Local Columns

Social Security helps people like you

Part of what makes our nation unique is our diversity. Social Security touches the lives of nearly all Americans; so, we’re accustomed to serving a diverse population. Online, our People Like Me pages help inform the many different people we help. From people with disabilities to students and ...

Medium-rare moments

There’s that moment of anticipation in early spring which transcends time. It occurs after the grill has been fired up in the first warm evening and is preceded by the sizzle which triggers some primordial salivatory response as red becomes pink becomes that ideal ...

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” This line from the musical, “Mary Poppins,” describes how mothers used to con their children into taking their medicine, whether it was prescribed by the family doctor or was a tonic that the mother believed would cure “whatever” ...

The big cat of spring has help chasing Orion and his dogs out of the sky

Now that we’re well into spring and winter is history, at least astronomically, big changes are going on with our evening constellations. Even though it’s spring, Orion and the rest of the winter constellations are still shining brightly in the Marshall southwestern sky. There’s the big ...

One size fits all just doesn’t work

The front page headline on today’s Associated Press story says it all: Big issues in dispute as Legislature approaches home stretch. One of those big issues is taxes. Gov. Tim Walz wants to raise the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon to create a bigger dedicated revenue stream for road and ...

Goats take on multiflora rose

If you take a drive out to Flandrau State Park near New Ulm in the next couple weeks, you might get to see something unusual. No, it’s not green grass or ground absent of snowbanks, although that is something we have sorely missed for what seems like too long. More unique than that ...

Love, Grandma

My grandmother was very stern. As a young lad, she was, well, you know, just grandma. She always seemed fiercely focused and so intent on accomplishing whatever it was she was doing. I don’t remember her smiling. Her life was hard. As the matriarch of a farming family and with a ...

The Easter season

Following several cruel false starts, it appears that the vernal season has finally arrived. But the jury is still out for some of us hardened old Northerners who won’t believe that spring is well and truly here until it’s warm enough outdoors to fry an egg on our foreheads. No matter ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I see vehicles with straight pipes, motorcycles with straight pipes and hear many others that sound as if they have no muffler. If the law is there why is it not enforced? Answer: Minnesota State Statute 169.69 states: “Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a ...

Fishing memories

A year ago, the pike ran so thick at the end of the late spring it almost seemed likely that one could walk on their backs across the surface of the water below the small rock dam. This year, under the warm white light of the mid-April sun against a pure azure sky, however, they were nowhere to ...

Financial Literacy Month

There’s no better time than right now to begin to save for your future. The earlier you start saving, the more you can accrue in a 401k individual retirement account and other types of IRAs. Social Security helps secure your future, but Social Security is only one part of a more complete ...

The Marshall Business College

The Marshall Business College opened in 1901 and was located on the second floor of the Baldwin Building at 112 N. Third St. Course offerings were listed as bookkeeping, business penmanship, commercial law, commercial arithmetic, business correspondence, grammar and composition, spelling, ...

Taming mind boggling celestial distances

When you start to consider the size of the cosmos, the numbers can get so large and so mind boggling that when you try to wrap your brain around them your head could explode! That’s a really bad scene! To avoid making a mess of your mind, you can make use of some handy units of measurements ...

Visiting a few cats

The first cat my family ever had was a stray female cat that wandered into our garage. We named her Blackie (a not-so-original name for a black cat) and she hung around for five years until she wandered off (probably got sick of our family). After that we got a gray female cat we named Fluffy ...

Books and Beyond

Last month I wrote about Kentucky writer James Still. Ted Olson, Appalachian studies professor at East Tennesee State University, tells us that his writing “has gained the respect of scholars for its keen insight into pre-industrial Appalachian life.” I went in this direction originally ...

National Social Security Month — part 2

In April, we celebrate National Social Security Month by letting you know what you can do online with a my Social Security account. Last month we featured how you can replace a lost or stolen Social Security card, get a copy of your 1099 (SSA-1099), and check the status of your Social Security ...

Types of yogurt

With so many options to choose from, the ever expanding yogurt aisle has become more difficult to navigate. From Greek and Australian-style yogurts to French and non-dairy varieties, the vast abundance of options can make what use to be an easy decision quite challenging. Below is a breakdown ...

Let’s try something different

In the course of every week, I do a fair amount of reading. There always seems to be an article that needs perusing, a book that is yelling to be read or an email that “demands” my attention. Additionally, I’m the type of person who likes to keep informed of the daily events around the ...

Kitty literature

Studies have shown that boosting literacy levels increases living standards. Your library card doesn’t just open the door to a building full of books; it opens the doors to the entire universe. It’s imperative to introduce children to reading as early as possible. Most toddlers are ...

Five favorite flies for trout

As the ice fades from white, to blue, to black to open water, one of the first species available for anglers throughout the region are the trout in the scattered streams and lakes of the upper Midwest. Whether it’s stocked browns in the Redwood River of southwestern Minnesota or rainbows in ...