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Lunchbox Lectures 2020/2021 Schedule

The Murray County Historical Society will not be hosting in-person Lunchbox Lectures this season. Instead, what we have planned is a combination of 6 recorded presentations and slideshows that will be posted on our website between November and April for you to enjoy at home! One positive about this type of lecture? You do not have to worry about missing a one-day event. These videos will be available on our website all season so you can watch them whenever you have time! The presentations will be released on our website ( on the second Thursday of each month according to the tentative schedule below.  

November 12: 2020 Cemetery Tour PowerPoint

December 10: Draining the Great Oasis; Narrated PowerPoint by Janet Timmerman 

January 14: Murray County in the 1920s PowerPoint 

February 11: Railroads of Murray County; Jakob Etrheim

March 11: Baseball Interview with Bill Bolin; Pulled from the MCHS Archive 

April 8: Frank Thayer—An Architect’s Story; by Rose Schmit 

If you have any questions, contact the museum at 507-836-6533 or

2021 UMN Extension Horse Online Certificate Courses

Back by popular demand, five online horse certificate courses will be offered by UMN Extension in 2021!

Courses include equine biosecurity, manure management, basic horse nutrition, growing and feeding horse hay, and horse pasture establishment and management. The 6-week courses begin on Monday, January 4 and conclude on Sunday, February 14. Registration ($75 per course) is required by January 3 and each course is limited to 100 participants. Interested individuals can find more information and register on the UMN Extension website.

Courses are recommended for adult learners (ages 18 and older) but are open to everyone. Courses do not result in college credit. 

University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Catholic Charities Looking For Donations To Help Those Affected By COVID

Since June of 2020, Catholic Charities of Southern MN has been helping people in Southwest MN with our Worthington Area COVID Relief Fund.  This fund was established to assist those who have lost significant income because of the COVID outbreak and don’t qualify for other assistance with a one-time payment of a maximum of $500 towards housing and/or utility expenses. Thanks to many generous donors, we have been able to help more than 50 households with over $23,000 In assistance.  While we currently still have funds available, we see our fund being depleted as applications are on the rise, the COVID issues continue, and we face the winter months.  

If you would like to help us in this important endeavor, checks can be made out and sent to: Catholic Charities of Southern MN, PO Box 379, Winona, MN 55987.  Please indicate on the memo line of your check that the donation is for the Worthington Area COVID Fund.  All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the money received will be used to help people who live in Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles, Murray, Pipestone and Rock counties of SW Minnesota.  If you are in need of assistance or would like more information, please contact Lisa Kremer; 507-360-3423, . 


Application deadline is December 18th.

November 10 2020 -- Math tutors are in higher demand this school year due to challenges related to distance learning. Two Minnesota Math Corps tutors are still being sought for Murray County Central. Both full-time and part-time tutor positions are available. Anyone interested in serving is encouraged to apply by December 18th at or by calling 866-859-2825.

About Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps: In Minnesota, nearly half our students struggle with reading or math. Reading Corps and Math Corps are AmeriCorps programs that provide a proven solution. After being trained in evidence-based interventions, tutors are placed in schools across Minnesota to help students develop the foundational skills they need to succeed. Independent, external evaluators confirm these programs make a dramatic impact on academic achievement and are replicated nationally.  These programs are affiliated with ServeMinnesota, the state’s commission for AmeriCorps service. For more information, please visit and/or

Murray County Food Shelf Schedule

The Murray County Food Shelf continues to be open on Thursdays from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM with curbside distribution and with registration by cell phone upon arrival at the site at 2989 Maple Road in Slayton.  Since Thanksgiving Day is on a Thursday (November 26) the Food Shelf will be closed that week.

Blood Donations Continue to Slump Placing Supply at Critical Levels

Slayton, MN- Continued heavy usage throughout the community combined with limitations placed on the number of donations allowed per hour due to the COVID crisis has Community Blood Bank calling for donors with A and O blood types. Blood is an essential foundation for our medical community when it comes to treating critically ill patients and emergency cases. It is imperative to maintain a strong blood supply local hospitals in the immediate area. Community members can safely donate every 56 days and all donations that are given with Community Blood Bank will stay for local patients and local use. Please consider donating blood on Wednesday, November 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Murray County Medical Center. To schedule an appointment log onto and click on “events”, select November 18 and Slayton Community or call 507-836-1286. 

“This is the fourth straight week we are fighting drastically low blood supplies in our community,” states Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank. “We are seeing a large number of patients requiring blood for surgeries. The call for blood donors with either O or A blood types continues. Please remember we encourage first time donors, as well as those that haven’t donate in a while, to schedule an appointment to give blood as well. It will take a large number of community members to support the local blood supply to get us through this serious situation.”

Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent form found at weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health.  Donors exhibiting cold or flu symptoms are unable to donate.  A valid identification is required at the time of registration.  It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating blood. With policies associated in addressing COVID-19, only donors with appointments will be accepted.  

Murray County Food Shelf and the Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) to Distribute LED Bulbs Provided by Excel Energy

As part of its commitment to supporting customers through the COVID-19 crisis, Xcel Energy is donating over 1.5 million high-efficiency LED light bulbs to Minnesota food banks including those served by Second Harvest Heartland. The 4-packs of bulbs will be free for food bank patrons. The goal is to help people access high-efficiency light bulbs which use up to 90% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs, reducing energy use and lowering energy bills.

Second Harvest Heartland and Channel One Regional Food Bank will receive three rounds of donations. They will then distribute the bulbs to food shelves in the areas they serve, which include the Twin Cities, St. Cloud area and portions of Southern Minnesota. A total of 600 agencies will receive over 1.5 million bulbs. Locally, the Murray County Food Shelf and NAPS have received bulbs from Second Harvest Heartland and will begin distribution in November.

Good News 

By: John Stenen 

An oyster fisherman once opened a shell and discovered a little fish only three and a half inches long. It was weak and nearly dead. The oyster was nowhere to be seen. Apparently, the fish entered the oysters shell and was trapped when it closed. Once inside, it devoured the oyster, but unable to open the shell, it also would have soon expired.

Sin works much the same way. Many find sin attractive and begin to dabble in it until they find they are in bondage to it. They never intended for it to go that far, but often they feel there is no escape no matter how hard they try. The first chapter of James tells us that when we are drawn away by our sinful desires and an act of our will, we give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. Romans 3: tells us that the wages of sin is death.

On the other hand, Romans 2:4 lets us know that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. God is Love, He is patient with us and forgiving; He understands our weaknesses. However, He demands that we repent of our sin and surrender our lives to Jesus. When we do so, all of our sins, our guilt, and our shame are washed away by the shed blood of Jesus.  We are then made as clean as the driven snow. He then expects us to diligently seek Him and mature in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do not listen to those who would tell us that God would send no one to hell, and that because He loves us that we are all His children. We are His creation and we only become His children when we receive Jesus as the Lord of our lives. When we reject Jesus we are choosing to reject God’s plan for our salvation and we send ourselves to hell.  Jesus paid a great price for our salvation. Please, don’t throw your life away for sinful pleasure. Come to Jesus today and begin to experience the abundant life He has come to provide for us. It far surpasses a life lived in sin. God bless.

Grief Support Group

Hospice of Murray County will hold a bereavement group for adults at the Hospice of Murray County office in Slayton. It is for 6 sessions, on Tuesdays, and will begin on Tuesday November 10th and will continue through Tuesday, December 15th, 2020, from 4:00-5:30 pm.

There is no cost for the bereavement support group as it is sponsored by Totzke Funeral Home of Fulda and Slayton, and Hospice of Murray County. Pre-registrations are appreciated so materials can be put together. You can pre-register by calling the Hospice office at 507-836-8114 by Monday November 9th.

This bereavement group is not just for those family members served by hospice, but all adults who have lost a loved one.

FSA Encourages Farmers and Ranchers to Vote in County Committee Elections

The 2020 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began on Nov. 2, 2020, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return ballots to local FSA offices, or to be postmarked, is Dec. 7, 2020. 

County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs, conservation programs, incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities, emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, may also be eligible to vote. 

Eligible voters in local administrative area 2, who do not receive a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center.

Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2021.

The candidate in this year’s election is Joan Miller of Balaton.

She has farmed for 21 years with husband Todd in the Skandia township area. They have three daughters that attend MCC. They raise corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs.

More information on county committees, such as the new 2020 fact sheet, can be found on the FSA website at or at a local USDA Service Center.


Rebel Roundup

The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week. Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education.

The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”

The first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the co-sponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a co-sponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.

Today, American Education Week is appropriately celebrated the week prior to Thanksgiving. At MCC, our 13th annual American Education Celebration is on Tuesday, November 17th. Due to the pandemic, we will be hosting a virtual commemoration this year. The program will be posted on our MCC Facebook page on Tuesday, November 17th for you to view. 

I appreciate and commend the hard work that our students and staff do every day to ensure that our school continues to improve, achieve and learn. Everyone from our teachers, support staff, and parents deserve recognition for this accomplishment. During these unprecedented times, you are to be commended for going the extra mile to keep our students and staff safe by social distancing and diligently washing hands and wearing masks. Although, our community is not immune to COVID19, we are striving to maintain in-person learning and thank you for making the choices that allow this. 

One of my favorite quotes that best describes the awesome staff at Murray County Central is, “One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child.” (Forest Witcraft) In my opinion, this sums up American Education Week as we honor and celebrate the successes of staff and students.

Todd Burlingame
MCC Elementary Principal


With Murray County Central’s 13th annual American Education Week right around the corner, we look to celebrate the accomplishments of our students, staff, and community members who have contributed in a significant way to our district.  Our community is truly blessed to have such talent within our schools.  

Even though our district did not take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments last year due to COVID-19, our teaching staff have been diligently preparing and working to provide our students with the best education possible during these challenging times.  They continue to go above and beyond to move instruction forward and keep our students learning.  They have done this by learning how to use Zoom, Google Meet, and Google Classroom, among other learning applications, and by being intentional to connect with students who may be gone and forced to learn from a distance. Because of the dedication of our staff and the commitment of our students, we have accomplished much.  No matter what comes, I am confident that our district will continue to maintain its reputation as an educational leader in southwest Minnesota.  

Our district has further prepared our students for success by going 1:1 with a device for every student.  This has only become a reality because of the hard work and vision of our support staff as well as the generosity of our community.  It has been essential as our students are forced to learn in different environments this year.  Another kudos to our community for helping us to keep our band and choir programs in tact this year due to the yes vote on our building bond.  People may not know that we would not have enough space to have band and choir this year (due to social distancing) if we didn’t have our new gym facility- and just in time!

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 southwest Minnesota for academics.  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 deserve recognition for this accomplishment. Thank you for the work you do on a daily basis to ensure every child is successful in school and life.

Jake Scandrett
High School Principal