was distributed among the needy. Many of the county farmers ...

sense of the hunt

Amid on-again-off-again training for an upcoming half marathon (which will be run at a leisurely pace this year, I can assure you) I found myself headed to the stand in the white glow of my LED headlamp for the opening of North Dakota’s deer archery season. Stiffness in my legs and left hip ...

Stargazing time is expanding

Summer stargazing can be so fun! However, if you have an early wake-up for work the next day like I do, you have to restrict your nights under the stars to the weekend. During most of the summer it’s not really dark enough until well after 10 p.m., making it tough on early risers. Another ...

A missed opportunity in Balaton

The Ralco Technology Campus in Balaton is hard to miss as you drive down Third Street in Balaton. The building and the surrounding grounds use to be the Balaton public school. The students are long gone, but school is still in session. This is a different type of learning environment. Ralco ...

A Sioux Falls Sunday

Sunday saw us in Sioux Falls again as we went to see Studio Ghibli’s “Castle in the Sky,” which was part of a film festival. Six Studio Ghibli movies were being shown in theaters nationwide from June through November. I’ve seen a few of the movies on DVD, like “My Neighbor Totoro” ...