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Taking Care of You

Are you a caring for someone who has an illness of some type? Spending much of your time taking care of their needs and often neglecting your own. 

Caregiving involves many challenges. You often need to master new skills. You may need to develop new ways of relating to a family member if his or her ability to communicate or remember is compromised by illness.  You may have to make tough decisions. But often one of the greatest challenges is taking care of yourself.

Too often caregivers neglect their own health and well-being, and put their own needs “on the back burner.” Sometimes caregivers become a second victim of the disease that afflicts their family member. It’s sad when someone says, “My mother was the ill person, but her illness destroyed my father.” Usually, we cannot stop the impact of a chronic illness on a family member. However, we are responsible for our own self-care. 

When you board an airplane, the flight attendant gives several safety instructions. One of them is, “If oxygen masks drop down, put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.” This is because if you don’t take care of yourself first, you may not be able to help those who need your help. It’s the same thing with caregiving. When you take care of yourself, everyone benefits.

Ignoring your own needs is not only potentially detrimental to you, but it can also be harmful to the person who depends on you.

A.C.E. of SWMN Murray County offers a class titled “Powerful Tools for Caregivers”. This class is held for six weeks one time per week.  The class is designed to provide caregivers with tools to increase self care and give them confidence in dandling difficult situations, emotions and decisions. Topics include tools designed to help a caregiver reduce stress, communicate feelings and needs, find and use community services, deal with emotions such as anger, guilt and depression, and make tough decisions when needed. This class offers time for sharing with others who are dealing with similar situations offering a support system to the caregiver.

For more information and when the next class will be held, call the A.C.E. office at (507)836-8705.

Korean War Veterans

Local historian seeks to interview veterans of the Korean War on their experiences during that conflict. My interviews with Murray County veterans will inform a presentation for the Murray County Historical Society Dinehart Lecture Series in the spring of 2019. Please contact me at 507-829-8058 or at to arrange a time and place to do the interview. I will provide transcripts of the interview for you and your family. 

Thank you. -Gary K. Kass

Great Slayton Area Get Together

Slayton Area Community Band Concerts in Gullord Park, Slayton will begin Thursday, June 7th.  Every Thursday evening, June 7th – July 12th, in Gullord Park there will be music, food, and fun beginning at 5PM!  June 7th the Minnwest Relay for Life Team will be serving walking tacos for $6 beginning at 5 PM.  At 7 PM the Slayton Area Community Band will present various musical selections.  Selections on June 7th will include “Bonds of Unity,”  “Beatles Forever,” “On Eagles Wings,” and “A Salute to Louis Armstrong.”  

The American Cancer Society spent an estimated $144 million on research and health professional training last year, and more than $4.3 billion since 1946.   Murray County’s Relay for Life dollars were part of this.

Bring your lawn chair, come to Gullord Park for an evening meal, enjoy a musical concert, and support a local cause.  What could be a better “Get Together!”

2018 Acreage Reporting Dates

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

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Murray County:

July 15, 2018 for corn, soybeans, small grains, spring seeded forage and CRP.                    

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting dates:

• 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 calendar 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.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note that the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the dates listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

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

Reading Takes You Everywhere!

The staff of the Slayton Public Library urge families to get ready, get set, go to the library and sign up for “Reading Takes You Everywhere!”

The library launches its “Reading Takes You Everywhere” summer reading program on June 11. During June and July the library will host a range of free activities for children age 3 thru 6th grade, to encourage and support a love of reading. Participants can win prizes for reaching their reading goals.

This will be a wonderful program for kids to make the library a great place to read, learn, and discover what’s available for their enjoyment. Mondays will be Art & Activity Day for all ages with a variety of crafts and activities for kids to enjoy on their own or with a parent. Preschool-Kindergarten classes will meet on Tuesdays. Wednesdays will be for kids’ grade 1 – 6. Thursdays will be large group activities such as movie and popcorn. 

Parents may call or stop by the library to register their children for summer classes. There will be summer calendars available for families. 

The library will also be partnering with the MCC School’s Out Café again this summer for 4 community events. The School’s Out Café will provide free lunch for all children age 1 – 18. The Summer Food Service Program, is funded by the USDA, an equal opportunity provider. Adults may purchase lunch for a minimal cost. The dates for the joint events will be –

June 12 at Gullord Park at 10:00 a.m. for “Strings Across the Ocean” a music and history program for children and adults

June 28 at West Elementary at 10:30 a.m. for “Safari Adventures Storytelling” for children of all ages

July 19 at West Elementary at 10:00 a.m. for “Music of the Mississippi” a music program for children and adults

July 30 at Gullord Park at 1:00 p.m. for “Global Games” a toy and game program for children of all ages

To learn more about the summer reading adventure at the library please call 836-8778 or check out the library’s new website

Grad Parties

By Cole Davis

Graduation is coming up, and instead of preparing for my future, I am planning a party. In fact, almost everyone in the Senior class is doing the same. Such is the life of a Senior; preparation for grad parties is almost complete.

Graduate parties have become so ingrained into the tradition of graduating at MCC that some have been preparing for years on end. In my experience, many look forward to grad parties more than they do the actual graduation. 

The work put into graduate parties is often bordering on insanity. In a recent 2014 nationwide survey, it was found that $985 was the average amount spent on grad parties. Some choose to go extremely extravagant, spending an amount on par with the entire funding of prom. I do not know how that measures up with the grad parties of the town of Slayton, but I would not be all that surprised if there were a few that were well past that average.

Due to these major costs, some choose to opt out entirely. Friends of mine have chosen to opt out of holding their own parties, in order to save money and spend it on something more practical. One of my friends even suggested using the money for a trip to Las Vegas, which not everyone considers “practical,” but to each his own, I guess. 

Personally, preparation for grad parties has been extremely time consuming. Looking back years into older photos of my friends and myself was a very strange experience. Looking at myself in a Spider-Man costume from when I was around five made me realize that I had a rather large gap in between my two front teeth, as well as hair that was never combed properly, resulting in extreme permanent bedhead. I was quite a handsome little boy, if you could not tell by that description.

As of this point, the only grad party that has already occurred is that of Nichole Boese, whose party was on the 19th of May. Her party took place by B&K Designs, which is owned by her parents. I came with a group of friends, with whom I was celebrating a birthday beforehand. As we entered the party, I realized that there were definitely going to be pictures of us. It was a very surreal experience, to go to a grad party of someone whom you’ve known since you were in Kindergarten. 

Despite all of the confusion that I had, and the fact that I had just had birthday cake. I still grabbed a plate. Nichole had a popcorn stand set up along with her meal, so I grabbed popcorn and got ready for a meal. I saw what looked like pudding, but it turned out to be dip for carrots. Luckily, I was warned before I made the mistake. The same could not be said for Kelly Dahlhoff, who put a full spoonful of dip into her mouth. 

After eating shamefully, I noticed that there was an opportunity to go talk to the celebrated girl herself. As I approached Nichole, she asked if I ate the dip like pudding yet. I guess word travels fast. I talked to her about her life, as well as the fact that we are both going to the same school, the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. I told her about hoping to see her around, to which she agreed. “Alright Cole, now go eat the food, before we have to throw anything out,” She joked. I would not be surprised if I heard myself saying that next Saturday at my own party.

Seth Atwood, a fellow Senior and one of my closest friends, explained his goal with his party to me as well. His party is going to be a cookout, complete with Bratwurst, hot dogs, and hamburgers. He also made a point to reveal that many of his childhood photos have me in them. When he presented them to me, I remembered that I was a bit of a troublemaker as a child. It didn’t help that Seth also was one. If I remember correctly, Seth was a bit of a child playboy, “dating” a different girl every other week. And now, Seth and I are graduating. And Seth has been dating the same girl since 9th grade. But other than that, not much has changed, to be honest.

In the end, the main goal of holding a grad party is to celebrate the first quarter of one’s life. I think that we have all earned a little bit of a celebration, and I am happy to share it with others. Besides, I love breakfast food, so why not invite people to have waffles whilst looking at old pictures of me? I am happy for all of my friends, and hope to be able to celebrate with them. After all, we’ve been together so long that I think we deserve a few more get-togethers. After all, what are friends for? The class of 2018 has made it. Now, let’s celebrate.

Iowa Lakes Community College Spring 2018 Honors List Released

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (Mary 16, 2018) - Valerie Newhouse, President of Iowa Lakes Community College, has released the spring honors list of full-time students (12 credits or more) who have demonstrated academic excellence by earning a grade point average of 3.25 (based on a 4.00) or higher.

Spring semester students who have achieved a 3.25 grade point average or better are recognized by inclusion on the dean’s list. Those with a 4.00 (A) average are on the President’s list.

Ashley Atkins,  Avoca, MN

Iowa Lakes Community College, with accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, Iowa Department of Education, and Veterans Administration, has campuses in Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake 

Students attending the college have a wide choice of programs including the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. Career students preparing for immediate job entry may work toward a diploma or an associate degree.

Individuals who would like to know more about Iowa Lakes may visit the college website at or call 1-866-IA-LAKES.

Cole Davis Admitted to the University of South Dakota Earns Coyote Commitment Scholarship

Cole Davis has earned a $6,000 Coyote Commitment Achievement Scholarship, which is awarded by the University of South Dakota to academically talented seniors who have been admitted for Fall 2018.

This award is based on strong standardized test scores and cumulative grade point average. Cole is the son of Wendy & Chris Davis and plans to major in English.

The Fall 2017 incoming class at USD received $7.2 million in scholarships for academic, artistic, athletic or other successes. Sixty-two percent of new students on the Vermillion campus received awards from the USD Foundation, other USD accounts and from other private sources outside the university.

Poppy Day

Josie Spartz, daughter of Travis Spartz and Theran Mannon, daughter of Kim Mannon have been chosen by VFW Auxiliary 9680 of Iona, MN to sell poppies.

Josie is the granddaughter of Denny and Pat Spartz. Denny served in Vietnam Era from 1968-1970. She will be a 5th grader at MCC in the fall.

Theran is the granddaughter of Duane and Dawn Spartz. Duane served in Germany as MP from 1971-1973. Theran will be a 6th grader at MCC this fall.

They will represent the Iona VFW Auxiliary Post #9680 by selling poppies on Poppy Day. They will be taking part in memorial services at Iona and Badger Lake Cemeteries and also will be involved with other activities of the Iona VFW Auxiliary Post #9680 for 2018.


All gardeners are invited to attend the 63rd annual Convention of District IV Minnesota State Horticulture Society (MSHS) at the Round Lake Community Center on June 12th.  The cost of registration by June 1st is $13 including lunch. After June 1st, registration is $15.  The Convention is hosted by the U and I Garden Club of Round Lake. The day includes a flower show, short business meeting, plant sale, vendors, speakers, lunch and refreshments.

Registration opens at 8 am and the business meeting starts at 9:15 am.  The flower show opens at 11:15 am.  The theme for the day is “June is Blooming Out All Over” and the speaker themes revolve around the theme. Vendor booths will be open throughout the day.

Everyone is welcome to attend as well as enter the Flower Show.  For a Show Schedule, please contact Pat Schoenfelder.  Entries are accepted from 8am until 9:15 am. All horticultural specimens must be grown by the exhibitor and houseplants must have been in the exhibitor’s possession for at least 3 months.  Following the completion of judging (around 11:30 am) the show is open to public viewing.

The Community Center is located at 445 Harrison, Round Lake, MN.  Pre-registration is encouraged. Make checks payable to U and I Garden Club and mail name and registration fee to Pat Schoenfelder 27801 State Hwy. #264, Worthington, MN 56187 . Walk-in registration is available at a cost of $15 , but numbers are helpful to plan luncheon. Please note any food allergies when registering.