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August 24, 2010     The Ortonville Independent
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August 24, 2010
 

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Twelve road deaths in six days A statewide increased seat belt en- forcement campaign starts Friday fol- lowing a deadly start to October-at least 12 traffic deaths in the first six days. The deaths included eight vehi- cle occupants of which only three were buckled up. The increased enforcement runs through Oct. 28. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Of- fice of Traffic Safety is coordinating the effort. The wave of early October fatalities was capped by a rollover crash in Fri- dley on Tuesday night in which four unbelted vehicle occupants were ejected-resulting in one death and two critical injuries. "This crash is the perfect example of why 400-plus people are killed on Minnesota roads annually-aggressive driving, possible alcohol use, and of course, no seat belts," says Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol. "Despite all the mistakes that led to this crash, seat belts could have made a difference. The aim of this enforcement effort is to encourage belt use to prevent these tragedies." Around 400 Minnesota law en- forcement agencies will conduct seat belt patrols Half of the enforcement will take place during nighttime and overnight hours, as each year 70 per- cent of motorists killed during 9 p.m.- 3 a.m. are not belted. DPS reports 75 percent of drinking drivers killed crashes are also not belted. Officers will enforce the state's pri- mary seat belt law, which allows law enforcement to stop and ticket mo- torists or passengers solely for belt vi- olations. A seat belt fine is $'25 but will cost more than $100 with court and ad- ministrative fees. The campaign also will include enforcement of Min- nesota's strengthened child passenger safety law that requires children to be in the correct restraint until they are age eight or four feet nine inches tall, whichever comes first. This law re- quires booster seats for children usu- ally starting after turning age four; boosters help adult seat belts fit chil- dren correctly. Each year, unbelted motorists ac- count for more than one-half of all ve- hicle occupants killed. In Minnesota during 2007-2009, more than 1,000 motorists were killed in crashes and only 43 percent were belted. Annually, nearly 80 percent of unbelted traffic deaths occur on Greater Minnesota roads. DPS officials are spotlighting the re- cent rash of deaths to remind Min- nesotans that during a rollover crash, unbelted motorists are usually ejected from the vehicle, often crashing through a window and then being crushed by the vehicle. During a crash, unbelted motorists also will slam into and injure others in the vehicle. In less severe crashes, those not buckled up will crack out teeth or break noses on the steering wheel. DPS reports odds are six-times greater for injury if a mo- torist is not buckled up. "It is so important to speak up and insist everybody is buckled up," says Cheri Marti, DPS Office of Traffic Safety director. "In many cases, people simply need to be reminded to belt up -staying safe on the road requires friends and family looking out for each other." Marti adds that motorists must wear seat belts correctly: belts should be low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back. The seat belt enforcement is a com- ponent of the state's core traffic safety initiative, Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes -- ed- ucation, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response. The goal of the program is 400 or fewer deaths by the end of 2010. To-date, there have been 319 traffic deaths in Minnesota compared to 320 deaths at this time in 2009. Future is no longer murky for U film "Troubled Waters PP The future of the documentary film "Troubled Waters" is no longer murky. After drawing public criticism this week for canceling the film's screening based on questions of science and bal- ance, the University of Minnesota abruptly announced late yesterday that the film will be shown as originally scheduled on Sunday, Oct. 3. The Land Stewardship Project was part of a coalition of more than a dozen Minnesota farm and environmental groups that urged the university presi- dent to release the film. Brian DeVote with the LSP explains. "This is really great news, and it's a sign that the public outcry over this was finally heard by the university. But, it is also an indication that science was never one of the reasons that the movie was pulled." DeVore says LSP will continue to push for a full investigation into the matter. Two thirds of the film's funding came from the Environmental Re- sources Trust Fund, and was approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2008. Susan Thornton is with the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Re- sources, the agency that made the orig- inal funding recommendation. She says the film was well-done, fair and scien- tifically accurate. "In looking at the final product, it definitely meets the appropriation law as was passed, and then also the pro- posed scope of work that was presented to the commission before the funding was actually made available." She adds since a majority of the film has been paid for by public dollars, she's happy the university is making it public again. The film addresses urban and agri- cultural land uses within the Missis- sippi Water Shed, how those practices impact water quality from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and, according to Thorton, presents some innovative techniques for preserving water qual- ity. "So, the attempt is not only to lay out some of the issues there for discus- sion, but also a starting point on some of the solutions that are being imple- mented." Arlene Nelson was interviewed for the film because of the trouble she ex- perienced with nitrogen pollution on her southern Minnesota dairy farm. Her family had to dig over 500 feet into the ground to access fresh water. Nel- son and says she doesn't understand the controversy about the film. "Show the film. Let's review it, and then let the public share what they feel about it. It's only fair." Nelson looks forward to seeing the film, and learning more about what other farmers and scientists are doing to address the same problems she has faced. OHS JUNIOR BONNIE STOLPMAN, pictured second from the left, was elected Region 8 Business Professionals of America (BPA) President at the Regional Fall meeting in Granite Falls. Bonnie is the daughter of John and Sue Stolpman of Bellingham. Extension news I I Isolated flooded soybeans when harvesting Ag News Wire By Seth Naeve and Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota Extension Heavy rain fell across much southern Minnesota on Sept. 22 and 23 and left large areas of corn and soybean fields submerged. Flood waters covered perhaps 100,000 acres for several hours as rain water moved from fields into creeks and rivers. Longer term flooding of fields affected tens of thousands of acres of cropland. Many factors will affect the quality of the corn and soybean crops following standing water. These include, but are not limited to: duration of the flooding, crop stage or maturity, depth of the water, movement of the water, and air and water temperatures. Fortunately, late- season rain events of this magnitude are relatively rare. Unfortunately, there is virtually no data to help us estimate crop losses and conditions of corn and soybean crops. Flood waters are thought to affect soybeans more than corn, and will therefore be our focus. Potential flooding damage to soybean includes stem breakage and lodging, moisture-swelled seeds that can lead to pod splitting, seeds spouting or rotting, and contamination with mud. Short-duration flooding is gentler on the crop than floods that last several days or more, but one can be sure that flooding of any duration on any soybean field in late September will damage the crop to some extent. Anecdotal information from flooding occurring in Mississippi in 2009 indicates that soybean fields that have reached full maturity (R8) at the time of flooding were found to have less damage than fields that were not yet fully mature (less than R7), So far, we have noted little loss from fields that were at R8 at the time of flooding and where ponded water receded in a few days. Significant lodging and loss is present where heavy stream flooding occurred. The only management considerations that are open to producers at this very late date may be harvest timing and logistics. Rather than waiting for wet spots to dry, harvesting the non-flooded portions of fields first will speed harvest, minimize wear and tear on equipment and keep water-damaged soybeans separated from good quality grain. Farmers should harvest and store soybeans from flooded areas separately from areas that were not flooded. Because damage levels are difficult to estimate and thresholds and allowances provided by grain elevators are unknown, it is critical that producers not mix damaged soybeans with clean ones. Do not be tempted to blend off a few bushels of damaged soybeans with a whole bin of good ones. The risks are simply too great. Another reason to harvest flooded areas separately is related to crop insurance. It is-important that producers clearly document these flooded areas so that insurance or disaster relief assistance claims may be made a later date. Isolating these flooded areas is the best means to document losses from these heavy rains. Producers affected by flood waters can get more information by visiting Extension's flood and water website, www.extension.umn.edu/flood or direct questions to Extension's Farm Information Line (1-800-232-9077). Seth Naeve is a soybean agronomist, and Bruce Potter is an integrated pest management (IPM) specialist. Both are with University of Minnesota Extension. Fall Extravaganza Sale DEEP DISCOUNTS ON Dining Room Sets The factory GAVE US the foundations for FR00!E e,r e PASSING THE SAVINGSONTO ,iiii00!: MATTRESS FOUNDATION Henning Orland Anniversary Monte Carlo Twin $262 Full $346 Queen $419 Twin $319 Full $.409 Queen $499 Twin $368 Full $529 Queen $630 King $899 Twin $619 Full $719 Queen $779 King $1199 FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! Some mattresses start at $109 without foundation! EVERY- THING IS ON SALE00 Jim Kaye - Owner 320-839-2212 or 320-760-1841 (cell) Main Street Ortonville, MN Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010 00INDEPENDENT Page 9 7r;[ 00,:,i0000'00llllllll00lll00l}!!J00 00l00lll00ll:00llI'iI00lllr/lll00 I I10011 D;Mll/0000t00lllli00li ..=- - - " :