County Commissioners met briefly on Tuesday November 26th
Murray County Commissioners met on Tuesday, November 26th. All members were present, and the meeting was called to order. The agenda was approved with additions.
First on the agenda were the consent agenda items. The minutes for the November 19th meeting were approved. There was no one present for open forum.
Heidi Winter was next on the agenda. She had two donations to accept, one from Alan T or Chu Leversedge for $20 and one from Lake Shetek Community Church for $300. These were both approved to be accepted.
Commissioner Dennis Welgraven asked about the status of Gunnicks road work as they were behind and there was talk about a penalty because it was after the completion date. Welgraven feels that a penalty may not apply to this project as the weather was a factor this year. Randy Groves was not present to give input as he had also talked with Dunnicks about this. County Administrator Tom Burke explained the process of a project happening and being behind schedule, there then being a penalty (liquidated damages). County Attorney Travis Smith helped explain some of the possible thought processes behind this and also pointed out that other contractors this year were assessed liquidated damages. Commissioner Dave Thiner feels that we need to let the process continue on.
Travis Radke, County Ditch Inspector, had 3 ditch inspection reports for the Board this week. These were all reviewed and approved.
The last item for the meeting during the morning was a discussion on work sessions. This would allow the Board to meet and discuss in depth different topics without the ability to vote during these sessions.The Board agreed that this is a need and they should move forward with this.
That night, they held the public hearing for the 2020 Ditch Levies and the Truth and Taxation Hearing on the 2020 Budget. There were a few individuals in attendance and all questions were answered.
Dinehart Lecture to Focus on the Sara Wakefield Story during the US-Dakota War of 1862
The Murray County Historical Society Dinehart Lecture will host author Phyllis Cole-Dai on Thurs. December 12, 2019 at noon in the 4-H building on the Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton.Cole-Dai will speak about her recent publication Beneath the Same Stars: A Novel on the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War. Cost is $3.00 or free for historical society members. Coffee and tea are provided, bring your lunch.
In August of 1862 on the Sioux reservation in southwestern Minnesota, Indians desperate for food and freedom rose up against whites in the region. Sarah Wakefield, the wife of a physician, is taken captive with her two babies. Their fate falls into the hands of the warrior Ćaske, with whom she has little knowledge. As war rages, little does she know how entwined their lives will become.
Beneath the Same Stars is the gripping story of two people, caught between worlds, who are willing to do almost anything to defend those they care about—including each other. But the drama is bigger than themselves. Tragic forces have been set in motion.
Phyllis began writing on an old manual typewriter in childhood and never stopped. Her work explores things that tend to divide us, such as class, ethnicity, religion and gender, so that we might wrestle our way into deeper understandings of one another. These days she is especially concerned with the cultural divide between Euro-Americans and indigenous peoples.
Phyllis has authored or edited nine books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. Her latest book is Beneath the Same Stars, a novel of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 (One Sky Press, 2018). With Ruby R. Wilson she co-edited Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poetry (Grayson Books, 2017), which developed from her successful online project A Year of Being Here. She is perhaps best known for The Emptiness of Our Hands: 47 Days on the Streets, a spiritual memoir that chronicles 47 days she and co-author James Murray practiced “being present” while living by choice on the streets of Columbus, Ohio (3rd ed., Bell Sound Books, 2018).
Born in 1962 in the farming community of Mt. Blanchard, Ohio, Phyllis eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (English, 1984) from Goshen College; a Master of Theological Studies (1987) from the Methodist Theological School; and a Master of Arts (English, 1993) from The Ohio State University. She now lives with her scientist-husband, teenage son and two cats in Brookings, South Dakota.
NEW HORIZONS CRISIS CENTER RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE OTTO BREMER TRUST
Marshall, MN – New Horizons Crisis Center (NHCC) is pleased to announce that we have received a $100,000 two year general operations grant from the Otto Bremer Trust.These funds will be used to further the programs and mission of NHCC.
NHCC provides: 1) sexual assault and general crime victim advocacy, 2) parenting time, and 3) prevention and professional education programming to people in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, and Redwood Counties.1) NHCC’s victim services program serves sexual assault and general crime victims.Our victim services advocacy staff is here to help victims through every stage of their victimization process.We pride ourselves in providing consistent and effective, victim-centered services.2) NHCC’s Parenting Time (PT) Program serves children and their parents during difficult times of separation.Our PT Program provides a positive, safe, neutral, and interactive environment for children to spend time with their non-custodial parent(s).Our PT Program services consist of supervised visits and safe exchanges.3) Our prevention and professional education programming is a priority for our organization. We believe that working with youth and our community members to prevent violence and promote healthy relationships and working with criminal justice and community partners to ensure that our communities consistently and effectively respond to crime are core components to ending violence.
“Receiving these funds means that we have increased capacity to comprehensively advance our agency’s strategic planning goals and enhance our vital safety services for individuals and families within our community.We truly appreciate our strong, on-going partnership with the Otto Bremer Trust!”
~ Carrie Buddy, NHCC Executive Director
Beef Quality Assurance & Secure Beef Supply Trainings Set For Southwest Minnesota
Today’s consumers are more interested than ever before on where and how the food they purchase is raised, which has led to an increased focus on our beef production systems – how we handle cattle, our use of pharmaceutical products, our feed management practices, and having an accurate and reliable record keeping system. University of Minnesota Extension along with Minnesota Beef Council will host three Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Secure Beef Supply (SBS) training sessions in southwest Minnesota. Producers attending these free workshops will receive a three-year BQA certification and will learn the steps needed to begin their own Secure Beef Supply plan.
Over the past year, cattlemen and women have been asked to complete the BQA program in order to market their cattle to certain processors. However, BQA certification is still voluntary.Specific companies have chosen to extend their own quality assurance protocol requirements to cattlemen who are a part of their supply chain. A BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. When a producer does not have current BQA certification the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements.
The two hour training and certification sessions are free. Only one person from each operation is required to be certified to ensure the entire operation follows the BQA standards. However, everyone who handles and manages fed cattle is encouraged to become BQA certified.
Producers have the option of taking the in-person training in our region at three locations:
• Pipestone: Tuesday, December 10 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Pipestone Emergency Management Building, 811 5th St SE, Pipestone, MN
• Lamberton: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the UMN Southwest Research and Outreach Center, 23669 130th St, Lamberton, MN. Training will be held in the Auditorium.
• Worthington: Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Worthington Regional Extension Office, 1527 Prairie Drive, Worthington, MN
Walk-ins are welcome; to ensure enough training materials for everyone RSVP’s are appreciated.Call the Murray County Extension Office at 507-836-6927 and indicate which training location you will attend.
Those unable to attend a session can also earn certification online at www.BQA.org.
Melissa Runck is an Extension Educator-Ag Production Systems with University of Minnesota Extension in Murray and Pipestone Counties.
Guaranteed Loan Program
FSA guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural credit to farmers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a guaranteed loan through a lender, and the lender arranges for the guarantee. FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. Guaranteed loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating purposes.
Guaranteed farm ownership loans can be used to purchase farmland, construct or repair buildings, develop farmland to promote soil and water conservation or to refinance debt.
Guaranteed operating loans can be used to purchase livestock, farm equipment, feed, seed, fuel, farm chemicals, insurance and other operating expenses.
FSA can guarantee farm ownership and operating loans up to $1,776,000. Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan, collateral and the producer’s ability to repay the loan. Operating loans are normally repaid within seven years and farm ownership loans are not to exceed 40 years.
Please contact your lender or local FSA farm loan office for more information on guaranteed loans.
“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).”
Last month we received our ACT school report as we do each year around this time.The ACT is a college entrance exam that students usually take during their Junior year that measures a student’s high school knowledge and college readiness.The scores from this year’s ACT data was for the graduating class of 2019.Scores are always staggered about a year and a half from when a group of students takes the test to when the data is reported for each group.I am pleased to announce that the composite score of all assessed areas (23.2) earned by our students on this year’s report was the highest recorded score on file at Murray County Central going back 20 years.While this in and of itself is an accomplishment to celebrate, it is really a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our students, staff, and families working alongside their children to reinforce the great education student are receiving here at MCC.Our community is truly blessed to have such talent within our schools.We have much to celebrate in our district this year from outstanding academic accomplishments to our top notch extracurricular programming, both of which continue to promote our Rebel Pride and community spirit.
As we look at our test scores from the latest round of Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs), our district continues to score higher than the state average in all assessed areas- reading, math and science.In fact, even with the statewide decline in test scores last year, when we compare our district proficiency scores to the schools in our area of southwest Minnesota, we ranked second in reading and science and third in math.We talk a lot about a tradition of excellence here at MCC.Over the last several years, we have consistently ranked in the top three districts in SWMN.We attribute this success to the hard work of our students, tireless effort of our staff, and full support of our community all working together to provide opportunities for students to achieve their highest potential.Everyone from our teachers, volunteers, support staff, community members, students and parents deserves recognition for this accomplishment. Congratulations and thank you for the work you do on a daily basis to ensure every child is successful in school and life.
Of course we know that while a snapshot test score is not a full measure of the potential a student has to be successful in life, it is what our state and nation uses to evaluate school performance and college readiness.These tests do not measure the social and emotional components of a student’s readiness for life beyond high school.We at MCC understand that taking a holistic approach to education is best- one that nurtures not only the mind but also the heart.We keep our mission of “providing educational excellence through diverse learning experiences to develop respectful, responsible, and productive citizens with high values and integrity” at the forefront as we make educational decisions and strive to live our vision of working together to develop successful learners with high values and integrity.We seek to educate the whole child and consider our students’ academic preparedness to be one major component of this.We also work to teach them responsible ways of using the information they learn and that the way they treat others matters.
I have included the graph of our latest MCA data and how MCC compares to other area schools.
Jake Scandrett- HS Principal
By: John Stenen
Many people are skeptical as to whether there is a real heaven or hell. One skeptic said to a Christian, “Hey, George, what if when you die you find out there is no heaven?” George smiled and replied, “Well, since I’ve become a follower of Jesus Christ, my life has changed for the better. My life is filled with love for God and for my fellow man. I have a clear conscience; I have a peace and joy I had never known before. I face adversity in life with the assurance that God is in control and all the difficulties I face are little more than stepping stones along my walk of faith with God. I have meaning and purpose in life and am slowly becoming more and more Christ-like. I serve God who has promised me everlasting life with such beauty and splendor and wonders that my mind cannot begin to comprehend it, and God is not a man that He should lie.” George then said to the unbeliever, “What if when you die you find that the Bible is true and that hell is real?”
Where will you spend eternity? Once we are born we will live for all eternity. Physical death is not the end of our existence. At physical death we enter into hell or heaven and it is all dependent upon what we do in this life with Jesus Christ. Reject Him and you get hell. Accept Him & live for Him, and you get heaven. “There is no other name given among men under heaven whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” (John 1:12).Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “All who come unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”Please, surrender your life to Christ today, tomorrow may be too late.