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Wednesday, September 14, 2016 9:08 AM
As I was making my way through the early part of a marathon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sunday morning, a man ran up next to me and asked me if I was Dave Phillips from Spring Valley. As I confirmed my identity to a man I didn’t recognize, my brain was quickly searching its sometimes forgetful resources trying to figure out how he knew me. Was he a running acquaintance from Rochester, someone I talked to at one of my newspaper offices or someone I met briefly at a local gathering?
  • Have you read the Constitution?
    Sept. 17 to 23 is Constitution Week, a time to commemorate America’s most important document. The resolution, petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, was adopted by Congress and signed into law in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Connection strengthened on a  26.2 mile journey in South Dakota
    As I was making my way through the early part of a marathon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sunday morning, a man ran up next to me and asked me if I was Dave Phillips from Spring Valley. As I confirmed my identity to a man I didn’t recognize, my brain was quickly searching its sometimes forgetful resources trying to figure out how he knew me. Was he a running acquaintance from Rochester, someone I talked to at one of my newspaper offices or someone I met briefly at a local gathering?
  • Clueless freshmen still have shot at fulfilling life
    At my grandson’s ninth grade orientation last week, the principal talked to the students about their entry into high school, which means things get more serious as a certain number of credits are required for graduation and a certain amount of planning is required for the future.
  • Still hope for special session?
    As a follow-up to last week’s column, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is still holding out hope, or at least trying to put some pressure on the possibility, that state leaders will come to an agreement on holding a special session to deal with the issues — tax relief, bonding and comprehensive transportation funding — that were left unresolved last session. 
  • Rare compromise now dead  as partisan politics wins again
    It’s official. The $800 million tax bill, which would have given relief to many Minnesotans, is dead. That’s because Gov. Mark Dayton said Aug. 18 he won’t call a special session to try to resolve tax relief, along with transportation and bonding bills that were also included in negotiations.
  • Bat somewhere in the house leads to mostly sleepless night
    Although bats flying about outdoors create a somewhat eerie atmosphere, I realize they really want to avoid humans plus they also provide many benefits, including controlling mosquitoes and other insects. So, I’m OK being in the same vicinity as bats in the wide open spaces — or even a cave when they are hibernating.
  • Many small towns with a population of more than 1,000 have revolving loan funds through an economic development authority (EDA) to aid small businesses in town with gap financing. This aid helps entrepreneurs start or expand their operations that may not qualify for enough conventional financing to achieve their dreams.
  • When you think of someone who enjoys gardening, the first thing that comes to your mind probably isn’t superhero. Yet, gardeners may just have the power to help save the world.
  • Torii Hunter provides  insight on baseball — and life
    The ballpark can be a type of sanctuary, a venue insulated from the surrounding world to showcase the talents of baseball players in a tradition that is, as the saying goes, as American as apple pie. 
  • Cops killing citizens. Citizens killing cops. Individuals mowing down others in mass shootings. Suicide bombers detonating their explosives in crowds. The last few weeks have been full of enough horrifying events to overwhelm many people.
  • Forget broadband, what about phone service in rural Minnesota?

    Although there is a push to bring rural Minnesota into the 21st century with improved broadband, many areas are still struggling to keep on a level playing field for 20th century technology — the landline telephone.

  • It wouldn’t be surprising if data showed a large number of Americans searched the meaning of Brexit after Great Britain voted to exit the European Union last week. The decision by the United Kingdom has global implications as financial markets tumbled, putting a dent in retirement funds for millions of Americans, and raising the threat of a looming recession.

  • Bluff Country has gained a couple distilleries, a vineyard, a hard cider production plant and plans for a brewery in the past five years. It may seem like a new trend, but the developments actually harken back to a century ago when breweries were located in several area towns and a distillery produced rye whiskey in Forestville.

  • When Sen. Al Franken visited Kingsland two weeks ago, he was interested in talking about science, technology, engineering and science (STEM). However, the conversation kept drifting into other areas, ranging from American culture to creativity. That’s what happens when you include faculty from the art, music and English departments in a roundtable.

  • U.S. Sen. Al Franken showed his wit, geographic knowledge and artistic skills Friday during a stop at Kingsland Public School. Kingsland graduating seniors also got a chance to probe his mind for insight on his job, his relationships with others, his opinions and even his comedy.

Climate change

Earth had its warmest temperature ever in 2015 and weather extremes are continuing into 2016, including locally with heavy rains causing flooding. Are you concerned?


 

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