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Murray County Ambulance Receives Second LUCAS Device for Chest Compressions

The Murray County Ambulance is happy to announce the arrival of a Second LUCAS device! LUCAS is a chest compression system that fits on most individuals. LUCAS helps patients in cardiac arrest receive consistent and continuous chest compressions. “It is a huge player for our ambulance service allowing us more time to focus on other patient needs during cardiac arrest such as airways, IV access, defibrillation, and wound treatment,” stated Ambulance Director, Jennifer Kirchner. “An added bonus is we don’t have to stand up in the back of an ambulance barreling down the highway trying to do consistent and effective chest compressions. We are very excited to be able to provide this new technology in both of our ambulances!”

“Cinderella’s Closet”

Hearts and Hands of Murray County is now collecting gently used prom dresses for our “Cinderella’s Closet” project. These dresses will be used to help provide a special prom experience for young ladies from the MCC and Fulda school districts.

Dresses can be dropped off at The Plaid Moose in Slayton weekdays from 2:00-4:00 p.m. or Saturdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We ask that dresses be modern styles from within the past 5 years that are in good repair and free of stains. We will also accept prom-appropriate shoes and jewelry. Donations will be accepted until Monday, February 19. All donations are tax deductible.

Check out Hearts and Hands of Murray County on Facebook to find out more about us!

Register Now For “Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds” Workshop & Small Grains Program To Be Held In Slayton, MN

Weed management has become one of the most significant challenges in crop production as herbicide resistance continues to increase.  Attend the workshop in Slayton, Minnesota to learn about the latest research and information to address these challenges at the “Strategic Farming:  Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds” workshop to be held the morning of Thursday, February 22, at the 4-H Building in Slayton.  Following this workshop and lunch, there will be a short presentation on “Integrating Cover Crops and Manure”, followed by the annual Small Grains program in the afternoon.  Registration is now open at  

Schedule for the Slayton presentation on February 22:

• 8:30–9:00 a.m.Check in

• 9:00 a.m.-noonStrategic Farming: Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds

• 12:00–12:30 p.m.Lunch 

• 12:30-12:45 p.m.Integrating Cover Crops & Manure

• 12:45-4:00 p.m.Southern Small Grains presentation

Strategic Farming: Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds: By attending this workshop you will learn about growing soybeans that out-compete weeds, and the impacts of row spacing, plant population, canopy closure and pest pressure and their effects on soybean competitiveness and profitability.  There will be discussion on how to beat weeds at their own game, and how can we use weed biology to our advantage.  Attendants will hear about how they can break the cycle of loving a technology to death and get off the resistance treadmill; what are some new, viable weed management options that can be implemented now?  And finally, learn how to implement a game plan – what will be your strategy to win against weeds?  

Integrating Cover Crops & Manure: Lately there has been a lot of discussion on cover crop benefits, such as wind and water erosion control.  Many conventional livestock producers struggle to envision how cover crops can fit into their operations, especially with seasonal injection of liquid manure.  We will explore seeding winter cereal rye immediately after harvesting either corn silage or soybeans, then injecting liquid manure into the growing rye later that fall.  Seeding winter cereal rye after soybean harvest could be an option for cash crop farmers too.   Is this practice feasible, and what are the benefits and challenges?

Small Grains Program: With increasing workloads, problematic pests, and a goal of crop diversity, interest in successfully growing wheat remains constant. The first objective of this program is to help you determine if wheat will work on your farm, in your rotation, and if it can be profitable. The second objective is to hand you the tools needed to make small grains successful and profitable on your farm.  This includes information on today’s production practices, variety selection, insect and disease management, weed control, and soil fertility.  

To help assist with meal and program planning, pre-registration is strongly encouraged by February 16 at or by calling 507-372-3900.  There is no cost to attend this program, thanks to sponsorship by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, and from local sponsors Avoca Spray Service, Chandler Co-op, and Spronk Seed Farm.  

Program will be held at the 4-H Building-Exhibit Hall, 3048 S Broadway Ave., in Slayton. For more information about this program, please contact Liz Stahl at 507-372-3900 or if you have any questions.

Melissa Runck is an Extension Educator-Ag Production Systems with University of Minnesota Extension in Murray and Pipestone Counties.

Signup for the 2018 Farm Program at FSA is Underway 

Signup for the 2018 farm program called the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) began on November 1, 2017 and will continue until August 1, 2018.  2018 is the final year of the current farm program and producers must enroll their farm by signing a contract for 2018 to receive coverage.

Winter is a great time to take care of signup.  Please make an effort to take care of this process sometime over the next few months as spring will be here before you know it.  

If there are no changes to owners and/or operators of the farm, shareholders on the contract can certify to the no change and will not be required to provide zero share signatures or leases for 2018.  If there are changes, owners that cash rented their land out would have to sign the contract for zero shares or the operator would provide a copy of a cash lease in place of the owner’s signature on the contract.  A cash lease could be a formal cash lease that was prepared by an attorney and notarized or it could be a short statement about cash lease that was signed by the owner and operator.  Leases provided for payments must include:

•Farm number or legal description of the land rented for cash

•Year of the lease

•The terms of the lease such as cash lease must be included

•all info completed including all owners and operator names listed and all blanks completed

•Lease needs to be signed by the operator and the owners

Participants can still create their own cash lease; the FSA Committee asks that you include the above mentioned information and that you complete your lease before submission.  

Eligibility documents including the farm operating plan, adjusted gross income statement and the 1026 form will be completed or reviewed during signup.

For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office. To find a local FSA office, visit

FSA Farm Reconstitutions

When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution — or recon — is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation. 

To be effective for the current Fiscal Year (FY), farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by August 1 of the FY for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.  A reconstitution is considered to be requested when all:

• of the required signatures are on FSA-155

• other applicable documentation, such as proof of ownership, is submitted.

Total Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and non-ARC/PLC farms may be reconstituted at any time. 

The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon: 

Estate Method — the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate;

Designation of Landowner Method — may be used when (1) part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; (2) an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; (3) farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; (4) part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; (5) a tract is sold to two or more persons; or (6) tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons. In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a Memorandum of Understanding. 

DCP Cropland Method — the division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract;

Default Method — the division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system.

Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership is Seeking Ideas for Partnerships

The Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SW RSDP) is seeking ideas for partnerships in community-based projects. Seed funding is available to support projects that leverage community participation and create a robust partnership with the University of Minnesota. Individuals, organizations, and groups in southwestern Minnesota are encouraged to apply. Idea Briefs submitted by February 19, 2018, will be reviewed in March.

“We’re looking for projects that are driven by local ideas, and that could benefit from a connection to the University of Minnesota,” said SW RSDP Executive Director Anne Dybsetter. “RSDP projects work best when there is a strong team of partners in the community and University.”

The SW RSDP invites ideas in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. To review recent projects supported by the Southwest Partnership, visit the Story Map at: 

 Priority projects will: 

• Involve meaningful roles for both local community members and University of Minnesota faculty, staff and/or students.

• Engage diverse populations and advance new community collaborations.

• Support environmental, social and economic sustainability for public purpose or benefit. 

• Be led and supported by community partners throughout the life of the project.

•If possible, leverage funds or other contributions.

In recent years, SW RSDP has partnered on a variety of successful community projects in the region, including a housing study in Milan, a plan for a downtown “market square” in Fairmont, and a local food systems study in the Upper Minnesota River Valley region.

 SW RSDP is part of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four focus areas: sustainable agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources, and tourism and resilient communities. RSDP is composed of a statewide office and five regional partnerships.

For more information and to submit a project idea, visit or contact Anne Dybsetter at 320-235-0726 x 2012 or 

Rebel Round Up: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

You may have heard that U.S Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently approved Minnesota’s version of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for school accountability.  The Every Students Succeeds Act is the reauthorization of the ESEA- Elementary and Secondary Education Act that was initially authorized in 1965.  The previous version of this law you would know as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Minnesota’s version of this law is what we operated under from 2002 until 2011 when President Obama allowed states to submit waivers to the traditional NCLB system.  During the NCLB era, terms such as Adequate Yearly Progress- AYP and Multiple Measures Rating- MMR were common along with a punitive approach to grading/ranking schools.  In 2015, President Obama reauthorized the ESEA and the name changed to the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Minnesota’s version of this plan is what our state will use to hold districts accountable for the education of its students.  

The ESSA is a plan that has a strong equity tone- with an emphasis on every student and student group.  In Minnesota’s plan, different student subgroups such as different ethnic groups, socio-economic groups, English [language] Learners, or students with special needs will be separated out in performance data and reporting.  While all student groups are currently tested (and there is some separation of subgroup data on MCA tests), now schools will be evaluated even more on how well every group is performing on tests, demonstrating growth, or graduating from school.  This creates a push for schools to make sure that all student groups are at proficiency and growing.    

The state wide goals for ESSA are as follows:

• 90 percent of all Minnesota students will be proficient in reading and math by the year 2025. The state targets achievement gaps with the goal of ensuring that at least 85 percent of students in every student group are proficient. 

• 90 percent of all Minnesota students will score proficient or higher in reading by third grade, with no student group below 85 percent, by the year 2025. 

• 90 percent of all Minnesota students will score proficient or higher in math, with no student group below 85 percent, by the year 2025. 

• 85 percent of English learners will be making progress in achieving English language proficiency by the year 2025. 

• 90 percent of all Minnesota high school students will graduate in four years by the year 2020, with no student group below 85 percent graduating in four years. 

• 95 percent of all Minnesota students will consistently attend school by the year 2020, with no student group below 90 percent consistently attending. 

How will the state hold our district accountable?  Below are a listing of the accountability indicators and a brief explanation of each.

Indicator 1 - Academic Achievement: for all schools

This indicator is the same as our current plan.  It is based on state assessments (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments- MCAs) for reading and math.  Students must “meet” or “exceed” standards to be considered “proficient.”    

Indicator 2 - Academic Progress: elementary and middle schools 

A transition matrix will be created to track student progress as they increase in their achievement levels (e.g. moving from “does not meet standards” to “partially meets standards”) based on the MCAs. 

Indicator 3 - Graduation Rate: high schools 

This indicator will use a school’s graduation rate.  Any high school with a student group at a graduation rate below 67% will be flagged for support.  

Indicator 4 - Progress Toward English Language Proficiency: all schools 

A growth index will measure how each English learner scored on state assessments relative to their personal target score.  

Indicator 5 - School Quality/Student Success: all schools 

This school accountability measure will shift a bit as more information becomes available from the state, but we are told that this indicator will track attendance, career and college readiness and every student having access to a “well-rounded education.”  

More details on ESSA and its implementation are still to come.  Districts will be starting to wade through what all the changes mean next year, as 2018/2019 is when the new plan will take effect.  For more information on ESSA please visit the Minnesota Department of Education website at  

Dinehart Lecture to Feature Stories of Valhalla Island

The Murray County Historical Society will host Museums Coordinator Janet Timmerman on Thursday Feb. 8 at noon in the Murray County Fairgrounds 4-H building. The cost is $3.00 or free for historical society members. She will present “Halcyon Days on Valhalla: A hundred years of recreational history on Valhalla Island.” Valhalla was not the first recreational property on Lake Shetek but became the longest lived and most well-known. The island was home to a wide array of recreational opportunities from a car race track to a state of the art dance Pavilion, as well as cabins, campsites, and quiet sand beaches. Timmerman will show photos of the island as it developed over time under different ownerships. It helped Lake Shetek became a small mecca for locals and visitors alike who wanted to get away from daily life and enjoy lake-side living for a while.

Timmerman is the county museums coordinator, responsible for overseeing the county historical museum, the Dinehart Holt House and End O Line Park and Museum. 

Bring your lunch along and coffee, tea, or cocoa will be served. For more information on this and other programs hosted by the historical society call 507-836-6533, email: Find us on Facebook as well.

Chocolate Affaire Coming Up

Slayton, MN - The Chocolate Affaire is coming up this Friday, February 9! Join in the fun celebrating the event’s ten year anniversary and Valentine’s Day. The Chocolate Affaire is from 2 to 6 p.m., at the Dinehart-Holt House, corner of 28th Street and Linden Avenue, Slayton. 

Chocolate is the theme with a buffet of treats with hot beverages included. Fudge and other Valentine treats are available for purchase. Performers throughout the afternoon include Alex Carney and friends, Theresa Nysetvold, Becky Hudson and Murray County Central vocalists.  Admissions is $6.00. 

The Chocolate Affaire is the major fundraiser for the Friends organization. A Silent Auction will feature 35 to 40 donations from Friends and community members and local businesses. Handcrafted items such as picture frames, end tables and quilted items will be available as well as variety gift baskets which might contain wine, jams or jellies or other specialty food items. Books, children’s items and home décor have been offered. If you have an item you’d like to donate, stop in at the library and sign up. 

The purpose of the Friends of the Library is to support the library’s services, facilities and needs. This year Chocolate Affaire proceeds will go toward purchase of a Culligan water cooler, coffee cart with Keurig coffee maker and a magazine wall rack to be used for a community magazine exchange.  

Over the years, the Friends have assisted with a variety of projects. Currently Friends members host a Preschool Story Time on the second Friday morning at 10 a.m. Other projects include help with hosting library programs, stocking a book cart with used books available for purchase, providing refreshments and books for the 1,000 Books before Kindergarten graduates and their families, Family Fair and support for the Summer Reading Program.  To find out about all the library’s events, “Like” the Facebook page at 

Mary Perry and Colleen Gengler co-chair the group. Netty Fiedler is the group’s treasurer.  The Friends have about 50 members with ten to twelve actively attending the every-other-month meetings. Dues are an affordable  $10 per individual, $5 - student, $15 - family and $25 - organization or business. 

For more information on the Chocolate Affaire or to donate an item, stop in at the  

Slayton Public Library or call 836-8778.

FREE Classes for People New to Medicare 

There are important decisions that need to be made when you become eligible for Medicare. Making the wrong decision can lead to not having any or enough health care coverage and financial penalties. The Senior LinkAge Line® through the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging® (MNRAAA) is sponsoring two classes for people who will soon be eligible for Medicare. Participants will learn the basics of Medicare and their coverage options in Minnesota during the first class. They will also learn how to research these options using non-biased tools, such as the Medicare website and the Medicare Plan Finder Tool during the second class.

Classes are held in Slayton on the second and third Monday of the month. Call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 to register.

The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line® is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota and is the place to call for Medicare and health insurance issues. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance or go to® to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line® specialist.

WHO: Senior LinkAge Line® and Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA)

WHAT: Free Classes for People New to Medicare

WHEN: Second and Third Monday of each month

WHERE: Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, 1939 Engebretson Ave., Slayton, MN

Visit our website at:

Court Queen Of Peace #1558

Court Queen of Peace met Sat., Jan. 20 with 24 members beginning with rosary followed by light breakfast and meeting. Regent Joyce Risacher called the meeting to order with prayer, thanked Barb Neilson and her lunch committee and welcomed Carmen Barry as a new member.

Joyce reminded the members of the Education contest which includes many categories. It is open to grades 4-12 and adults, with the theme being “The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us, We Are Filled With Joy” or “Finding Joy In Our Life”. The specifications are in the CDA box at the church entrance. Marcie Cowan will notify the Faith Formation students. The local deadline is Feb. 15.

Barb Surprenant, legislative chair, reminded members that caucuses are on Feb. 5 and it is there that we can make our voices heard for issues that concern us. A little known fact is that in the year that the census is taken the governor can redraw the district lines. Currently our district runs along the Minnesota-North and South Dakota borders from the Iowa border to the Canadian border. Our representative has all that area to meet constituents while the Twin City area has 4 representatives in a very small area.

Barb Minnehan said the mitten/cap project is being used and will continue until the middle of March.

There will be no book club this winter but Marcie’s ‘Mary Study’ is going on right now with room for anyone who may be interested.

Members were encouraged to provide email addresses in order to save postage on receiving “Voice of the Lakes”.

The National Convention is July 17-22 in Sioux Falls. The program of events is in the “Share” magazine. We have 2 delegates and 4 alternates. If interested give Joyce a call. 

A donation was made for Masses of Reparation which are celebrated in various parishes throughout the diocese. A donation was also made to the Carl Schreier fund.

An invitation was extended from the Wilmont court to attend the ceremony of the new Junior Court on Sunday, Jan. 28 that they are establishing. A sign up sheet was passed for those interested in attending.

Lenten Luncheons are Feb. 15 and 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22. Joann Halbur will do the calling. The rest of the assignments are much like last year. 

Liberty Nelson and Celeste Aamodt gave a presentation on their trip to the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis. They joined 25,000 students in grades 9-12 from across the nation to share and grow in their faith.

The next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 22 about 9:30 before the Lenten Luncheon.

Free In-Person Tax Preparation Service 

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation help to anyone who needs it – with special attention to those who are 50 or older or have low to moderate income.  AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are trained to assist you in filing many income tax forms and schedules.  However, the Volunteer Protection Act requires that our volunteers stay within the scope of tax law set by the IRS for the program.  In certain situations, our volunteers may be unable to provide assistance.   

Please bring your previous year’s tax return(s), SS card, any income forms – W-2, SSA, 1099, 1099R, 1099G, or other 1099 forms and self-employment income, records of any income tax paid, deductions if itemizing, health insurance forms 1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C or any exemption correspondence, Brokerage statements, and any credits for dependent care provider information. 

They will be doing Tax Preparation on Wednesdays:  February 7th & 21st, March 7th & 21st, April 4th and 11th at the Slayton Public Library.

Please call A.C.E. of Southwest MN – Murray County at 507-836-8705 to set up an appointment.

Kathy Engler With Re/Max Advantage Plus Is Excited To Welcome Laura Mae Winge To Her Team

Are you looking to buy or sell your home, cabin, business or acreage? I would love to help you with your next real estate endeavor. I understand that buying and selling is one of life’s biggest decisions. It would be my privilege to represent and guide you through this process.  

As a lifelong resident of the area, I enjoy country living with my family. I also enjoy boating on Lake Shetek and Bloody Lake. Recently, I bought my own piece of real estate, a historic 100-year-old meat locker located in downtown Currie. I transformed the building into a fabulous office for my RE/MAX Advantage Plus realty business. Stop in and visit 117 Mill Street, Currie MN. As a licensed Real Estate Agent, I also hold a degree in Interior Design from the New York Institute of Art & Design. My design expertise provides me the ability to have a creative vision for each and every property.

I have a heartfelt drive to listen to my clients needs and desires and I strive to make buying and selling a fun and easy process for my clients. Let my knowledge of real estate and my love for this area assist you on your next real estate adventure.  You can also contact me at 507-626-0745 or 507-763-3377.