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Local landowner Partners With Pope SWCD To Combat Erosion

Local landowner partners with Pope SWCD to combat erosion

Don OpdahlMinnesota’s annual sheet and rill erosion rate on cultivated cropland is estimated at 2.1 tons per acre per year, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. That number doesn’t even take into account gully erosion, the most noticeable form of soil erosion that occurs when heavy rain forms deep, rushing channels through land. Forty-five percent of cultivated cropland in Minnesota is eroding above the tolerable level.

That’s a lot of moving soil, and it naturally washes toward the lowest points: our lakes and streams.
Working with Pope Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), local landowner Don Opdahl decided to help stem the tide.

Soil erosion, while obviously affecting tillable topsoil, also has a huge impact on water quality. Sediment washes from farmland, construction sites and stream banks, filling ditches, culverts, stream channels and lakes. Water that doesn’t evaporate or soak into soil runs across land, carrying topsoil and other materials and pollutants into the water system.

Opdahl said he had some washing issues to address on his land. Several grass waterways were failing, and he was looking for a different solution. He said he found that solution by partnering with Pope SWCD.

“They’re good partners,” he said. “They enlightened me as to what programs were out there. I really have to give them kudos – give credit where credit’s due – for getting the information out to us [landowners].”

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Notes From The Capital

Paul Anderson's Comments

Monday, May 04, 2015

paul anderson 150All the major spending bills but one have been passed off the House floor in the past two weeks.  The only one awaiting action is the agriculture finance bill, and it should be up for debate early this week.  Usually the first spending bill to be passed, the ag bill was held up this year as officials scrambled to come up with cost estimates in the battle against Avian Influenza.  The disease is showing no sign of letting up as 70 Minnesota flocks had been infected at last count. It’s hoped that warmer weather, with temps in the 80s, will stop the virus.

The Legislature passed an emergency measure totaling nearly $1 million that will fund the Dept. of Ag and Board of Animal Health for the rest of the fiscal year in their efforts to fight the disease.  It’s expected another $7 million will be needed in the future.  That’s on top of the initial $15 million coming from Washington and the USDA.

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Local Officials Testify For Hwy. 29 Overpass

 Local officials testify at Legislature for Hwy. 29 overpass of CP railroad

Momentum continues to build for an overpass of the railroad tracks north of Glenwood.

Pope County Commissioner Gordy Wagner and Pope County Highway Engineer Brian Giese testified April 15 before the Minnesota Senate’s Transportation and Public Safety Budget Division in favor of Senate File 458, a bill sponsored by Sen. Torrey Westrom which seeks funding for the overpass.  

The proposed project, according to a conceptual design furnished by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), would consist of a 500-foot bridge on Hwy. 29 spanning Hwy. 55 and the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks.

Sen. Westrom said, “This project fixes a dangerous intersection, which has been the site of many accidents and has delayed first responders from reaching those in need.  There have been 55-minute backups at this crossing.  My proposal will solve this problem in a cost effective manner.”  

In addition to safety improvements, the project is also designed to help traffic move more efficiently and will benefit those traveling through Glenwood and other areas of Pope County.

Citing the lack of funds available to MnDOT District 4, both Giese and Wagner stressed the need for special funding for this much-needed project to address the safety needs of Pope County’s citizens and the traveling public.  

Giese highlighted three major issues related to this project in his testimony: The need for more adequate and improved emergency response times for the ambulance and fire department agencies; the safe and efficient flow of everyday traffic; and the impact on economic development in Pope County.  

Wagner stressed the fact that, as opposed to cities where the trains run directly through the heart of the city, this project is much more feasible. He feels strongly that this intersection is a serious accident waiting to happen, and should be fixed for us today and for our children in the future.

Both Giese and Wagner thanked Sen. Westrom for carrying the bill; Senate File 458 is awaiting further action in the Senate.

Photo by Senate Media Services

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Minnesota Historical Society Tours Glenwood’s Fremad Building

Minnesota Historical Society reps tour Glenwood’s Fremad building

The final fate of the Fremad building continues to be deliberated. On April 24, Pope County Coordinator Jim Thoreen led Minnesota Historical Society representatives Kelly Johnson and Sarah Beimers through the Fremad building. While they do not have the final say, Johnson and Beimers were walking though to get a sense of the building before the next step is taken – whatever that step may be.


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58 Years Of Service For Starbuck Lions

Hear them roar: Lions Club has served Starbuck for over 58 years

Tail TwisterStarbuck Lions Club has a long history in Starbuck, of raising money for the blind, purchasing eye glasses for needy families or helping in other ways.
The club was chartered on October 1, 1956, at a special banquet held in the old gym at the Starbuck School. Dr. F.D. Bucher was the first president and is still a member. Recently, the 58 year-old club has contributed to helping students go on educational trips in the states or to other countries through donations. They have also sold raffle tickets for Heritage Days with a big screen television prize. Last summer you may have seen the Lions serving one of the meals at Thursday Night on the Town at the Starbuck Depot.

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Erickson Started Military In Horse Cavalry

Erickson Started Military In Horse Cavalry

Lifelong Starbuck resident Harry Erickson’s story of World War II is a little different than most. Drafted as a senior in High School in 1945, Harry went on to Fort Riley in Kansas for basic training.
The basic training was for horse cavalry. “I didn’t think there was such a thing when I went,” Erickson said. He was no stranger to horses after growing up on a farm just east of Starbuck. (A horse cavalry group actually fought in the war in Italy in the mountains but Erickson wasn’t in that group.) “It was my favorite part of the military working with the horses.” He served two years from 1945-1946.
Erickson said Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away during his basic training and his unit participated in a parade honoring him while he was there.
After basic training Erickson (the horses were left at Fort Riley) was sent to Camp Adair in Oregon and then to Fort Lawton in Seattle, Washington.
Erickson boarded a Victory ship and they set sail for Okinawa. He recalled it took 28 days to reach Okinawa because in route their ship went through a typhoon. “It was a pretty rough ride, in fact I didn’t know if we were going to make it,” Erickson said. “But we managed to. A lot of the boys got quite seasick.”
He said that one man on the ship put out a daily newspaper and one story was about how the men aboard the ship had known how close they came to meeting their maker during the typhoon. The ship almost came apart in the storm. “It took a couple days for the ocean to cool down afterwards.
The Victory Ships were made so fast that they had trouble staying together during the storm. Crew members were constantly welding to keep the ship together.
While on the boat, the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9).
When the ship reached Okinawa the island was pretty much flattened from all the bombing. “The only thing left on the side of Okinawa we landed on was a Chapel,” Erickson said. “We got to Okinawa after the war ended.” (Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945 but Japan didn’t surrender until August
15, 1945.)
While on Okinawa, Erickson was part of the 726 Military Police Battalion in charge of watching over 12,000 prisoners of war during the occupation of the island.
After returning from the war in 1946, Erickson delivered milk for the Starbuck Creamery and churned butter for 15 years. He said the most fun job he has ever had was delivering milk. He also hauled milk for the creamery up to three truckloads of milk per day.
After that he got into carpentry with Harvey Chlian and Orville Olson and the three built barns and houses and did some remodeling. John Gorder came to work with them after Olson left.
Erickson and his wife Ada were blessed with four sons, Paul, David, Daniel and Kelly. The family lived in Starbuck for 13 years then moved to a farm home west of town where they farmed for many years. Kelly Erickson bought the farm a few years back. They also have eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

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Big Fish Tournment For Diabetes

Big Fish Invitational aims  to catch a cure for diabetes

bigFishLake Minnewaska’s fish-friendly waters will soon play a role in the battle against diabetes. On May 16, 2015, anglers from across the state will gather for the Big Fish Invitational (BFI) walleye tournament—a tradition now in its 26th year.

BFI honors Jeff Fuhrmann, who loved fishing, friends and competition. Jeff was lost to a fight with diabetes. Now, Jeff’s friends carry on the BFI tradition each year, asking anglers to come out for some fishing and good-natured competition while supporting JDRF—a research foundation dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Reeling in hope

BFI teams pay a modest $35 entry fee, and can include up to three anglers per boat. Teams are also asked to make a free-will donation to JDRF as part of tournament participation.

“What really matters and has always been the most important part of all of this is the people—the friends, the family, the time we share,” said BFI organizer Judd Fuhrmann. “This thing is far greater than a fishing tournament. It’s an event. It’s a really good event, and we want to share it for the good of all involved.”

Judd said the BFI walleye tournament fundraiser was created to help anyone who may be in a position of need, like Jeff, and to foster a better understanding of what diabetes is.

Tournament details

The tournament kicks off at 6 a.m. on May 16 with greetings and a boat check at the landing near Hunt’s Resort. All registrants should be checked in by 6:50 a.m. for ease-off at 7 a.m.
Weigh-in will also be at Hunt’s Resort at 4:30 p.m.

A team may be up to three anglers per boat. Walleye are eligible to be weighed, with a six-fish limit per team.
There will be a 13-inch minimum length per fish, and only two fish may exceed a 20-inch minimum length. Any short fish weighed in will be deducted a penalty of 1 pound from the remaining catch. All measured fish will be closed-mouth and fanned-tailed for measuring. Any team bringing more than the tournament limit of six fish to the scales will be disqualified.

Trophies will be awarded, and payout is based on the number of participants.  A Biggest Walleye pot opportunity, available at ease-off, will be a separate prize. Participants also have a shot at a special sheephead prize for biggest fish.  

For registration information or questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 612-462-0228 and ask for BFI.

About T1D

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. . Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Type 1 diabetes strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. As many as 3 million Americans are currently affected by T1D.

Contributed photo

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