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November 20th, 2017 News

Murray County 4-H Horse Judging Team

By Theresa Nysetvold

Four Murray County 4-H members and their coaches recently returned from the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup competition in Louisville, Kentucky, placing ninth overall, meeting an internationally acclaimed trainer and seeing areas of Churchill Downs rarely accessible to the public.  Coach Stacy Posthuma said, “Students are only permitted to compete at this national show once in their 4-H career, so it’s a big deal.  Most of the other competitors were high school seniors and college freshman and our girls are younger which was really impressive to the other competitors.”

The team members are Macy Posthuma, Cheyenne Hulstein, Brooke Christian and Kennedy Jackels.  They earned this trip by placing first at the state judging competition in September.  “We don’t really begin practice until after the Murray County fair,” explained Stacy.  “We meet several times a week for about a month.  I coach hippology (“hippo” is the Greek word for “horse”) and my brother Sam Jens coaches judging.”  Horse judging is a complicated task, and judges must have extensive knowledge covering breeds, anatomy, riding styles, equipment and more.  Stacy added, “Competitors practice judging horses on their “conformation”; their structure, muscling, balance and movement.  They also learn to judge riding classes, such as English Pleasure and Western Pleasure but there are other riding classes and the kids have to know that criteria as well.”  At the state competition, Macy, Cheyenne, Brooke and Kennedy each worked with “carded” judges.  When the carded judges revealed their scores for a horse and rider, the score the student’s gave was compared.  Points are earned and subtracted based on how close the student’s score is to the judge’s score.  Cheyenne was awarded first place as an individual, and Macy 3rd place and the team of four won first place.  Now they were on to nationals!

“The national competition was November 3-5th, but we added another day in Louisville.  I have a friend who arranged for us to meet D. Wayne Lukas, who is a horse trainer and U.S. Racing Hall of Fame Inductee,” said Stacy.  Mr. Lukas holds the record for the most Triple Crown race wins and spending two hours with him was a dream come true for our local horse enthusiasts.  “We also visited a saddlebred farm, a horse park and we were given a tour of the backside of Churchill Downs in areas most people are never allowed to see.”  During the three-day judging competition the team competed in five classes: Western Pleasure, Reining, English Country Pleasure, 3 Gaited Saddle Feet, and Horsemanship.  Stacy said, “All have different criteria and you don’t know what you are judging until the night before.  You actually have to be prepared for all twelve classes.”  Like the state competition, the team received scores as individuals and as a team and they earned 9th place in halter judging and 9th place overall.  

This exciting trip was financed by the state 4-H program and our local clubs as well.  The clubs raise money all year through fruit and cheese sales and by working at the draft horse and open horse shows.  “Our teams have done really well at state the past few years,” said Stacy, “and this kind of trip is really inspirational.  Most people aren’t aware that there are college scholarships available for horse judging.  Becoming a carded judge is a great career and offers opportunities to travel all over the world.”  Congratulations to coaches Stacy and Sam and to Cheyenne, Macy, Brooke and Kennedy for your hard work and accomplishments!


Lake Sarah Baptist to Host Jason Gray

By Theresa Nysetvold

Lake Sarah Baptist Church is extending an invitation to everyone in the community to celebrate Christmas at a very special concert on Saturday, December 16th.  Professional singer and songwriter Jason Gray will present concerts at 2:00 and 7:00 pm in the church sanctuary.  He will be joined by musicians Chris August and Hannah Kerr, and refreshments will be served.  “This concert will be positive, encouraging and uplifting.  Jason, Chris and Hannah will share Christmas songs, stories and carols that will help put us in the Christmas spirit and remind us of the reason for the season,” said Chelsey Parrie, Director of Programs and Events.  “Jason has been singing at Shetek Bible Camp every summer for many years and the campers have always loved his music.  We are really excited to share this concert with the community.  It will be a great, high-quality show.” 

Jason Gray is based in Tennessee, partners with Prison Fellowship International and tours all over the country.  Tickets for the two-and-a-half hour concert are $20 and may be purchased through the church website at:  Chelsey encourages everyone to make plans to come to this exciting event.  “The hope of our congregation is to offer the community a unique experience to celebrate Christmas.  We want to meet new friends and cultivate those friendships.  We want to be able to share our new church and be good stewards of what God has given us.”  Lake Sarah Baptist expects the tickets to sell quickly, so don’t delay in treating yourself to a memorable holiday experience!


MCC School Board Receives Good News From Audit

Murray County Central School Board met on Monday, November 13th. Members absent this month were Sue Streff and Lauren Biegler. The meeting was called to order and the agenda was approved. The Board reviewed and approved this month’s financials. They also approved the seniority lists for Licensed Staff, Para Professionals, and ECFE/LR Licensed staff. The 2017-2018 contracts for coaches were approved. Those include Paul Counter – Assistant Boys Basketball, Marv Nysetvold – Jr. High Boys Basketball, Lucas Freemen – Jr. High Girls Basketball, and Adam Neubarth – Jr. High Girls Basketball. Donations were accepted by the Board and they thanked those businesses and individuals. The Plaid Moose: $500 for signage, American Ed Sponsorship - Shetek Dental: $200, Women of Today: $200. 1st Grade STEM Project Donations - Currie Town & Country: $500, Tara Berreau: $50, First National Bank: $50, Nobles Coop Electric: $920, Nobles Murray Rural Electric Trust: $900, Women of Today: $200. Monogram Meats: $5000 to Smart Snacks, MCMC: $655 Impact Sponsorship. Zoetis: $625 to FFA. Elementary General Donations – Nathan & Suzanne Gengler: $100, Grace & Douglas Hart: $50, John & Mary Ellen Moline: $100, Brent & Emily Miller: $50, David & Janet Herrig: $25, Brandi & Brian York: $100, Joan Sandell: $50, Lauren & Bryan Biegler: $75, Deb & James Nelson: $10, Randy & Brenda Morreim: $25, Julie & Tom Keller: $25, Karen Tommeraasen: $10. The Board also approved the new After School Care Handbook. This program will start on December 4th. 

The Board next received their annual audit report. This year’s was given by Danielle Berg of Berg & Eisfeld Accounting PLLP. Berg praised Lisa Radamacher for her work, as everything was well organized which made it much easier for them. She said one small adjustment was needed but it did not effect  the results of the audit. School districts can be very complex organizations to do audits on and Radamacher eliminates much of the complexities with her attention to detail and efficiency. Overall Berg was happy to report that all funds, including the food service fund, performed better than was budgeted for the year. She said they are also seeing more students open enrolling into the district than out of it which is a benefit. Both the Improvement fund and the Health and Safety fund are showing negative but these funds allow for this as different funding options come through. The GASB 68 does reflect a negative but this is common when figuring these numbers as they require the inclusion of the GERF and TRA figures. This is seen with most small governments and organizations. Berg was very happy with this year’s audit and it will now be submitted to the state. 

There was no one present for public forum.

Todd Burlingame, elementary principal, gave the Board his report. He reported a successful Veterans Day program. Conferences were held last week and he was happy with a 90% attendance rate. The fundraiser has been completed and they raised over $17,500 dollars. Thank you to everyone who ordered something or made donations. There will be an Internet safety event on January 30th for students, parents, and community members. The school had received a grant to help pay for the speaker for that event. The United Way Campaign is underway. Teachers will be making crafts and then buying raffle tickets for them. Desiree Haupert, William Biren and Lizzy Daniels were also recorded about kindness and will be on the facebook page. He was happy to report that the CEM Grant has already brought positive changes and they continue to attend meetings in Marshall. Thanksgiving Break will be November 23rd and 24th and the 4th grade concert will be at 6pm at the High School Auditorium on November 28th. 

Secondary Principal, Jacob Scandrett gave the Board a high school update. He, as well, thanked the school and community for the support shown to our veterans last Friday. Tuesday, November 14th will be the American Education Celebration. He has started collaborating with local EMS, police and fire to do a mock crash in April this next year. The date set is April 25th, right before prom weekend. It is important to stress to students how important good choices and decisions are. He is also working with the City of Slayton for the Structures class to help with fixing up properties in the community that have a need for repair. He wanted to congratulate the cast and crew of “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It was a great production. He also congratulated Justin Clarke and Morgan Gehl on their state finishes. Very proud of our students on their hard work and dedication. The winter sports meeting was held Monday night and more information on student participation will be available at the December meeting. 

Superintendent Joe Meyer updated the Board on the gym project. He will be attending the City Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday evening. The County approved adding the parking lot between the two buildings to the school’s lease to meet the requirements for parking numbers that are required. He also updated the Board on the land purchase by Darrell Pressley. They are waiting to get a legal land description. Meyer is working on the US Bank “Places to Play” grant. They will hopefully hear something after the new year. He also updated the Board on the date of the MSBA Annual Conference. 

There was no old business to discuss and the first item of new business was a request from the FFA Club. FFA Advisor Paul Haberman requested of the Board to approve some out of state trips planned for this next year. These will be for judging events with the last one being the State FFA Convention in April. The Board approved this request. The Board also had a request from Dominick Damm for an out of state trip for his Anatomy class. They will be going to Brookings to tour the cadaver lab. The Board approved this request as well. Meyer presented the Board with ballots for the coop’s board of director openings. They need to turn them back into him. The Board was next presented with the 2017 World’s Best Workforce Annual Report and Plan. This will be sent into the state and will also be posted on the website. The Board also had the first reading of policy 808 – Therapy Dog. 

There was no other business to discuss and the meeting was adjourned. The next school board meeting will be December 11th at 6pm. They will also be holding the Truth & Taxation Meeting during this time. 


Annual Community Band Christmas Concert 

The Annual Community Band Christmas Concert will be held Sunday, December 3rd 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 will begin the concert with the song “Christmas Here We Come” by Sally Albrecht and John O’Reilly.  Following this will be “Do You Hear What I Hear” by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne, “O Holy Night” by Adolphie Adam, and “A Yuletide Holiday featuring Angels from the Realms of Glory, The Holly and the Ivy, and Deck the Halls” arranged by Roland Barrett.  

The West Elementary Rebel Choir will continue the concert with with a song called “Christmas is Coming” by Joel Raney.  This will be sung with the Christ Lutheran Adult Choir!  The West Elementary Rebel Choir is a group of dedicated 5th and 6th grade students that wish to learn more than they would in general music.  Their portion of the concert will continue with   a song called “All on a Silent Night” by Becki Slagle Mayo in which Theresa Nysetvold will be playing cello and Heidi Winter will accompany us.  After that, “White Fields” by Mary Donnelly and George L.O. Strid,  “Ding-a Ding-a Ding” by Greg Gilpin, “There is Peace” by Jim Papoulis, “Joy to the World! (Medley)” Arr. by Roger Emerson.   We are ending with “Night of Silence” by Daniel Kantor sung by both the West Elementary Rebel Choir and the Christ Lutheran Adult choir!  Theresa Nystevold will be their accompanist.

The Community Band will continue the concert with “A Coventry Christmas” by Larry Neeck, “Winter Wonderland” by Dick Smith and Felix Bernard, and “Christmas Pops featuring Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Silver Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” arranged by James D. Ployhar.  The concert will conclude with a medley of Traditional Carols also arranged by James D. Ployhar.   

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 at the beginning of this Christmas season!



House Fire Training

The Slayton and Lake Wilson Fire Departments performed a controlled house burn together for training purposes on Saturday, November 11th, northeast of Hadley at the property of Troy Thooft and Kim Schreier.  The fire departments – under the direction of Fire & Rescue Training Instructors from Minnesota West Community & Technical College – made attack on Level I, II and III burns to familiarize themselves with different intensities of smoke and fire.  In the Level I burns, firefighters made entry into first-floor rooms and watched the fires build before extinguishing them and ventilating.  In the Level II burn, firefighters ascended the staircase to attack a rapidly-building fire on the second story and then performed overhaul operations.  In the Level III burn, firefighters rolled up on the scene in fire apparatus to make attack on the garage that was fully engulfed in fire.  The departments wish to thank Murray County Ambulance for their medical presence onsite during the training and the property owners for their permission to use the house for search and rescue drills in weeks leading up to the day of the burn.