Local News | Sports - High School
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 12:03 PM

A neighborhood brimming with gang violence, nudity, extremely coarse language, and drug and alcohol abuse isn’t a place for kids, particularly impressionable youth about to enter their teen years.

  • Minnesota State FFA Secretary Valerie Earley was the main speaker at the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA banquet last week. She felt at home since it really has been home for the Wykoff resident, who noted she is a “proud” member of the chapter even though she graduated from Kingsland High School in 2014.

  • The Clan has an incredibly busy life — who doesn’t — but sometimes our days are so packed Mom doesn’t have the time and brain capacity to get anything ready for supper. With 13 growing kids in this house, supper can’t just be skipped, so instead we try to have plenty of food options around that can quickly be thrown together into an “emergency meal.”

  • A big part of understanding my family, and by extension my family’s lifestyle, is understanding what a day looks like for us. For us, no day is ever normal. Our daily experience is so far from the ordinary that we’ve started to forget what normal is even like. Instead, an average day in the Clan will look something like this.

  • A neighborhood brimming with gang violence, nudity, extremely coarse language, and drug and alcohol abuse isn’t a place for kids, particularly impressionable youth about to enter their teen years.

  • Let me introduce you to my family, the Clan. Yes, the Clan. With Mom, Dad, and 13 kids (no twins!), I think we can call ourselves whatever we want. But actually, the sheer number of us is by far the least unusual thing about the Clan.

  • The controversy surrounding the “religious freedom” laws some states have tried to enact and the fatal incidents involving white police shooting black suspects have led to national dialogue on institutional discrimination or prejudice. Activists are inspecting laws and internal policies to make sure people are treated equally.

  • Indiana was in the national spotlight last week after the Legislature passed a “religious freedom” law that was signed by Gov. Mike Pence. Although the original intent may have held true to its name, many thought it was a smokescreen to allow businesses to discriminate against people by citing religious beliefs if they get sued.

  • A Republican proposal to give the nearly $1.9 billion state surplus back to residents — about $350 per person — appears to be dead as legislators, including many Republicans, have other ideas this session. They include investing some of the excess money in education, budget reserves to prevent some of the problems the state has experienced in recent years, and public infrastructure, which has been neglected in recent years.

  • I often pick on the meteorologists for their inaccurate weather forecasts. For example, Sunday’s original forecast for light snow was recalculated to a prediction of up to three to five inches Saturday and then recalculated yet again early Sunday afternoon to a winter storm warning after it was evident this was not a minor event.

  • This week is Sunshine Week. The name has nothing to do with the actual sun, which has been warming our area well above normal this past week. The week is a national initiative to promote dialogue about open government that should operate in the light of day, rather than secretly in the dark.

  • With a sparse crowd attending the meet-the-candidates sessions for District 1 Fillmore County commissioner, the question came up last Thursday if candidates are responsible for engaging constituents in the process and, if so, how would that be done. The sessions were set up for three weeks — one night for each candidate — in Spring Valley for people voting in the special election on March 31.

  • When Kevin Slimp stepped outside the door of the community room at F & M Community Bank in Preston Friday after a seven-hour session with staff members of Bluff Country Newspaper Group, he said, “It really doesn’t feel that cold here.” This statement is from a resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, who first ventured out that morning in a temperature of 16 below zero.

  • Vina Lund, an Ostrander resident who just celebrated her 105th birthday, was asked by a reporter during her birthday party to confirm a story her son told about her dancing with the notorious outlaw, Babyface Nelson, at the Sheep Shed in Wykoff.

  • The butterfly effect — the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil setting off a tornado in Texas — is a term used in chaos theory to describe how tiny variations can have a significant impact on giant, complex systems, such as weather patterns.

  • I spent another day at school last week as a volunteer to help in the classroom of my third grade granddaughter. It’s through a program called WatchDOGS — the DOGS stands for Dads, or in my case grandDads, Of Great Students.

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