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Park River , North Dakota
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March 12, 2014     Walsh County Press
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March 12, 2014
 

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PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES N.RCH 12, 2014 FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIMB EDITOR, WALSH €OUIqlTY PRESS That first hint of spring, that breath of 40 degree air, is magic• It is like when Dorothy steps out of her front door and opens her eyes to Oz for the very first time. Everything is in Technicolor. Last weekend was exactly what I believe a wonderful winter can be •.. hockey, playing in the snow, and about a day long. Over the weekend, we took in a hockey game at the Chris Midgarden Arena where the North- em Lights League Squirts Tourney took place• My family and I met up with my aunt Jane and uncle Hen- ry, my sister Becca, and my cousin Elyssa and aunt Kyza to watch Kyza's son Cooper and the Lang- don Blades take down Northwood. Cooper scored the first goal. For the day he had a hat trick and two assists, the Blades won 11-2. The night before he was awarded Play- er of the Game. I was even more impressed by the fact that my little guy loved it. He wanted to be out in the stands watching the action, not by the concessions with his baby sis- ter. He watched the kids skate back and forth while shouting, "go, go, go!" I may have to take him skating next year. Though our time at the game was cut short due to cranky babies not understanding daylight savings time, it still was wonderful to get to spend time with family. From there it was straight home and naps all around. Once the crankiness had ceased, we went outside to take in the spring-like temperatures. We watched the water drip off of the roof. We went for a walk, taking the kids on their first wag- on ride of the year. And we felt the sun again. It was amazing. The snow was sticky enough for snowmen, as evidence if you drove past my house on Sunday. My hus- band (who claims our two-year-old son did it) built a five snowman complete with brooms for arms, a hat and scarf, carrots for a nose, mouth, and buttons, and potatoes for eyes• He gets extra credit for creativ- ity. And our little man got to real- ly play outside for the first time all winter. He received snow pants and a jacket and a pair of boots for Christmas, which have been used in the process of running to and from the car. They have not seen much of daylight otherwise, but on Sunday, he put his snow boots to the test. The feeling of being cooped up in the desolate 40 below winter was a memory. There was hope that spring would come again• Once we settled back in, wash- ing off the wet and mush, the thought of summer didn't feel so far away. Here is hoping that our taste of spring is here to stay and we can hold off winter for another seven months or more• Sure, youcan escape the winter for a week or two, but on days like this, there's no place like home. Like" the Walsh County Press on Facebook and check out our blog at http.'//walshcounty- press, wotdpress, com Hello, They keep promising that the weather will warm up. Next week. It's always next week. I mean, my phone gives me a forecast for 15 days out. And since the first of De- cember, next week is going to be a lot warmer. I suppose eventual- ly they will get it right. Now, I am getting an occasional complaint when I miss an article in one of the papers• I am just here to tell you that sometimes, well maybe usually, it is my fault• But sometimes, I get the article writ- ten, send it off, and it is destined to wander around in cyberspace, or telephone lines, or wherever bad stories go when they die. If you are reading this article today, it got there. If you are not, it didn't. I was looking at the used hay that is building up in our pens and on the feed ground where we are manure out. No matter which way Hat wintering cows and I got to think- ing about cleaning pens• Shirley says I should never think, but I couldn't help it. And then I start- ed thinking about the year Shirley helped me. There are two things that Shirley is not pretty good at. She's real poor with a rope. I mean, she is really, really bad. And she's not a real good mechanic• She can operate most machinery, with a quick lesson, but she's poor at repairs• Pretty good grease monkey though. One year she rented a Bobcat. Tips No, not an animal. A skid steer loader. She was cleaning out some sheds, spreading a little gravel, hauling a little garbage. Just kind of odds and ends. Fall kind of stuff. Stuff that in December, if you don't do it, you wish you had. She had been on the Bobcat for a couple of days, and I was run- ning the loader tractor. The loader tractor has cab and air. The Bob- cat has no cab, and flesh air. It was a hundred and something with about a thirty mile per hour wind. I watched her dumping that dry she dumped it, it would blow back in her face. I felt sorry for her and turned my air conditioner down a notch• Now, every year, for forty some years, I have tried to keep the ex- citement in our marriage. I am con- stantly looking for something to keep that "spark" alive. And as I watched her working hour after hour in that hot sun. With that fine • dust blowing up all around and through that machine, I had an idea. So, armed only with my quick wit and loud voice, I did it. I climbed up en the back of the Bob- cat while sl was working away. I reached in, grabbed her neck and screamed. Talk about keeping spark in a marriage! She can still get pretty excited! Later, Dean I • Happenings at Our ] . samantan Good Samaritan   Nannette Hoeger, Activities Dir, :: t Happening the week of Mareh,gt/: I .= M. 9th Baked Potato Bar, Worship w/Ffite()?Cffg  Mar. 10th 10am Embroidery Group, Bingo at 6:30 Mar. 11 th Men's Time at 10am w/Arnold B., Baking Buns, Bible Study 3:30 w/Jeanean M. Mar. 12th Bingo at 3pm Mar. 13th 3pm Birthday Party Hosted By Good Samaritan Society Aux- iliary, 6:30 Movie Night Mar. 14th 10:30 Nail Time, Mix Cookies, Mar. 15th 9:30 Mass, lpm Music w/Jan, 2:30pm Bingo • *Looking ahead we will have our Book Sale on Mar. 20th from 2pm to 4pm. We have a lot of books this time and as always they will each be25 cents, Please come stock on some good reading material.** Thank You to the many Volunteers, Fr. Luiten, Shirley Soblik, Linda Larson, Arnold Braaten, Lois Ydstie, Mary Seim, Lorene Larson, Jeanean McMillan, Pastor Hinrichs, Good Samaritan Society Auxiliary, Bonnie VanBruggen, Terry Hagen, Corrinne Ramsey, Please forgive me ifI have left anyone out, you all are greatly appreciated. If you have time or a talent to share please contact Rose Ulland at 284-7115. NORTH D00OTA-2013 Walsh County Health District Short Shots Pabllc HemJtJl Prevent. Promote. Protect. NDSU Agriculture Communication Underage Drinking is a problem in North Dakota Alcohol remains the most widely used drug by youth. Compared to other states our state continues to rank high in the na- tion in underage and binge drinking. Youth start drinking early 17% of High School students had their first drink before age 13. People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become addicted than those who wait until they are 21. Not only are ND youth drinking, they are drinking to get drunk (Binge Drinking) 1 out of 4 (26%) of High School students engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days. The brain goes through dynamic changes during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long and short term growth processes. Research indicates that brain development continues until about age 25. The Russians invaded the Ukraine and the New York Stock Market dropped 200 points. The sit- uation stabilized and the Stock Market recovered. That underscores the fact that we are in a world economy and occur- rences on the other side of the globe have a dramatic impact on the American economic system. For the past 20 years, American economic leaders and thinkers have been keenly aware of the need for reforming our educational system to meet the growing challenges of an international economy. Unfortu- nately, progress has been bogged down in political wrangling and in- stitutional resistance. First, we tried 'No Child Left Be- hind' but that ended with every child left behind. The program was in- tended to raise the learning bar in our education system with tests to meas- ure progress. Unfommately, expectations were too high, terrorizing teachers, school boards and legislators. And our will- ingness to change was too low so the program was abandoned. Now we have a new approach called the 'Common Core' intend- ed to upgrade the analytical think- ing of students, with emphasis on math and language skills. The program was initiated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. North Dakota is one of the 45 states that have adopt- ed the principles of Common Core. Common Core will be using a new testing system that will assess the progress of individual students. However, any kind of uniform test- ing from above is rankling liberals and conservatives alike. Teachers do not want any as- sessing that could be used to link stu- dent performance to teacher com- petence. As an example, New York's largest teachers' union denounced Common Core standards after ini- tially endorsing them because stu- dent test scores could be used for teacher evaluations. Some vocal conservatives oppose Common Core, not for its sub- stance but because it is being pro- posed at the national level• Even though launched by state officials, they worry about a federal takeover of education. An anti-Common Core spokesperson in Colorado summed up this position: "We want to keep our education decisions local•" With both liberal and conserva- tive groups opposing implementa- tion of the Common Core, the prognosis is just about the same as it was for 'No Child Left Behind•' The same arguments that buffed NCLB are likely to kill another plan to prepare American students to compete on the international stage. As far as satisfying the objections of teachers, that will never happen because there are too many other factors affecting the test results of students in addition to the per- formance of teachers. As a consequence, we will nev- er be able to develop an evaluation system that will meet all objections. Therefore, the only sensible course of action is to start with less than the ideal and improve as we go. Now as to dealing with the age- old controversy about local control of schools. Maybe it's time to face reality today than have Amer- ican kids at a disadvantage tomor- row. The reality is that American kids will face more international competition for jobs and careers than any generation before them. We have an intergovernmental educational system at present upon which we should be able to build. The federal government provides grants, loans and funding of all sons; states create and fund school dis- tricts, and locally-elected boards run the schools. This ragged, uncoordinated sys- tem is not accomplishing what American young people need but that is where we must start. Some- how, both the education communi- ty and the ideologues must yield some ground. It's time to quit talking about how we love kids and make some con- cessions to prove it. The reality is that American kids 00wtl[ face more international com- petition for jobs and careers than any generation before them." Extension Exchange Resolve to be a stronger family just in time for spring Although we're marking an- other month offofthe calendar it's not too late to make resolutions for improvements in our family mem- bers' lives• Making resolutions to- gether can bring a family closer, provide a support system for choosing healthier behaviors and improve communication and fam- ily bonds• Today's society is fast-paced, and families are very stressed. Ac- cording to Carla Stanford, Missis- sippi State University Extension Service child and family area agent in Pontotoc County, a family should take any opportunity to sit down with our loved ones and take an inventory of our unique strengths and challenges• What pulls you away from your family? What brings you together? Make a resolution to spend more time doing things that draw you closer and less time doing things that push you apart. Stanford said parents and chil- dren have choices to make when it comes to making the family bond strong. Everyone in the family has a lot of distractions. TV, school, work, going out with friends, extracur- ricular activities, smartphones, household chores and responsibil- ities - all of these have their places• It's a matter of finding balance and making family time a priority. Select healthy activities Family time can be spent en- gaging in healthy activities that will help everyone meet the reso- lutions of eating healthier foods and getting more exercise• Stanford said finding time to cook is often the biggest obstacle parents' face in making healthier food choices. Resolving to eat healthier is a goorfirst stepbutJt's.important to . ifind xvay q bepractj¢a!. Look. for foods that kids Wiii"et'that are ]aealthir.'Do a little research be-: fore you hustle out the door to the grocery store. With tight budgets and crammed schedules it's best to have a game plan in place before stepping into the shopping aisles full of pre-packaged and fat-laden foods• On the weekend, cook and freeze several meals, and you'll have quick and easy suppers to heat up at a fraction of the cost of dining out. Cook larger portions of meals and put half in the freezer for another night. Look for blogs and recipes online that feature slow-cooker meals, and let your supper cook while you're at work. And don't forget about getting physically active together• Getting more exercise does not have to in- volve an expensive gym member- ship or bulky exercise equipment. As seasons change it's a good time to try new things, such as dancing with the family at home, or taking the time to play together in a more active way, such as jumping rope or playing a family game of tag in the backyard as the thaw approaches• Try to incorpo- rate physical activities into nor- mally sedentary times. For example, make-commercial breaks exercise breaks with relays in the house or running in place, doing jumping jacks or other quick bursts of action• Or simply turn off the TV and find games that get every- one mvmg. Exercisehas both physical and emotional benefits. Some exercise is better than none, more is better than some and too much is ditficult to get. Healthier choices and new family traditions can increase hap- piness and fight remaining winter- time blues. Take the Time to Talk Having ongoing, effective con- versations with your child is im- portant, but can be difficult. Here are some tips to ensure your con- versations are meaningful. Be Available for your children. Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk, for example at bedtime, before dinner, in the car and be available to listen and en- gage them in conversation. Start the conversation, it lets your kids know you care about what's hap- pening in their lives. Parents LEAD has some great conversa- tion starters to help you get the conversation going. Find them at http://www.parentslead.org/gen- eral-parenting-tips.php. Find time each week for a one- on-one activity with each child and avoid scheduling other activities during that time. Take ,the time to learn about your child s interests for example 'learn about th;eir fa- vorite music and activities and show an active interest in them. Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversa- tion with a question. To truly communicate it's im- portant to let your kids know you're listening. When your chil- dren are talking about concerns stop whatever you are doing and listen• Express an interest in what they are saying without becoming intrusive. Remember to listen to their point of view even if it's dif- ficult to hear and let them complete their point before you respond. When thinking about changes, create a vision for the future by picturing yourself and your family healthy and happy• Then talk about what you need to do to make that vision a reality and go for it! Extension on Ag around the state Farm Bill atnhofizes new crop inmnance The 2014 farm bill authorized the development of a new shallow- loss crop insurance policy to be called the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), but many details about this policy still are unknown. "One important detail that is known, however, is this insurance coverage is not available for 2014," North Dakota State University Ex- tension Service farm management specialist Dwight Aakre says. "There has been some misun- derstanding that the SCO policies would be available this year," he adds. "This may have led to some delay on the part of producers in making their insurance decisions this year. Producers can put SCO out of their mind for 2014." Producers will need to make decisions on the various farm pro- gram options in 2014, but the Farm Service Agency has not announced enrollment schedules yet. That an- nouncement likely will not be made until late summer or early fall. Crop insurance, on the other hand, has a final sign-up date of March 15 for spring-planted crops in this region. Any changes to ex- isting policies and any new policies must be completed by March 15. This date remains unchanged from previous years. Crop insurance coverage for 2014 should be relatively unchanged from 2013. "If you were satisfied with the type of policies and coverage lev- els you elected last year, you may choose to continue those policies as is," Aakre says. "It is important to note that revenue coverage guar- antees this year will be considerably lower than last year due to lower preliminary prices realized during the month of February." Lower coverage also comes with lower premiums. For about the same premium as last year, pro- ducers should be able to purchase coverage at one level higher than in 2013. The various crop insurance poli- cies will have some minor changes this year, as is the case every year. A producer's insurance provider is the best source of information on in- dividual policies and coverage op- tions. Editor's Note The Extension Exchange columnn was not available this week. It will re- turn as soon as possme.