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November 30, 2011     Sentinel Tribune
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November 30, 2011

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] lml inll n l i8 mF lUi llllllUUlilll llllll[J 1N II1 11 illmllllilili|J l SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Page 4 i g r h I "Thanksgiving/Thanks/Giving" What great words to use together or even apart. I hope that everyone had a great weekend and had the time to spend with family and friends. It has been another crazy, rewarding, up down year and I feel them slipping by even faster as I get older. I have had many highlights this year and so much to be thankful for. Speaking to you from the school, I must share: * I am thankful for OUR KIDS. It warms my heart to see the mopped top little boy mulling over his math problems at 9:00 a.m. It warms my heart to see a severely handicapped little squirt getting taken care of by caring employees at our schools. It warms by heart to know that I can bring my grandmothers (age 91 and 87) into our buildings and they will rave about students that are polite, respectful and smile! * I am thankful for EMPLOYEES that care about kids. I get to work around people that love their job and want to make a difference. From the bus ride to the classroom to the lunchroom; our kids have it made! * I am thankful for YOU the public for the support for our schools and what we do! Our schools are not perfect and we will always keep trying to do the right thing. We give students a chance to be a part of multiple activities vs. having to choose just one like the big schools. You support our referendums which are now amongst the 5 lowest dollars per pupil in SW MN. YOU want great facilities and YOU have elected boards that want to work together amongst each other and amongst neighboring schools. I am thankful that YOU have not burned torches outside our TMB / WWG board meetings and demanded a recall of sharing a nutty, spastic Superintendent. *1 am thankful that I can consider myself a very rich man by having so many folks in our 10 communities of my two districts that I can go, to for a visit and get a good laugh or a pat on the back. *1 am thankful to be living in this part of the World, this part of the country, this part of MN and to have the family and neighbors that keep me grounded and loving where I live. *As we enter this advent season, we'll keep plugging away on giv- ing students a great education and many opportunities and I hope that we all can take part in the "giving" part of these seasons and reach out to those in need of a smile or a pat on the back or a mean- ingful conversation. Have a great December Superintendent Loy Woelber "rROOPER KATHY BY KATHY PEDERSON Dear Trooper Kathy: Do many people get hurt when they are hit by a deer or are they mostly just fender benders ?How many deer crashes are there anyway? Trooper Kathy Says: I referred these questions to my local (Marshall) State Patrol Radio Communications Officer (RCO). She looked up the numbers for me and here are the numbers for just THIS area on state high- ways. Also, keep in mind these are the REPORTED crashes as many are not. Marshall District encompasses 13 counties in the Southwest comer of the State. September and October 2011 -MARSHALL DISTRICT THERE WERE 3 ANIMAL- VEHICLE CRASHED INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURIES (statewide there were 25) THERE WERE 0 ANIMAL - VEHICLE CRASHES INVOLVING DEATH (TO HUMAN) Statewide there were 3) THERE WERE 72 ANIMAL- VEHICLE CRASHES INVOLVING PROPERTY DAMAGE ONLY (statewide there were 785) TOTAL REPORTED TRAFFIC CRASHES INVOLVING ANIMAL AND VEHICLE=75 (statewide there were over 825) FEAR THE DEER -- DEADLY, AUTUMN ROAD HAZARD The Minnesota State Patrol and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety reminds motorists that the deer breeding season and crop harvest activity are the primary factors for increased deer move- ment during the autumn, result- mg m a danger to motorists -- especially motorcyclists. There were 7,751 deer-vehi- cle crashes reported in the last three years. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimates the state's deer population is one million. Motorist Safety Tips: * Buckle up, * drive at safe speeds and * pay attention -- * be especially cautious dur- ing dusk and dawn when deer are more active. * Don't veer for deer -- swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic. Bringing a vehicle to a con- trolled stop and hitting a deer is safer than swerving. Drive focused and defensively by looking for reflecting deer eyes and silhouettes, especially during low-light times, and in forested and farm areas, says Lt. John Ebner of the Minnesota State Patrol. "Deer do unpredict- able things, like stop in the mid- dle of the road, or cross and quickly re-cross. Sound your horn to urge the deer to leave the road." Ifa deer is struck by a vehicle, but not killed, DNR officials suggest for safety reasons to keep a distance from the animal. However, if a deer remains onsite, or poses a public safety risk, report the incident to a DNR conservation officer or other local law enforcement agency. Any Minnesota resident may claim a road-killed animal by contacting a law enforcement officer. An authorization permit will be issued allowing the indi- vidual to lawfully possess the deer. http://www.kare cle/943041/391/State-Trooper- hits-deer-motorists-warned If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please email her at Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforcement. \ D FtgCi' "Stories from the BaH Cave" Backhouse Baseball My neighbor Crandall once accidentally dropped his jacket into a hole in our outhouse. He borrowed a hoe. "You're not going to get your jacket out and wear it, are you?" I asked, disgusted at the thought. "Of course not," replied Crandall, 'Tm hungry and there is a baloney sandwich in the pocket." Things like that happened when your bathroom wasn't allowed in the house. You got used to such things. Making a walk to the biffy was good exer- cise. A proper outhouse needed to be sliver-free and have a door that would swing in. The lack of slivers made for comfortable sit- ting and the correctly arranged door gave the user full control over the entrance and exit. Honeysuckles were planted around the privy for their pleas- ant fragrance. Today we have radioS; maga- zines, and books in our indoor bathrooms. Some bathrooms have TVs. We take smartphones, laptops, and tablets in with us. All those things are swell. But in those bygone days, we had live entertainment. Spiders and wasps called the outhouse home. Flies were frequent visi- tors. This allowed a backhouse tourist to commune with nature. Several chickens fell into a hole. One memorable day, a skunk crawled into one of the holes in the outhouse. Good times. On another day, neighborhood boys were over and we were playing baseball in the pasture. For us kids, pasture baseball was like an exceptional recess. We had a few dried cowpies for bases and a herd of cattle for adoring fans. We had an old baseball that had been battered oblong and a couple of bats with nails in the heavily taped han- dles. When we hit a ball, the bats presented us with what we called "bumblebees" in our hands. It stung even if the ball had become mushy with use. We had no uni- forms or spikes. We had little Dougie. Dougie was at that awk- ward age--too small to play baseball and too small to be left alone. He was just big enough to be a pain to his older brothers and to the rest of us playing baseball. He always needed something. And if he didn't need something, he wanted some- thing. He was both needy and waRty. We were playing baseball--a game that requires great con- centration. It was a tight game, giving each pitch great impor- tance. Dougie didn't grasp the importance. . . "1 have to go to the bathroom," he whined. What about our needs? We told him that he knew where the outhouse was. We watched as he sniffled about the unfairness of it all as he cleared the pasture on his way past the barn. He needed to go by the house to find the privy. We paid no attention to his wanderings, as we had baseball to play. The game went into extra innings, but was called due to thirst. The score was 19 to 19 with the bases loaded and two outs, but there was red nectar to drink. On a hot day, the only thing that came close to the joy of playing baseball was drinking red nectar. We heard the voice as we neared the house. It was a muf- fled "help" that sounded as if it were coming from a long dis- tance. As we listened, we could tell that the cry was coming from the outhouse. We forgot about the red nectar. We walked towards the little shanty. We could tell by then that the voice was Dougie's. We had forgotten all about him and we were not pleased to hear that his cries appeared to be coming from below ground level. We opened the door to find that our fears were justified. Little Dougie had fallen into a hole. "Get me out!" he cried, loud enough that the spiders fled for safety. I didn't want to. I wasn't that crazy about Dougie in his normal state. Dougie in his present con- dition was too much. "You get him out. It's your out- house," one of Dougie's brothers said. "He's not my brother," I coun- tered. We knew we were going to get yelled at. We were kids. We were used t0,being yelled at for no reason. But we knew"that leaving Dougie in the hole would be wrong. We thought about making an anonymous call to his mother describing Dougie's problem. We decided to draw straws to see who would pull Dougie from his predicament. Whoever drew the short straw would draw Dougie from his disgusting dun- geon. I know that we are supposed to help others. But Dougie owes me big time. AI Batt 2011 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office & Production Joan Spielman Office & Production Kiki Hubert Marketing Specialist Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $38.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $42.00 per year. Out of the state $48.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00. Any request for a back copy must include $3.00. Newstand price is $1.00 per copy. 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