Opinion

Reparations: How not to foster racial harmony

Editorials

About reparations, a skeptical President Barack Obama in 2016 told reparations proponent Ta-Nehisi Coates that it would divide the country. Obama said: “It is hard to think of any society in human history in which a majority population has said that as a consequence of historic wrongs, we ...

Insurance stories

Local Columns

One of the pleasantest perks of being an author is occasionally being asked to speak at gatherings. The author and his wife are treated to a nice meal prior to the speaking engagement and, depending on the location of the venue, might even enjoy an overnight stay at a quality hotel. The only ...

What if it succeeds? That’s the question

Local Columns

Whenever new ideas are mentioned, the possibility that it might amount to failure automatically starts to take root in the back of most listeners’ minds. It’s almost inevitable. It’s unusual to have a situation where everyone likes a new concept so much and so immediately that they all ...

Anti-Trump crafters: A decade-long unraveling

Editorials

Fun fact: I’ve been crocheting since I was 10, when my Tita Lisa taught me the magic of granny squares. Fellow yarn nerds will understand the heavenly bliss of spending hours at Hobby Lobby or Walmart immersed in a sea of alpaca, mohair, angora, super bulky and super saver skeins for ...

A lot to celebrate on the Fourth of July

Editorials

Sixty-six percent of Americans believe that the Fourth of July is one of our nation’s most important holidays. To celebrate, 62% of Americans will watch fireworks, 54% will enjoy a cookout with family and friends, 19% will attend a parade, 13% will go to the beach, and 11% will sing patriotic ...

The sky in July — Saturn joins Jupiter

Local Columns

Early stargazing in July is always a wonderful time. Even though you can’t get started until late in the evening you can catch the wonderful heavenly show without freezing! Stargazing this July is extra special because Saturn and Jupiter, the biggest planets in our solar system, have joined ...

Seven ways to clean your financial house this spring

Local Columns

Spring is on the way. For many of us, the increasingly longer days and warmer weather signify a chance to tidy up and start fresh. If you enjoy the ritual of spring cleaning, why not take time to spruce up your finances as well? The following list is a great place to start: 1. Your goals. If ...

July 4th: A time reflect on fundamental rights

Local Columns

Do you like oddities? Here’s an oddity: The number 243 is a prime number, divisible by three. Thursday, our country will celebrate its 243rd Independence Day, dating back to 1776. It’s genuinely a Prime Independence Day. Here’s another oddity: A week before we celebrate that Prime ...

On the Porch

Local Columns

The social news or gossip columns in the old newspapers are always fascinating to read. A special section in the newspaper was devoted to the social media of the day. The whereabouts of local people and events were often featured in these columns. Here are a few from the Marshall ...

Short Takes

Editorials

Diocese can maybe move on THUMBS SIDEWAYS: With an apology and a $34 million settlement with clergy sexual abuse victims, hopefully the Diocese of New Ulm can move on now and start a new chapter. Hopefully lessons were learned and changes made not only in the New Ulm Diocese, but the ...

Personal safety should trump gun possession

Editorials

In a case of selective law enforcement, an Orlando, Florida woman has been arrested for theft after turning over her abusive husband’s guns to police. Courtney Irby’s husband Joseph Irby had been charged with domestic violence-aggravated battery. He was in jail for a day for ramming her ...

Is wiping out college debt feasible?

Editorials

Sen. Bernie Sanders upped the ante on his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Monday, calling for the government to eliminate all college student loan debt. Just wipe it out, all $1.6 trillion of it. How to pay for it? Sanders would raise the money through a tax on Wall ...

It’s nice!

Local Columns

What would life be without surprises? Allow me an answer: without surprises to periodically enlighten us, life would be, well, kind of boring. The other day it was cloudy and dreary like so many of our days have been lately. A group of us were worried that a planned outdoor event would be ...

Concentration camp comparison flawed

Editorials

Give U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez credit for one thing: She is highly intelligent — enough so to understand entirely how most people interpret the term, “concentration camp.” Ocasio-Cortez, a frequent critic of U.S. immigration policy, posted this on Twitter a few days ago: ...

Drum beat

Local Columns

As my buddy John and I drifted over the transition area of mud, rock and gnarled tree roots that popped up and grabbed our bottom bouncers which surveyed the underwater scene for walleyes on the Missouri River impoundment, our eyes turned to a shore angler along the backside of the bay. His ...

Where to recycle items

Local Columns

Congratulations Lyon County! You were able to recycle nearly 200 tons of recyclables each month in April and in June. This figure is only reflecting items that we are able to place in our recycling carts such as paper, aluminum cans, tin cans, glass food containers and plastic food containers. ...

7 ways to save more for college

Local Columns

Try these tips for knocking down everyday expenses and socking it away safely. As every parent knows, saving enough for a college education has gotten more challenging. Even with tuition increases slowing down in recent years, the costs for a higher education are among the fastest-rising ...

Self employment and Social Security

Local Columns

Many people enjoy the independence of owning and operating their own small business. If you’re a small business owner, you know that you have additional financial responsibilities when reporting your taxes. A part of this is paying into Social Security. Most people who pay into Social ...

Minnesota’s kids are doing well — with exceptions

Editorials

Once again, Minnesota is among the top five states on a well-respected national rating of children’s well-being. And once again, that status masks what's happening for too many of the state's kids of color. The annual “Kids Count” study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that ...

Jupiter’s jumping in

Local Columns

The king of the planets, at least in our solar system, has made a grand entrance into our early summer skies, and will continue to dominate the early evening heavens well into October. A couple of weeks ago our Earth and Jupiter reached their closest approach to each other. Back then Jupiter ...