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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
December 24, 2009     Tri-County News
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December 24, 2009

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:t O.ic  . Thursday, December 24, 2009 E 2 Opinion Tri-County News, Kimball, MN Letters to the E&tor i Food shelf donation requested for admission Pizza Movies Games Wii Popcorn Call (320) 250-9771 or any church if you have questions Sponsored by Community Ed & Kimball Area Ministerial Alliance Grocery stores crucial to rural communities A small grocery store anchors one end of Main Street in the town the Center for Rural Affairs calls home. If you live in a rural com- munity, you understand that our grocery store is arguably one of the most important businesses in town. Our store means more than just ready access to healthy food. Rural grocery stores provide jobs and generate tax revenue. With- out a local grocery, the revenue that our food purchases generate go elsewhere. Having a grocery store also helps attract new residents to a town. Similar to a school, a post office, restaurants and churches, a grocery store makes a commu- nity a more attractive place to live. Grocery stores can also be social places where you run into neigh- bors in the produce aisle, intro- duce yourself to someone new in town, or catch up on local happen- ings with the cashier. Not all small towns are as lucky as we are. The lack of a grocery store means residents have less access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and the elderly and others without reliable transpor- tation will tend to buy their food at convenience stores with more limited selections or go for longer periods of time between visits to the store. There are times when I worry about not having access to quality produce, or that the grocery dis- tributor will someday choose not to deliver to my town's store. But for now, I choose to support my community by shopping locally. The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffil- iated nonprofit corporation under IRS code 501(c)3. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural commu- nities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communi- ties. Steph Larsen, Center for Rural Affairs Please practice fire safety this Holiday season I offer this seasonal message with a real sense of urgency. Few things in life are as important to us as families and friends, personal possessions and Holiday memo- ries. Yet these are the very things we risk if we enter the Holiday season without thinking about fire safety. During the week between Christ- mas Eve and New Year's Day, more fires occur in Minnesota homes than at any other time of year. Cooking, heating and open flames are the three main causes - com- bined with the distraction that holi- day celebrations can bring. That's why I ask you to read the information below, clip it out, hang it on the refrigerator and review it with your family. It can save your lives, your homes and your happi- ness from the horror of a prevent- able fire. Cooking: Never leave cooking unattended. Every year, firefight- ers hear the same lament from fire victims: "I just stepped away for a moment." Keep pot holders and rags away from cooking surfaces, and turn pot handles inward to avoid spills and scalds. Finally, keep the skillet lid handy; a grease fire can be smothered with a tight lid. At the fireplace- Remove stock- ings and decorations before using the fireplace. Clear the area of toys, gifts and debris. Never burn wrap- ping paper; it burns so hot and fast, it can ignite creosote in your chim- ney. Have your chimney checked and cleaned annually. Candles: Don't leave burning candles unattended. Keep them away from curtains, clothing, rib- bons, greenery and other flamma- ble materials. Place them on sturdy, uncluttered surfaces where chil- dren cannot reach them, and check before retiring to be sure they're all extinguished. Finally, do anything it takes to raise awareness among your family and friends. Every shared safety tip, every careful gesture may be one residential fire prevented. Your Minnesota State Fire Mar- shal Division wishes you peace and joy during the Holidays and throughout the year. Yours in Fire Safety, Jerry Rosendahl State Fire Marshal Thanks, welcome from the Kimball school board The Kimball School Board would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday season. It's been a great first half of the school year filled with a lot of successes. From the varsity volleyball team to the elementary Knowledge Bowl team, Kimball students are work- ing hard and bringing pride to themselves, their school and their community. As 2009 draws to a close, we would like to acknowledge both the outstanding efforts being made by our students and the dedication of the families that support them. To the kids, thank you for all the time spent studying and practicing. To the parents, thank you for all the time spent hounding your kid to get their homework done or sit- ting in the car waiting for your kid only to find out you're at the wrong door. When parents and students make education a priority, success is inevitable. The next school board meet- ing will be in the new year and we will say goodbye to two outstand- ing board members, Marguerite Laabs and Tim Peglow. Both are Kimball alumni in their own right and they brought passion and ded- ication to their work on the school board. Their many years of service are greatly appreciated and they will be missed. In their place, we welcome two respected commu- nity members, Judy Gagnon and Tom Schreiner. They have chil- dren in the district and have been active in various community orga- nizations. They will bring fresh perspective and energy and we are excited to work with them. New years are always oppor- tunities for new beginnings and growth. As Kimball school board members, we recognize the many challenges facing our district in the comingyear. We also recognize that every challenge we encounter is also an opportunity to better our district and strengthen our com- munity. We are enthusiastic about our ability as a district to pull together, find out what we're really capable of, and usher in a new era of Kimball pride and resourceful- ness. Kimball has always been and will always be a school district and community worth investing and believing in. As always, we encourage the community to attend school board meetings, typically held the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the high school district board room. The Kimball Schools Web site and the Tri-County News will have meeting information as well as school board meeting min- utes available online. Again, thank you students, families and com- munity members for a wonderful and successful year. Robin Dockery, School Board Clerk High-speed Internet service High speed lnternet Service key to rural and small-town Minnesota's vitality It's a familiar story: A bright, ambitious 22-year-old who grew up in a small Minnesota town decides to move to the Twin Cit- ies after graduating from college because that's where she can find a well-paying job. Everyone living in rural Min- nesota can insert the names of numerous individuals they know into the story described above. It's no secret that much of the strug- gles today in our parts of the state - and throughout rural America in general - are directly tied to the fact that too many young people are moving away from our small towns and rural areas for "bigger and better opportunities" in the Twin Cities. If you talk to young people who have moved away, most of them will tell you that they'd love to come back home to raise their own families where they grew up. .Unfortunately, they say, the pro- fessional jobs back home are few and far between and they pay nowhere near what the jobs pay in the Twin Cities. It pains me to admit that what our former neighbors are saying about well-paying job opportuni- ties in rural and small-town Min- nesota is true. All, however, is not lost. While they are still outnum- bered by stories of our college graduates moving to the Twin Cities, more and more stories of young professionals from rural Minnesota moving back home are popping up. Today, people can work from anywhere, if they have access to high-speed Internet service. A woman I know works for a Twin Cities insurance company from her home between St. James and Sleepy Eye. A colleague of my friend works for a Twin Cities pub- lic relations agency remotely from his home in Perham, traveling to his office in Bloomington for meet- ings just once every other week. High-speed Internet service and telecommuting-friendly Twin Cities employers offer rural Min- nesota professionals the best of both worlds: They can have jobs with Twin Cities employers mak- ing Twin Cities salaries while liv- ing and raising their families in rural Minnesota. InternetlTo page 3