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Question: Hello, I thought I heard something just the other day about traffic deaths on the rise and that the Minnesota State Patrol is hiring. Can you get me more information on this? Thank you.

In fiscal year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30, the U.S. government set some impressive new records.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. The idea of dressing up as a superhero, monster, celebrity or anything else you can think of has always excited me. As much as I want to show up to work looking like Chewbacca on a regular basis, it would be greatly frowned upon and I might have to t…

After months of preparation and two days of staging vehicles, we set out on a Wednesday morning to start our Kek hike in glorious, cool, sunny weather. After hiking all summer in the heat, humidity, and bugs of central Minnesota, this was a very welcome relief. Our first day was the most amb…

One of the lasting legacies of President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, who left office in 1961, was construction of the interstate highway system.

I’ve written about ghosts before but I watched “The Mothman Prophecies” (2002) so now I’m thinking about cryptids. You probably know about some of the more common cryptids like Bigfoot, the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, but there’s a whole world of legendary creatures out there like the Mo…

Petunia, as we all know, hates bugs of any stripe. Last week she went into a panic when she got bites in the house on her ankles. Bugs in her house, horrors!  She promptly grabbed the phone to call a pest control service. They have a pulsating green light that attracts the fleas telling you …

Question: Is there a law against putting signs along the roadway for graduation parties, political candidates and advertising? 



Fall is a great time to be on the water!  The weather is often pleasant, the lakes usually aren’t crowded and the fish bite.  When chasing walleyes, fall anglers often head to the lake armed with a supply of minnows, jigs and live bait rigs and “go to work.” And, for good reason, as jigging …

We were getting ready to take off. With the wind beneath our wings, it was a magnificent flight. The view was spectacular and weather conditions favorable for such a time as this. It was smooth sailing … until … it came to the landing.

This essay will take us back 60 years. I was a 24-year-old rookie teacher, fresh out of Bemidji State, hired by Bound Brook High School in New Jersey to teach English, speech and drama. Talk about a challenge — a Minnesota farm boy teaching Shakespeare in a town only 35 miles from New York City. 

Humanities is the study of human beings and their culture related to spirituality, creativity and expression. Within an educational model, this would include classes in art, music, literature, religious studies, history, philosophy and more. In recent years, public school systems and postsec…

The music hits, the lights start flashing and in sprints your favorite professional wrestler to take down the heels. He or she jumps into the rings and starts throwing haymakers and clotheslines and soon the ring is cleared and they stand victorious. In the 1980s, professional wrestling was …

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The Kekekabic Trail (Kek) is a 40-mile trail that goes between Snowbank Lake east of Ely to the Gunflint Trail northwest of Grand Marais. Most of it is within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) so it requires a permit for overnight hiking. I am not a backpacker so the Kek was n…

Right now, some of our flower gardens are driving the Martha types a bit up the wall. They see flowered out perennials, plats with downy mildew, leaves going brown and the garden full of windblown leaves. They can hardly wait for a hard frost to cut the whole mess down. Then there is the lai…

Tuesday, Nov. 3 is coming fast, perhaps you can see by all the political ads on TV, radio and in the Daily Journal that your votes are wanted and definitely needed. Nationally and locally there are many races to be decided. Obviously I don’t have room in this column to list all the political…

There is widespread concern that President Trump won’t leave office if he loses the election. This angst is understandable. Trump has, after all, refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

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If anyone suggested to my mom that it would be fun to go to a cabin in the woods where there was no running water, no electricity, and (figure it out) no bathroom … she would flat out declare that she lived without electricity and running water as a child and why would anyone in their right …

Today was a rough day for my daughter. One that may seem meaningless in the future, but was the world to her today — she lost her bow.I know that this seems silly to bring up in a column, but it got me to thinking, what are some of the things that I lost in childhood that seemed important at…

There was once a young hunter who lucked into acquiring a very good dog many years ago. He knew what pheasants were and which kind were legal to shoot but not much more. Like the young woman he  married two months before, this was a gift he did not really deserve.

The saying “you are what you eat” applies to pets in the same way it does for humans. It’s a simple fact. Better quality foods, made with better quality ingredients, provide a better quality of life for the dogs and cats in our lives. Studies consistently prove that when a dog is fed high qu…

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In “North Country” few outings are so fair as on a warm day in late September and early October. One season is ending and another is beginning.  The North Woods are expressing their grandeur and draw people to view spectacular colored maples, oak, birch, and aspens.  Paired with that and she…

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This October, communities, allies, and individuals across the nation will once again come together to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). While the destruction domestic violence causes on individuals, families, and communities is infinite, so is the positive impact of those w…

This summer I was provided a wonderful opportunity to complete a 100-hour internship with Daily Journal Media through Minnesota Newspaper Association’s internship program. I began my journey on Aug. 3, and wrapped it up Oct. 5.

When I first heard that line, I thought it was about the dumbest thing I’d ever heard. After all, who doesn’t have expectations in their lives and isn’t it a good thing? Let’s find out.

Before the first Trump-Biden debate, moderator Chris Wallace listed the six subjects that would be covered:

With Phase 4 of reopening after being closed for Covid-19 comes extended hours. Now Monday through Thursday the YMCA is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday’s hours are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday’s from 7 a.m. to noon. Also, the Y is no longer closed from 1 to 2 p.m. as more staff have been hi…

Last Thursday evening marked the third and final Otter Tail County Community Debate. This one featured Otter Tail County commissioner District 1, 3 and 5. During the debate each candidate appeared to have similar views when asked about spending, budget shortfalls, child care, jobs and infras…

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Remember the movie Trading Places, when the rich guy and the homeless guy switch places, and the rich guy turns to crime, and the poor guy becomes a successful business executive?

Gardening keeps you young, but gardeners do get older. Petunia has an aunt who is still gardening at 90. While 90 is the new 70, it is still not 30. Since Aunt Dotty wanted to continue gardening, Petunia and Bunkey decided to make gardening easier for her.

I’ve been reading “V for Vendetta” this month and almost finished with it. It’s something I probably should have read a long time ago but I’m glad I finally got to it because it’s much better than I was expecting.

I grew up on the 900 block of West Cavour Avenue. John Runningen, currently a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, grew up on the 1000 block of West Summit Avenue, the street just north of Cavour Avenue.

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With the prevalence of COVID and the various educational options available to families these days, I find myself the grandparent of nine homeschooling children, 14 if you include toddlers and preschoolers who are continually underfoot.  Needless to say, I have plenty of fodder for education …

In the previous 90 essays I’ve written for the Daily Journal, I’ve stayed off politics. Why? I figured you hear enough of that on TV. But after watching the first presidential debate, I just had to speak out. President Donald Trump’s behavior on the debate stage, his snide remarks, his failu…

Shall we talk? This isn’t exactly a two way conversation, I realize that. I’m talking, so to speak, and you’re listening. At least you’re trying to figure out what it is I’m saying on any given topic. And by the way … thank you for that.

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Recently, a partner and I fished a bass tournament on the Le Homme Dieu Chain of Lakes in Alexandria.  This was my first bass tournament in several years and, even though I’ve been an avid bass angler for more than two decades, it once again served as a good reminder that every fishing trip …

Ferber Park is full of surprises. City parks are normally tame ordinary affairs. They feature comfortable green benches positioned to give tranquil views of local natural wonders. Curved walking paths, manicured green lawns, peaceful lake views, and impressive historical statues are the norm…

Last Thursday’s Otter Tail Community Debate featured candidates for Fergus Falls City Council seats Ward 2 and Ward 3 and the Fergus Falls mayoral seat as well. It was a two hour event and from my perspective was interesting to say the least. Just like the previous week’s debate, I personall…

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As Minnesota farm organizations that are active in advocating for farm policy, we are often asked questions by our members and other farmers about candidates running for public office.  Especially in these difficult times of economic stress on the farm, farmers want to know which candidates …

If COVID-19 has provided anything over the last six months, it has been the time resources to completely explore the options available on television.

Libraries remain a reliable source for finding information, resources and materials, as well as for accessing computers, the internet, and meeting space even during the most complicated times. The Fergus Falls Public Library staff has redesigned services, service delivery, and building layou…

Now is the time to plant flowering bulbs for a burst of color early next spring. Those bright colors are so welcome after a long colorless winter. Tulips have a pointed end. That’s up. With some of the minor bulbs, it’s hard to tell which way to plant them. If you can’t tell, plant them on t…

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was getting through some of Oscar Wilde’s works and since then I’ve finished his plays, “Salome,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” “A Woman of No Importance” and “An Ideal Husband.” With the exception of “Salome,” I’ve found almost all…

It being apple season, my deep freeze is full of tasty fruit slices set aside for future crisps and pies. There is apple butter on the shelves for winter and a bag full of apples in the fridge waiting for inspiration on my part, they will probably become baked apples, but who knows? 

When my brother and I were kids we used to pretend we were our dad while he was up North hunting deer. His party would head for a town called Kelliher and stay in an old city bus they had remodeled. 

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It was so refreshing to see Cindy McCain endorse Joe Biden this week; while later I became very disappointed by Sen. Mitt Romney for supporting Donald Trump on the Supreme Court bombardment, because it will mean his cherished anti-choice position might have a chance if they get just one more…

For such a time as this we are born … your time, my time, his time … our time. For a purpose and a plan we are created, and Tato was no exception. Orest, who is married to my first cousin, continues telling the story of his father, Tato. It is with permission that I complete the story.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg was perhaps the most consequential attorney in American history. As an advocate, she transformed the landscape for women's rights. And, as a Justice on the Supreme Court, she authored numerous groundbreaking opinions.