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Bob Newell Celebrates his 100th Birthday

Robert Newell has been a White Pine resident since he and wife Harriet moved into the community in 2012. After her death in 2014, Bob soldiered on.  He now resides on Second Floor and celebrated his 100th birthday July 23. 

Bob grew up in Slayton, MN, and served in the US Army during WII in active combat on Attu Island, Alaska for 19 months. He achieved the rank of Company 1st Sergeant, living in an asbestos Quonset Hut for the duration. Bob returned to Minnesota, married Harriet and lived an active life with her for 68 years.  They had four children, eight grandchildren, eight great grand children and one great-great granddaughter.

Bob’s father was a stone mason, so it was a natural for Bob to continue as a brick and stone mason, working 28 years for M A Mortensen as a brick foreman. During these years, Bob and Harriet had a cabin on Leech Lake and earned the title of Winter Texans as residents of Brownsville TX in cold weather. Bob continues as member of the Masonic Lodge in Osseo. He will attain the Mason’s 75-year recognition shortly.  Many members of his Lodge visited him at his celebration July 19 at White Pine.

His family is extremely proud of Bob, and pray for his continued health and happiness at White Pine.

Reminder - U of MN Virtual Cover Crop Field Day:  Setting up for Success, August 18

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

WORTHINGTON Minn. (8/10/20)  If you are interested in learning about some of the latest U of MN research on cover crops, plan to attend the U of MN virtual Cover Crop Field Day:  Setting Up for Success, August 18 at 1:00 p.m.  Through this live webinar, researchers and educators will highlight U of MN research that provides management tips and considerations to help farmers and ag professionals successfully incorporate cover crops into Minnesota cropping systems. 

The program will run from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., with presentations from 1:00 to 2:00 followed by a cover crop roundtable from 2:00 to 2:30.  Although there will be time for questions and answers after each presentation, the roundtable will provide an opportunity for additional open discussion with attendees.  Registration is free, thanks to support from the Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (MN SARE) program.

Topics & speakers include: 

Cover crops as a tool in waterhemp management? – Gregg Johnson, Associate Professor, Biomass Cropping Systems, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca 

Balancing the pros and cons of planting green in Minnesota – Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, Worthington Regional Extension Office, Worthington

Strategies for interseeding cover crops into corn – Axel Garcia y Garcia, Associate Professor, Cropping Systems, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton

Cover crop roundtable – Anna Cates, Extension Soil Health Specialist, Department of Soil Health, Water, and Climate, St. Paul (in addition to our speakers above) 

For more information and to register, go to:  If you cannot attend in person, a recording of the session will be made available through the above website at a later date.

Voting During COVID-19

Voting will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it is still our right to fill out a ballot. With this being a presidential year, the expectation, as history has shown, is that voter turnout will be higher than non-presidential election years. We will most likely still be affected by the pandemic in November, so what are our options for voting? Well, there are quite a few options, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State Office. Regardless of your political persuasion or feelings about voting, here are some options to consider: 

Vote in person at your local polling place on November 3;

Vote early by mail using an absentee ballot;

Vote early in person using an absentee ballot – contact your county election office for more information; or,

Agent delivery – this final-seven-days-before-election option is for individuals who reside in a nursing home, assisted living, group home or other similar types of residence or who are homebound.

Elections offices will be working on outreach to educate the public on different forms of voting. They are encouraging people to vote early using an absentee ballot.

If you have questions on voting, you can review information at or contact the Secretary of State’s elections line at 651-215-1440. Once again, this is a right that we have, and we encourage everyone to get out to vote.

Jason W. Swanson, HSE

Executive Director MNRAAA

USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds from China 

USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation.

USDA urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins.

At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.

USDA is committed to preventing the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protecting U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Visit the APHIS’ website to learn more about USDA’s efforts to stop agricultural smuggling and promote trade compliance.

Get the Dirt

Kathy Schwartz, Murray County Master Gardener

Annuals that appear leggy and worn may be cut back hard and fertilized to produce new bloom.

Once tent catpillars, or bagworms, reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Remove the branch and put it in a plastic and burn it.

Cure onions in a warm, dry place for two weeks before storing.

Pinch the growing tip of gourds once adequate fruit is set. This puts energy into ripening fruit, rather than vine production.

Evergreens can be planted or transplanted now to ensure good rooting before winter arrives. Water both the plant and the plant site several days before moving.

Now through late October is the best time for broadleaf weed control.

Information provided by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

Good News 

By: John Stenen 

Benjamin Franklin told a story in his autobiography of a Christian minister who was ordered to read the proclamation issued by Charles 1 - telling the people to return to sports on Sundays. His congregation was greatly shocked to say the least when he read it in church; when many other ministers refused to read it in their churches. However, after reading it, he followed it with the words, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and added: “brethren, I have laid before you the commandment of your king and the Commandment of your God. I leave it to you to judge which of the two ought rather to be observed.”

I wonder how many Christians today would follow that advice when these ‘leaders’ of ours today are issuing all kinds of orders (most in my opinion are unlawful). Great fear is being generated on purpose throughout our nation. The numbers of the people with corona virus is being inflated. People who never were tested are getting notified by mail that they tested positive. Wear a mask? The virus can also enter your body through your eyes. What next – wear mask, goggles, and haz-mat suits?  Have you read Psalm 91: lately? Do we have any faith in God to deliver us? Our Churches must close or be greatly restricted while the casinos are not;  neither are the abortion clinics; not to mention all the protesters and anarchist who do nothing but steal, and kill, (in many cases), and destroy. Sounds like the work of Satan. The freedoms given to us by our Constitution (the law of the land,) are being trampled like never before, and if we don’t stand up for our freedom we will lose it. If we lose it I doubt we will ever regain it. I hope to God that all god-fearing people who love this nation will vote out of office those who desire to over-throw our Constitution, and may we return to being one nation under God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” God bless.

Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive Benefits Local Students

The 2020 Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive collected supplies for 23 schools within the United Way of Southwest Minnesota service area. A record breaking 52,075 supplies were distributed this year! Supplies collected will assist nearly 3,800 local K-12 students in southwest Minnesota. School staff ensures the supplies reach those who really need some extra support. Families in need of supplies should contact their school district directly regarding distribution dates/process, as this varies from district to district. Supplies arrived at respective schools on August 6th. 

Shelby Otto, Community Engagement and Education Coordinator shared, “Stuff the Bus is the perfect example of communities coming together; we had collection containers and volunteers throughout our entire service area. This wouldn’t be possible without support from the communities we serve. The willingness to help amazes me every year.

As a former teacher, and a teacher returning to the classroom this fall, I’ve seen the impact that Stuff the Bus makes and I’m grateful to have been able to organize and implement it for the last two years. Thank you to everyone that helps with this initiative. Because of you, students are able to focus on what really matters at school, instead of worrying if they have the right supplies in their desks.”

This annual initiative would not be possible without generous support from the community. Many organizations, churches, businesses, and employee groups collected financial donations and supplies. Volunteers from all over the service area helped to count, sort, and distribute supplies. Partnerships with Marshall Radio and Vast Broadband helped with both advertising Stuff the Bus and coordinating an event to collect supplies.

If you took the time to drop a donation into one of the barrels or sent a monetary donation, we thank you! Every single glue stick or box of crayons will make an impact on a local child. Donations are accepted year round for this project and help United Way of Southwest Minnesota purchase necessary items in bulk at a low cost. Direct contributions (noted on the memo line for school supply purchase) can be sent to United Way of Southwest MN, P.O. Box 41, Marshall, MN 56258 or by visiting our website at