Local Columns

Here comes summer in the night skies

The summer of 2019 begins next Friday at 10:54 in the morning, at least astronomically. Astronomers call it the summer solstice, and it’s the longest day of the year. Friday’s the day that the sun reaches its highest height in our Marshall sky. It all has to do with the inclination or tilt ...

Could a U.S. lawmaker actually make sense from cents?

Finally, some federal legislation that actually makes sense … and cents … at the same time. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican from the neighboring state directly south of us, is sponsoring a bill called the “Currency Evolution Now to Save,” or “CENTS” because you know, any good ...

Why I Relay

My work schedule at the paper is Sunday-Thursday, so with my Fridays free I try to find activities that may spark my interest. Last June, I had asked about volunteering the day of Lyon County’s Relay for Life. I had done a Relay many years ago when I first moved to Marshall and wanted to get ...

6 reasons your mortgage was declined

The path to a mortgage isn’t always a straight line. According to Pew Research Center, 12 percent of home-purchase loan applications were denied in 2015. A piece of your financial history could block your mortgage. Here are six common reasons people aren’t approved for a mortgage. 1. Your ...

Dad?

I wonder what kind of dad my kids think I am? But, let’s back up a bit — is there anything that fully prepares one to be a father? And, to be fair, is there anything that fully prepares one to be a mother? Those are tough and deep questions and I can only try to answer the father question ...

Out in the slough

Out on the east edge of our farm there’s some ground that’s been classified as a permanent wetland. As such, this part of our farm has no value from a production agriculture point of view. But it’s far from lifeless. Mallards and teal, coots and canvasbacks make their homes in the ...

Rain and rainbows

The pop-up clouds bubbled on the western horizon, fueled by the hot southern winds that brought the first real sensation of summer to the region. With the truck’s digital thermometer bouncing between 88 and 90, I hooked up the puddle jumper and turned extra-wide through the pre-rush traffic ...

Sign up for Medicare and estimate Medicare costs

Affordable medical coverage is something everyone wants, especially as people age. Luckily, our nation has safeguards for workers as they get older. Millions of people rely on Medicare, and it can be part of your health insurance plan when you retire. Medicare is available for people age 65 ...

The Big Dipper and Great Spring Arch

If you sit back in a lawn chair facing northward after twilight on these late Marshall spring evenings and tilt your head way up toward the overhead zenith, the Big Dipper will leap out at you, hanging diagonally by its long-curved handle. You’ll probably be more comfortable if you sit in a ...

‘Homicide Hunter

I find myself watching more and more Investigation Discovery shows through Hulu, and one of the programs I’ve been kinda binge-watching is “Homicide Hunter.” It features Lt. Joe Kenda, a retired Colorado Springs homicide detective who spent 23 years with the department. He retired in ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: When golf carts are using a pedestrian crosswalk, are vehicles required to yield? This happens in some towns where the roadway separates a golf course. Answer: Unless there is an ordinance or some other special allowance set by local or state officials golf carts are treated as ...

Pizza through the years

My first experience with pizza was when I was a kid and these new pizza kits were in the supermarket. The kits contained a packet of yeast and a packet of flour. It also contained a can of pizza sauce with some little pieces of meat in it, a little packet with some herbs and a bigger packet ...

Welcome!

It’s so comforting when, as you enter a celebration, you’re met by someone who smiles and sincerely says: “Welcome!” Of course, many of us encounter someone who welcomes us everyday — whether that’s in a grocery store, the bank, your favorite restaurant or, again, at a party. I ...

Bronze flashback

Each bend in the river spilled spring out in front of us and with each moment on the ride through the winding valley, the memories of growing up on the flow and learning much of what I know about fishing came back with them. Whether it was the rising geese fleeing the hum of the boat motor, the ...

Here come da judge!

I am not normally judgmental, but you should probably question the judgment of anyone who asks me to be a judge. I was recently invited to be a judge for an art competition called Picowsa of the Central Plains. Held in conjunction with the annual Dairy Fest in Brookings, S.D., the Picowsa ...

Lynd Prairie Days

According to the “Centennial History of Lyon County,” compiled by Torgney Anderson, the village of Lynd is historically the most important community in all of Lyon County. The reasoning behind that statement is that, since the earliest settlement not only of white settlers but also of the ...

Beware of people pretending to be from Social Security

Social Security is committed to protecting your personal information. We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or internet. If you receive a call and ...

Jupiter’s jumping into the June evening sky

It’s more comfortable stargazing in June, but there’s a price to pay. You can’t get started until late at night. In most places the skies aren’t really dark enough until 10 to 10:30 p.m. Catch an afternoon nap and grab a lawn chair. The transition in the southwestern Minnesota night ...

Once you turn 70-1/2 this tax requirement may apply to you

If your retirement plan includes tax-advantaged accounts, there is a particular tax rule you should know about: required minimum distributions or RMDs. This tax rule can be complicated, but the following commonly-asked questions can help you understand how it works and how it may apply to ...

Willow River State Park

This past weekend I went to visit my parents over in the Somerset, Wisconsin, area. It was a nice visit and I got to see and smell my favorite flower, lilacs. Apparently there’s a lilac bush not too far away from the house. And since it was a gorgeous day weather-wise on Sunday, Ross and I ...