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December 9, 2010     Tri-County News
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December 9, 2010
 

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Pa00e 2 Opinion Older drivers? What&apos;s required? Older Driver Safety Awareness right turns or backing up Week is Dec. 6-10 • Driving too fast or too slow for by Sgt. Kathy Pederson road conditions Minnesota StatePatrol • Delayed responses to unex- pected situations • Failing to recognize danger- ous situations • Becoming more agitated or irritated when driving • Scrapes or dents on car, garage, or mailbox • Getting lost more often • More frequent close calls • Being warned or ticketed for moving violations • Vehicle crashes (several "fender benders") • Trouble moving foot from gas pedal to brake pedal • Unpredictable stopping in traffic How to report at-risk drivers • Report to Department of Vehi- cle Services-DVS • General public reporting an at- risk driver: go to • <www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs> • Click on AT RISK DRIVERS Community referrals, other options of whereto get assistance • Senior Linkage Line (800) 333- 2433 • <www.MinnesotaHelp.Info> • Alzheimer's Association • Adult Protective Services • Local Medical Organizations If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traf- fic laws, please e-marl her at <kathy. pederson@state.mn.us>. Sgt. Ped- erson will not offer advice on spe- cific situations orreal events, which involve law enforcement. Dear Trooper Kathy: DO "older" drivers have to take any special tests to keep their driver's license or do they just sign up for the new license. 2 Trooper Kathy Says: Senior cit- izens in Minnesota do NOT have to take any special tests to receive their license. They are required just like everyone else to take a vision test for renewal and a writ- ten and a driving exam for a first time license. Dec. 6-10 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. Within 10 years we will have MORE SENIOR CIT- IZENS driving than we have children attending school in grades K-12. The five most common types of crashes for senior citizens are: • Right of Way=35 percent • Improper Left turn=25 per- cent • Improper Lane Change=15 percent • Ignoring or not "seeing" traf- fic lights or stop signs=10 percent • Other miscellaneous behav- iors = 15 percent Approaching others about driving retirement, warning signs of unsafe driving: • Not using signals correctly • Hesitatingwhile makingturns • Difficulty moving into the correct lane of traffic • Trouble judging gaps in traffic on highway entrance/exit ramps • Parking inappropriately • Hitting curbs when making Mn/DOT reminds public not to push snow onto roads The civil liability can extend to both the property owner and the person who placed the snow. Improperly placing snow on or near a public road creates haz- ards including drainage prob- lems, drifting, sight obstructions and unsafe access. Special atten- tion should be made to keep cross- walks, intersections, entrances and exits clean and unobstructed. Mn/DOT maintenance crews plow and maintain about 135,000 miles of streets and highways in Minnesota including 12,000 miles of state highways. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds the pub- lic that it is unlawful to deposit snow on or next to a public high- way or street. Minnesota law and many local ordinances prohibit the plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow onto public roads. This includes the ditch and right of way area along roads. Violations are considered mis- demeanors, but civil penalties also apply if the placement of snow creates a hazard, such as a slippery area, fro- zen rut or bump, that contributes to a motor vehicle or pedestrian crash. STAX/B AC 00ZALIV E TCN Office Hours: Mondays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fn., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Call for availability at other times DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Mondays II // w_ $ill Pertler "Slices of Life" A new baby, and the art of improv Thursday, December 9, 2010, Tri-County News .Kimball, MN It's been nearly a decade since we welcomed a new baby into our house. I'd forgotten how topsy- turvy life becomes with late night feedings, the baby crying, poo and per in unlikely places and, of course, sleep deprivation. After four kids and two decades on the job as parent, I've decided having a baby in the house is akin to a stand- up comedy routine; it involves a lot of improvisation and thinking on your feet. A new baby will take your ordi- nary and organized adult life and turn it into an unpredictable and rather messy affair. In the last few days, our new baby (we named her Gertrude) has reminded us of this. Like all babies, she is cute, cuddly and hasn't yet learned to sleep through the night. Unlike our other babies, she won't enter kindergarten in five years. Gertrude is a kitten. My husband and I decided to sur- prise our youngest son with the tiny feline as a gift for his ninth birthday. We rationally discussed the logic of a kitten and what it would bring to our lives. We explored specifics, so we'd recognize the perfect one when the time came. "It has to have short hair," my husband said. He made a sweep- ing motion with his hand, gestur- ing toward the dog hairs (cour- tesy of our yellow lab) permeating every crack, crevice, flat surface and piece of furniture within our house. I understood his logic. We've been cat owners before. The one female we had was pain- fully shy and much too timid. The male cats we've known possessed bolder personalities and were less likely to be afraid of living with a large yellow Labrador retriever. We reasoned a male cat would be best for our household. "Gray would be a nice color, or calico," my husband continued. "We don't want a black cat." I nodded in agreement, think- ing about how all our furniture is light brown. Black cat hairs would stand out like a beacon. And so it went, until we had a specific recipe for a new kitten down pat. Written in ink (blue, not black). The permanent kind. The next day I made a trip to the animal shelter, to take a prelimi- nary look at the kittens. I brought along a box - with blanket and lid -just in case. You know. I don't need to tell you how this turned out. I already let the cat out of the bag about our new kitten's name. You don't have to be a veter- inarial linguist (yeah, I made that up) to realize Gertrude is clearly not male. I don't need to add that one of the kittens available for adop- tion - crying in her cage, begging to be taken out and held (and not the least bit timid) - had fluffy, medium length fur that just hap- pened to be... well.., black. When I lifted her in my arms, she nuzzled into my sweater and it was love at first purr (for me at least). After a quick call to confer with my husband about the slight discrepancies between the kitten we were looking for and the kitten I'd found, I went out to my car to get the box. Gertrude is not what we planned. In fact, in some ways, she is. exactly the opposite. Life can be like that: the more you grapple for control, the more unpredictable it becomes. I learned this the hard way. When I was expecting my first child, I remembered - as an eldest child myself- always wanting an older brother. So, I hoped for a boy; I got a girl. Once I had a daughter, I longed to give her a sister. Instead I deliv- ered three (consecutive) brothers. One could say I never got what I wanted. Truth is, I got exactly what was right. I can't imagine wanting anything different now. To make a short story long, our family has a new black kit- ten named Gertrude. She's noth- ing like we envisioned, but that's okay because in lots of ways she's even better. After years and years of practice, I think I've finally real- ized that's what life and family (and improv) are all about. Jill Perfler is a syndicated colum- nist and author of"The Do-It-Your- selfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." E-mail her at <pertmn@qwesrnet>; Follow Slices of Life on Facebook, or check out her website at <http:// marke'ang-by-design, home. mchsi. cam>. @ POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, RO. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County News (USPS 639- 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi- cals. It is published Thursdays by the Tfi-County News, Inc., RO. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353, Stearns County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street South in downtown Kimball Weekday office hours are Monday 9.a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Fri- day 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Our telephone and fax number is (320) 398-5000. E-mail can be addressed to <news@tricounty news.lN>. Our Web site is <www. tricountynews.MN>. We also have a drop site at Ertl Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are S30/year ($20 for age 62 and old- er) in Minnesota; S40/year ($30 for seniors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is 75 cents. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and Publisher Sue Hughes: Creative Designer Maxine Doran: Admin. Associate Marguerite Laabs: Photographer Marlene A. Young: Ad Sales Rep The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a re- sponsibility to report the news ac- curately and fairly, and that it is accountable to the public. Please contact our office if you feet we've fallen short of that objective. LETTERS: The Tri-County News welcomes letters promoting the exchange of ideas and opinions. To be considered for publication, let- ters should address a topic of cur- rent or genera[ interest. Private thanks, political self-promotion, li- belous letters, or letters denigrating character or reputation will not be published. All letters must bear the writer's signature, address and tele- phone number. We reserve the fight to edit for clarity and readability. LEGAL PUBLICATION: The Tri- County News is the publication of record for the city of Kimball, Independent School District #739, Clearwater River Watershed Dis- trict, Stearns County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Kingston and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on recycled paper whenever possible. We encourage recycling. COPYRIGHT: All content herein is the property of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S., copyright law; 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. 2009 MNAAward for Best Self- Promotion Ad; 2008 MNA Award for Best Advertisement; 2008 Award for Portrait and Personality Photography; 2007 MNA Award for Advertising Excellence; 2007 MNA Award, Best Information Graphic; 2006 MNA Award, Classified Adver- tising; 2004 MNAAward, Advertis- ing Excellence; 2000 MNAAward, Best Local News Story. © 2010, Tri-County News  :: VISA 4 l, χ