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: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/MN29.html

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 www.cfra.org). 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 K-M-S...it'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"...it 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.