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Currie State Bank Provides Paycheck Protection Program Loans to Local Businesses

Since the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) launch in early April, Currie State Bank has approved loans desperately needed for liquidity for many local businesses disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currie State Bank offered its PPP loans to new and existing customers who could not otherwise access PPP funding through their large bank or credit union relationship. The staff of Currie State Bank worked extremely hard during April and May to help customers secure aid. “At Currie State Bank, our employees were willing to make sacrifices to help our customers”, said Doug Hansen, CEO and Cashier of Currie State Bank. “I could not be more proud of how our community has come together during this difficult time to help each other get through and I’m especially proud of our staff here at Currie State Bank for making this possible. Each PPP loan represents critical jobs preserved in this time of crisis”. Community bankers also set aside competition and worked together to provide each other with needed information to bring PPP lending online.  “Small businesses are benefiting from Minnesota’s strong community banking sector and the lenders who are putting in long hours and submitting record quantities of SBA loans to help shore up their local economies,” said Brian McDonald, the Acting SBA District Director of Minnesota. 


Youth League Awards

The Beaver Creek Archers have decided to handout the youth league awards with a Drive Through presentation, Friday, May 29th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Parents are asked to approach in the south entrance of the archery club to receive their award, take pictures and exit heading northeast. All are welcome to stay and cheer on this years shooters and their families by parking by the sides of the parking lot. 


Murray County Historical Society Receives SMAC Grant for 2020 Dinehart Holt House Front Porch Music Series

The Murray County Historical Society has received a $2,369 Arts Projects Grant from the Southwest  Minnesota Arts Council. The funds will be used to towards the society’s annual Front Porch Music Series held at the historic Dinehart Holt House in Slayton; which was built in 1891 by Christopher Dinehart. Dinehart was one of the founders of the State Bank of Slayton [now home to the Left Bank Café] and later became its President. His wife Flora Dinehart owned the first piano in the county. Local lore told that on summer evenings, people would stop along the sidewalk in front of the house to listen to piano music drifting from the parlor windows. In the spirit of local history, the historical society will host musical acts to be performed from the front porch of the house. The concerts are tentatively scheduled for  the last three Thursdays of July starting at 7pm. Performances by:

• Starfire, a 1950s and 1960s Rock and Roll cover band.

• Kordal Kombat, a local barbershop and acapella group with national appearances and acclaim.

• The Skally Line, an acoustic group specializing in historical music.

The Murray County Historical Society is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will comply with state and county government directives as whether to postpone or cancel the concerts. Follow the society’s website (historicmurray.org) or Facebook page (facebook.com/murraycountymuseum)  for updates on concerts. Please contact the Murray County Historical Museum at (507) 836-6533 or jtimmerman@co.murray.mn.us for questions.

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and encouraging the development of the arts in the 18 counties of southwestern Minnesota. SMAC receives funding from individuals, businesses, organizations, schools, cities, counties, private foundations, an allocation from the state of Minnesota and a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, made possible by the voters of Minnesota. For more information about the SMAC and its grant programs, visit swmnarts.org.


Minnesota State University, Mankato Awards 2,367 Degrees at End of Spring Semester 

MANKATO, Minn. (May 12, 2020) - Minnesota State University, Mankato awarded 2,367 degrees to 2,294 students at the end of the spring 2020 semester, with this spring’s graduates celebrated through a special website that launched Saturday, May 9, the day on which the University’s three traditional graduation ceremonies were scheduled but cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Each graduate also received personalized URL video messages by email on May 9, and “commencement-in-a-box” packages were shipped to each graduate the week before graduation. 

Nicholas Lehnhoff, Currie, MN, BS, Construction Management 

McKenzie Schmitz, Currie, MN, MS, Community Health Education

Andrew Appel, Fulda, MN,  MS, Counseling and Student Personnel

Marie Hanson, Slayton, MN,  MS, Communication & Composition

Jordan Leebens, Slayton, MN,  BS, Applied Organizational Studies


USDA Reminds Producers to Complete Crop Acreage Reports 

The Murray County office for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently open to phone and virtual appointments only but can still work with producers on timely filing crop acreage reports.  FSA staff can provide assistance over the phone, by email and through virtual meetings via Microsoft Teams. 

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Murray County: 

July 31, 2020 - All crops        

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers must file an accurate crop acreage report by the applicable deadline,” said David Schreiber, FSA’s County Executive Director in Murray County. “Our FSA staff is still able to assist producers in completing acreage reports, including providing maps.”

The Murray County FSA office will provide maps to producers through pickup at the office, mail or email with instructions for completing the maps. After planting is complete, producers should return completed maps to the office by dropping it off or by mail or email before mid June.  

After completed maps and all acreage reporting information is received, FSA will make software updates and provide by pickup, mail or email to producers the completed Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) to sign. Producers must return the signed form certifying their acreage report to the FSA office by dropping it off or by mail or email before July 15, 2020. 

The following exceptions apply to acreage reporting dates:

• If the crop has not been planted by the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

• If a producer acquires additional acreage after the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

Producers should also report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were unable to plant. Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form CCC-576, Notice of Loss, no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

For questions, please contact FSA’s Murray County office at 507-836-8567.


2020 Acreage Reporting Dates

In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to contact the Murray County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline. 

The Murray County acreage reporting deadline for all crops is July 15, 2020.  

The following exceptions apply to the July 15th date:

•If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

•If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

•If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15th.

Due to the office being closed to the public, acreage reporting will be somewhat different this year.  Currently all producer farm maps are available at the office.  It will be the producer’s responsibility to get the maps from FSA and complete the information required for acreage reporting.  You can get your maps by calling and stopping to pick up at the office, by mail or email. Completion instructions will be included.  Once you return the maps with all acreage reporting information, the office will load it and contact you for signature.  

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Murray County FSA office at 507-836-8567.   


2020 Andrea Ruesch Regional 4-H Scholarship Recipients

The University of Minnesota Extension Development/Minnesota 4-H is pleased to announce the 2020 Andrea Ruesch 4-H Scholarship recipients. 

 The Andrea Ruesch Scholarship was established in 2010 by the Family of Andrea Ruesch, in memory of her dedication and contributions to the Minnesota 4-H program. Based on the family’s belief in positive youth development, the focus of the scholarship is demonstrated learning through hands-on experience and using what you have learned to help others through youth leadership. 

 The scholarship committee announces the fourteen $1,000 scholarship recipients:

 · Jack Derickson, Cottonwood County 4-H

· Samuel Dammann, Cottonwood County 4-H

· Jordann Schneekloth, Jackson County 4-H

· Nathan Hinkeldey Jackson County 4-H

· Abigayle Calkins, Martin County 4-H

· Abigail Hamman Murray County 4-H

· Michelle Zenk, Murray County 4-H

· Emmett Bickett, Nobles County 4-H

· Kelsey Fuerstenberg, Nobles County 4-H

· Kendra Frodermann, Nobles County 4-H

· Devin Pietz, Pipestone County 4-H

· Isaac Berg, Pipestone County 4-H

·  Whitney Elbers, Rock County 4-H

· Landon Hoppe, Watonwan County 4-H

 The mission of Minnesota 4-H Youth Development is to engage youth, in partnership with adults, in quality learning opportunities that enable them to shape and reach their full potential as active citizens in a global community. These students exemplify the life and leadership skills we hope all youth have the opportunity to develop.

 The scholarship is for a high school senior or first-year college student currently enrolled in 4-H. Applicants must be from one of the nine counties listed: Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock and Watonwan.

 Contributions to the Andrea Ruesch Scholarship can be made by sending your gift to U of M Extension Development/Minnesota 4-H, Attn: Wan Tansatit, 9 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108. The U of M Extension Development/Minnesota 4-H is a non-profit foundation that works to raise funds from individuals, businesses, and foundations to support University of Minnesota Extension 4-H programs around the state. For more information about making a gift to support your local 4-H program, please contact the U of M Extension Development/Minnesota 4-H at 612-624-7971. 

 If you would like to learn more about the 4-H program and the opportunities available, contact your local Extension office.


IMAGINE YOUR STORY 2020 LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM

Since the library is currently closed to the public due to the CoVid 19 pandemic, we are unable to schedule children’s story times for this summer. So we would like to offer activities that children will be able to do at home. We have put together weekly take home activities - reading logs, crafts, word search puzzles and other hands on activities. Please call the library at 836-8778 to register your preschool – 6th grade children. The first take home packet will be available for pick up June 1st and 4th. We welcome your input and suggestions for take home ideas that you would like us to provide for your children this summer. You may call the library with book titles that you would like to check out for your children to read. Let’s work together to keep your kids reading!


 

Good News 

By John Stenen

As a young marine serving in Viet-Nam, and just like many others who have served in the armed forces, I’ve been on a few battle-fields. I’ve seen the dead and the dying and one thing that was characteristic of them all is this:  They were engaged with, and facing the enemy. I’m very proud of all those who have served honorably in our armed forces which have kept us free these many years.

I’m still in the military today after all these years, only I no longer wear a marine corp uniform; I’m a soldier of Jesus Christ - and still fighting in a war.  Jesus Christ is the Commander and has equipped the Church with weapons that enable us to be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us. We are fighting a spiritual war between good and evil; and as I look through the Church world today, it often appears that the evil is prevailing. Many who call themselves soldiers of Jesus Christ are running around with the white flag of surrender and compromise. Many deny the virgin birth of Christ. They deny his miracles; their lives are lived in disobedience to His Commands. All manner of immorality, drunkenness, etc. is un-repented of in the Church, and Church discipline is seldom if ever enforced. The enemy has invaded the Church and convinced many that the murder of over 60 million babies is perfectly justified because it’s legal to abort them. Adultery and fornication are embraced as normal; the use of foul language is common, and we could go on and on as to how worldly the lives of some ‘Christians’ have become, -yet, they say they love Jesus.

 I thank God that Jesus said that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. I’m thankful for the many Christians who serve Jesus faithfully and submit themselves to God, are led by the Holy Spirit and subdue the flesh (which loves to wallow in sin). They strive to rescue others from the bondages of our enemy, the devil, who wants to keep them deceived;  and they in turn find new and everlasting life in Christ Jesus.

When that time comes for you and I as Christians to leave this earth and go where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, I hope we go fully engaged in our warfare and facing the enemy. God bless.


MNRAAA Receives Grant from Minnesota Council on Foundations

Mankato, MN, May 1, 2020 – Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, Inc. (MNRAAA) received $100,000 from the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) to assist organizations serving older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We are excited to focus this grant in our communities to assist our families, friends and neighbors, with nutrition-related services,  Stipends for volunteers, culturally specific staff costs and loaner technology and technology or other related services,” said Jason W. Swanson, MNRAAA Executive Director.

“As we work to mobilize the philanthropic community in Minnesota to meet the immense needs growing out of the pandemic, we seek to deliver a high impact, coordinated response. We recognize and support the many other efforts underway to help during this challenging time and will do our best to coordinate with them to provide the most strategic response,” said Susie Brown, MCF President. “In times of need, the generosity of Minnesotans can be counted on to support community-led solutions for those who are vulnerable and at-risk in our state,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Foundation. “As Minnesotans face risks associated with the coronavirus, that generosity will again be deployed through the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund. We are proud to play a contributing role with the MCF in the fund and in continuing Minnesota’s legacy of giving, especially during this challenging time." 

MNRAAA is currently developing the grant applications and will post information regarding the grant on our website at www.mnraaa.org.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at 507-387-1256.

The MCF exists to collectively advance prosperity and equity in the state of Minnesota. MCF currently connects, mobilizes and strengthens over 140 philanthropic partners within the sector, serving grantmaking organizations for 50 years. Members of MCF include family and independent foundations, community and other public foundations, corporate foundations and giving programs. Learn more at www.mcf.org. #WeAreMCF


Remembrance during COVID-19 social distancing

By Richard C. Nash

This year’s Memorial Day will be like no other any of us alive have ever experienced. Our daily lives, family activities, employment and social interactions have dramatically changed.

We have heard over and over and rightfully so, we are all in this together. Never in the last century have so many people been impacted to the very core of our existence where our health and lives are at risk. 

We are being asked by our local state and national leaders as well as our best medical and research minds to stay at home, minimize travel, keep our social distancing and take personal responsibility for our well- being. With this being the facts for the foreseeable future, we are approaching a significant national holiday which is extremely important to all Americans and has been since the late ‘60s when it was formally recognized by Congress.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day shortly after the Civil War, has been solemnly celebrated to recognize our war fatalities from the North and the South.

Every year this is a holiday for all of us where we acknowledge this day at cemeteries, grave sites of our fallen veterans, parades, fireworks, laying of wreaths, or flag presentations at our memorial sites. This year these events will be certainly smaller, fewer or actually cancelled. Our enthusiasm, responsibility, and duty to stop and remember why this day across America should not be diminished, but measured to reduce exposure to each other.

We must not let Memorial Day be just another self-isolation day without meaning or awareness. Take this special day, adjust your routine and remember those that gave and are still giving “their last full measure of devotion” and who paid the ultimate price for our freedom by honoring what they gave to all of us as we enjoy the lives we cherish today.

Those men and women suffered far more and overcame unimaginable obstacles much greater than what we are now experiencing.

We must not forget the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Hue City, Iwo Jima, D-Day, Argonne Forest or the Second Battle of Falluijah. We have lived through tremendous challenges as a country throughout our long history. The greatest generation survived four years of war on two fronts, we weathered the 9-11 attacks and continue with the longest conflict in our history with Iraq and Afghanistan.

Never before nor should we now suspend honoring those who have served and died. We are currently seeing service members who are dying while performing their duties fighting COVID-19 around the globe 

These men and women are on the front lines today along with all of our civilian first responders, doctors, nurses, healthcare providers and those taking care of our elderly family members.

Memorial Day this year is a day when we should all pause, reflect, and pray for those lives lost since the beginning of our Republic. We must pause for a moment of silence, think of all of those who have died or been killed in conflicts. Think of their families left behind and what their lives could have been and be very grateful that they stood up and filled the ranks alongside of extremely brave men and women of all services to protect you and me.

The willingness of American’s veterans to give their lives for something greater than even their own self existence must be honored and we owe that debt to their memories and acknowledge it this Memorial Day regardless of the daily challenges we are facing.

Think about how you might spend this day safely and consider calling a veteran. Thank them for serving and talk about their service and console them if they have fellow service members who were lost in action. Consider sending a donation that day to one of our Minnesota Veterans Homes, donate to your local American Legion or VFW Posts. 

Use one of the many technologies and social media outlets to connect with a distance relative who served in one of the branches of service. We can do simple things like flying the flag or a visit to a cemetery near you to search for a veteran of the past.

Finally, taking time during the day, stop long enough and reflect on how with everything considered, how better off you and your family is partially due to those that have fought and died on behalf of our nation.

Those we honor on this day gave their very existence for the people and the nation they loved. The least we all can do, regardless of what is going on around us, is to stop, reflect, say a simple prayer and a thank you. They have earned our undying gratitude.

We will overcome our current crisis because we as a nation can rally, pull together our collective talents, and focus on defeating this current dilemma. America is strong because of the people. That’s just what we do in dark and trying times.

Richard C. Nash was the commander of the 34th Infantry Division during a yearlong tour of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served as adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard.