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Opinion

Goodreads Choice Awards

Local Columns

Several years ago, I joined Goodreads, a website where you can keep track of books you’ve read, ones you want to read, check out others’ reviews on books and my favorite, giveaways. When you enter a giveaway, you have to put it on your to-read list (that’s why I have 800+ books on my ...

Health care No. 1 issue for 2020 election

Local Columns

The voice came from the back of the Marshall Area YMCA men’s locker room. “Did you read Rahm Emanuel’s column on medicare-for-all?” I was asked. Emanuel is the former Chicago mayor and White House chief of staff in the President Barack Obama administration. He wrote an op-ed that ...

Short Takes

Editorials

This is what Veteran’s Day is all about THUMBS UP: Veteran’s Day is one of those yearly observances that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Here’s a reminder to take a few moments and thank a military veteran for their service. Health care will be on the ...

You refinanced your home, but what about your car?

Local Columns

Interest rates are still near historic lows, but those rates also may make it wise to refinance your car loan. Interest rates are still hovering near historic lows for mortgages, but did you know that those same super low rates also may make it wise to refinance your car loan? Here’s how ...

Books and Beyond

Local Columns

“The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington,” by Martha Saxton, c 2019, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, paints a thorough picture of what it was like to live in Virginia in the 1700s. The first English colony in North American was Virginia, established in 1607. Mary Ball Washington was ...

Need a better way to finance new schools

Editorials

Two articles involving school referendums and how they affect farmers were published in Monday’s edition. One of the articles was originally generated from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and shared by the Associated Press. It featured the $34 million bond school referendum on Tuesday’s ...

Blowing leaves

Local Columns

On a recent extremely over-the-top horribly tree branch breaking windy day, I finished some yard work and decided to head indoors out of the blustery weather. Stepping into a sheltered spot I noticed what a pleasant day was being presented to me and I began to notice nature. It’s ...

Big money changes NCAA game plan

Editorials

Especially at major powers in the collegiate sports world, purely amateur athletics has been a myth for many years. Under-the-table gifts by well-to-do boosters have ensured that. Now, however, even the pretense may be about to end. Last week, the NCAA Board of Governors voted to allow ...

Stop trying

Local Columns

“Stop trying to hit me … and hit me.” Morpheus’ command to Neo while sparring in a digitally generated kung-fu dojo in the genre-bending movie (and body-bending, as parodied in so many subsequent films) “The Matrix,” sums up my thoughts on shooting. Morpheus’ encouragement for ...

Hot lead and hot curry

Local Columns

When you think of the golden age of mobsters, names like Dillinger or Bonnie and Clyde might spring to mind. You may envision such hotbeds of gangsterism as Chicago or New York. You probably won’t think of the sleepy little backwater settlement of Possum Trot, which is now commonly known ...

Free up your time by using my Social Security

Local Columns

Time is one of our most valuable commodities. That’s why at Social Security, we are constantly improving our online resources to make doing business with us easier and faster. With a my Social Security account, those receiving benefits can change their address and direct deposit ...

Fur traders settle in Lyon County

Local Columns

Joseph LaFramboise, a trader in the employ of the American Fur Company, established a home in Lyon County in 1835. He built a home and a trading post in the Lynd woods along the Redwood River. LaFramboise was the first recorded white man to settle in the county, according to A.P.Rose, ...

Action packed November stargazing

Local Columns

The colder and longer Marshall nights of November are a stargazer’s paradise! The bright winter constellations are on the rise, but the best show this November is actually in the daytime. On Nov. 11 there’s going to be a transit of the planet Mercury across the face of the sun. With the ...

Whitewater State Park

Local Columns

We were in the Rochester area this past weekend for the Land O’Lakes 2019 Fall District Convention in which Ross’ barbershop chorus was competing. Whitewater State Park is only a half-hour away from Rochester and was highly recommended by one of Ross’ fellow barbershoppers. It was a brisk ...

Short takes

Editorials

Hemp offers opportunities to farmers THUMBS UP: Its was about time that U.S. Agriculture officials finalized a rule that will allow farmers to legally grow hemp. A national hemp-growing program that Congress authorized in the 2018 farm bill WILL be launched by the rule. At a time when ...

DHS due for major overhaul

Editorials

The Department of Human Services is Minnesota’s largest and most convoluted state agency. The results of a legislative auditor’s office investigation, released Tuesday, indicate is also due for a major overhaul, top to bottom. The investigation found “troubling dysfunction” at DHS ...

Youth and vaping

Editorials

The 2019 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) added a new set of questions this year, inquiring about students’ use of and attitudes toward e-cigarettes and vaping. The survey is administered every three years to students across Minnesota, in grades five, eight, nine and 11. It’s a completely ...

Holy, Happy All Hallow’s Eve

Local Columns

It never made me enter the state of horripilation. It was never macabre to me. There was never anything scary about it. Just a whole lot of fun! In case you don’t understand what the heck I’m talking about, and, just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s Halloween time! It’s a time ...

Opening up a wider window to our world

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Thank you gentleman (Mike Lamb and Greg Orear) for producing a quality local newspaper that is worth both the money to buy it and the time used to read it. What is even more noteworthy is the fact that in this digital, perhaps soon-to-be-quantum, age, the Independent is a vital ...