Opinion

The great belt of winter

Local Columns

Without a doubt, my favorite constellation in the sky is Orion the Hunter, the absolute king of the nocturnal winter skies. I’m certainly not alone here. When I ask folks at the beginning of my stargazing/astronomy programs if they can find any constellations, the most common response I get ...

Watching award shows

Local Columns

I’m not always one to watch award shows like the Oscars, the Golden Globes or the Grammys. But this year we happened to have the television on in the newsroom for both the Globes and the Oscars. It’s a long Sunday night of working, why not have some entertainment on in the background. And ...

Short Takes

Editorials

Taking care of downtown eyesore THUMBS SIDEWAYS: Progress is finally being made when it comes to the Marshall Hotel building. The building next to City Hall has been an eyesore on Main Street in the downtown area. Members of the Marshall City Council last week approved a $72,000 bid for the ...

Kim gets propaganda victory

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: I read with great interest the Independent’s March 5 editorial Kim needs new plan, regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The editorial ends by stating, “This is precisely the strategy American leaders should have adopted ...

Quick action on MNLARS

Editorials

It was refreshing to see the quick action — and bipartisan action — taken in the Minnesota Legislature this week on the funding for the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS). MNLARS is the 9-year, $100 million boondoggle that was supposed to update and modernize the state’s ...

Ask a Trooper

Local Columns

Question: What is the correct following distance? Everyone seems to be way too close behind each other. Answer: The only law regarding following distance pertains to vehicles pulling trailers. This includes trucks as well as semi-truck tractors with trailers. They must maintain a minimum ...

Mark your calendar for Township Day

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Residents of Minnesota’s 1,781 townships have the unique opportunity to participate Township Day on Tuesday. The annual meeting on Township Day is what really sets townships apart from other forms of local government. At this meeting, residents have a direct voice in how ...

Keep up the good work with writing

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: I want to take the opportunity to compliment the management of the Independent for two reasons: 1) Securing the writing of Jim Muchlinski. Besides being a very proficient writer, Jim’s writing often shows his interest in history which I find very remarkable. At the recent ...

Why do we need a Space Force?

Editorials

President Donald Trump continues to insist the United States needs an entirely new branch of the military, a Space Force. It is worth asking what on earth — or off it — would that accomplish? Trump seems to have watered his proposal down a bit. Now, he is willing to have the Space Force ...

Follow your gut to digestive health

Local Columns

Did you know that trillions of bacteria live in the body? Most are helpful; some aren’t. The term “microbiome” describes all the bacteria that live in your body, mostly in your digestive system. When you have more good than bad bacteria in your gut, you’re in healthy equilibrium. ...

Collaboration

Local Columns

Have you ever gotten tired or fed up with the over use of a word? What I mean is a word that is overused, used pervasively, used frequently, always used, used too much, used, used, used ... get the picture? One such word that comes to mind is collaboration. It seems many folks have ...

Books and Beyond

Local Columns

Before his poems start in From the Mountain From the Valley is the autobiographical essay James Still wrote about his life. The title is “A Man Singing to Himself.” I learned about James Still from Ted Olson, professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University. He edited ...

Social Security’s resources for women

Local Columns

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a time when we reflect on the achievements and contributions of our nation’s remarkable women. Many of these heroes might be people close to you: mothers and daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. Each of them plays a special role in our lives as they ...

Speaking the truth in love

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: This is a reply to the public forum piece, “Decision on homosexuality in United Methodist Church saddens many people, but love will prevail.” (Independent March 1) The writer cited Jesus’ words, “A new command I give you, to love each other just as I have loved you. ...

Kim needs new plan

Editorials

It may be time for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to try Plan B. His initial strategy in dealing with President Donald Trump ­–trying to get something for nothing — flopped badly. Trump and Kim held their second face-to-face meeting last week in Hanoi, Vietnam. But Trump departed ...

Wetlands key to wildlife survival, flood prevention

Local Columns

As snow piles higher and higher across the region and cold temperatures refuse to lift, the one-two punch of a suddenly very real winter has many conservationists worried for wildlife. Additionally, looking forward to an eventual melt, concern also rises in regard to spring flooding as coulees, ...

The pizza discovery

Local Columns

Food is a magnificent obsession for many of us. This is not just because eating is pleasurable, but also because it gives us an excuse to post social media photos of things that we are about to stuff down our gullets. The concept of food snobbery is hammered into us beginning at birth. As a ...

We are all a bunch of wimps

Local Columns

Part I Like most winters, back in February 2007 we were host to a snowstorm — now this was NOT a blizzard — just a lot of snow that came down gently, although thickly and thoroughly. It closed schools, service centers and MnDOT even closed all the state and federal highways in and out of ...

A lesson in ludicrousness

Local Columns

A high school friend of mine recently posted a picture of her high school classroom, featuring a smart board complimented with sticky notes. Now, I’m too old and technologically impaired to fully explain what a smart board is and how it works. But I’m pretty sure based on the picture and ...