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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
April 23, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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April 23, 2002

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Area news digest WINTHROP-Students and staff were safely evacuated from GFW High School at approximately 9:10 a.m. on April 9 after a note was discovered on the floor of a classroom indicating there was a bomb in the building. Students and staff were sent to safe locations off campus in Winthrop while the Winthrop Police Department was called to the school and helped evacuate homes and businesses in the area. Sibley County Law Enforcement Personnel and the Winthrop Police Department conducted a search of the school and did not find a bomb. The investigation determiried that the bomb threat was a hoax and the building declared safe. The students and staff returned to the school around noon. A freshman female student is a suspect in the case and according to Winthrop Police Chief Bruce Froehlich, a juvenile was taken into custody and reports have been turned over to the Sibley County Attorney's office for criminal prosecution. The student made her initial court appearances last week. APPLETON-Three individuals - two from the Metro area - have been charged with offenses from liability for crimes of another, terroristic threats, interference with an emergency call, disorderly conduct, trespass and open bottle. Named in the complaints were Benjamin Louis Sorenson, 18 of Elko, Marcell DeMar Blackwell, 19 of Burnesville and Tami Lynn Torgerson, 19 of Appleton. The complaints result from an incident on March 2 at a residence on West Reuss Avenue filed by Officer Anthony Fauglid for the City of Appleton. According to the complaint at approximately 10:47 a.m,, the Swift County Sheriff's Department received a complaint of parties using a knife against the reporting party, Susan Wederath. Wederath was calling from another residence. BENSON-The Benson Christian School has been recognized by the Accelerated Christian Education International Corporate Offices for exemplary achievement in the quality of student attainment. Accelerated Christian Education provides curriculum and materials for an international network of over 7,000 schools in 130 countries. Outstanding examples of academic performance in local schools are recognized annually for their excellence in educational leadership. The students in Benson Christian School exceeded the required one-year academic achievement, while maintaining a high grade-point average of 94.44 percent. DAWSON-A fire marshall inspection of the Dawson-Boyd Schools has resulted in citaticms that the school has been addressing. During the school board meeting held April 8, Superintendent Brad Madsen reviewed the citations with the board members. The marshall noted wood wedges that hold open doors are not allowed, the three prong extension cords, locked doors, desks in the hallways, cords in the Memorial Auditorium that are on the floor and the log cabin located in the elementary school library. There was also a need for sprinklers in the Commons and some hallways. The administration is working with Terry Litke of the maintenance staff to address the issues. The school has 90 days to respond to the citations. Extension report John Cunningham County Extension Educator 839-2518 or 1-800-279-2518 A NEW "COMMODITY AGRICULTURE" COULD BE PROFITABLE FOR FARMERS intended to "add value." What's going on here? A "commodity" is usually thought of as a common farm product that is in plentiful supply. In other words, it's what the majority of" rers produce. Have you ever heard a farmer say, • So if we allow ourselves to think that "You can't make money owin  commodities can't make money, then corn. It s• 0°iily" a' c6mmdity? " we have a big problem. We are saying Likewise, milk, soybeans and wheat that most farmers can't make money are "only commodities." I guess I'm getting old, because I can remember farmers laboring under the oldfashion6d notion that they should make their living producing the food we all need to live, Now all that seems to have gone out the window in favor of new-age strategies from farming. I don't like the sound of that. The idea that most farmers can't make money from farming is certainly out there these days. It's why we plan farm program payments years in advance. That same way of thinking has farmers across the country dreaming up ways to make money from non-farm businesses that add value to their farm products. It's as if airline pilots had suddenly given up on making money flying planes, and started selling peanuts to the passengers. Airline pilots, of course, don't sell peanuts. They don't say they "only fly planes." And they don't corn each other to see who can work cheapest. Instead, they work together as a union to make sure that a fair share of airline profits comes their way. Farmers, on the other hand, seek prosperity by competing with each other. As long as farmers do this, the results are predictable. If dairy farmers produce milk, it is "only a commodity." If they process that milk into cheese, it's still "onlv a commodity." If corn farmers produce ethanol, that, like the corn it was made from, remains "only a commodity." And, if. soybean farmers get more involved in the biodiesel business, it is only a matter of time before that, too, is "only a commodity." What's the problem? Mergers and acquisitions have led to less competition, more market power and more profits in many non-farm sectors of the food system. As this happens, farmers question whether they can ever make money farming, and so they naturally look elsewhere in the food system to make money. But when they do that, two things happen. First, they run head-on into some of the world's largest corporations and try to beat them at their own game. Second, they don't focus on what they are the best in the world at: farming. When farmers move into other businesses, they take their competitive attitude with them. That attitude, not what they were producing, caused their farming problems. It will just as surely cause problems in their value- added ventures. Without market power, farmers can add value, but they cannot keep that value for themselves. Here's my definition of a present- day commodity: It is any product produced by large numbers of farmers competing' with each other. The way to restore value to those products, and income to those who produce them, is by ending that competition. What will a post-commodity agriculture look like? My guess is that it will still feature plenty of milk, corn, wheat and soybeans. But those vital food products won't be produced by farmers desperately trying to undercut each other. Instead, they will be produced by farmers working together to build the market power so essential for maintaining profits in today's food system. This material ifrom a speech made by Richard Levins at a recent meeting in Henning, MN, sponsored by the National Farmers Organization. Levins is an agricultural economist with the University oP'Minnesota Extension Service. He can be reached at or by phone at (612) 625-5238. Save this paper for recycling Mn/DOT unveils new technology to warn motorists .of delays Minnesota's Department of Transportation may have found a way to provide advanced warning of traffic delays to motorists; the Mobile Traffic Monitoring System. The MTMS provides motorists with real-time speed and traffic delay information before they enter a high- way work zone. Roadway detectors measuring vol- umes and speeds coupled with changeable message signs provide the warning messages to motorists. "Providing up-to-the-minute infor- mation to the traveling public should improve safety, because they are pre- pared for what .is ahead and gives the drivers options to slow down and/or look for alternative routes," says Craig Mittelstadt, Mn/DOT Office of Construction and Contract Administration• Mn/DOT is a national leader in the implementation of this new technolo- gY. Mn/DOT will demonstrate the MTMS at this year's Minnesota Spring Maintenance Expo at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, at the St.Cloud Civic Center. The Spring Maintenance Expo will be held Wednesday, April 24, and Thursday, April 25, at the St. Cloud Civic Center located at 10 Fourth Avenue South. Both sessions will begin at 9 a.m. The two day event will focus on township, city, county and state spring and summer roadway maintenance issues, including the latest practices and technology in maintenance opera- tions in Minnesota. Each day the Maintenance Expo gathers approximately 500 statewide maintenance staff, representing cities, counties, townships and state, who attend workshops on maintenance- related issues. Some topics include "Prevention Maintenance Program and Treatment Cost," "Native Grasses: An Erosion Control Solution," "Landscape Investment Protection" and "Hot Weather Safety Tips." A hands-on demonstration and out- door exhibit of equipment, products and services will be held in addition to the workshops. The demo will be held at the Minnesota Safety Center off Highway 10, South of St. Cloud. TION ALL LADY GOL There will be an organizational meeting of the Ortonville Ladies' Golfing Association at The Matador on Thursday, April 25th The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. €, in north room of The Matador Supper Club. Committees will be finalized, dues for the year will be discussed and information will be given about this year's team play, which basically will be the same as last year. We hope you can make it to the meeting! Those who wish may order the menu. i s00hore the' comfort Corn 20 YEARS OF HOSPICE CARE IN 2002 "Volunteers... at the Heart" t is not uncommon to hear that volunteers are "the heart of hospice," as they share of themselves with terminally ill patients and their families. Volunteers are considered an inte- gral part of the Rice Hospice team, this past year donating more than 13,000 hours and driving almost 92,000 miles in their volunteer work. Rice Hospice volunteers are invaluable to the program as they spend time with patients and families in their homes, nursing homes, and hospitals as well as continuing to support the families through the bereavement program after their loved one has died. Hospice office volunteers "Volunteers are considered an integral part of the Rice Hospice team, this past year donating more than 13,000 hours and driving almost 92,000 miles in their volunteer work." provide support to the program through general office work, computer data entry, and completion of special projects. In addition, the Rice Hospice program benefits immeasurably from the giving hearts and the caring and compassionate spirits brought by the more than 200 active volunteers. Rice Hospice celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, and Carol Benson of Kandiyohi has been involved as a volunteer from the earliest years, taking the 16-hour hospice training in 1983. Carol became involved through a news- paper article and a general feeling that it was something she was supposed to do. She contin- ues to be involved with Rice Hospice each week through her office work and patient and bereavement support, fulfilling her hope of being able to help other people in some way. Carol says, "I feel my time volunteering with hosPice is time well spent." ....... 11 Hartzeil, Benson, has been arut;,e hospice volunteer since 1987 when she tqok e volunteer training because she something she would enjo3 ciates the camaraderie among volunteers and finds the hospice team work making a positive lives of both patients and program has matured through the) has noted a real fine-tuning in medications and pain enhancing the care and adding to the patients. Donna Thompson from the says• "I had seen so much cancer itlll and I knew there had to be better it." This prompted her to corn training when it was offered in mid-1980's. Donna feels that volunteer work has filled a gap in has been available to visit both bereaved, and she continues because of the many worthwhile this volunteer work brings. remembers being able to facilitate a between a mother and her dying on the hospice program, the feeling of knowing that her made a difference. "Hospice volunteers are their friendsMp and families and 'be there' at a difficult Hospice volunteers are kno w: friendship to hospice patients and their willingness to "be there" at time. Whether it means offering a • running an errand, sitting at in music, or reminiscing" with a hosplc˘ vo!l[!teers are at the heart team. The Grief Center and Rice Hospice Offer Fifth Free Bereavement Camp for ice Hospice and the Grief Center at Rice Hospital will be hosting "Camp G.K. Bear" in July and August in Paynesville, Willmar and Montevideo. This is a one-day camp for children who have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives. Camp G. K. Bnr is centd around four main themes: (1) the life/death cycle; (2) feelings; (3) memories; and (4) change and moving forward. "We have seen an:increasing need for a camp like this in this area. Children are often overlooked in the grieving process. We have structured the camps to accommodate the needs of children in our area. The camps will be held in Willmar, Montevideo and Paynesville." said Betty Shepperd, Rice Hospice direc- tor. "The program will be the same in each location. We've designed the camp to provide one day of bereave- ment support and education to Camp G. K. The camp staff includes: Grief Center and Rice Hospice staff, with special assistance from Rice HospiCe There is no children, grades K-6." available for According to David Rivers, have experience d#e Grief Center coordinator, loved one. "Our goal is to help the by The York children understand the Foundation and the grief process and to teach them the skills necessary to For additional help them heal. And, of please call D a course, we'll make sure that the at the Grief children also participate in (320) 231-4714. recreational and other fun activities." for Datnon Montevideo Appon Mun˘ Hosp ,Johnso, Memor Hemt Chippewa Coumy Montevmo & Nm Home Services HnaJ Benson Granite Falls Orlonvtlle/6racevtlle SwfltCountyUemo, Granr-aunicHosp OdoUeaServk &Manor Page 2b  INDEPENDENT TuesY'