Newspaper Archive of
Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
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August 15, 2013     Tri-County News
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August 15, 2013
 

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Pa00e 4 The art of finding balance The Tri-County News has been a multi-community newspaper since it was born 65 years ago. Before that, it was the Tri-County Messenger; also a multi-commu- nity newspaper. This past week, I was distressed by what was happening with some of my publisher friends. One woman in Wisconsin was attacked for including so much bad news in the paper. Could she help it that there were five tornadoes, and a gruesome murder all within a few days? Another friend was dealing with a community-wide search for a lost child, a search that ended badly. She too was attacked by a few, even while being commended by law enforcement for her calm and accurate handling of the mat- ter. There are some weeks when there just seem to be more stories about bad things happening than good. The human brain focuses more on bad things. My calcula- tion is that it's about a 10:1 ratio; it takes about 10 good news items to equal one bad one. (Don't quote me on that; it's just my sense of it!) Over the summer, I've heard a few little glimmers of discontent with the coverage the Tri-County News has given over the past 15 months or so to "other" communi- ties. The News has always covered more than one particular town. And, just like the bad-news:good- news ratio, the human brain reg- isters the ratio of stories about us:them a little differently from reality. We all have worked very hard to include everything that is sent to us that affects our larger com- munity. We are invited to more events, we are sent more news sto- ries and photos, and we have taken interest in a broader geographical region and to a greater extent than we have in our past. I often think in terms of analo- gies. One way to look at the News is like a happy family, with four chil- dren. Along come two more chil- dren, orphans, and some things may seem out of balance. The older children may feel neglected, like they're not receiving the same amount of attention now that the new ones have arrived. It can take a little while to regain the equi- librium of that happy family, but quickly a new "normal" is estab- lished and it seems to everyone that it's always been that way. In one instance, I was utterly flabbergasted to be accused of choosing to omit Kimball news items to make room for Watkins or Eden Valley news. Let me tell you right here that that is blatantly false. The News has expanded con- siderably to include all. We have more advertisers and more legal notices, which pay the bills and allow us to run more school, news and feature stories.., and photos. We experienced a sudden growth of about 60 percent last spring, just over 14 months ago. We've adapted, you've adapted, and we're all on track. This does not mean, of course, that we're not going to continue to evolve. As publisher, I'm always learning new things, and imple- menting them as they fit. As a business, and especially a news business, flexibility and adapt- ability is essential, particulary in these days of such fluctuation in the business. For example, very few would have believed 10 years ago that 70 percent of news con- sumers would get their news from their smartphone! (Yes, you can find the News there too.) This spring and summer, the News participated in both the Kimball Area Business Expo and the Eden Valley Business Expo. We asked readers to take a four- page survey, at both locations. The results were valuable to us, telling us what you like to read, what you want more (or less) of, and how you read the News. It was valuable enough to give away a couple of Kindle Fire tablets. We will continue to use that readership survey information throughout the coming months. We also welcome your sugges- tions, comments, and feedback. Our goal is to constantly improve our news product, both in print and online. We count on you, our readers, to let us know how we're doing and, especially, to tell us if we're headed the wrong way. We hope that you'll make your comments constructive, and that you think carefully before accus- ing us of having lost our sense of balance. We do make mistakes, and so do you who contribute items to the News. We own up to them, and do what we can, if we can, to cor- rect them. With the sheer volume of notices, stories, photos, and advertisements it's inevitable that a mistake or typographical error will sneak through, despite all our efforts. We don't make the news, we report it. Some weeks there will be more going on in one school or one community, and the next week it's different. One week there are pages and pages of sports, and the next, next to nothing. That's com- munity life, and the cycle of the news. We have 52 weeks of pages to fill each year, that's well over a thousand. Each week it feels like we have thousands of jigsaw puzzle pieces, from multiple sets. Each piece is carefully prepared, and then I find a way to squeeze it into pages. There are a few odd pieces that are leftover from previous weeks. Sometimes an "old" piece sneaks in. The hope is to have each page be cohesive, with similar pieces. (It's a good thing I love jigsaw puz- zles, too.) Every week is an excit- ing, flesh surprise. We love all our communities, no matter how you define "com- munity." And we love our weekly mission. This is our livelihood, and we take it both seriously and person- ally. Very much so. We know that you do too, which is why we %on- tinue to work so hard. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Mondays Opinion Jill Pettier "Slices of Life" Thursday, August 15, 2013 Tri- County Nnews. mn Sleeping through the night exchanged pacifiers for mouth guards and are perfectly capa- ble of operating the microwave on their own. Microwave proficiency is key to a teen's existence because instead of sleepingin the middle of the night, teens prefer to eat. I'm convinced my kids don't go to bed just so they can get a few more meals in before morning. The teens living in my house display an exceptional aptitude for preparing any and all kinds of microwave meals - especially after midnight. They are able to dispose of a box of ice cream in NASCAR fashion and can estimate the exact cost of any one of a num- ber of items on the dollar menu without using a calculator. They are skilled. They are nearly adults. Yet, they follow the sleep schedule of an infant and it is driving me crazy. Well, not crazy, per se. I am merely sleep deprived. Slap happy. Giddy when I shouldn't be. Weepy because of stimuli like toilet paper commer- cials. Walking in a fog because 2:00 a.m. is like the beginning of the evening for them. I am getting too old for this. For goodness sakes, can't they see that? Of course not. Teens are skilled in many areas, but empathy will come later for most - like when they become parents themselves. Perhaps they'll be quicker to grasp the knowledge I'm finally beginning to comprehend: when you have a baby, you are no longer in control; when you have a teen- ager, you are no longer in control. I guess this is the very issue I've been trying for decades to ignore, but the one I most needed to leam. That thought is as deep as a healthful slumber. At least I think it is. I'm not sure right now. Can't think straight due to the lack of sleep and all. Plus my teens are due to be home from their bonfire soon. Gotta be awake and alive for that. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourself- er's Guide to Self-Syndication" You can read more columns at the Slices of Life page on Facebook. Babies know nothing of regular schedules. They wake at any hour of the night or very early morn- ing and demand to be fed. This is to be expected. They are growing and in need of nourishment - day and night. Babies don't stay babies forever. They grow and change and turn into (ahem) teenagers. Teenagers know nothing of reg- ular schedules. They wake late in the daytime, stay up into the wee hours and demand frozen pizza and ice cream. This is to be expected. Teenagers are growing and in need of nourishment - day and night. When my son was an infant, there was a period of time when he got his days and nights mixed up. Now, 18 years later, I fear the situation is repeating itself. As his mom, I am experiencing a d6j/i vu of sleep deprivation. In other words, I'm tired all over again. This does not bode well with me because I sort of like sleeping and have a definite attachment to my zzz's. If I encounter an unencum- bered afternoon, I often choose to nap. My dedication to slumber runs deep. Unfortunately, my dedication to my kids runs deeper. Maybe that didn't come out right. I'll blame the sleep deprivation. For- tunately, my dedication to my kids runs deeper. Yeah, that's better. One might question how and why having teenagers who keep upside down sleep schedules impacts a mother's ability to sleep through the night. Believe me - it does; and I bet I've got a gazillion other moms and dads out there who understand what I'm talking about. We may be sleeping, but we're doing it with one eye open, and that does not result in health- ful rapid eye movement or restful slumber. Oh, sure, teenagers do not request or require the hands-on parental attentiveness essential during the baby years. I no lon- ger need to get out of bed to fetch the pacifier from the floor or heat a bottle of formula in the micro- wave. Most teens have long ago www.tricountynews.mn POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County Hews (USPS 639- 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi- cals. It is published Thursdays by the Tri-County News, Inc., P.O. Box 220, Kimball  55353, Steams County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street Sou in downtown Im- balL. Weekday office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday throu Friday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our teL and fax num- ber is (32)) 398-5000 or (32D) 453-6397. E-mall can be addressed to news muntynews./. Our Web site is tricountlmews.MN. We aLso have a drop site at Erti Hardware Har in downttawn Watldm. A satellite office is now open at 378 N State Street, downtown Eden ValL], open 10-6 Mon.-Fri. and 9-12 Sat. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are $36/year ($26 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; $46/year ($36 for seniors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is one doUar. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and PubLisher Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Axine Doran: Admin. Associate rguerite Laabs: Photographer Stephanie Johnson: Office Admin. Katelyn Asfeld: Agric. Writer Intern Pat Garry: Staff Writer The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a responsibili- ty to report the news accurately and fairly, and that it is accountable to the public. Please contact our office if you feet we've faUen short of that objective. LEI-IIRS: The Tri-County News wet- cares letters IxoXir the exohar of ideas and opinions. To be considered for pubticat-, letters should address a topk of current or general interest. Private thanks, poLt setf-lxomoUoo, LibeLous Letters, or Letter ti character or reputatkm wiLL not be pJbL. AlL Let- ters must bear the writer's gnate, ad- dress and te[ number. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and readability. LEGAL PUBLICATION: The Tri-Coun- ty News is the publication of record for the Cities of Eden Valley, Kimball, and Wat)dns; Independent School District #739 (Kimball) and Independent School District #463 (Eden Vattey-Watldns); Clearwater River Watershed District, Steams County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Forest Prairie, Kingston, Luxernburg, and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on recycled paper whenever possible. We en- courage recycling. COPYRIGHT: At[ content herein is the property of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S. copyright taw; content may not be reproduced without our written prior consent. We are proud to be a member of: Minnesota Newspaper Assoc. Kimball Area Chamber Kimball Area Historical Society Stearns County Press Assoc. MNA Peer-iudqed Awards: Ad Design winner: 2011, 2012 Best Website: 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Self-Promotion Ad: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Use of Color (Ad): 2010, 2012 Best News Photo: 2010, 2011, 2012 Best Advertisement: 2008, 2011, 2012 Best Portrait/Personality Photo: 2008 Advertising Excellence: 2004, 2007 Best Information Graphic: 2007 Best Classified Ads: 2006 Best Local News Story: 2000, 2012 2013, Tri-County News fX!  Vl lir-ll I