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Murray County Courthouse Clash Subject Of Next Dinehart Lunchbox Lecture

The Murray County Historical Society’s December Dinehart Lunchbox Lecture features presenter Jakob Etrheim, on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at noon in the 4-H building on the Murray County Fairgrounds, Slayton, MN.  Etrheim, the site coordinator at End O Line Park and Museum, will present on the 19th Century fight between Currie and Slayton for the Murray County seat position. There will also be a special premiere of a short documentary about the courthouse battle produced by Nick Dahlhoff, of Hadley.  There is a $3.00 charge for the event and members of the Murray County Historical Society get in free (Interested in becoming a member? Contact us!). Bring your questions and your lunch along. Hot beverages are provided.

In 1872 the first courthouse was built at Currie for the cost of $73.00 and a later building was constructed that included a vault. In the 1880’s, the developing town of Slayton vied for the county seat. The story of the courthouse struggle is complex and divisive. Based in the research and writing of author, David Hanson, newspaper articles, and historic photos, Etrheim will recount the stories that have become county legend.

Jakob Etrheim has served as the Site Coordinator for the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum in Currie since July 2017. He grew up in Garretson, SD and attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. There he studied history specializing mostly in Museum Studies and American History post-Civil War. He’s worked and volunteered in museums in South Dakota and Minnesota for over eight years. Jakob is also involved with the Garretson (SD) Area Historical Society & Heritage Museum, the Association of South Dakota Museums, and Slayton Kiwanis Club chapter. 

For more information contact the Murray County Historical Museum at: 507-836-6533 or email:

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

(StatePoint) We’ve all been there before. Procrastinated or overscheduled our holiday season to the point where we leave ourselves little to no time to shop for loved ones. But great gifts don’t necessarily need to be planned months in advance.

These last-minute ideas will bring cheer to the season for gift-givers and recipients alike.

  A Gift Basket: A gift basket is easy to prepare and, if created by you, won’t feel last-minute at all. With a few customizations for an individual’s preferences, this is an extremely thoughtful gift. Shopping for a person with a sweet tooth? Hit up the candy aisle and get most of your items from there. Shopping for a foodie? Prepare a basket of interesting herbs and spices from around the world. The possibilities are endless. After you’ve arranged the items nicely, spiff it up with a few bows and flourishes in your gift recipient’s favorite colors.

• A Timepiece: If you’re stumped for a gift for that pragmatic, stylish someone that will be appreciated for both its beauty and its functionality, consider a great timepiece in a classic design that will complement a variety of styles, such as those from Casio’s Vintage Timepiece Collection. Featuring stainless steel bands in such different metallic color combinations as gold and black, and rose gold and silver, they are equipped with an LED-lit display face, a countdown timer, a 1/100th second stopwatch, as well as a daily alarm, hourly time signal and auto-calendar. This throwback accessory is both useful and fashionable, adding a bold, retro-inspired look to any outfit.

• Movie Night: Everyone loves a trip to the movies, and these days, it’s easier than ever to send a loved one to the theater again and again. With a MoviePass membership of just $9.95 a month, you can give the gift of unlimited theater-going to your favorite cinephile.

This holiday season, don’t show up empty-handed or re-gift something generic lying around the house. There are plenty of thoughtful gifts that can be prepared at the last minute and your recipient will be none the wiser.

How to Create a Holiday Atmosphere at Home

(StatePoint) Creating festive cheer at home for the holidays is easy and fun. Here are some great ways to transform your space into a winter wonderland.

• Get cozy: During the chilly holiday season, decorate with comfort in mind. Light the fireplace. Add throw pillows to sofas. Turn off overhead lamps and use soft lighting instead. Consider how texture and warmth can contribute to your holiday decorating scheme.

• Screen festive flicks: From “It’s a Wonderful Life to “Home Alone,” keep your favorite holiday films playing all the time to create a festive holiday atmosphere, or host a special movie night and select a few classics. With the right projector, you can turn any room of the house into a home theater experience. Select a portable projector for the holiday season that will sense ambient light in the room and automatically adjust the projection accordingly, so you won’t need to blow out candles or unplug holiday lights. Those from Casio’s SLIM Series are lightweight and portable, combining a laser and LED light source to create a high-brightness mercury-free projector that uses half the amount of power per unit than its traditional lamp-based counterparts.

• Fire up the oven: There’s no better time of year to roll up your sleeves and knead out some dough. One of the best ways to create a holiday atmosphere is with scent, and the aroma of baking cookies, cakes and other holiday desserts will do the trick. If you’re worried about having all those extra sweet treats around the house just before kicking off your New Year’s resolutions, consider volunteering to bring dessert to potluck and parties you attend this season or donating the product of your labors to a holiday bake sale raising money for a charitable cause. 

• Make music: Get the holiday cheer going in your home by making music. Now you can get the sound of a 9-foot concert grand piano with the Privia PX-160, a portable digital piano, making it easy to gather round for a sing-a-long of all your favorite seasonal tunes in any room of the house. Its 88-key Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action keyboard simulates ebony and ivory-textured keys and its speaker system opens to the front but is also ported to the back, to deliver a big projected sound to all your holiday celebrants.

• Add some flora: Holly, poinsettias, mistletoe -- decking the halls with traditional holiday plants adds color and vitality to side tables, mantels, dining areas and staircases and more. Those with pets and small children should take heed, as certain plant species are toxic -- so avoid these plants or be sure they are displayed well out of reach of curious children and animals.

Preparing your home for the holiday season takes a little thought and energy, but the end result is a cheerful and warm atmosphere to make memories while spending time with loved ones.

Annual Community Band Christmas Concert 

The Annual Community Band Christmas Concert will be held Sunday, December 16th at 3:00 PM.  This event will be held at Christ Lutheran Church.  There will be a free will offering taken for the Murray County food shelves.

The Community Band’s selections will include “Christmas Time Is Here” from a Charlie Brown Christmas, George Fredrick Handel’s “For Unto Us,”  “A Christmas Spiritual” by David A. Myers, the “First Noel” arranged by Jeff Simmons, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  Two more selections will be “Season of Peace” that is a combination of Dona Nobis Pacem and Silent Night and “A Classical Christmas” that includes Joy to the World, Hark, The Angels Sing, and Hallelujah. 

The West Elementary Rebel Choir is a 72-member group of dedicated students under the direction of Christie Gergen.  We will start our program with “Ring the Bells, It’s Christmas!” by Douglas Wagner followed by “On a Silent Night Long, Long Ago” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot and Franz Gruber.  This Christmas, 200 years ago, the song “Silent Night” was born.  We are excited tell you more information about this song at the concert.  Another Austrian Carol Arr. by Julie Wheeler called “Still, Still, Still” will follow.  Next, we’ll sing a French carol called “Ding-Dong Merrily On High”.  We will finish our set with “Angels in the Snow” by Albrecht/Althouse, “Wondrous Star” by Grier/Everson, and “Sing Out, It’s Christmas!” by Douglas E. Wagner.  Our accompanists will be Theresa Nystevold and Dayne Bose.  This group’s caroling schedule is as follows:  Dec. 6th at 1:30 at the Government Center, Dec. 11th at 10:00 Left Bank and 10:30 Minnwest Bank, Dec. 14th 1:20 Sunrise Terrace and 1:50 Golden Living and Rehabilitation Center.  You are invited to attend the 5-8 Choral Festival Concert March 29 at 1:00 (snow date April 10th) and the Spring Concert on April 4th (snow date April 5th) at 2:00 and 6:00 in the High School Auditorium.

The Slayton Area Community Band’s 40 plus members enjoy presenting this concert, their six summer concerts, and participating in area parades.  Come and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of Christmas music during this Christmas season!

Farming in Tough Times

Merri Post is Interim Agriculture Program Coordinator with University of Minnesota Extension in Murray and Pipestone Counties. 

It’s not breaking news that farming is very tough right now.  I am amazed at how many programs and people are available to help people who are struggling.  Financial help, stress management, finding new direction for your farm, and perhaps finding new direction for life outside farming is available.  

Next week I’m attending a workshop on farming in tough times.  Two panelists will be sharing unexpected changes to their farm lives.  One of the panel members is a former farmer who quit farming because of financial stress and found other employment.  He’ll talk about what his life is like now. He is quoted saying, “there is life after farming”.  Another panelist is a woman whose dreams were dashed when her father died young and the farm had to be sold.  She is farming but not as she had planned.  She’ll share advice on finding a new way forward when your life changes; how to make the best of it and life can still be good.  

We are farmers and so much of our lives are based on our farms, but we are so much more than that.  We are husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends, church members, local volunteers, and the list goes on.  We are important to all those people.  But sometimes we just need a little help and encouragement to look at what is best for us.  Do any of these statements sound familiar to you?

- My banker is concerned; I need outside help making my cash flow work for 2019.

- I need to change the way I am doing some things on the farm.  Is there someone who can give me new ideas or direction?

- How can I be more efficient?  Are there ways to do things better? 

- Where are places I can cut expense?  Am I cutting expenses that are hurting my farm?

- This is a hard question to ask but “would it better for me to do something else”?  

- I am burnt out and just need someone to talk with.  

- I need help looking forward.  

The great part about living in Minnesota is there are many resources out there to help you through difficult times.  Here are just some of the resources available.

- Farm financial stress?  Contact the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077 to set up a financial counseling session.  One-to-one counseling for Minnesota farmers experiencing serious financial distress is available from the University of Minnesota Extension.  Farm financial analysts are available throughout the state.  All services are free and confidential.

- Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association: SWMFBMA is a membership-led organization of farms throughout southwestern Minnesota. The focus is entirely on improving members’ farm financial management skills, knowledge, and success.  Members receive confidential, individualized benchmarking reports that compare the performance of their own farm to other member farms. These reports allow members to capitalize on their strengths and address weaknesses to be more profitable and improve financial position.  Local contact: Don Nitchie, Extension Educator/ Field Staff, PH: 507-752-5081,

- Minnesota West Community & Technical College Farm Business Management Program:  This program is primarily taught at the student’s place of business. The instructor visits the farm on a regular basis and understands the strengths and weaknesses of each student’s business. Developing a set of sound farm records is the basis for the program. At the close of the calendar year, these records are summarized with assistance of the instructor and a computerized business analysis is prepared for each student to show how their business did financially during the year. Local instructors for Murray and Pipestone counties are:

Mike Boersma, Marshall, 605-690-5336,

Brian Boomgaarden, Pipestone, 507-825-6829, 

Linda Carter, Walnut Grove, 507-828-6651,

U of M Extension Farm Finance website has many tools for managing a farm business, including negotiating rent, farm transition planning, crop budget tools and machinery cost estimates:

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline:  Free, confidential, available 24/7. This call center is located in Minnesota. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts — call. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know. PH: 833-600-2670 x 1

Ted Matthews, rural mental health counselor, PH: 320-266-2390  Ted works with farmers across the entire state. No cost; no paperwork. This service is available thanks to funds from the Minnesota State Legislature.  He has been counseling farm families under stress since 1993. 

When farmers call Matthews, there is no diagnosis. “It isn’t about what’s wrong with you. It’s about how do you make this life better.”  Matthews gets hundreds of phone calls. People talk for five, 10 and 20 minutes. One of his rules is anonymity. He doesn’t keep records and take names, but many call later to let him know how they’re doing or ask him what he thinks about another situation. Matthews also does face-to-face counseling with individuals, couples and farm families. He even works with families who aren’t getting along during the farm transition.  (Source:

Mental Health and Family Services Line:  Farm Aid works with farm advocates, counselors and hotline operators that can help you in your time of need. 1-800-FARM-AID

Mobile Crisis Teams:  Available in every Minnesota County, counselors can respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Calls are answered immediately 24 hrs/day. Responders travel in private vehicles and generally arrive within 2 hours. 

Pipestone: 1-800-642-1525  Murray/Slayton: 1-800-658-2429

For dairy farmers:  Minnesota Dairy Initiatives (MDI) is a producer-led initiative to coordinate a comprehensive approach to the delivery of on-farm services to Minnesota’s dairy farmers.  Those who are open to change and have a sincere desire to stay in the dairy business have the most benefit. The program is available to all dairy producers, regardless of size or production, and is flexible and custom-fit to the needs of each dairy.  Our local coordinator is: Becca Schulze (507) 531-0443,

Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG):  877-860-4349

Legal services, referrals, and support for family farmers.

Farmer-Lender Mediation:  218-935-5785

Mediation help for farmers who are having difficulties with a loan or lender.

University of Minnesota Extension “Dealing With Stress” website:  Insights, tips, and resources to help you identify, manage, and help others who are experiencing stress.

I have worked on farms with some of the people listed above, they truly care about helping farmers and making their operations the best they can be.  

Quality of Life Community Health Survey

Southwest Health and Human Services (SWHHS) is conducting a Quality of Life Community Health Survey.  The information gathered in the survey will inform a community wide partnership focused on prioritize health issues and disparities, identify resources, and take action for all those that live, learn, work, and play in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Rock, Pipestone and Redwood counties.

In order to achieve our goals, we need your help! The survey is available by Survey Monkey at this link:  Paper copies are also available at the Southwest Health and Human Services offices in Slayton, Pipestone, Luverne, Marshall, Redwood Falls, and Ivanhoe. 

One of the goals of the survey is to get feedback from a diverse group of ages, genders, races, ethnicities, education levels, incomes, employment and ability levels. Please take 5 minutes of your time to fill out the survey! The other way you can help is to forward this information on to at least 10 of your contacts that live in Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Rock, Pipestone, and Redwood counties! Please help us spread the word.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Salfer, 507-637-6084,; Krista Kopperud, 507-836-6144,; or Tanlee Noomen, 507-836-6144, .   The survey will be open until January 31, 2019.

Thanks for your help with the survey! Improving health in our community is a shared responsibility!

Good News

By: John Stenen

Scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a re-warder of those who diligently seek Him.”

In Mark 9: a father brought his son who had a demon spirit that made the boy terribly ill and unable to talk. The disciples could not cast out the demon and Jesus rebuked them and said, “You faithless people…” (Mark 9:19). The father then says to Jesus in verse 22b, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. “Jesus replied, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

The woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years had spent all she had on doctors and had only grown worse. However, she heard of Jesus and said, “If I but touch the hem of His garment I shall be healed.” (Mark 5)  She believed what she heard and acted on her faith and was healed. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.” Also in Mark 5: the story is told of a religious leader who fell at the feet of Jesus and asked Him to come lay His hands on his daughter that she might be healed. Jesus went with him  to heal her, but some came from his house and said “Do not trouble the Master – your daughter is dead.” What did Jesus do? He looked at the distraught father and said, “Only believe.”

Faith can still move mountains; for “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. He is just looking for those in the Church who believe He still heals and does what he did two thousand years ago. There is genuine faith and there is wishful thinking. What are you operating on?

Are you seeking God with your whole heart? Do you honestly love the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He your LORD?  Then stay in His Word, study it, believe it and obey it for “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17).