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Ortonville, Minnesota
November 1, 2011     The Ortonville Independent
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November 1, 2011

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Ortonville "Town with a heart" SMALLTOWNPAPE: 2'f1200 :H7 W C-OTA ST  o00IN N "A Constructive Newspaper In A Live Community" N 1 Section-16 Pages Ortonville, Minnesota 56278 Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 Volume 93; Number 42 BIG STONE CITY SCHOOL STUDENTS released bi0-degradeable balloons Thursday, Oct. 27 during Drug Awareness Week. Their theme was "It's UP To Me To Be Drug Free". Students were asked to write about their dreams or goals about being drug free. Over 100 students and teachers participated in releasing the balloons. Social Security brings 8.8 percent of all income in Big Stone County By Bill Bishop and Roberto Gallardo If Big Stone County residents did- n't receive their monthly payments from the Social Security Administra- tion, 8.8 percent of total personal in- come in the county would be lost, a total of $17,824,607 in 2009. Big Stone County is more depend- ent on Social Security payments than is the rest of the country. Nationally, 5.5 percent of total personal income in 2009 came from Social Security pay- ments. In Minnesota, 5.1 percent of all income comes ,from these payments. In Big Stone County, 1,575 people receive some form of Social Security payment, either an old age pension, a survivor benefit or a disability check, according to the Social Security Ad- ministration and the Bureau of Eco- nomic Analysis. Social Security beneficiaries represent 30.0 percent of the total county population. In rural counties such as Big Stone and counties with smaller cities, Social Security payments constitute a much larger chunk of the local economy than in urban areas. A greater percentage of people in rural America receive these payments than in urban counties, and so rural counties have higher average payments per resident, "In many rural places, Social Secu- rity is a very critical element of the local economic base," said Peter Nel- son, a geographer at Middlebury Col- lege in Vermont. "It's less important to a place like Los Angeles because there is so niuch additional economic activ- ity going on there." Total Social Security payments in Big Stone County amounted to $3,395 per person in 2009. The national aver- age was $2,199 per person, and in Min- nesota it was $2,169. Social Security payments in Big Stone County have been changing as a proportion of total income. These pay- ments amounted tO seven percent of total income in 1970, 9.2 percent in 1980, 10.5 percent in 1990, 9.4 percent in 2000 and 8.8 percent in 2009. Social Security payments are partic- ularly important to rural counties and small cities because the money is largely spent in the community. "The seniors who get these payments are pri- marily going to spend their money lo- cally," said Mark Partridge, a rural economist at Ohio State University. "And they are a key reason why some communities are still viable. If this money dried up, there wouldn't be a lot of these small towns." Social Security payments amount to five percent of the total income in urban counties. In counties with small cities, these payments amount to 8.2 percent of total income, and in rural counties such as Big Stone County, So- cial Security totals 9.3 percent of all personal income. More than one out of five Americans living in small cities and rural counties received some kind of Social Security check in 2009. Judith Stallmann, an economist at the University of Missouri, explained that Social Security payments help generate the sales that keep a rural business afloat. "We find that Social Security in- come can be the difference between success and failure for some local busi- nesses," Stallmann said. "If you took away, say, 10 percent of the demand, would that local business be able to re- main open? Often it's that 10 percent that keeps them going. Social Security is providing that margin." Social Security payments go to those over the age of 62 who have filed for benefits, to survivors of insured workers and to those with disabilities. The program is mainly funded by pay- roll taxes. In Big Stone County, 75.2 percent of recipients were retirees in 2009, 12.4 percent were survivors and 12.4 percent were disabled. Changes to Social Security are being discussed in Congress, which is looking for ways to balance the larger federal budget. If benefits are cut -- or if the eligibility age is increased rural counties and small cities would be disproportionately affected according to Peter Nelson. "Cuts would have a bigger negative impact on rural places, absolutely," Middlebury's Professor Nelson said. "They are more dependent on Social Security." Data included in this story comes from the-federal Bureau for Economic, Analysis and the Social Security Ad- ministration. The figures in this story are from 2009, unless otherwise noted. About th Authors Bill Bishop is co-editor of The Daily Yonder (http://www.dailyyon-, an online publication cover- ing rural America, published by the Center for Rural Strategies ( He has owned a weekly newspaper in rural Texas and he has worked for newspa- pers in Texas and Kentucky. Dr. Roberto Gallardo is a research associ- ate with the Southern Rural Develop- ment Center at Mississippi State University ( This study was made possible with a grant from the National Academy of Social Insurance. Firearms season opens Sat., more .doe tags issued in area Hunters who venture into fields and forests for Minnesota's firearms deer season can expect a good deer season and ample hunting opportunities, ac- cording to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "We can't guarantee harvest suc- cess," said Steve Merchant, wildlife programs manager. "But we can assure hunters that good deer hunting oppor- tunities exist throughout Minnesota." Nearly 500,000 people are expected to participate in the firearms deer sea- son, which opens Saturday, Nov. 5, throughout Minnesota. Most corn, which provides ample standing cover and can significantl; impact deer har- vest, likely wilt have been harvested, and last winter wasn't so severe that deer populations were significantly af- fected. Minnesota's whitetail deer popula- tion is about one million. The DNR, which manages the herd based on pop- ulation goals established with public input, expects this year's harvest to be similar to the 207,000 deer harvested in 2010. During the late 1990s, deer popula- tions were at high levels in many areas due to a success0n of mild winters. DNR enacted liberal hunting regula- tions to reduce the population, result- ing in Minnesota's deer harvest peaking in 2003 at 290,000. "Throughout most of Minnesota, deer populations are now at goal lev- els," Merchant said. "Bag limits have been reduced in some areas, but the deer population remains strong." The DNR increased antlerless tags in three local permit areas - 274 (from 75 in 2010 to 250 in 2011), 275 (100 to 400) and 278 (500 to 750). These zones cover Big Stone, Lac qui Parle and Swift counties. Also new is the fact that if a hunter applied for antlerless tag and was successful, the permit card City archery deer hunt continues Portions of the City of Ortonville have been open to archery deer hunting by special permit since Sept. 17. So far, eight does have been harvested. The season runs through Dec. 31. This deer control program is an effort to reduce the city deer population and the damage to property the deer cause. Unzen Motors celebrates Chevy's 100th Anniversary Ortonville Kiwanis to head up Chevrolet is celebrating l00 years in business this year and Unzen 2011 United Appeal Campaign The United Appeal of the City of Ortonville and Ortonville Township re- cently met to make plans for the 2011 Campaign. The Ortonville Kiwanis organiza- tion will be the corp group, taking the leadership role for the winter appeal drive. This year, the group will not be going door to door. Instead, they will be direct mailing each household in Or- tonville and Ortonville Township with information on what United Appeal is and how to contribute. They will have this completed and in the mail the sec- ond week in November just in time for the downtown Ortonville Christmas kickoff. In 2010, $15,000 was distributed to various organizations that were in need of funding assistance. This year, 22 or- ganizations will receive funding and will be listed with the mailing infor- mation as well as past recipients. They ask that when you receive your information that you take time to read the information and not throw it away. They are looking for volunteers. Just contact any Kiwanis member. The United Appeal of the City of Ortonville and Ortonville Township is a non-profit corporation and is not as- sociated in any manner with the United Way nor is it a member of any national or state association. This is a local organization whose impact is personal and whose sole pur- pose is to raise funds to help meet the needs of several health, human service and non-profit agencies that serve our community. MEMBERS OF THE ORTONVILLE SCHOOL PATROL were recently installed as Captains for the 2011-2012 school year. All are sixth graders and were installed by Trooper Kathy Pederson. Pictured in front, from left to right, are Nathan Strong, Paige Hanson, Alison Plathe, Madysen Stegner and Matthew Wellendorf. Back row, left to right, are Big Stone County Deputy Sheriff Terry Wood, Trooper Kathy Pederson and Ortonville City Policeman Gary Dinnel. is good for either the slug season or muzzleloader season, as long as they purchase a license for the season they are hunting! This is explained on page 82 of the Regulation Handbook. As a result of the rapidly increasing deer herd, there are some issues with too many deer, particularly where they are not hunted on a regular basis. In Ortonville, this includes the City itself, as well as Big Stone State Park. Both provide special hunting opportunities. The Meadowbrook Unit of the park will be closed to the public and open only to hunters with special permits on Dec. 3-4, 2011. The Bonanza Unit of the park will remain open to all visi- tors. In 2007, throughout much of the agricultural zone in Minnesota, citizen groups comprised of key local con- (Continued on page 3) " CENBANK OF ORTONVILLE recently donated $550 to the Ortonville School. Pictured above, left to right, are Marilyn Hanson of CenBank and Ortonville School Superintendant Jeff Taylor. CenBank donated $25 for every new loan and checking account during September. The Ortonv|lle School is looking at using the money to purchase character type banners for the Commons Area. Motors, founded by the late Matt Unzen and Gordon Munson, has been serving Milbank and the surrounding communities the past 34 years. Unzen Motors is proud of their Sales Department and Sales Consultants with over 95 years combined sales experience and their Service Department with factbry trained master Service Technicians who have over 80 years combined service. Co-owners Gordon Munson, Tim Jurgens and Nancy Hoffman state, "It is with great excitement we look forward to continuing that long term relationship with the community and providing full sales and service with the Chevrolet and Buick lines." See ad elsewhere in this issue. Remember to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night/ Big Stone County declared disaster area by USDA The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 Minnesota counties as disaster areas because of the combined impacts of excessive rain, high heat, strong winds, tornadoes and an early fall frost this year. The declaration, which was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 26, makes affected farmers in those counties eligible for low-interest loans from the Farm Service Agency as well as aid from other USDA pro- grams. The primary declaration covers nine counties in western Minnesota and two in central Minnesota: Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Lac qui Parle, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Traverse and Wright. The covered period runs from April 1 through Sept: 15. Affected farmers can also qualify in 23 Minnesota counties that border those 11 counties as well as four bor- dering counties in the western Dakotas. Disaster assistance sign up nears for 2010 crop losses Big Stone County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Di- rector Scott Schneider has announced that the Supplemental Revenue Assis- tance Payments (SURE) program en- rollment for 2010 crop" year losses begins Nov. 14. "Producers across the state experi- enced several natural disasters during the 2010 crop year that caused hardship and financial losses to many agricul- tural operations," said Schneider. "The SURE program provides assistance to producers when disaster strikes, so I strongly encourage producers with 2010 crop losses to contact the Big Stone County FSA office to learn more about the program," he said. To qualify for a SURE payment, the producer's operation must be located in a county that was declared a disaster for 2010 or be contiguous to a disaster declared county and have at least a 10 percent production loss that affects one crop of economic significance. Pro- ducers with agricultural operations lo- cated outside a disaster county are eligible for SURE benefits if they had a production loss greater or equal to 50 percent of the normal production on the farm. The following counties received a disaster designation during 2010: Freeborn. The following counties are contigu- ous to a disaster designated county: Clay, Dodge, Faribault, Kittson, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Marshall, Mower, Norman, Polk, Steele, Traverse, Waseca, Wilkin, Winona, and Yellow Medicine. To meet program eligibility require- ments, producers must have obtained a policy or plan of insurance for all in- surable crops through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and obtained Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage on non-in- surable crops, if available, from FSA. Eligible farmers and ranchers who meet the definition of a socially disad- vantaged, limited resource or begin- ning farmer or rancher do not have to meet this requirement. Forage crops in- tended for grazing are not eligible for SURE benefits. For more information on SURE pro- gram eligibility requirements contact the Big Stone County FSA office at 839-6121 or visit the website at