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Local Columns

So … we made it!

As we lurch, stumble or launch into the New Year, I expect all of us have learned something about ourselves and those around us. That something is we miss each other. Perhaps, we’ve even learned what’s important to us — the safety of our family, friends, community and the need for ...

The snow fort

As with so many epic ventures, it began with an idea that was so simple that it could only be described as pure genius. I was in third grade, and my classmates and I were trudging back into our school building after the Christmas break. It felt as though we were returning to a gloomy Siberian ...

Maybe Christmas is about…

It was Christmas time and Charlie Brown was tired, concerned and pleased. It had been a stress-filled year for him and his pals. He missed seeing his friends on a regular basis and, even though, a couple of them were stinkers, boy, did he miss them! And, along with that loneliness, he was ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I was hoping in a future column you could talk about safely navigating a roundabout. Last fall, a roundabout was put in by our Elementary School. Since the start of the 20-21 school year, I’ve been using it 20x/week dropping my kids off and picking them up. I see many drivers ...

I’m confused

This will not surprise anyone who knows me, but I’m confused. Why am I confused? Well, my life, like yours, has been just a smidgen upset by our recent events. I’m not going to go into our national emergency but I could go on for pages about all of that stuff — from the recent chaotic ...

Let there be light

Like so many other outdoor activities, ice fishing offers up some incredible opportunities at dawn and dusk and even late into the night for crappies, walleyes and other fish that forage in low light or even in times of complete darkness when a hot bite can materialize out of the depths. As a ...

Farewell 2020

It’s time to paw through the clutter of the past 12 months and ask some deep, philosophical questions, the chief one being: “What the heck just happened?” The year 2020 began with farmers in my area worried that our saturated soils had set the stage for a repeat of 2019. That year ...

By comparison

It isn’t fair to compare hunting dogs, not among friends or fellow hunters, or even among the different ones owned throughout a person’s lifetime. It isn’t fair, but we do it anyway. I was spoiled with my first lab, Gunnar, who lived for 15-and-a-half years and hunted for 13 of them. He ...

A sign of hope

Many of us feel that 2020 has lasted way longer than a normal year. This is not an illusion; 2020 is a leap year, which means that has a full day more than the usual 365. But that doesn’t explain why it seems as if this year has lingered for more than a decade. This year brought the twin ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I was recently told that I could not keep the trailer ball mount attached to the receiver of the vehicle when it is not actually hooked up to a trailer.  Is this in fact true? Answer: There is not a law in Minnesota that prohibits leaving a ball hitch in the receiver when not ...

Books and Beyond

Last year I brought home a sack of used books from the library book sale, after I worked for a couple of hours at the sale table and helped other people buy some choice titles. One of the books I brought home was “Eighty Years & More: Reminiscences 1815-1897,” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. ...

Late season haunts

While much of pheasant country remains free and clear of snow cover at the moment, it’s likely that at some point in the back stretch of the season we’ll be looking at a white Christmas and a frosty finish to the upland hunting calendar. Even when there isn’t snow on the ground, these ...

I believe it’s out there

After all the bumps, bruises, scratches and itches that have accompanied me in my life, I still believe it’s out there. Just recently, I was flipping through some TV channels and came across Dolly Parton’s Christmas program and, I stopped flipping. Why? Well, it’s not about the glitz ...

Doe fever

The first morning of muzzleloader season arrived clear, cold, and calm. With just the faintest bit of dawn edging over the eastern hills, I ventured down to the southernmost stretch of a favorite piece of public access land and followed the flags along the hillside break to the final mark on my ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: If driving a commercial vehicle and stopped, what documents are needed to present to the trooper? Answer: I will list what is covered in a “level 1” inspection, done along with weight enforcement. North American Standard Inspection: An inspection that includes examination of ...

Cats and dogs

It’s no secret that our nation has become deeply divided. We are riven by profound emotions, feelings that are so strong that they have resulted in the installation of regrettable tattoos by numerous members on both sides of the chasm. This pervasive contentiousness can be boiled down to ...

Recycling, reducing, reusing

National Recycling month is coming to a close. This month we have talked about how the landfill works, how we are all part of the recycling process, and how companies are working hard to use those recyclables again in new packing or products. However, as a society as a whole, we all need to ...

Here’s what I’ve learned…so far!

While maturing, I’ve learned this so far — to be thankful. Throughout our lives, we are taught to listen — to the voices and wisdom of our parents, teachers and elders. Therein sits the conundrum. Don’t get me wrong — I believe in listening to those voices of experience. Without ...

Let it be

Like many folks, I read/scan the news every morning — hoping for some good news. At the end of one of my morning reads, the platform always has a song that is meant to be upbeat and encouraging. As I read the news, it was anything but upbeat and encouraging ,and then I saw the song. Say ...

Extended Producer Responsibility

In 1970, when recycling started, how recycling was set up made it the consumer’s problem with what to do with empty but yet recyclable materials. Because of this, cities and municipalities started the recycling programs that we still use today. However, there are some changes that are now ...