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August 16, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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August 16, 2011
 

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Maas, Souza selected as 2011 Ag Animal Peer Mentors Seth Maas, son of Barb and Paul Maas of Ortonville and Hayley Souza, daughter of Kevin and Suzanne Souza of Milbank, SD will serve as Animal A g r i c u I t u r e Mentors at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair. Eight youth were selected by the Minnesota Foundation for Responsible Animal Care to Maas serve in these posti- tions. Maas and Souza, both Big Stone County 4-H Alumni, will work with Minnesota State 4-H exhibitors in all species including beef, dairy, sheep, swine, goats, poultry, rabbits and lama. Peer mentqrs willstrenthen and support exhibitor-fair oer interaction to send to the public an accurate pos- itive message that 4-H families and their families pro- duce wholesome food and care for their animals and the environment. Their duties and resposibilities will include conducting workshops for 4-H herdsmen in all species to build Souza skills and commu- nicate the following key messages to consumers: • Description of their family and their family farm. • Description of their exhibit and showing experience. • Reinforcement that their animal is raised for food and fiber and not as a pet. • Reinforcement that the food pro- duced by this animal is nutritious and safe. • Clear Communication that the animal has been cared for using best management practices. • Assure consumers that animals are raised using different approved production methods, but the final products are indistinguishable from one another in regard to wholesome- ness, food safety and nutritional value. • Monitor and encourage exhibitor conversations with fair goers. • Evaluate 4-H consumer educa- tion and promotion activities in each specie. The 2011 Minnesota State Fair livestock encampment is from Aug. 24-28 in St. Paul. USDA gives notice to Native American farmers, ranchers If you are a Native American farmer or rancher and you believe that the United States Department of Agricul- ture (USDA) improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time pe- riods between 1981 and 1999 because of your race, you may be eligible to re- ceive benefits from a $760 million class action discrimination settlement. You may be eligible to receive benefits if: • Farmed or ranched or attempted to farm or ranch between Jan. 1, 1981 and Nov. 24, 1999. • Tried to get a farm loan or loan servicing from USDA during that pe- riod. • Complained about discrimination to USDA either by your own or through a representative during the time period. You are not eligible for this Settle- ment if you filed a claim, or intended to file a claim, in other USDA discrim- ination case like Black farmers, His- panic farmers and Women farmers. Because of a law passed by Congress, you are also not eligible for this Settle- ment if you either: • Experience discrimination only between Jan. 1 and Nov. 23, 1997; or • Complained of discrimination only between July 1 and Nov. 23, 1997. There are two payment tracks for discrimination claims. Track A pro- vides a payment up to $50,000 for dis- crimination claim plus an additional 25 percent paid to the IRS to reduce any mcome tax you may owe. A Track B - clement can get the amount of actual damages up to $250,000. Track B re- quires more proof for alleged discrim- inations than Track A. The Farm Service Agency wants all Native American producers in Min- nesota who may be eligible to be aware of this claims process so they can come forward and participate in these processes. Native American farmers and ranchers that have alleged dis- crimination against USDA will need to file a claim by Dec. 27, 2011 to get benefits. After the Court approves the Settlement, meetings will be held across the country to help Class Mem- bers file claims. You can register to receive for a Claims Package at the website: www.indianFarmClass.com or by call- ing the toll-free number:l- 888-233- 5506. MN High School students continue to make small gains Science MCA-II online assessment results released by the Minnesota De- partment of Education (MDE) show that student scores in science remained relatively flat compared to last year's results. "The 2011 Science MCA-II results, like the NAEP scores and others we've seen over the past few months, rein- force our need to approach science and math education with a sense of ur- gency," Minnesota Education Com- missioner Brenda Cassellius said. "While we see some slight gains among some groups of students, they are not enough to ensure all of our kids will be able to compete in a global economy." On the 2011 online Science MCA- II: • About 54 percent of high school students were proficient, reflecting a consistent increase in the percentage of proficient scores each year since 2008. • About 45 percent of eighth-grade students were proficient, representing a slight decline from 2010. • The percentage of fifth-graders who were proficient remained consis- tent with 2010. This spring, a total of 179,219 stu- dents in grades five, eight and high school took the Science MCA-II, which measures student performance on Minnesota's Academic Standards. The science standards define what stu- dents should know and be able to do in a particular grade and are developed in partnership with Minnesota educators. According to Commissioner Cas- sellius, the mixed results may be a re- flection of the transition from teaching the 2003 academic standards to teach- ing the new standards implemented in 2009. 2011 is the last year of adminis- tration of the Science MCA-II assess- ments based on the 2003 academic standards. The 2012 Science MCA-III assessments will be based on the 2009 academic standards. As with other assessment results re- leased this year, Cassellius noted the disparities in academic performance among various groups of students. She cited resources such as the STEM ini- tiatives and Science/Math Teacher Academies as examples of best prac- rice efforts that can be used more broadly to improve science instruction and overall student achievement. "We continue to see a persistent dis- parity in achievement between students ofcolor, students in poverty :and their ' white counterparts," Cassellius said. "This achievement gap reflects Min- nesota's urgent need to focus time, at- tention and resources to making sure all children achieve at high levels." Currently, results from the science assessment do not impact Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Proficiency. Reading and Math MCA-II scores, which are used to calculate AYP under the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), will be released in mid to late September. Earlier this week, Gover- nor Dayton directed Commissioner Cassellius to apply for a federal waiver from some NCLB requirements in order to allow Minnesota to focus on locally developed reform and improve- ment efforts, without the sanctions that come from the federal mandates. Visit the Minnesota Department of Educa- tion website at www.education.state.mn.us. : ......... " .................. 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe LT - $24,900 Heated Leather, 50,000 miles 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS - $12,900 Heated Leather, Sun Roof, 47,000 miles Check out all of our cars on our new website: www.proautosalesandservice.com PRO AUTO Kevin Backstrand Ortonville, MN 320-839-7197 or 320-839-2911 Local Meander artists display work The Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl is just around the comer. The Meander takes place Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and 2. Art studios from Ortonville to Granite Falls will be open all week- end for people to travel from one town to another taking in all types of art. Local artists are displaying a sam- pling of art at CenBank in Ortonville. The art will be on display for the entire month of August during regular banking hours. The public is invited to CenBank to see what the local artists have been busy with all winter. OHS Alumni to vote on merging with A+ Fdn. The Ortonville Alumni Association will be having its annual meeting Cornfest weekend, Saturday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Ortonville Public Library Media Center. Please note the change of date and place. PurpoSe of this meeting will be to consider and take action on business matters of the organization including a proposal to merge the Alumni Association with the Ortonville School A+ Foundation. All Ortonville Alumni whose memberships are paid can vote on this proposal. The Ortonville Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2011 Alumni Scholarship recipi- ents of $1000 each; Stephanie Schumacher and Jonah Thune. These Scholarships have been funded by the Ortonville Alumni Association mem- bership dues. (ADV) Senior citizens club news The Ortonville Area Senior Citizens Club will be hosting a luncheon for the residents of the Clinton Care Center on Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m., with a musical presentation fo!lowing. The Club will conduct their regular monthly meeting on this occasion. Area Seniors are welcome in this organization. Hoium recipient of Trustees Scholarship Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD is pleased to announce that Haley Hoium of Marietta, a graduate of Lac qui Parle Valley High School, is the recipient of a Trustees Scholarship. This award is based on Haley's outstanding academic record and performance in the Distinguished Scholars Competition. MAKING ITS WAY,ALONG HIGHWAY 12 last Thursday, Aug. 11 was the Pterovelo. The all-weather human powered vehicle or veiomobile passed through Ortonville on its wa X to Benson for their official stop along the route. The Pterovelo will end its jurney in Washington, DC on Aug. 24. Family Living Focus Home Safety Tips You feel sale and secure with your loved one watching television close by in the next room. On a daily basis, you meticulously monitor their diet, hygiene and warnings on their over-the-counter and prescription medication. Nothing has been left to chance but what about making your home safe from injuries? Hidden dangers in the home can cause your loved one to have a terrible fall but they can be avoided. According to the Brain Injury Association, 60 percent of fatal falls occur in the home and one out of every three seniors fall at least once. The statistic is high but prevention is attainable with some simple modifications and performing a home safety check. The home safety check should consist of the following questions: • Is the lighting near stairways, hallways and doorways adequate? • Are the light switches easy to turn on and off?. • Is there a telephone and lamp on the nightstand? • Is there a night light in the bathroom? • Is all clutter picked up off the floor, especially around pathways? • Are there any broken floorboards, tears in the linoleum, carpet or abrupt changes in the flooring, such as thresholds that could cause tripping? • Is there a tub or shower seat in the bathroom area? ,,Are there sturdy grab bars where falls most frequently occur: by stairs, by the bathtub or by the toilet? ,,Are throw rags secured to the floor? • Does the bathroom/shower have non-skid flooring? After the safety check is complete, it is time to evaluate what changes need to be made to ensure the safety of your loved one but, just be sure to follow through on making the necessary adjustments. Grip bars are especially useful in preventing slip and falls and you can place them almost anywhere. Some don't even require wall mounting and are very sturdy. A grip bar can help your loved one get out of bed, sit down in a chair or get out of the shower. It acts as a point of balance and support. Unlit areas can cause potentially hazardous situations. Because of the age-related changes in vision, more lighting is needed to do familiar tasks. It also takes longer for the eyes to focus when there are changes in lighting. Even changing the strength of a light bulb can improve on safety in the home. There are also voice-activated light switches that can even activate fans and radios. Additional safety tools include a personal paging system and personal I emergency response system. The personal paging system is a small portable pager useful within the home l to alert a caregiver or family member when they are needed. A personal emergency response; system is a 24 hour monitoring center- that is contacted when your loved one. who wears a special bracelet or pendant equipped with an emergency button? activates it. The cost of these home modifications is moderate and the tools are very effective in preventing home" injuries. Therefore, the investment is an investment in safety. Information adapted from article by l Jennifer Buckley in the 11/12/10 Caregiver Weekly. If you would like more information on "Home Safety Tips" feel free to  contact Gail Gilman-Waldner, Program Development and Coordination-il Minnesota River Area Agency on Agingฎ, Inc. and Professor Emeritus- University of Minnesota at 507-389- 8869 or e-mail Gail at" www.ggwaldner@rndc.org. Additional resources are available by contacting the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333- 2433 or visiting the MinnesotaHelp.Infoฎ website at www.MinnesotaHelp.Infoฎ. \\; Be sure to stop by our booth at Lakeside Park during NFE Aug. 19, 20 & 21, 2011 and let us help you "Show Your Pride!" ฅ info@ProlmagePartners, com PRO IlVIA GE PARTNERS 47 NW 2nO St., Suite #3 • Ortonvlll MN 56278 Phone: 320-839-2542 Fax'. 888.669.1736 ! www. ProlmagePartners. corn Page 2 00INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Aug. 16,2011