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Ortonville, Minnesota
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October 21, 2008     The Ortonville Independent
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October 21, 2008
 

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ORTONVILLE'S KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS walked to the fire station last week and learned all about the station, fire trucks, and equipment duringFire Prevention Week. They then returned to school aboard a fire truck and got to turn on the sirens andhonk the horns. Deer-vehicle crashes are most like- ly to occur during the autumn months, the peak time for deer movement, according to state departments of Public Safety and Natural Resources. During 2005-2007 inMinnesota, 11,458 deer-vehicle crashes resulted in 11 deaths and 1,342 injhries. White-tailed deer increase their daily movements during the fall mating season, which starts in mid-October and usually peaks in the first two weeks of November. While motorists should always be alert for deer, they should pay particular attention during dawn and dusk when most deer-vehi- cle crashes occur. "The message is simple--wear your seat belt and never veer for deer,'" says Cheri Marti, director of the Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. "It is safer to hit a deer than to swerve and risk run- ning into oncoming traffic or off the side of the road." The state's deer herd is about 1.2 million, according to the DNR. Deer- vehicle crashes are increasing as traf- fic volume increases and develop- ment extends further into rural areas. Deer pose a high risk to motorcy- clists. A motorcyclist's best response is to slow down quickly and, unlike other vehicles, swerve around the ani- mal if traffic allows. Riders are encouraged to wear helmets and other protective gear to prevent injury or death in a crash. If motorists encounter a deer on the road, Marti says motorists should brake firmly and bring the vehicle to a controlled stop. Drivers should follow this safety information: Buckle up-- in case of a crash, a seat belt is the best defense; motorcy- clists should wear helmets. Drive at safe speeds--the posted speed limit is the speed limit. If you see one deer, watch for more--deer frequently move in groups. Slow down and prepare to stop as soon as you see a deer--it is safer to stop than to take evasive action. If you hit a deer, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency. It is illegal to take a deer without a permit. You must obtain a permit to tag a deer before it can be legally transported. All law enforcement offi- cers can issue such a permit after a deer-vehicle crash. Congressman Earl Pomeroy, Congressman Collin Peterson and Senator Kent Conrad celebrate the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill. Western Minnesota was treated recently to a rare visit by the most imperiled bird in North America; three whooping cranes spent a week in Pope County. These three birds are part of a fascinating, experimental effort to ensure the survival of the species. Whooping cranes are huge, long- legged white birds. They stand over four feet tall and have a six foot wing span. Whooping cranes are slightly larger than the much more common sandhill crane but are easily separated from sandhill cranes by their snow- white plumage. Cranes commonly roost and feed in shallow water, but they also spend much of their feeding time on upland sites, foraging in meadows and crop stubble. Whooping cranes are probably never common, but after European settlement their population plummet- ed due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. By 1941, the entire popu- lation of whooping cranes in the world was down to 15 birds. This tiny flock migrated ann(rally from their nesting area at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada to their wintering grounds on and around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Extremely intensive efforts to save these birds and increase the popula- tion have been gradually successful. Today, there are over 400 cranes in the world, including both wild and cap- tive cranes. However, it is extremely risky to have all of the world's wild cranes in one flock, where a single catastrophic event like a hurricane, oil spill or disease outbreak could wipe them out. In response, various groups and government agencies have worked to establish two more wild crane flocks. One is a small non- migratory flock in Florida. The other flock, the one where our three visitors come in, is a newly established flock which migrates from their nesting area on and around Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. The creation of this second migra- tory flock is a fascinating and com- pelling story. Like some other birds, cranes learn their migration routes by following adult birds during their first migration. For the Wisconsin popula- tion, whooping cranes were bred in captivity and the newly hatched chicks were imprinted on crane pup- pets, with no human contact. They were fed by humans in crane cos- tumes, they heard crane calls and what's-more, from the time they were in the egg to reaching flight stage, they were trained to accept the sight and sound of ultralight aircraft. After a summer of extremely intensive effort, the cranes follow their "parent", the ultralight aircraft, on an incredible migration from Wisconsin to Florida, taking several weeks to make the migration in short stages. After wintering in Florida, the birds migrate on their own back to Wisconsin. The initial migration cohort, taught the migration route back in 2001, hatched their first chicks in 2006. The training and release of newly hatched birds from captive flocks will continue for sever- al more years to ensure that a large enough population exists and is locked into this migration pattern. Meanwhile, like teenagers every- where, the young cranes which have migrated back to the north sometimes decide to wander and explore, espe- cially before they are old enough to form pair bonds and breed. Thus, three cranes from the class of 2007 spent much of the summer of 2008 wandering about southern and west- . ern Minnesota. They should join the other cranes in Florida in about a month. While most cranes will return to the Necedah refuge area, it is nor- mal and healthy for a certain number of birds to disperse after learning a migration path; hopefully these dis- persing birds will eventually fill avail- able habitat on new breeding sites, allowing continued population recov- ery of the endangered whooping crane. Featured WPA: Greiner Waterfowl Production Area, Pope County Grainer Watertown Production Area, eight miles east of Hancock, is a quality, 280 acre unit south of Lake Emily. A 140 acre marsh is the domi- nant feature on this WPA, comprising about half of the acres. There are a number of smaller marshes inter- spersed throughout the unit. The grassland patches tend to be small, with a mixture of planted grasses of various species and a small amount of native prairie. Large marshes in the area around Lake Emily routinely pro- vide habitat for waterfowl and other common bird species, but this year, they also provided habitat for Whoop- ,, ing cranes, North America's most imperiled bird. For a map of Greiner WPA or any other WPA in the Morris district, go to http://midwest.fws.gov/Morris. By Richard Johnson The Office Hours for the Big Stone Veterans Service Office are as follows: Tuesdays 8:00-4:30 Wednesdays 8:00 -4:30. If there is a emergency of sort I can be reached at m home at (320) 568-2448. I do have voice mail at the Office. Leave your name and number and will get back to Richard Johnson you as soon as possible. Also, you can call me at home at the above number. I do have an answering machine at home. CHANGE IN TELEPHONE NUMBER: My Telephone number has been changed. It is (320) 839-6398. Please make this change in your phone book as the old number doesn't work any longer. Additional Information on SSAP Program As I talked about two weeks ago in my column about the State Soldiers Assistance Program (SSAP), there are some other supporting documentation I THURSDAY SPARKLERS-10/16/08 Won Lost SMAC Enterprises ................... 19 9 Sunrise Gals .............................. 19 9 Refuge ........................................ 17 11 Alley Cats .................................. 16 12 Wanna B's/Moose ..................... 16 12 Bemingham Elevator ............... 13 15 VFW .......................................... 10 18 HISG: Betty Zahnow 201; HIGH: Mavon Kalberg 240; HISS: Betty Zahnow 526; HISH: Mavon Kalberg 643; HTGS: SMAC Enterprises 833; HTGH: SMAC Enterprises 1051; HTSS: SMAC Enterprises 2303; HTSH: SMAC Enterprises 2957. Monday Nite - 10/13/08 Won Lost Nit. Dew ..................................... 21 3 Pepsi ........................................... 13 11 Minnwest ................................... 13 11 Otrey Lake ................................ 12 12 Moose ......................................... 12 12 Larrys ........................................ 10 14 Ortonville Independent ............ .8 16 Precision Glass ........................... 7 17 HTSG: Ortonville Independent 924; HTSS: Ortonville Independent 2682; HTHG: Ortonville Independent 1116; HTHS: Ortonville Independent 3258; HISG: Brad Rieek 247; HISS: Dennis Skaj 639; HIHG: Brad Rieck 287; HIHS: Derek Rieck 708. needed to go along with the application when we submit it to the State for approval. Veteran Status or the discharge (DD-214) is needed and the type of assistance requested. That could be the Dental, Eye Care or subsistence or special needs. Also if you are applying for your spouse or dependents, we will need copies of marriage license, dependent's birth certificates and Social Security numbers for everyone that is applying. If qualified the SSAP program is not just for the Veteran. The spouse and dependents can also qualify. If you are paying or receiving Child Support or spousal maintenance, the divorce decree is also needed. We also need the household income and supporting documentation. Copies of pay stubs or other income documentation needs to be included. (i.e. SSI statement, VA comp/pension decision or short or long term disability statement). If you are self-employed, we need the previous year's tax return and if available a current year financial statement. Employment information needs to be included for husband and wife, even if not currently employed. We also need the two most recent complete bank statements (all pages) for checking, savings, investments, IRA's and current statements and other assets. This does not include the value of your primary residence or autos. You also should supply household Medical/Dental Insurance and Disability information. (i.e. Medical Report which is a MDVA-4, available at our office). If you ae applying for Shelter Expense there is a form available and we will need copies of a signed lease or mortgage statement. Based on the information submitted, the CVSO will make a recommendation for approval on the application form. He/she will report clearly what benefit is being applied for. Current and complete utility bills are needed when applying for subsistence and special needs. A release of information form will have to be signed by the veteran and spouse. If you are. applying for the dental or optical program, provider information will also have to be included. For further information on this program, please contact me at the Big Stone County Courthouse on Tuesdays or Wednesday. GLACIAL4, AKES ORTHOPAEDICS Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Seeing patients twice amnth at the Ortonville:Hospital. Call Lori Dzrson @ 1-320-839-2502 for an appointment.. . (605) 882-2630 or 1-800-658-4763. Mallard Pointe Business Park Watertown, SD ' WE ACCEPT MEDICARE ; ASSIGNMENT Midml J. VeNr, M.D. Gerdcl M. Rbber, M.D. Office Hours, Mon. thru Thurs. 8 a.m. to 5 : Fd. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. . I GRAND PRIZE WINNER in the Ortonville Fire Prevention Poster Contest was first grader Christian Waiters, son of Christopher Waiters of Ortonville and Charity Winslow of Graceville. He is shown above with his poster, prize firetruck and Fire Prevention Officer Jason Mork. Page 4b INDEPENDENT Tuesday, Oct. 21,2008