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Sixth Grade Students Learn About Our Area History

Although rain clouds threatened, the MCC sixth graders enjoyed a fun field trip to End-o-Line Railroad Park and Museum in Currie on Wednesday, May 23. The annual day-long event, organized by social studies teacher Janese Siedschlag, began at 9am with a custom tour of the park. Rather than the regular tour, the students attended three special presentations.

The first presentation was given by Katie Chapman, Director of Environmental Education at Shetek Lutheran Ministries. “We talk about the history and culture of making maple syrup and the science behind the process of making it,” explained Chapman. Students then tasted different varieties of maple syrup, comparing it to corn syrup-based products like Mrs. Butterworth’s. Most students agreed that real maple syrup was the best.

Students also attended a presentation in the old Sunrise School given by Anita Talsma Gaul, Murray County Curator. She taught class in character as a late 19th-century schoolmarm, conducting it as if it were 1890. The students began the morning with song, followed by lessons in history and geography. Although nearly every student knew when Minnesota became a state (1858), the​y struggled to identify the “current” U.S. president (which, in May 1890, was Benjamin Harrison).

Janet Timmerman, Museums Coordinator, led the students in an interactive presentation on Native American technology. “I teach students about [their] technology and how complicated it was, as well as how it affected their culture and lives,” stated Timmerman. Her presentation concluded with students exuberantly throwing an atlatl (spear-thrower) across an open field so that they could experience the technology for themselves.

After a brief snack break while they waited out a passing rain shower, the students hopped on their bikes for the six-mile ride around the Casey Jones Bike Trail followed by lunch at the End-o-Line picnic shelter. They concluded the day with a trip out to Slaughter Slough to learn about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. All in all, it was a positive experience. “It makes history come alive,” explained teacher Janese Siedschlag. “It helps tie what they’re learning in books to our area.”

Perfect Scores of 36 are hard to come by MCC Has two students in the 2019 Class 

By Theresa Nysetvold 

Murray County Central licensed school counselor Mary Beech recently learned that two juniors who completed the ACT college entrance exam last month scored a perfect 36 points!  “To the best of my knowledge,” said Ms. Beech, “we have never had a perfect ACT score, so to have two in one year is amazing!”

Alyssa Boynton, daughter of Jason and the late Lisa Boynton and Jack Pierson, son of Travis and Daisy Pierson each earned the highest possible composite score of 36. ACT testing services reports that on average, only around one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score.  In the U.S. high school graduating class of 2017, only 2,760 out of more than 2 million graduates who took the ACT earned a composite score of 36.

When Alyssa heard the news she said, “I cried.  I called my was my first try at the test and I wasn’t expecting (to get a perfect score).”  She continued, “I felt good though.  I crammed the night before the test, but I didn’t really study for a long time.”  Jack’s approach was different. “This was the third time I’d taken the test.  To prepare I used the ACT study course at home, especially for the parts we hadn’t covered in school.”  Jack went on to explain his first two tests were taken in Marshall, and with scores in the mid-thirties he was determined to get a perfect 36.  Both Jack and Alyssa took this ACT test with their classmates right at school during a school day.  This is a new practice in the past two years and both students feel it helped calm nerves.  Jack said, “I was more comfortable here in my own classroom.”

Jack and Alyssa expressed appreciation for the excellent education they have received at Murray County Central school.  Jack stated, “They make us read a lot, and the college level classes really help.”  Alyssa added, “I feel like we have really good teachers here who care about us and prepare us not just for the test but to really learn.”  Both students are involved in numerous extracurricular activities and Mary Beech commented, “These activities also help expand their knowledge plus being involved has proven to help a student be focused and organized, skills that are needed for the ACT exam.”

Jack has already made college visits to Stanford and the California Institute of Technology with plans to study physics and math.  Alyssa is considering colleges on the East coast, and plans to pursue a degree in family or criminal law.  There is no doubt they are prepared to meet every academic challenge they may face.  Congratulations to Jack, Alyssa and their families!


City of Slayton Prepares for 2018 Mosquito Season

The City of Slayton will be implementing the seventh year of its mosquito population reduction efforts this summer. The goal of the program is to reduce the number of nuisance mosquitoes. Along with being a nuisance, some mosquitoes can be the transmitter of several serious diseases.

The focus of the program will be to minimize active adult mosquitoes. As the truck moves about Slayton neighborhoods using the ultra-low volume sprayer mounted in the back, a light visible fog will move through the area. The fog will not cause visibility problems. Common-sense precautions should be taken, including keeping away from the spray vehicle and out of the fog cloud. The majority of the spraying will be done from dusk to midnight.

The following dates are proposed dates of treatment. Treatments are proposed for Tuesday nights, if weather permits. Wednesday nights will be the standard alternate. Treatments may be extended if deemed necessary by City Officials.

Truck ULV Treatments

Tuesday dates include: June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21, August 28, and September 4

The product being used is Biomist 4+4. This Permetherin based product is extremely safe, yet very effective against mosquitoes and gnats. It contains 4% Permetherin and is applied at a rate of approximately 1 ounce per acre. This product has quick knockdown, low odor, and is non-corrosive. 

This product is registered by the EPA and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Listed below are the web addresses where you can find the product’s MSDS sheet, label, and EPA registration documents.

Biomist 4+4 MSDS

Biomist 4+4 Label and EPA Registration

Even though we have selected one of the safest products for this use, common sense dictates that general precautions should be taken when using any pesticide. The City of Slayton wants to have a safe and effective mosquito control program this year. Using trained city staff to handle the equipment and insecticides is of utmost importance. The City of Slayton encourages your support and cooperation in their efforts. 

The spraying schedule for the City will be posted at city hall, and also on the city’s website. Available at city hall are forms that citizens can complete indicating that they are refusing mosquito control around their property. Upon completion and return of the refusal form, the City will not spray directly in front of the listed property for a total of 300 feet, which is the effective range of the product that the city is using.

In addition to the city’s control program, you can do several things to reduce local mosquito populations. 

- Eliminate trash, tires, and containers that may hold water and create breeding sites for mosquitoes. 

- Store boats covered or upside down. 

- Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store them inside when they are not used. 

- Keep rain gutters and down spouts in good repair. Make sure no water remains in them after a rain. 

- Fill depressions in the lawn that hold water. 

- Keep clean water in pet water bowls, bird baths, plant saucers and trays. 

- Store pails, barrels, tubs, boats, wheel barrows, etc., upside down. 

- Keep shrubs, lawns, and weeds trimmed to eliminate shady places for mosquitoes to rest during hot daylight hours. 

- Keep screens intact and tight-fitting to prevent insects from entering your house.

Josh Malchow
City of Slayton


Motorists fail to slow down and move over for emergency and utility vehicles

(Worthington, MN) Nobles Cooperative Electric is reminding motorists to slow down and move over for emergency and utility vehicles. On May 19, legislation was passed that requires drivers to slow down, maintain a safe speed for traffic conditions, and operate their vehicle at a reduced speed until safely past a parked utility or emergency vehicle.

“Utility vehicles, like other emergency workers deserve a safe place to work,” says Adam Tromblay, General Manager of Nobles Cooperative Electric. “Our crews have witnessed firsthand motorists not taking extra caution when passing utility crews. They’ve seen vehicles drive by so fast that their hard hats have blown off. It is important that drivers slow down and move over for all emergency responders, along with construction, maintenance and utility workers. It is a common courtesy to move over and ensures everyone gets home safely.”

Safety is a top priority for Nobles Cooperative Electric, who has employees working along roadways every day. Traffic is always an issue. It only takes a few moments to slow down and move over, but the difference can be between life and death for these workers. Please protect those who protect and work for you and the communities we live in!

Nobles Cooperative Electric is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative in southwestern Minnesota serving approximately 6,700 members in Murray and Nobles Counties.


Saying Goodbye to the Exchange Students

By Cole Davis

Imagine deciding to spend a year of high school in a completely different country. You’d have to spend one of your formative years away from all of your family, friends, and country. On the other hand, you’d make new friends, meet a likely amazing host family to live with, and discover a completely different culture. This is the life of an exchange student.

This year, we have had four exchange students, with one having left at the end of the first semester (more on that later). Their names and respective countries were: Adalie Doelle from Germany(coming in as a Junior), Katrine Katholm from Denmark (also coming in as a Junior), Vittoria Mazzoni from Italy (coming in as a Senior), and Kirsti Guttelvik from Norway (also a Senior). Over the course of the year, I had made bonds with each and every one of them, each in their own way. They had to leave this past Wednesday back to their home countries. They spent quite a bit of time with my friend group, but the people who they likely spent the most time with would have to be Jeremy Thompson and Harley Hermia.

Jeremy and Harley are very close to one another as is, but this year they decided to spend much of their time with the exchange students. Harley is originally from the Phillipines, moving here when he was very young. Jeremy is actually half Dominican, so a running joke that they often make is that they are also foreign. This year, our group decided to invite the exchange students to every group gathering that we held, but Jeremy and Harley also spent much time together hanging out. I don’t think it is possible to count the amount of times that they went with the exchange students to McDonald’s. Even the amount of times that I went with them probably couldn’t be counted that easily.

The exchange student that I first spent the most time with personally would probably have to be Vittoria. My family had an Italian exchange student a few years back, so I find a connection to Italians is easier to make than others. However, Vittoria, or “Vitty” as she liked to be called, was not from the country like Elena (my exchange student). She was from Florence, and was a very interesting person. I say that because on numerous occasions she made strange jokes that I didn’t always understand, but she also was a very funny person with the ones that I did. As a result of having four exchange students, there was not enough room for all of them in the same car. As a result, I was often the one to drive Vitty around on our adventures. Over time, I began to learn more about her. Unfortunately, by the end of the second quarter, her mother told her that she needed to return to Italy. We all said our goodbyes, but I still keep in touch with Vittoria, and hope to for a long while to come.

Adalie and Kirsti probably came to know me better around the same time, as they both joined Knowledge Bowl, of which I am a veteran. Adalie is very much so a humorous person, which I enjoy, while Kirsti is more of a quiet person. That’s not to say that she doesn’t enjoy a good joke, just that she did not seem to find mine funny (but who does?) or very entertaining. Both of them were very amazing people and I spent much time with them by the second half of the year, especially after Vitty left. They also are the two main perpetrators of the obsession with McDonald’s. Adalie and Kirsti, you will be missed, and I genuinely mean that.

Katrine, or Kat, is probably the last exchange student that I became close with. She is from Denmark, and does not always understand a joke, which somehow makes it funnier. She is an amazingly kind person and always attempted to make me feel better about my terrible designs in Desktop Publishing. She was greatly involved in the sports of the school, joining Cheer and Track. She always seemed very happy and could perk someone right up if needed. At our last meeting, the day before the exchange students had to leave, she told me “Cole, I am going to miss all of your bad jokes.” Touche, Kat. Touche.

Our last hangout was the night before they left, on Tuesday the 29th of May. We decided to end on a trip to the Luverne Drive In theater, at which we would celebrate their time here in Slayton. While there, Jeremy and Harley brought out some presents for each of them, even though they revealed that they don’t have any space left in their luggage bags at least two weeks ago. For Kat, some socks that aren’t available in Denmark. For Adalie, a Japanese fan and some other lighter products. For Kirsti, some toys for her dog that are inconveniently quite heavy and take up a bit of space. In the end, the movie was mostly silent, but afterwards, we all said our goodbyes. Harley and Jeremy were actually sending them off at the airport, but for me, this was goodbye. I hugged each of them, told them how much I was gonna miss each of them. “Good luck, stay in college,” Kirsti said. “I’ll miss you, and don’t do anything I would do,” Adalie said. “Don’t do the alcohol!” Kat told me. Well, have I said that I’ll miss them too many times already?


Minnesota State Parks and Trails Host Open House 

Answer the call of the wild on Saturday, June 9, to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day!

Minnesota’s 76 state parks and recreation areas are all offering free admission this day, and many of them have planned special activities to introduce you to the fun of geocaching, kayaking, camping, and other family-friendly activities. 

The Friends of Lake Shetek State Park will be hosting their Annual Open House Pork Burger Feed Fundraiser on Saturday, June 9 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at the Lake Shetek State Park picnic shelter.  For $6 per person, the menu will include either a pork burger or hot dog, beans, chips, cookie and a beverage.  The proceeds from the fundraiser are used to support park improvement projects and programs.  Some examples of park improvements funded by the Friends include Koch Cabin restoration work, interpretive programming, tree plantings and the solar-powered boat landing light. 

Come out to support the park, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a day outdoors! 


Friends of The Casey Jones Trail Association to Hold Annual Meeting

The Friends of the Casey Jones Trail Association will hold its Annual Meeting Thursday, June 7 at 2:30 p.m. at the Hiawatha Lodge in Pipestone. The public is welcome to attend this meeting. 

The Friends of the Casey Jones Trail Association is a non-profit organization formed to advocate for the continued development of the Casey Jones State Trail. To learn more about the Friends of the Casey Jones Trail Association visit