Opinion

Five ways the new tax law may impact you

Local Columns

The most sweeping tax reform legislation in decades was enacted into law at the end of 2017. If you pay federal income taxes, you are likely to see an impact this year. As you plan your 2018 tax strategy, here are five key changes to know about the tax reform law: 1. Tax rates and brackets ...

Forensic science: It’s not C.S.I.

Local Columns

I have been writing this column, “For Your Review,” in the Independent for about 13 years in an effort to clarify the often jumble of information which the media provides to the reading and viewing public about the real challenges of the field of health care in the United States. At the ...

On the Porch

Local Columns

The photograph featured this week is the cover of a vintage Valentine’s Day card from the museum’s collection. Inside the card it reads, “Do you know why I’m dressed in my Sunday best and smile as you pass be by? For it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m hoping to catch your eye!” This ...

Youth in Harmony

Local Columns

Every year, around the beginning of February, Ross’ barbershop chorus, the West Central Connection, hosts a Youth in Harmony event. It’s where boys from area schools learn about barbershop singing. It’s a daylong event where the boys learn a couple or three songs, work with a clinician, ...

Short Takes

Editorials

Exercise your right to vote in Tracy THUMBS SIDEWAYS: A recall election is being held in Tracy Tuesday. The ballot will ask voters, “Shall Council member Tony Peterson be recalled?” The certified recall petition alleges that Peterson overstepped his authority and bullied city employees. ...

Ask a Trooper

Local Columns

Question: Would you tell me the significance of the color Maroon for the Minnesota State Patrol please? I travel around all over and never saw another agency with this as their primary color for uniform or squad car. Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol was created in 1929. The original trooper ...

Crew 52 displays Minnesota nice to SB visitors

Editorials

The temperature outside on Super Bowl Sunday was the coldest on record. However, the warmth extended to fans attending the game was at record level as well. After all the preparation and hype, it's finally over. Hosting Super Bowl LII was a major success for the state of Minnesota. It's ...

Facing changes everywhere

Local Columns

What is happening in this world? It seems like some things reach perfection no sooner than there is a big change forcing us to get used to the change. Every time I think I get to know where something is located at the grocery store, they manage to change things around. Yes, the produce ...

Making positive changes — one BEAT at a time

Local Columns

Diamonds, flowers, chocolates or a hug for your favorite person. Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up — a day set aside to tell those dear to you how much they mean to you. The week of Valentine’s Day is also recognized as National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. This year’s theme is ...

Smoke

Local Columns

When is smoke a good thing and when is it a bad thing? And more specifically, when is it a good thing or a bad thing in a beverage or food? The answer to that question — like to so many questions in life — can be simple and complex, correct? Too much smoke can ruin a good thing and not ...

Valentine’s Day strategies

Local Columns

The big day is coming, that day when you are expected to express your undying affection for your Significant Other or run the risk of being frozen to death by the icy atmosphere that will suddenly grip your household. Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For some reason — a ...

Tracy residents urged to vote in recall

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: I just wanted to write an open letter to the citizens of Tracy who we approached to sign a petition for recall because there were several who would not sign for fear of reprisals or repercussions. When you vote it is private. It is also a privilege and a responsibility we ...

Fun way to remember spring is coming

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Independent publisher, Gregory Orear, shared a delightful conversation with his 5-year-old daughter in the Saturday paper (Feb. 3) about Groundhog Day. He noted that the date coincides with a religious festival. Readers might be interested to know that Feb. 2 is also ...

Easing burden of regulations

Editorials

A lot of the credit for a rejuvenated U.S. economy seems to be going to Congress and President Donald Trump for their efforts to reform the job-killing federal tax code. Indeed, news of the change seems to have been the catalyst for decisions by many companies to build new facilities and pay ...

Colorblind

Local Columns

In the modern era of fishing tackle, lures are as much designed to catch the eye of anglers as they are fish. How else are the 95 different models of Rapala crankbaits explained (and that’s just the ones found on the company’s “best sellers” portion of its website)? Ultraviolet paint, ...

Open government: Amazon bid should be public record

Editorials

Minnesota recently lost its bid to land a second Amazon headquarters and a potential 50,000 jobs, but unfortunately Minnesota taxpayers won’t know much about the bid. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development and Greater MSP, a nonprofit development organization that ...

More on county robberies

Local Columns

Part III Previously, I wrote about bandits who robbed the Russell Bank, the Marshall Grocery Company and Olson and Lowe. Through newspaper research we learned about robberies that took place at Balaton, Cottonwood and Minneota, with a couple more in Marshall. Nov. 14, 1933, Marshall Daily ...

Fabulous February skies

Local Columns

I think February stargazing is the best. It’s the best stargazing of the year in Marshall, not so much for the personal comfort of the stargazer, but for the wonderful celestial jewels that await you in the evening heavens. Button up that overcoat, have that thermos of something warm, and ...

The groundhog and a 5-year-old-cynic

Local Columns

I thought it would be a simple conversation. “Do you know what today is,” I asked my 5-year-old daughter Friday morning. “No. What day is it,” she responded, full of both energy and curiosity. “It’s Groundhog Day,” I said more excitedly than I probably should have. Her ...

Not speaking up leads to tragedy in Nassar case

Local Columns

The news video Friday of a distraught father lunging toward former sports doctor Larry Nassar in a Michigan courtroom was both heartbreaking and disturbing. Only a parent could understand the emotions that must have been building inside Randall Margraves as he made an unsuccessful request to ...