Friday, December 31, 2010

Great words of wisdom!

May you have enough happiness to keep you happy.
Enough trials to keep you strong.
Enough sorrow to keep you human.
Enough hope to keep you thoughtful.
Enough failure to keep you humble.
Enough success to keep you eager.
Enough friends to give you comfort.
Enough faith and courage in yourself to banish depression.
Enough wealth to meet your daily needs.
Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday

Snowplows have been pulled from the roads in Stevens, Traverse, Grant, Pope Counties as well as others in western Minnesota

Snow plows have been pulled from all area state highways and interstates in Wilkin, Otter Tail, Traverse, Grant, Douglas, Big Stone, Stevens, Pope and Swift counties.

Also, I-94 from Moorhead to Alexandria was closed as of 7pm on Thursday night.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation advises the public not to travel until conditions improve and Mn/DOT and the Minnesota State Patrol open the roads.

Motorists should plan accordingly. When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to 90 days in jail. If travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will also be added.

**Update at 10:30 on Friday morning, I-94 was re-opened between Alexandria and Moorhead. I bet it'll close again later tonight as the second wave bears down on the region.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful for this snowplow, which blazed a path for me on the way home on Highway 55

...and yes, for the record, I have a "dash cam" rigged up in my car so I can drive and shoot video at the same time. (A mount for my tripod and digital camera)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lost dog in Delware Township

LOST dog: Cream/apricot standard poodle neutered male lost on Sunday 12/26 while hunting in Delaware Twp, Sec 2. Reward for return.

Call owners at 218.770.6356.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This was fun - Christmas in Glenwood - parade on December 9

This was one of many different celebrations in Glenwood in honor of the Christmas season.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Herman-Hoffman Tribune

On the eve of the celebration of Christ's birth let us truly remember what is important, respect and love for one another no matter the differences, kindness when we don't want to be kind, making an effort to find good in everything and to thank God for lessons learned.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More snow coming the eve of Christmas Eve

Driving around Hoffman, before heading home for the Christmas weekend!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What an awesome appointment for the Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner, a good friend of mine, Dave Frederickson

I am quite honored to personally know our next Ag Commissioner in Minnesota! Here's Dave Frederickson at work, during a Farm Bill Forum in Morris on August 16, 2010. Dave is the brother-in-law of Rich Kennedy of Herman.

After serving in the Minnesota Senate until 1993, Dave Frederickson was elected President of the Minnesota Farmers Union, who he served from 1993 to 2002. In March of 2002, Frederickson won a tough battle for the President of the National Farmers Union, beating out a very well-funded “commodity-group” backed President of the Oklahoma Farmers Union in what was an incredibly close race. I was actually a part of that process in March 2002, down in Texas, with a group of upper-midwestern farmers self-dubbed "the freedom fighters." It was an experience I'll never forget!

Frederickson served NFU from 2002 until 2007, when he went to work for Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Below, a Herman-Hoffman Tribune exclusive interview with Dave Frederickson on August 16 in Morris.

I'm very excited for rural Minnesota and our agriculture community. Commissioner Frederickson will do an outstanding job representing us and promoting policies that benefit small towns and the farm families who support Greater Minnesota.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is an awesome idea - a Long Prairie business gives out "Long Prairie Bucks" as a Christmas bonus totaling $13,000

Here's the link to follow to the story, in the Long Prairie Leader:

Tom Emmer and company, sticking it to small rural counties

From the article in today's St.Cloud Times:

Sam Modderman doesn’t know exactly how many hours he and his staff spent preparing a cache of documents requested by Tom Emmer during the governor’s recount. But he knows the county hasn’t been paid for the work.

“We completed all the requests, but no, we haven’t gotten paid for them all,” the Kandiyohi County Auditor (Willmar) said.

It’s a common story that’s been reported in other counties who rushed to prepare documents requested by the Emmer campaign but then didn’t get paid for the work.

Modderman said he spent more time at the office than with his family over Thanksgiving in order the meet the request for documents.

“They were a little demanding,” he said.

My comments: Swift County (Benson, western MN) used a different tactic with Emmer and his cronies. They said to Emmer, "Go ahead, sue us for the material if you want. We will not get stiffed!" Great job.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hoffman Santa Day is a go - weather isn't horrible but it is cold and snowy!

The Hoffman Santa Day and Customer Appreciation event is from 2-4pm today at the Community Center. It's still a go, according to HEDA director Muriel Krusemark.

Dress warm and drive safely out there!

In a sports-related note, the WCA boys basketball game at Grove City against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa has been postponed to Saturday, December 18.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A note on the 2010 election in Minnesota

Just the facts, folks, on the 2010 election:

MN Voter Registration rate 83.68%….MN Voter Participation rate 69.8%. (More voters than there were votes cast, despite what Republicans say.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hoffman council holds 2011 Truth in Taxation hearing

Below is the proposed 2011 Hoffman city budget, which was under discussion tonight at the regular meeting of the city council. Click to enlarge.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hoffman Pre-K through 6th grade dance is canceled

A note from Muriel Krusemark:

The Pre-K - 6th Grade dance in Hoffman has been postponed until a later date due to inclement weather.

We will notify you of the new date later.

**Weather changes athletic schedules for area season openers in boys/girls basketball

Sports-related weather notes:

The boys basketball Tip-Off Classic first round games will be Saturday night (tomorrow) for the West Central Area Knights, with the championship on Dec. 11. The Knights are already in Belgrade at an 8-team wrestling tournament, and they will stay as long as conditions allow, hopefully until it's over later this evening. Stay tuned!

The WCA girls basketball game at Frazee has been canceled as well.

What a rough start to the winter sports season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

West Central Minnesota Youth Chorale Concert will be Tuesday, December 7

The West Central Minnesota Youth Chorale Concert originally scheduled for Nov 29th has been postponed until Tuesday December 7th at 7PM at the secondary school in Barrett.

The concert will also feature the WCA school Choralaires and other surprises.

Red Kettle Campaign is underway in Grant County - Bell ringers sought!!

Hello everyone! It is that time of year again where the Grant County Salvation Army has the red kettles out and are looking for folks to ring the bells or sing at our various sites all around the county. It is a fact that the kettles receive more donations if there is someone manning the kettle. All donations stay in Grant County and are used for emergency and disaster services.

Last year we served 196 people with housing, utilities, or transportation needs while assisting 62 children with back-to-school needs. Therefore, as the Treasurer, I am putting out a challenge . . . I would like to see various organizations and businesses in the county pick up the challenge and see which organization can raise the most funds!

We have 3 weeks to raise all the funds we use next year and I would like to see us raise enough to double the above stats (we know there is need because we had to turn folks away last year). So if you would like to take part as an organization or on your own, please contact Stephanie at 218-685-6192 to get on the schedule.

If you would like to challenge another organization, please do so and let’s get these kettles full.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

Robbie Stier, Family Self-Sufficiency Counselor
West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc.
Elbow Lake, MN

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's wicked out there! November Blizzard rages across most parts of Minnesota

Downtown Hoffman on Tuesday morning.

Though western Minnesota did not receive much for snowfall on Monday, November 29 or overnight last night, most schools in the area are two hours late today.

I noticed that Alexandria schools are closed.

I'll get some snow/blizzard pictures up later today!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lost animals brought in on Nov. 20 at the Grant County Humane Society

Lost animals both brought in on Nov. 20 at Grant County Humane Society: Gray Tabby and white female adult cat from Ashby located by the city office/fire hall. Also, German Sheperd female dog, about 1 year old, from Erdahl Township.

The website for the GCHS, located in the Fjoslien Animal Shelter Building in Elbow Lake, is:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Truth in taxation hearing in Hoffman on December 6

Click to enlarge.


The "Anti-Business agenda of President Obama" in the past 2 years has led to a complete rebound of the stock market AND corporations earning 1.5 trillion dollars last quarter. A record. We have the lowest tax rates of all time, of corporations and individuals. Corporate businesses has huge amounts of cash on hand. And yet, Congress will not extend benefits, for those who lost their jobs, for the Christmas period.

Well, my Black Friday trip to Officemax in Alexandria was interesting

I'll explain more later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mark your calendars for our upcoming local Santa Days!

Mark your calendars!

Hoffman Santa Day is on Sat. December 11. Kensington and Herman will host Santa Day activities on Sat. December 18.

Profits for American companies have skyrocketed, but where's the jobs? Where are the wage increases?

Workers in America are mostly struggling by with terrible wages, but American companies just had their best quarter EVER. Profits were "earned" at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the 3rd quarter of 2010. That is the hig hest figure EVER since the government started keeping track over 60 years ago. Profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history.

Come on, Corporate America, get with the program and do your job, so the government does not have to do it for you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Little Women' coming to Alexandria the next two weekends

Click to enlarge.

The Alexandria Area Arts Association will present 'Little Women' beginning this week!

Performances are set for Thursday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, November 26 and December 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, November 27 and December 4 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, November 28 and December 5 at 2 p.m. To make your reservation, call (320) 762-8300.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Minnesota Farmers Union state convention is a big success

Click below for an update from the Minnesota Farmers Union 69th annual state convention in Minneapolis, written by rural blogger and journalist Sally Jo Sorenson of Hutchinson. (She's also the McLeod County MFU president)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Commentary: Grocery stores vital to rural communities

By John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs

Grocery stores play a crucial role in our rural communities, providing vital sources of nutrition, jobs and tax revenue that support the community. Moreover, rural grocery stores are also economic drivers, community builders and meeting places.

They are, however, slowly disappearing - forcing residents to leave their communities to purchase food, often at great expense and over great distance. Across rural America, 803 counties are classified as "food deserts" where all the county residents are at least 10 miles from a full-service grocery store. The Great Plains has the highest concentration of "food desert" counties, with 418.

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released two reports on rural grocery stores (see The first, Rural Grocery Stores: Importance and Challenges, describes six general challenges facing rural grocery stores: competition with chain stores, high energy costs, minimum buying requirements, labor issues, community support, and models of ownership. The second report, Rural Grocery Stores: Ownership Models That Work for Rural Communities, offers solutions to the challenges discussed in the first report and examines models of rural grocery store ownership.

Many believe the future of America's rural communities is much in doubt, that the stern demographic and economic challenges they face are simply too great and deep-seated to overcome. The issues facing rural grocery stores are an example of those larger rural challenges. But at the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe the future of our rural communities holds abundant promise if new economic models are encouraged and implemented.

John Crabtree is with the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyon, Neb.

Too much work leads to a burnt out editor after the election

Only five blog posts in November and the month is half over.

I'm definitely on a much-needed break from much of my internet work.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Representative Collin Peterson is re-elected - also, area school levy results are below

Congressman Collin Peterson won 133,086 to Lee Byberg's 90,682 to Glen Menze's 7,904 with 100% of the precincts reporting.

In the governor's race, Mark Dayton won with 100% of precincts reporting. The totals are: Dayton 919,234 to Emmer's 910,380 to Horner's 251,503. Dayton's margin of victory was .42%, which triggers an automatic recount. (Tom Emmer does not have to call for a recount, this will happen whether he wants it or not.)

Automatic recounts are triggered when the margin of victory is less than a 1/2 of a percent of the total votes.

In the Grant County Recorder's race, Diann Giese won 2,142 to 782 for Tonia Dittberner.

Some election results are on page one and page three of this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune, which just hit the newsstands this morning.

  • A handful of area school levy results:
Yellow Medicine East - 1,554 yes to 1,092 no with 100% of precincts reporting.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - 735 yes to 636 no.
Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 606 yes to 503 no, a simple extension of a $200 per pupil levy.
Wheaton Area - 564 no 561 yes, a truly heartbreaking loss for their school.
Morris Area - 1,750 yes to 1,197 no.
Eagle Valley - failed 647 to 509.
Fergus Falls - 4,986 yes to 2,638 no. (they had no increase, just an extension of a $416 per pupil levy)
Kimball Area - they passed two questions that total $875 per pupil.
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 1,526 no to 1,350 yes. (they sought no increase, just an extension of a $700 per pupil levy)
Minneota - 585 yes to 528 no. (they were asking for a small increase of $126 per pupil up to a total of $700 per pupil - a nice win for that district)
Ogilvie - 884 no to 582 yes - they are in trouble, the question was for no increase to an existing $600 per pupil levy.
Red Rock Central - 766 yes to 686 no. Lamberton/Jeffers/Storden/Sanborn passed a big increase to their levy from $950 to $1450 per pupil.
Upsala - 436 no to 346 yes - they are in trouble too.

A special note on Eagle Valley...that school district is made up of the towns of Eagle Bend and Clarissa, who merged back in 1988. They are in serious trouble. I predict they will dissolve within one to two years. The funding and the students just do not add up to keep the district going, especially when they are operating two large, old buildings that need major renovations.

On Long Prairie-Grey Eagle's narrow loss...they are in trouble too, although they are a much bigger district than Eagle Valley is, and I think they can weather the storm. It will be ugly, though.

It's a sad sight to witness.

On the levy vote at's very surprising to see a levy vote barely pass at K-M-S when all they were asking for was an extension of a $200 per pupil levy. Thank goodness it did pass, K-M-S is a great small school district.

Around the state, 35 districts failed all levy questions to increase their property taxes.

Altogether, 76 districts seeking levies was the highest since 2007, when 101 districts requested levy referenda.

WCA levy vote passes!

At around 3:30 this morning, all precincts were reported and the total was 1,266 "yes" to 1,228 "no" passed!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Now 1:15am - the WCA levy builds a 46 vote margin lead!

At 1:10am, the tally now stands at 685 yes to 639 no.

At 10:56pm, the WCA levy vote trails 192-170

I'll be updating my blog into the night.

Let's hope and PRAY for good things to happen with the results.

  • In statewide and local races as of 11pm...

In House District 11A, with 20.8% of the precincts reporting, the tallies are: Torrey Westrom 3,371 - Bennett Smith 1,327 - Dave Holman 254. Westrom leads 68% to 26% to 5%.

In Senate District 11, with 22% of the precincts reporting, the tallies are: Bill Ingebrigtsen 5,369 - Jim Thoreen 2,450.

******Update at midnight...great news! At least for now...the WCA levy vote is now in the lead 464 to 439. Oh boy, it is going to be a roller coaster of a night. Pray for good things!

At midnight, with 50.39% of the precincts reporting statewide, the governor race tallies are: Mark Dayton 608,715 (44.9%), Tom Emmer 564,991 (41.72%), Tom Horner 164,809 (12.1%).

Just a few minutes after midnight...YIKES! the WCA levy vote is in the lead 604 to 569. That is a razor thin margin.

At 12:30am, in the Grant County Recorder race, Diann Giese holds a huge lead with 30.4% of the precincts reporting. The tally sits at 541 for Giese with 277 for Tonia Dittberner.

In the 7th Congressional District race, Collin Peterson has been declared the winner over Lee Byberg by the Associated Press.

12:48am... the WCA levy vote sits at 609 yes to 572 no.

In the race for mayor of Kensington, Jim Schecker defeated Ralph Gunderson by a 74 to 47 vote margin.

Stay tuned!

Rural Minnesota school district levy vote totals:

* Willmar * 4,627 no to 4,411 yes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In the interest of the public's right to know...

Due to the fact that Grant County is broke (generally speaking), the general election "sample ballot" was not published in our Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

Once the county auditor's office found out what it would cost to publish it in our newspaper, they decided to do only what the state law requires: publish it two times leading up to the general election in the official "county newspaper" - which is the Grant County Herald.

Obviously, my publisher was angry. I am too. Of course, 99% of the blame lies with Governor Pawlenty and the tea party, anti-tax, cut-government-into-oblivion crowd. I don't have ill feelings towards our county auditor - this time, the county budget said "no".

Our phone has been ringing off the hook today with angry seniors who wanted to see the ballot in their Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

The best I can do is have a copy of it in my office (which I do) so people can come down and look at it or get copies.

The dumbing down of America continues...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What a truly awful person, he rates down there with pond scum and Tom Emmer...running for secretary of state, to boot? Dan Severson, public enemy #2

Headline = Severson: Students should not be allowed to vote where they go to school

Dan Severson is the Republican endorsed candidate for Secretary of State in Minnesota.

...Severson feels that college students are not "engaged" enough to cast a reasonable vote.

I'm quite upset that the campaign season is almost over, because there's little chance that I'll cross paths with this creep between now and Nov. 2. I'd love to give him a piece of my mind!

Another video clip from the levy forum at the Oct. 21 Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting

In a failed levy scenario, Superintendent Pat Westby talks about the budget future at WCA. This was at the Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting on October 21.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Party "poll watchers" - I'll be watching you in my area - I dare you to suppress voter turnout

Read more about what the Tea Party is whining about here:

This is truly awful - Tea Party activists push a woman to the ground and stomp on her head (I wish I was making this up)

The incident happened before a debate in Kentucky. A sad day in America.

Click here for the details:

Hey Torrey, thanks for being a weasel back in 2005 on the school funding issue, while not being helpful on excess levy referendum votes

Representative Westrom is
blasted on school funding issue
January 27, 2005

Representative Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake was blasted at a meeting held in Hoffman when trying to suggest that the state funding proposed by Governor Pawlenty will allow for smaller class sizes.

Superintendent Ness said, “Since 1997 we’re $440 behind per pupil on the formula when adjusted for inflation. WCA is definitely spiraling. Our enrollment is declining. We need a variety of solutions for our budget issues, including increased state funding, budget cuts, plus referendum money - or rather, local taxes.”

Ness added, “We need more revenue. We’re a state that values good roads, good schools, good health care, and we’re willing to pay for it.”

Westrom responded, “If more are willing to pay, then why are school boards and counties reluctant to go to referendums? The public generally doesn’t pass those.”

Ness replied that the cost of government has gone down over the past few years, from 17 percent of gross personal income to 15 percent.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tom Emmer - the dirtiest candidate for governor I've ever seen

Exiled from Lake Street:
Latino community forces cancellation of stealth Emmer rally

(Minneapolis)– Oscar Reyes, owner of the Las Mojarras restaurant on Lake Street in the heart of Minneapolis’s Latino community, was pleased to get a reservation for a Saturday morning “business meeting” on October 23.

He was less happy when calls came in from concerned community members asking why a campaign rally for anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Republican gubernatorial Tom Emmer was taking place in his popular business.

In a humiliating blow for the Emmer campaign, Reyes canceled the event and appeared as a guest on the Cara a Cara radio show on La Invasora 1400 to assure the Latino community that he was a victim of an attempt to stage a stealth rally in the Latino neighborhood prior to President Obama’s rally on behalf of DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.

The interview with host Alberto Monserrate has been posted online on the Cara a Cara web page and can be downloaded here.

Monserrate said that Reyes asked to be on the show in order to assure the community that he was not supporting Emmer’s campaign. While on air, Reyes said that he didn’t know that the event was part of a political campaign

The radio show host thought the secrecy was unusual, as political organizers are generally upfront with small business owners. “In all of the organizing I’ve observed, those setting up events let businesses know that it’s a campaign-related event because of the potential for customer disapproval. Those organizing this rally appear to have sought a meeting in the Latino community, but failed to tell the Latino small business owner that is was for Emmer.”

Reyes learned of the true nature of the event when calls started coming in after news of the event appeared in the Wednesday, October 20, 2010 “Morning Take,” published by Tunheim Partners public affairs firm; the event was also listed on a local conservative blog. Community organizers and activists spread the word via Facebook and Twitter, and curious activists called Reyes.

Reyes was angered to learn that the event was political and to discover Emmer’s record of supporting anti-immigrant measures like Arizona’s SB1070 bill and anti-Latino measures like an English-only bill, according to Monserrate.

My thoughts: Tom Emmer, you really have sunk to a new low, trying to hold a campaign rally at a privately-owned business without telling that business owner what was going on. By doing so, you are jeopardizing the image of that business without letting the owner decide whether or not he wants to risk losing business over your governor bid. I will safely say, you're the dirtiest candidate for governor I've seen in my lifetime.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hoffman Commerce and Ag hosts informational meeting with WCA Superintendent Westby today

We had a nice turnout today at the Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting at Bullfrog's Bar and Grill.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a tough, tough loss in Chokio for the CAHN Spartans football team

In what was the final football game that will ever be played in Chokio (unless the C-A community booms and they re-start their athletic programs), the Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans football team lost another high-scoring game.

This time, it was Eagle Valley leaving town with the win. Final score: Eagle Valley 42, CAHN 38.

Both teams were 3-4 coming into the game. CAHN's 3-5 record puts them at 4th place in the 6-team Pheasant Conference South for 2010.

In the upcoming Section 3, 9-man playoffs, CAHN will be the number six seed and will make the short trip to rival Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley for the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, October 26.

2010 Section 3, 9-man playoff seedings:
1st and 2nd are Wheaton and Edgerton/Ellsworth, and I'm not sure who will be the #1 and who will be the #2 seed. I will know tomorrow, though.

#3 - Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (7-1)
#4 - Hills-Beaver Creek (6-2)
#5 - Brandon/Evansville (5-3)
#6 - CAHN (3-5)
#7 - Lincoln HI (2-6)
#8 - Hancock (0-8)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This was fun too - Musical Chairs at the Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest

A photo from one of the rounds of musical chairs is on page one of this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

The freshmen class skit.

Coming tonight - the WCA Levy meeting in Hoffman

Tonight, Tuesday, the meeting begins at 7pm at the Hoffman Community Center.

Delaware Republican Senate nominee O'Donnell asks whether Constitution prohibits establishment of religion

From the Associated Press...

WILMINGTON, Del. - Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.

The exchange came in a debate before an audience of legal scholars and law students at Widener University Law School, as O'Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons' position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.

Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that "religious doctrine doesn't belong in our public schools."

"Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked him.

When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell asked: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"

Her comments, in a debate aired on radio station WDEL, generated a buzz in the audience.

"You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp," said Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone, adding that he thought it raised questions about O'Donnell's grasp of the Constitution.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MFU: EPA takes first step on E-15 ethanol blend

October 13, 2010 – Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Doug Peterson welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement today of the approval of E15 blend fuel in 2007 and newer vehicles. On March 6, 2009 Growth Energy ( submitted its Green Jobs Waiver to the EPA, seeking a regulatory change to permit an increase in the allowable blend of ethanol in fuel to 15 percent (E15), from the arbitrary limit that currently caps the amount at 10 percent (E10). MFU says the approval for newer vehicles is a good first step, and MFU is confident it will be followed by approval for older model vehicles once the Department of Energy (DOE) completes its testing later this year.

“Minnesota has been a leader in biofuels, and this announcement is a step in the right direction to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, creating U.S. jobs and improving our environment” said Doug Peterson, MFU President.

Other points about the EPA announcement:

• today’s decision will apply to 43 million vehicles- nearly 20 percent of the current U.S. duty fleet.
• a second decision on cars 2001 to 2006 is expected by the end of the year and would add an additional 86 million cars, meaning that, if approved, E15 would be allowed in more than 54 percent of all the vehicles on the road today;
• moving to E15 is supported by sound science. Economic studies show that we can create more than 136,000 new jobs with E15, inject $24.4 billion back into the U.S. economy instead of bleeding it out overseas, and displace nearly seven billion gallons of gasoline from imported oil;
• this decision is in support of the goals of Congress to see demand for renewable fuels in the U.S. reach 36 billion gallons by 2022;
• ethanol production reinvests money in the U.S. economy instead of sending dollars and jobs overseas;
• our continued dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic future. Every year we pay $300 billion annually – the equivalent of a thousand-dollar-a-person tribute – to foreign countries for oil, instead of investing in our own economy;
• moving from our current E10 blend to E15 means we could reduce an additional eight million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year. That means E15 would reduce GHG emissions equal to removing an additional 1.35 million vehicles from the road; and
• we have plenty of corn to meet both our food and energy needs. Consistent increases in crop yields and record harvests prove that America’s farmers will continue to produce enough corn to meet demand for ethanol and domestic demand for corn as food and feed, as well as corn for export. In September 2010, the USDA crop report estimated that American farmers are expected to produce a record 13.16 billion bushels of corn without adding a single additional acre of land into agriculture production.

For more information:

Minnesota Farmers Union ( is a nonprofit membership-based organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, as well as rural communities.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Very unique for sure, something I've never witnessed until Friday, a "Frozen T-shirt" contest during the Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest

The view from the balcony in the small gymnasium in Herman.

I took whopping 149 photos from the Homecoming Pep Fest on Friday. You can see all the pictures at the Herman-Hoffman Tribune website Dotphoto gallery:

Then click on "Dotphoto" and search for the "Fall 2010 Herman-Norcross events" to see the pictures.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scenes from the Herman-Norcross Community School Homecoming Pep Fest on Friday, more to follow this weekend

Here's a clip from today's Pep Fest in Herman, the 7th-8th grade Homecoming skit.

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy won a shootout of a football game on Homecoming for Herman-Norcross, defeating the CAHN Spartans 47-38. The Comets, who were ranked #14 in the latest 9-man state rankings, improved to 5-1 with the win.

CAHN is 3-4 overall. The Spartans host Eagle Valley next Wednesday night in Chokio for the final game of the regular season.

Below, Maggie Finholdt pauses for a moment while the Homecoming Tailgating party gets underway at the school cafeteria. A senior this year at Herman-Norcross, Finholdt was instrumental in organizing and promoting the event.

Elementary students enjoying the Pep Fest activities.

One of the games held at the Pep Fest was an arm wrestling tournament. See who won in next week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

If you're a Facebook user, you can see more photos at the Tribune Facebook fan page. Search for "Herman-Hoffman Tribune" and click "Like"!

Other photos from the Herman-Norcross Homecoming are being added to the Tribune Dotphoto gallery online at Look for the album named "Fall 2010 Herman-Norcross events" to see the picture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming tomorrow - the big Homecoming game in Herman!

Kickoff for the Herman-Norcross Homecoming game, held at Paul Anderson Field at the high school athletic complex, will be at 3:30 tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 15) when the Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans will host the state-ranked Hillcrest Lutheran Academy Comets.

Herman-Norcross Homecoming Pep Fest begins at 12:45pm on Friday!

Class skits and all sorts of fun are in store. The whole community is invited to be a part of the excitement, leading up to the football game's kickoff.

Check it out - the Hoffman Health Care Mall's new website

Here's the link:

House District 11A forum being held tonight (Thursday) in Morris

There is a forum on Thursday night, October 14, in Morris featuring the candidates for Senate District 11 and House District 11A beginning at 7pm at the Morris American Legion. (It's west of the train tracks on Highway 28 by Casey's gas station.)

Also, Congressional District 7 candidate Lee Byberg will be at Detoys Restaurant in Morris on Oct 22nd from 10-11 am.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An awesome shot from the Herman-Norcross Homecoming coronation on Sunday night

Last year's Homecoming King, Michael Backman, crowns the new King for 2010, Brandon Staples. Photo by Jennifer Pederson.

I plan on getting more photos on our Tribune Facebook fan page tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Passing the word on two local political events

First, for those of you living in Pope County, a debate between District 13 candidates Joe Gimse and Larry Rice will be held at 2:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct 12) at 2:30pm at the Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck.

Beginning at 10am on Saturday (meeting at Lakeside Ballroom) a door knock on behalf of Larry Rice and Mark Dayton will be held in Glenwood. Also participating is Paul Thissen, one of the candidates who ran for the DFL endorsement last winter/spring.

A very cool yard sign at WCA

Much was discussed at tonight's WCA Levy Referendum meeting at South elementary in Kensington. I thought the turnout was great, considering the meeting butted up against the Vikings-Jets football game kickoff. Roughly 14 members of the public, along with a handful WCA staff members and school board members attended the meeting.

I'm chewing through the information right now.

  • Here's a few points from the meeting, at least what I scribbled on my notepad. (More is being uploaded to Youtube as I type this.)

Superintendent Westby told the group at the levy meeting about the school's three main points on why they are asking for a hike in the levy.
1 - They want to continue offering quality programs.
2 - They want to continue to offer effective grade level configurations and efficient facilities.
3 - They want to continue carrying out WCA's Mission Statement.

The West Central Area Mission Statement is as follows, "The mission of the WCA school district, with the support of our families and communities, is to provide opportunities for all learners that will inspire a passion for educational excellence and life long learning."

Below, Superintendent Westby explains possible areas to cut, as well as the tax impact of the levy referendum.

Love my Chevy

Crossed 290,000 miles on my way to Hoffman this morning.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

So the Republican Party chair thinks that Republicans who support Tom Horner are going to hell...

In regards to the Republicans who are publicly supporting Tom Horner for governor, the chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, Tony Sutton, was quoted as saying "there's a special place in hell for these quislings."


Here is the response from two of the gentleman attacked by that comment, George Pillsbury and Bill Belanger.

October 7, 2010 
To: Tony Sutton Chairman, Republican Party of Minnesota
525 Park Street, Suite 250
St. Paul, MN 55103 

Mr. Sutton:  As veterans of the United States military and former state legislators, we were highly offended to pick up our morning Star Tribune newspaper and read that you were accusing us of being traitors to our country for supporting Tom Horner for governor. (“There’s a special place in hell for these quislings.”) Those of us who support Horner and his centrist view of governance have nothing in common with Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a Nazi sympathizer who collaborated with the Germans to enslave millions of his countrymen during the Second World War.  We proudly wore the uniforms of our nation, one of us as a Marine Lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II, one of us a few years later in Korea as an Army Corporal. For you to besmirch that service is demeaning. We support Tom Horner for governor precisely because we care so much about our state and our nation. We sought elective office after our years of military service because we care about our country and its future. We did not believe our service ended when we were discharged. For decades, we have continued to volunteer in our communities to make our society stronger. We are supporting Tom Horner for governor because we believe his moderate, centrist view of government is precisely what Minnesota needs right now. We are concerned that Sutton’s candidate, Tom Emmer, is too far to the right, and that Mark Dayton, the Democrat, is too far to the left. We believe it is best for all concerned to have a governor who can work with both political parties, to do what’s right and not worry about who gets the credit. We went to war to defend the Constitution, which included fighting for your right of free speech, so you are free to say whatever you want. We would appreciate it if, in the future, you were more careful not to criticize American veterans just because you disagree with our choice of candidates.

Sincerely, George Pillsbury First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corp (ret)Veteran of World War II, former State Senator, Wayzata 

Bill Belanger Corporal, United States Army (ret)Veteran of the Korean War, former State Senator, Bloomington.

House District 11A candidate debate on Pioneer TV tonight (Thursday)

Tonight (Thursday) on Pioneer Public TV at 8:00pm - a live debate between Bennett Smith of Donnelly, Dave Holman of Morris, and Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake - all candidates for House District 11A, which includes all of Stevens and Grant Counties plus the west half of Douglas County.

Call in and pick their brains - I don't care much for uninformed voters.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Republican-leaning Minnesota Forward airs a blatantly false TV ad on Mark Dayton's tax proposals

First of all, I do not agree with Dayton's tax proposal, I feel it goes too far in raising income taxes and his budget ideas do not include enough spending cuts. That, along with Dayton's idea to build a state-sponsored casino at the Mall of America have led me to lean to Tom Horner for the governor race.

With that said, the group Minnesota Forward lies blatantly in a new TV ad. Follow this link to see what Minnesota Public Radio's Poligraph says in a truth test.

A word to the Republicans - try using the truth when you're campaigning, it would be nice to see you turn over a new leaf. If you used the truth, you'd still have plenty of ammunition to battle Mark Dayton in the governor race.

I won't hold my breath, the Republican Party is full of liars who would rather fall over dead than tell the truth in a political debate.

Here's what I dug up regarding what George Cassell is talking about in the letter to the editor posted below

Here's what happened in 2009:

Despite a $6.4B deficit, the final K-12 budget bill that became law protects K-12 education from any budget cuts while providing stable funding for education.

In addition it protected property tax payers by passing a budget solution without any net increase in school property taxes.

Here's what happened in this year's session:

Despite a $3B deficit (just over $2B were the result of the Governor's unallotments being ruled illegal), K-12 education was protected from any revenue cuts to the classroom.

This was accomplished in large part due to the $1.4B aid payment shift as well as the $576M property tax recognition shift.

The bill also protected property tax payers by passing a budget solution without any net increase in school property taxes.

Finally, since the DFL took control of the House in 2007:

The 2007 omnibus K-12 education bill, provided a 2% increase on the formula in FY08 adn a 1% increase in FY09. This amounted to a $100 per student increase in FY08 adn $50 in FY09.

The 2007 K-12 bill also provided $330M in FY08-09 for special education (a 25.5% increase).

A one-time increase of $51 per pupil in FY09 (2008 supplemental budget bill)

In 2003, the GOP controlled House passed a $622M reduction in education funds over the next two years. Westrom voted for the bill. (excluding the shifts, the real education reduction was $185M)

In 2009, Westrom and the majority of Republican members voted for a $300M cut to school districts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Peterson introduces bill to protect producers from burdensome EPA regulations

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., yesterday introduced H.R. 6273 which amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to prohibit additional permits for pesticide application when pesticides are applied consistent with FIFRA.

"This legislation provides farmers and ranchers with the safe harbor they deserve in the application of pesticides. The bill relieves producers from a potentially costly regulatory burden that does little if anything to protect the environment," Peterson

In the decades since Congress enacted the CWA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has never issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the application of a pesticide. Instead, EPA has regulated these types of
applications through FIFRA, enacted by Congress to control all aspects of pesticide registration, sales and use. The FIFRA registration process includes stringent requirements for a wide range of environmental, health and safety studies to establish the circumstances under which pesticides can be legally used in the United States.

In January 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2006 EPA rule which specifically exempted permitting of certain pesticide applications from the CWA. In National Cotton Council of America, et al., v. United States Environmental Protection Agency the court ruled EPA did not have the authority under the CWA to exempt application of pesticides. The Court's decision marks a pre-emption of FIFRA by the CWA for the first time in the history of either statute.

Chairman Peterson's bill would make clear that producers who are in compliance with the requirements of FIFRA are not subject to Clean Water Act permits.

"The 6th Circuit decision overturned decades of policy and practice with regard to the sufficiency of FIFRA regulation," Peterson said. "This legislation will make clear that Congress never intended for farmers and ranchers to meet additional permit requirements for pesticide applications under FIFRA."

Twelve members of the House of Representatives joined Peterson as original co-sponsors of the bill.

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I read a letter last week mentioning Representative Torrey Westrom, Governor Pawlenty, and Education Funding. Apparently the writer does not know that the Democrats currently control the House and Senate — and have done so since 2006. Words can be hollow, but facts are stubborn things.

The biggest funding source is the basic ‘per pupil’ formula. This formula flows equally to all children across the state.

Under eight years of DFL control (1992-1998 and 2007), the Total increase was $360 per student.

Under eight years of Republican control (1996-2006), the total increase was $905 per student.

In 2009, Governor Pawlenty proposed an additional $262 million for preschool through high school students and a 10% aid payment shift. In comparison, the DFL House proposed flat funding; the DFL Senate proposed $1 billion in cuts to early childhood and K-12 education. Representative Torrey Westrom spoke up and voted against rural teachers having to bail out the Minneapolis teachers’ pensions.

It has been Representative Torrey Westrom who has stood up to these Democrat proposals that would short-change our schools. Republicans continue to push for fair funding, accountability, local control, and innovative reform in education.

George W. Cassell
Alexandria, MN

Sunday, October 3, 2010

West Central Area Knights football picks up a big road win at Warroad

The Knights won 27-24 over Warroad to improve to 2-3 on the season.

WCA ran for 144 yards and passed for 156 yards, giving them 300 yards of total offense on the night. Warroad had 336 (107 rushing, 229 passing). The Knights had just one turnover to three for the Warriors and also had ten more first downs than the home team, 17-7.

West Central Area took a 14-8 lead after one quarter on an eighteen yard touchdown pass from Colton Blascyk to Toby Weigand and a three yard TD run by Blascyk. Both extra point kicks were good. They trailed 22-21 at the half as Warroad connected on two long passes for touchdowns and had a third TD on a ten yard run. WCA’s third touchdown of the night came on a ten yard run by Blascyk in the second quarter.

WCA is now tied for 4th place in the Heart O' Lakes Classic standings with Pelican Rapids at 2-2.

Warroad fell to 2-3 overall.

Read more on the game in next week's October 7 issue of the Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Democracy isn't easy

I just got back from the Tom Emmer rally at the Douglas County Republican headquarters in Alexandria, held at 3:30 today.

I showed up about 10 minutes late (typical) but had plenty to take in when I arrived. On the other side of the street was a young man with a megaphone. A loud one. Even though it was quite windy, it wasn't hard to hear what he was saying.

His mom and sister are both former waitresses; his wife is a waitress. (Guess what he was upset about) I won't be adding much more than that, because I'm in the process of finding out what, if any, laws he broke while protesting. Apparently, the cops were called on a complaint either about what he was doing or what he was saying.

Last I checked, though, this wasn't Nazi Germany. Hopefully we can keep it that way.

**Update at 8:30pm...the gentleman who was protesting gave me a call tonight and reported that he, in fact, was not breaking any laws, and had a nice conversation with a police officer with the Alexandria P.D. about what he was doing. After reviewing the city's noise ordinance, it was determined that he was not breaking any laws.

Chalk one up for the little guy.

  • Visit the Herman-Hoffman Tribune website videos page to see a clip of Emmer speaking to his supporters at the headquarters. I just uploaded and edited the taglines at 9:00 tonight.

Tomorrow I'll talk a little bit about what Emmer was saying inside headquarters. Most of it will be on the videos page. I have one of the two clips already loaded. I will give all sorts of credit to the Emmer campaign, his speaking style has gotten very refined and polished. He gave many valid points in what I heard him say.

He still can't shake what he said last July, though. (About cheating restaurant servers out of their wages with a tip credit.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tom Emmer will be in Morris and Alexandria for campaign stops tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 29

Republican governor candidate Tom Emmer will visit the heart of west central Minnesota on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010. Emmer will spend the day getting to know the voters and discussing the issues of this economical diverse region of Minnesota.

10-11 am, Willmar GOP Rally, Willmar BPOU Office, 1704 South First South, Willmar MN.

1-2 pm, Morris GOP Rally, Eastside Park, 202 East Seventh Street, Morris MN.

3:30-4:30 pm, Alexandria GOP Rally, Douglas County MnGOP Victory Office, 304 Irving Street, Alexandria MN.

There's a chance I'll see his stop in Willmar in the morning, but I plan for sure to be in Alexandria at 3:30.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Peace Lutheran of Barrett has a backpack mission underway for WCA schools

The Youth of Peace Lutheran Church of Barrett will be doing a mission project during the next two weeks. We are putting together backpacks to be distributed at WCA.

We need your help with donations of backpacks, book covers (large), pencils (kids like the mechanical ones), notebooks, 3-ring binders, erasers, headphones (can be purchased through the school), calculators (6th grade calculators can be purchase through the school also). Any WCA items such as hats and t-shirts. Cash donations will be accepted as well. You donations can be placed on the table by the front door.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

I like it - do you?

It probably doesn't work for the Tea Party...but I don't care what they think.

West Central Area to hold a levy referendum on Election Day

The West Central Area schools are proposing an increase to the local tax levy from $950 per pupil to $1,370 per pupil, for a period of five years.

More information on the levy will be in this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Knights win Homecoming!

Photo by Jodi Thorson from the first half of the Homecoming game tonight.

West Central Area defeated the visiting Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines to the delight of the home fans in the 18th annual WCA Homecoming game.

Great job, coaches and players. I think they have the ability to win three of their final four games, and a 4-4 season in the final year of competing in the Heart O' Lakes Conference would be something to be proud of.

Tribune sports editor Kris Beuckens gets some birds-eye photos of the Knights logo on the football field.

The Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans were not as successful in the Chokio-Alberta Homecoming game, as they lost to neighboring rival and state-ranked Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 22-6.

CAHN still has a real shot at running the table before playoffs, and a 6-2 record would give them a #3 seed - I'd rate that as very favorable for their section.

Heart O' Lakes Conference Week 4 results:
Thief River Falls 23, East Grand Forks 14
Warroad 28, Pelican Rapids 12
Breckenridge 28, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 20
Staples-Motley 52, Roseau 14
Pequot Lakes 36, Park Rapids Area 0
Crookston 34, Perham 14

Area football results in Week 4:
Royalton 43, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 0
Browerville 27, Upsala/Swanville Area 12
Ottertail Central 35, Osakis 13 (Osakis is 1-3, OTC is 4-0)
Minneota 54, Canby 0
BOLD 35, Minnewaska Area 0 ('Waska hasn't scored since Week 1! Ouch)
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 27, Paynesville Area 6
Montevideo 21, Yellow Medicine East 0
Lac qui Parle Valley 9, Morris Area 7 (LQPV's first win since Oct 8, 2004 vs. Morris)
Mora 25, Sauk Centre 6
Albany 28, New London-Spicer 6 (NL-S's first loss since Nov. 14, 2008)
St.Cloud Cathedral 12, Foley 7
Milaca 52, Melrose Area 36

Area 9-man scores:
Bertha-Hewitt 48, Eagle Valley 20
Wheaton 50, Lincoln HI 7
Bertha-Hewitt 48, Eagle Valley 20
Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 55, Verndale 6
Underwood 61, Ashby 8
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 22, Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross 6

Mark your calendars - Governor candidates coming to Alexandria for a debate on Monday, Oct. 4

The governor candidates Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer, and Tom Horner will be debating in our area, coming up on Monday, Oct. 4 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Alexandria Technical College. The event will take place at ATC's Room 743, the Information and Technology Building.

The event is free of charge, although only the first 200 people will be admitted due to fire marshal limits on how many the room will hold.

Below, the leading candidate for my endorsement

My comments: The Tom Horner/Jim Mulder ticket is the only team in the race stressing the need for more parent involvement in our children's education. Until we stress that point, everything else is meaningless. We need a governor who will focus on the correct issues, instead of one who will cut education into oblivion or spend our state into a bottomless hole.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

USDA Biofuels Report meeting is underway at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris

Forum panelists, L to R: Ralph Groschen with the Minnesota Department of Ag, Mark Lindquist with the Minnesota DNR, Michael Sparby of Morris representing AURI, Joel Tallaksen with the WCROC in Morris, Tim Welle from the Biobusiness Alliance of Minnesota, and Andy Zurn from the CVEC ethanol plant in Benson.

Below, a couple video clips from the beginning of the meeting this morning...Mike Reese welcomes the crowd to Morris.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well this is just crazy - both the Warriors and the Knights volleyball teams lose five-game battles tonight in conference matches

A tough, tough five-game loss for the West Central Area Knights volleyball team tonight, during an exciting Homecoming match against HOL conference rival Breckenridge. They'll regroup to host Frazee (6-4) in another HOL battle Thursday at the WCA High School - come out and support your Knights this week!

Breckenridge improves to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in the HOL Conference with the win.

The other volleyball team in our coverage area, Wheaton/Herman-Norcross, dropped a Pheasant Conference match in Wheaton to Hancock - also in five games! The Warriors were up 2-1 in games before losing the final two sets. Scores were 13-25, 25-19, 25-17, 14-25, 9-15.

USDA to host Biofuels meeting in Morris on Sept. 23

The USDA Food and Agriculture Council (FAC) in Minnesota invite you to attend a USDA Biofuels Report Outreach Meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Renewable Energy Research & Demonstration Center on the grounds of the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research & Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy 329, Morris, MN 56267. On June 23rd, 2010, the USDA Energy Council published a report titled “A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting the Biofuels Goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022.” In this report, the Energy Council summarized the current biofuels production capacity of the United States and outlined the size and scope of investments necessary to ensure that by 2022 the American economy is capable of fulfilling the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standards mandate of not only producing, but also using, 36 billion gallons of renewable transportation fuel per year.

One of the purposes of this report was to spur discussions and produce feedback from concerned citizens and stakeholders. In order to capture some of that feedback, Secretary Vilsack directed Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Jonathan Coppess, current chairman of the National Food and Agriculture Council (NFAC); to leverage State FAC’s to hold outreach meetings regarding the Secretary’s Biofuels Plan.

Both W/HN and WCA will host conference volleyball clashes tonight

WHN hosts Hancock in Wheaton for a battle of Pheasant Conference unbeatens.

Over in Barrett, the West Central Area Knights volleyball team will entertain Heart O' Lakes Conference rival Breckenridge. The Cowgirls are 6-5 overall.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Congratulations to Nicole Anderson and Beau Kashmark - the 2010 West Central Area Homecoming Queen and King

Photo by Erin Rudell, WCA senior and yearbook photographer.

The two seniors were crowned at tonight's West Central Area Homecoming coronation at the high school auditorium. Look for more of Erin's photos from today's Homecoming festivities in this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune, as well as at the Tribune's Dotphoto gallery -

Wheaton/Herman-Norcross places fifth in a tough field at the Hawley Tournament over the weekend

At a very good Hawley Tournament this past weekend on Saturday, the Wheaton/Herman-Norcross Warriors volleyball team went 2-2, ultimately placing fifth.

The Warriors (9-3 overall) went 1-2 in pool play. They opened with a 2-1 loss to Frazee, then swept Park Christian, before losing in another extra-set match to state-ranked Ada-Borup in the final pool play match.

In the fifth place match, the Warriors swept the Menagha Braves for their ninth win of the season.

Herman-Norcross sports fans, pack up the car pools and head to Wheaton on Tuesday night for a very important Pheasant Conference volleyball match, as host Wheaton/Herman-Norcross will entertain a very good Hancock Owls team in a showdown between conference unbeatens. The Owls are 10-1 overall, having just won the Minnewaska Tournament on Saturday after tying Perham, sweeping Minnewaska and Ortonville, and then winning an exciting three-set match over Benson in the finals.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

18th annual West Central Area Knights Homecoming is this week

Below, a view from the WCA Homecoming Pep Fest held at the West Central Area South elementary school gymnasium in October of 2009.

Visit the Herman-Hoffman Tribune website to read all about the upcoming 2010 WCA Homecoming festivities, now in their 18th year. (Click on the link below the photo)

Could it get any better than this? Where does the "Tea Party" find these nut jobs? I feel sorry for the Republican Party, getting saddled with this

Click here to read about Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnel, a U.S. Senate candidate in Connecticut.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Both local football teams suffer defeats in Week 3 last night

In two all-western Minnesota football games on Friday night, the West Central Area Knights lost 59-0 at Breckenridge, while the Chokio-Alberta/Herman-Norcross Spartans dropped a 22-8 contest in Chokio to neighboring rival Wheaton.

Area football scores:
United North Central 14, Osakis 12
Staples-Motley 28, Warroad 12
Alexandria 27, Fergus Falls 7
Upsala-Swanville Area 47, Parkers Prairie 7
New York Mills 26, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 13 (K-M-S is 0-3)
Montevideo 26, Benson 20
BOLD 26, Yellow Medicine East 0
Pelican Rapids 20, Wadena-Deer Creek 6
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 20, Perham 6

Area 9-man scores:
Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley 66, Hancock 14
Bertha-Hewitt 36, Verndale 14
Underwood 46, Eagle Valley 16
Hillcrest Lutheran 52, Ashby 0

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mark Dayton's campaign fails to contact the Herman-Hoffman Tribune regarding his campaign stop in Alexandria today

I am very disappointed that none of Mark Dayton's staffers found time to e-mail me back or give me a call yesterday or today regarding their stop in Alexandria.

I'll continue trying to contact the Dayton campaign, to let them know that my small towns exist too.

Stay tuned.

New broadband grant program going into effect in western Minnesota

Hans Muessig with the University of Minnesota Extension Service talked about the new broadband program going into effect in western Minnesota. This was at today's Hoffman Commerce and Ag meeting at Bullfrog's Bar and Grill.

Below, a short discussion is held on ideas to draw people to town in a way of benefiting the business community. This was during the September 16, 2010 meeting of the Hoffman Commerce and Ag at Bullfrog's Bar and Grill.

Letter to the Editor

West Central Minnesota Deserves Better. It’s Time for New Representation.

There is no doubt the timing is right for new representation for West CentralM innesota. I just finished reading Torrey Westrom’s four page personal advertisement. This self-serving propaganda is quite concerning if you actually read through it. He talks about helping education, all you have to do is talk to a local educator to find out Torrey has done nothing to help education in Minnesota. In fact, along with Gov. Pawlenty, has burdened nearly every school district in Minnesota with financial hardship. He talks about helping farmers, yet I know of several families that have been negatively impacted by Torrey’s actions. It does not matter to me if there is a D or R alongside someone’s name rather what kind of a job I feel they will do representing the voters and govern in a non-bias, ethical manner. Ask yourself, really, what has Torrey done for West Central Minnesota?

This is why I believe the timing is right to give Bennett Smith, who is running for State Representative of District 11A, a chance to represent the voters of Grant, Douglas and Stevens Counties. We need someone representing us that places the voters’ interests ahead of their own self serving agenda. I have heard comments from people who fear Bennett is too young to be an effective representative. Remember he is the same age as Torrey when he was first elected. It is time for a change in our representation and I feel Bennett’s youth and energy could benefit West Central Minnesota.

I recently had an opportunity to visit with Bennett and was impressed with his knowledge of issues and sincere concern about education and property tax increases. Bennett is excited to go to work for the people of West Central Minnesota and restore integrity to the office of State Representative for District 11A.

A debate has been scheduled between Smith and Westrom for October 7 at 8pm on Prairie Public TV. I would encourage all District 11A voters to watch and decide who you feel should be our representative.

Terry Christenson Ashby, Mn

A sue-happy group of Republicans in Douglas County are a disgusting bunch

Read this story:

The story involves a political game played out recently in Douglas County in regards to the House District 11B race.

Here was the most interesting part of the story IMO: "Pexsa, who was not sued directly, and the Independence Party believe Republicans initiated the lawsuit because they wanted to remove opposition.

The suit was filed by Harlan Clark, the husband of Marlene Clark, who ran as a Republican for the District 11B seat in 2004.

Pexsa, who attended the hearing, said that one of the justices asked if the lawsuit was an attempt to remove a name on the ballot so it would favor a political party. The question went unanswered.

Kari Johnson, a spokesperson for the Independence Party, stated on the party’s website that the “action represents the most cynical form of politics.”

Interesting article in the West Central Tribune (Willmar) about drastic cuts and drastic measures at the Montevideo school district

Read the story by clicking here:

My thoughts: Losing 200 students in 10 years is not a big deal considering that is only about a 13% decline. Look at some other districts and you'll see they've gone through worse situations but haven't had to cut extra-curriculars to that level - a very extreme move. MACCRAY - almost 30% decrease in that period down to around 700. Minnewaska, losing 26% or more, down to 1,050 students. West Central Area, going from a high of 1,086 in the late 1990s down to 717 this year (a 34% decline!) .... the schools I just mentioned do not have high school science and math classes enrollments in the upper 30s. Something is not right in Montevideo! What type of raises have they been giving staff the past 2-3 years?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Make plans to attend the annual University of Minnesota-Morris Homecoming weekend October 6-10

Click here to see the link to UMM's official Homecoming page:

Come meet one of our governor candidates tomorrow (Thursday) in Alexandria

Mark Dayton will be stopping in Alexandria for a brief period of time from 5:00pm to 5:30pm on Thursday, September 16. He will be passing through town to another campaign stop in Alexandria. Dayton is shown in the photo speaking at Farmfest on August 4.

Come out to Hoffman tonight for one of the last Farmer's Markets of the season

A note from Muriel Krusemark:

I encourage you to attend the Farmer's Market on Wednesday, September 15 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Community Center in Hoffman.

The food will be hot turkey sandwiches and corn on the cob. The Grant County Humane Society will be serving. Sonny Bartells will be furnishing the music.

**Previously, the town was going to have the University of Minnesota Extension Service videoing our town, but that event has been moved to next Wednesday, Sept. 22.

With coronation on Monday night, West Central Area schools gear up for Homecoming festivities next week

by Randy O. Olson

The annual Homecoming festivities at West Central Area schools are kicked off on Monday, September 20, when the Secondary School Auditorium will host the Homecoming Coronation at 7:30pm. TV viewing will be available if the room is packed, and spectators are encouraged to arrive early for good seats.

A host of athletic events are on tap next week, with the following Knights' events at home - Tuesday A/JV/B volleyball vs. Breckenridge at 6:00 and 7/8 volleyball vs. Fergus Falls at 4:30/5:30. Thursday 7/8 football vs. Parkers Prairie at 4:30/5:30, A/JV/B volleyball vs. Frazee at 6:00, 7/8 volleyball vs. Ashby at 4:00/5:00, Varsity tennis vs. Fergus Falls at 4:30. Friday varsity football vs. Wadena-Deer Creek at 6:00, with the WCA Band Field Show at halftime. Saturday volleyball hosts a JV/B squad tournament beginning at 9:00am.

WCA Student Council advisor Donna Caneen reported about the Homecoming activities, “The week will consist of quite a bit of ‘hoopla’ with dress up days including a new favorite ‘Generation Day’ where students will either dress as a ‘baby’, a ‘young child’ or a more distinguished older person. We also will have Friday as our Spirit Day and will encourage red/black/silver for WCA colors. Also, remember to wear black to Friday’s football game to create our black out!”

Also on Friday, during last hour there will be a Cheerleader-led Pep Fest which always brings out some fantastic entertainment!

The Homecoming Dance will follow the game at the Barrett Pavilion.

It will run from 9:00 until Midnight. The cost is $5.00, but WCA seniors are reminded that their admission is free!

1940s dance at Barrett Pavilion on September 18

from Thorson Memorial Library
Thorson Memorial Library and Viking Library System are sponsoring a 1940s’ dance at the Historic Lakeside Pavilion in Barrett, Minnesota on Saturday, September 18th at 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.). The dance is free and open to the public and will feature the music of Christine Rosholt ( and her band. Ms. Rosholt performs widely throughout the state of Minnesota, charming audiences and winning awards for her two CDs.

The dance is a part of “The Greatest Generation” programming taking place at libraries throughout the state during the year. The goal of this programming is to educate Minnesotans about life during the World War II period and honor those who sacrificed during that time. For more information visit
This event is made possible by a partnership between Minnesota Regional Public Libraries and the Minnesota Historical Society. Made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.

Monday, September 13, 2010

WCA Cross Country squads both take second at Pelican Rapids today

So who's the rock star? Or who are the rock stars? They would be Kylee Fernholz and the rest of the West Central Area Knights boys/girls cross country team! Kylee led her squad with a 4th-place finish today at the Glenn Moerke Cross Country Invitational in Pelican Rapids. Kyle Toms took runner-up in the boys division. Both the WCA boys and girls squads took 2nd place out of 11 teams!

Photo by John Starner

Check out this week's Herman-Hoffman Tribune issue to read more on the meet.

Pope, Grant, and Douglas Minnesota Farmers Union units holds Tri-County meeting at Lakeside in Glenwood

The annual Tri-County Convention was held tonight at Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood.

Bruce Miller, a 1972 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Morris and current director of membership for MFU, was the keynote speaker. He is in the photo below, giving a very good explanation of Legacy Grant funding in Minnesota, which comes from the recent sales tax increase that voters approved in 2008.

Below, county convention goers talk about an idea to limit the terms of our politicians in Washington, D.C.

Below, the problem with declining enrollments and job opportunities in small towns is discussed.

A number of topics important to the success of Rural Minnesota were discussed. In the short period that I attended the meeting, the following areas of discussion were held - cutting E.P.A. funding, the size and scope of the DNR's power, the pros and cons of term limits, rural areas' aging populations, declining school enrollments, job opportunities in small towns, and Legacy Grant funding.

Max J. Beilke VA Clinic has dedication ceremony on Saturday in Alexandria

The Department of Veterans Affairs Alexandria community-based outpatient clinic held a renaming ceremony in honor of Max J. Bielke on a sunny afternoon, Sat., Sept. 11. Wonderful photo here taken by Georgene Gunderson of Kensington. More photos are on the Tribune's Facebook fan page as well as the upcoming issue of the Herman-Hoffman Tribune on September 16.

Below, Senator Amy Klobuchar speaking at the ceremony. Photo by Bennett Smith, DFL candidate for House District 11A.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

West Central Area Knights volleyball goes 1-3 at the Stacy Polzin McIntyre tournament in Morris on Saturday

Below are photos from the tournament, hosted by the University of Minnesota-Morris.

A video clip of their action against Dawson-Boyd can be found at the Herman-Hoffman Tribune videos page on the website:

WCA Knights football loses to visiting D-G-F 28-7 in an HOL battle

In their second straight home game to start the season, the West Central Area Knights football team lost to state-ranked (#8 Class AA) Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Saturday in Barrett. The Knights scored the game's first TD, but the Rebels won the game.

Coming in Week 3 for the Knights: a trip to neighboring rival Bre...ckenridge on Sept. 17. The Cowboys, who are 2-0 and will challenge for the HOL title this year, knocked off visiting Pelican Rapids 26-7 on Friday night.