Local News | Sports - High School
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 9:38 AM

Minnesota routinely leads the nation in voter turnout for elections. That has given the state an image of an engaged, politically aware population.

  • Minnesota routinely leads the nation in voter turnout for elections. That has given the state an image of an engaged, politically aware population.

  • It’s always interesting which columns generate conversation, at least conversation that makes it back to my ears. The feedback from last week’s column on the responsibility of the press was surprising.

  • I’ve been in frequent conversations with our Minnesota Newspaper Association attorney over the past few months. He’s a nice guy and I always enjoy talking to him, but the multiple conversations aren’t social calls; they have been necessary due to the passion of our contributors to our opinion page.

  • Factory closings or job transfers, such as what is happening with Rochester Medical in Stewartville, which is losing at least 60 jobs to Mexico in 2015, always make an impact. The grim news makes headlines and gets people talking about the decisions that have quite an effect on the local economy.

  • A local couple “eloped” last month. One was 83 and the other 89 years old. They didn’t submit a wedding announcement to our newspaper, so all the details aren’t available, but the event is of quite a bit of interest in the community. 
  • A friend of mine from Rochester questioned me the other day about the Fillmore County Relay for Life after reading about the event, asking how it was possible that this worthy cause raised more than $136,000. After all, Fillmore County doesn’t have a lot of population — there are just over 8,000 households — and it doesn’t have a lot of wealth — the median household income is well below the average in Minnesota. 
  • As my wife and I were taking shelter in the concourse at Target Field Monday, July 14, a man with damp clothes said, “The Metrodome wasn’t so bad now was it?” His comment made me pause, but didn’t change my mind that Target Field is far superior to the indoor multi-use stadium that has now been torn down. 
  • Now that I have a job, I am getting my own money. And with this money my possibilities are endless! 
  • A bill that would have basically ended the tenure system, which protects older teachers and makes newer teachers the "last hired, first fired," made it through the Minnesota Legislature early this session before being vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton. 
  • I've lived in the area full-time for about three decades now. Although I don't have the deep family roots many residents do in the area, I've become comfortable enough that I tend to look at the area through "local" eyes, noticing daily changes, but not always seeing the larger trends. 
  • The I'm For Mabel Committee holds on to the positive side of the town of Mabel with all the strength it can find. There is most always a spark, a glimmer of fun and new ideas that can be found if community members can listen and discuss and plan. In the next months, the committee will be highlighting Mabel-area residents who are part of a positive community and try to give their best to promote where they live and work. 
  • I know from history books and old news footage that previous presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Franklin D. Roosevelt once upon a time campaigned before and while in office from the back of a train throughout the United States. Harry Truman was the most well-known president for his whistle-stop tours and one of the most famous news photos of all time shows him standing on a train car platform holding up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with a banner headline stating "Dewy defeats Truman," which turned out to be not the case at all. 
  • 'Cars 2' features familiar voices
    Leaving Radiator Springs behind, "Cars 2" finds adventure in European settings. 
  • In recent years, cuts to Local Government Aid (LGA) have been a fact of life for area cities. For example, Harmony received $370,142 in LGA in 2007, but cuts over the past few years meant a payment of just $320,299 in 2010, according to the Minnesota House Research Department. The cuts were often last minute decisions to help balance shortfalls in the state budget. 
  • I had a wonderful conversation with my 6-year-old niece the other night on the telephone. It was a pleasant surprise as she normally isn’t one to “take calls,” either being “too busy” or, in my mind, too indifferent to what we have to say. 
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