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Ortonville, Minnesota
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December 14, 2010     The Ortonville Independent
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December 14, 2010
 

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DRESSED IN THEIR POLKA DOT OUTFITS and entertaining the crowd at the Ortonville/CGB boys basketball ~.a'me on Friday, Jan. 21 were the Wee Petites Just For Kix Dance Group. They are made up of area Kindergarten and first graders and are under the direction of Kerry Klepel. II The Lac qui Parle-Yellowbank Clean Water Partnership sponsored by the Lac qui Parle-Yellowbank Water- shed District began with a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) on Feb. 13, 2001. Since then, a Diagnostic Study of the watershed was completed that made additional grants available. In the past 10 years over $1 million has been re- ceived from MPCA and the U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency to continue studying the water quality, implement management practices on the land and develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Assessment on impaired waters of the watershed. Local cash match from partnering agencies included another $94,400 to the project. Additional grants received from Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Waters, and Prairie Country RC&D totaled $217,000. A low interest loan program has made available $1,326,000 throughout the watershed to upgrade failing and noncompliant septic sys- tems. By working closely with Lac qui Parle. Yellow Medicine and Lincoln County SWCD and NRCS offices cost share and incentives were provided for the following management practices: 394.9 acres of filter strips along streambanks, wetlands and ditches, 14 water and sediment control basins, 3,250 feet of terraces, three diversions, two grass waterways, one grade stabi- lization, one feedlot manure manage- ment upgrade, 34 open tile intakes replaced, streambank stabilization project, two rain gardens, and a river- bank tree and shrub planting. Education and increasing people's awareness of the degraded state of the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank Rivers has been a key element throughout the project. It is important to highlight con- servation management practices that people can apply to their daily lives that will enhance water quality in our local rivers and beyond. A newspaper column "Lake That Speaks" provided many timely articles throughout the year and more recently a weekly radio program on Q92 brings the conserva- tion programs and issues to local lis- teners. A variety of workshops and presentations have been held targeting backyards, rain gardens, rain barrels, septic systems, tile intakes and other water quality concerns. A network of approximately thirty citizens have faithfully recorded rainfall amounts and read transparency tubes for addi- tional water quality information. To celebrate these efforts and to look into the future of the Lac qui F'arle-Yellowbank Clean Water Part- nership a banquet will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Dawson VFW along Highway 212 in Dawson. The guest speaker for the evening will be Ashley Shelby, author of Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Hood and the Survival of an American City, Reservations can be made by call- ing Mary Homan at 320-598-3319 or email your intentions to mary.homan@lqpco.com on or before Thursday, Feb. 3. Linda Hennen, Executive Director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Minnesota has announced that Agri- culture Secretary Tom Vilsack has set general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to begin on March 14 and continue through April 15. During the signup period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land for CRP's competitive general signup at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. "Over the past 25 years, CRP's ben- efits have grown thanks to many unex- pected, but welcomed improvements to our natural resources - cleaner water, improved air quality, better habitat for wildlife, viewing opportunities of that wildlife and of course, a huge reduc- tion in soil erosion," said Hennen. "Today's announcement will help this administration continue its strong con- servation legacy." Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants With contracts expiring this fall may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are sched- uled to become effective Oct. 1. To help ensure that interested farm- ers and ranchers are aware of the signup period, USDA has signed part- nership agreements with several con- servation and wildlife organizations that will all play an active role in USDA's 2011 CRP outreach efforts. FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible CRP of- fers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environ- mental benefits to be gained from en- rolling the land in CRP. The EBI consists of five environmental factors (wildlife, water, soil, air and enduring benefits) and cost. Decisions on the EB1 cutoff will be made after tile sign- up ends and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers. In addition to the general sign-up, CRP's continuous sign-up program will be ongoing. Continuous acres repre- sent the most environmentally desir- able and sensitive land. For more information, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp. Countryside F'ublic Health contin- levels that pose a large health risk over certified radon mitigation contractors ups to offer low-cost radon test kits to many years of exposure. Radon is the at http://www.health.state.mn.us/ " homeowners and businesses during second leading cause of lung cancer in divs/eh/indrair/radn/mitigatin'html' January, which is Radon Actionthe United States and more than 21,000 Month, as well as all year long. deaths are attributed to radon each year. .... The Minnesota Department of Radon exposure, however, is largely ['11 Health recommends that all homes in preventable. First, test your home to Minnesota be tested for radon. It's the see if you have elevated radon levels. only way to know if your home has an Testing is easy, inexpensive and only elevated level of radon, which can takes three to five days for a short term cause lung cancer. Radon is an odor- radon test. If your home has danger- less, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs ous levels, you can have a system in- naturally in Minnesota soils and can stalled to reduce radon from your in- enter homes primarily through cracks door air. In homes with levels over 4 and openings in basement or founda- pCi/L, homeowners should consider tion floors and walls, verification testing and possible miti- Gov. jobs bill helps middle class family On Monday, Jan. 31. Gov. Mark Dayton announced a $1 billion bonding bill that would create thousands of private-sector construction jobs throughout the state. He outlined investments of $531 million in more than 300 critical infrastructure projects, and invited legislative leaders to identify projects for the remaining $470 million. Shar Knutson, Minnesota AFL- CIO president, calls it great news for the state's middle-class families. "It's a way to improve our investments, our infrastructure, and it's also a way to get Minnesotans back to work." GOP Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel's initial reaction is that taxing and borrowing cannot be Minnesota's answer to a recession. However, an analysis by Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, estimates a $1 billion investment would create 21,000 to 27,000 new jobs. And the bill addresses some of the industries that have been hit hardest by unemployment, adds Knutson. "This is a way to get folks who are working in the construction trades - who are carpenters, electricians and others who have been hit really hard in this recession - to get them back to work. While our state's overall unemployment is about seven percent, it's more than 20 percent in the construction sector." Union leaders have called on lawmakers and Gov. Dayton to stay focused this session on creating jobs with wages sufficient to support a family, and to solve the state's revenue shortfall fairly. In Knutson's view, the jobs bill will help accomplish both. More details on the legislation, including a full list of projects proposed, is at http://mn.governor/newsroom. I ' 0 U.,..q, Depa~mt of Tr'Jnspo~m To obtain a short and long term radon test kit. contact or visit your local Countryside Public Health office (in Ortonville, Madison, Benson i Montev- ideo, or Granite Falls). You may also call our Environmental Health staff, Kris Lee or Suzanne Paulson, at 800- 657-3291. MDH estimates that one in three ex- isting Minnesota homes have radon ation i i For more information on radon test- WaterSofteners and Salt Delivery ing and mitigation you can also visit www.health.state.mn.us/radon or to Your Home or Officer. www.countrysidepublichealth.org or call the Minnesota Department of WE SERVICE ALL MAKES OF SOFTENerS Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201- 4601 or 1-800-798-9050. Anyone in- terested in mitigating his or her home for radon should consult MDH's list of :i Serving the Big Stone Lake Areal ling It's been quite a winter already, and we stild have several weeks to go before spring arrives. Many people in both Minnesota and North Dakota have had trouble with ice dams form- ing on their roofs or are still battling ice dams. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is offering advice to home- owners on how to deal with this prob- lem and protect their investment in their homes. Ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof, preventing melt- Ing snow from draining off the roof. Melting occurs when warm air from indoors escapes through the attic and melts snow on the roof. That water can then leak into homes, damaging walls, ceilings and insulation. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Agency, sum- mer is the best time to prevent ice dams - by increasing the ceiling insu- lation to cut down on heat loss, mak- ing ceilings airtight and/or adding nat- ural roof ventilation. Plugging leaks and adding insulation can reduce energy use in homes by 20 to 30 per- cent. For homeowners currently con- tending with ice dams-or who are looking to avoid their formation-a snow rake can be used to remove excess snow from the roof. However, even if care is taken, roofing materials may be damaged in the process. It is ms not advisable to get up on your roof to remove snow. Many people are injured each year trying to deal with this problem on their own. Sometimes it's best to leave things to profession- als. Before hiring a company to deal with ice dams on your roof. here are some things you should do first: Check out the company's record with the BBB at bbb.org or by calling 1-800-646-6222. Make sure the company has insur- ance and their workers are covered under workers' compensatmn. Get estimates from multiple com- panies. Ask how much experience each company has working on roofs and ice dams. as well as what techniques they'll be using to remove the ice dams. Less intrusive techniques may reduce potential damage to your roof- ing. Watch out for someone who pulls up in a truck and tells you they can 'save you some money.; Your roof is an integral part of your home and it's not something you want to cut corners on. You'll often end up regretting it. For more information on ice dams -how they're formed and how to avoid them visit http:/ /www.extension.umn.edu/distribution /housingandclothing/dk 1068.html. gnve by Laurie Puhn Are you looking for a meaningful Valentine's Day without spending a dime? Share the gifts below. Gift of Words #1-Compliment Your Mate Inside and Out: There are two types of compli- ments: those that address a person's outer appearance and those that address a person's inner character. Surprisingly, our research shows 84 percent of people prefer to receive a character compliment as in, "You are an incredibly kind person." over a comment like "your hair looks great." Start sharing character comments with your honey today. Gift of Words #2-Show You Care: We all experience unique events during our busy days so when our mate shows interest in our day's hap- penings it creates an immediate loving bond with him/her. Find something in your mate's schedule on Valentine's Day (and other days too) such as a special meeting, an important errand, A doctor's app't, and call/text/email mid-day to specifically ask how it went. Gift of Words #3-Talk Forward: If you want to have a special Valentine's Day, it's important to per- suade your mate that he or she is spe- cial to you every day, not just on Valentine's Day. Do this by "talking forward." Take charge and make a thoughtful plan for the future.. On Valentine's Day, say, "I'd like to make a special plan for us next month. Let's go to . (fill-in with some- thing your mate enjoys, such as a museum, the theatre, shopping, a road trip, etc.)? What do you think?" Gift of Words #4-Make an Offer: If you want to receive instant love and appreciation from your honey, volunteer to do something for your mate before he or she asks you to do it. For example, offer to pick some- thing up at the store, offer to repair something, prepare dinner or offer to put your kids to bed (if you don't usu- ally). A surefire way to boost your love life is to make an offer. It says to your mate, I care about you and when you're happy, I'm happy. Gift of Words #5-Be Memorable: Do and say memorable things this Valentine's Day and year round. Instead of dining out, create a can- dlelit indoor picnic. Sing karaoke together. Arrange for a massage- together. Post love notes in surprise places. Buy a lasting plant instead of flowers. Phone your mate to give a heartfelt comment during the day like, "I love you because .... ". You will spark love and romance this Valentine's Day (and the year through) by showering your sweet- heart with the priceless gift of words. Laurie Puhn J.D., is a Harvard- educated lawyer, couples mediator, relationship expert and television per- sonality who frequently appears on Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel and CNN. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In.Visit www.fightlesslovemore.com for video clips and more information. A health plan that covers preventive care A great way to keep the cost of health care down is to prevent the costs from happening in the first place, Catching a problem early can stop it from becoming a bigger problem later, Many plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota offer first-dollar coverage for preventive care right away without having to pay a deductible. And with all the options available, you can easily find a plan that's right for your budget. Give me a call, I can give you all the details and answer your questions. Authorized independent agentlagenol for BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota Tom Oakes Agent 40 NW 2nd St. Ortonville, MN 56278 320-839-2118 or 800-630-4978 Kevin Raaf V' Complete Collision Repair I/Glass Replacement and Chip Repair V' Frame and Suspension Repair ALL WORK GUARANTEED ~ No,th Minnesota St. & Eastvold Ave.. Ortonville, MN Work (320) 839-3066 Home 605-676-2457 Cell 605-880-4252 ~INDEPENDENT Page 16 Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011