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Great week for harvest, but corn yields are low

ALSO: Northfield named top city for retirement; movie made in Zumbrota brings smiles; Plainview mom brings attention to drunken driving; and more.

Minnesota’s corn harvest is 41 percent complete compared with 16 percent a week earlier.
REUTERS/Eduard Korniyenko

The Department of Agriculture said on Monday that the state’s corn harvest is 41 percent complete compared with 16 percent a week earlier, reports the Associated Press via the Albert Lea Tribune. Minnesota’s soybean harvest continues to run ahead of normal at 94 percent complete.

But things aren’t so good in some areas. Dana Melius in the St. Peter Herald interviewed Christian Lilienthal, the Nicollet County extension educator, who said the county’s corn harvest is worse than expected. He estimated corn production is down about 25 percent, which most likely will affect farmland rents next season. An acre in Nicollet County averaged $276 per acre this year and Lilienthal said that figure could drop to $200 next season.

Looking for a nice place to retire? Think Northfield! Grace Webb at the Northfield News writes that MONEY Magazine named Northfield the best city in the U.S. for a well-rounded retirement. Editors first chose the top 12 states for housing prices, taxes on pensions, job opportunities for older workers, potential retiree income, Medicare reimbursements and available Medicaid. Then they looked at cities in those states that ranked on the magazine’s “Best Places to Live” study, which includes crime, green space, job growth and health care. Then they interviewed residents. Northfield came out on top, with Bellingham, Washington, and Manchester, New Hampshire, rounding out the top three. Northfield offers a college-town feel, low cost of living, and proximity to a major metro area and proximity to the Mayo Clinic. MONEY Magazine says the downsides include high taxes and cold winters, but apparently the taxes aren’t so high and the winters aren’t so cold as to affect its rankings.

A little bit of Tinseltown came to Zumbrota last spring when Scott Thompson filmed “His Neighbor Phil” over several weeks in the town, using local color and casting townspeople around his leads, Stephanie Zimbalist and Daniel Roebuck. The movie premiered last weekend in Zumbrota and Kay Fate of the Rochester Post Bulletin was there with all the details. The 96-minute film tells the story of Mary (Zimbalist), who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and her husband, Harvey (Roebuck), who suspects his neighbor, Phil, may have once loved Mary and now doubts the strength of their marriage. Thompson, of Gilmanton, Wisconsin, cast Mazeppa craftsman Bob Bird as the titular Phil. Bird just wanted to help out backstage but Thompson pegged him as a natural actor. Bird loved the experience: “It’s the first job I’ve ever had where everybody wanted to be there,” he said. And the town’s reception after seeing the movie? A standing ovation.

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When tragedy strikes, there’s not much you or anyone else can do. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. John Weiss of the Post Bulletin tells the story of Amber Bishop, who was hit by a drunken driver on Sept. 20. The crash killed her 9-year-old nephew and has paralyzed her 7-year-old son, Jeramiya, from the waist down. Rubber wristbands with the inscriptions William Never Forget and Jeramiya Stay Strong are on sale at the High Plains Coop Cenex station on Minnesota Highway 42 in Plainview, where Bishop lives. Bishop said the wristbands can’t change what happened, but she hopes it can change things in the future. “Something has to change,” she said. Gerald Anthony Mohs, 57, of Rochester, entered a Norgaard plea of guilty to four of the charges against him, which means he’s unable to recall the facts of the case due to intoxication. Mohs’ driving privileges have been canceled since 1979. A preliminary breath test indicated his blood alcohol concentration was 0.172.

Jon Hamm, star of the TV series “Mad Men,” was the feature attraction at a campaign rally for Sen. Al Franken Monday in Duluth, writes Jana Hollingsworth of the Duluth News Tribune. The actor supports Franken’s efforts to curb student loan debt. Also speaking: Gov. Mark Dayton’s running mate Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Crosby, Duluth Mayor Don Ness, and Franken. But the star was Hamm. “Seeing him was inspirational,” said Kelsey Keegan of Duluth.  

An anonymous donor gave $250,000 to support the Cancer Center and Long-Term Care Services at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, the Dispatch reported. Officials say the money will be used to advance cancer diagnostic and treatment capabilities in the area. It will also be used to improve care coordination for patients who may utilize home care and long-term care services. “We are so fortunate in this community to have such a generous supporter and believer in the care we are providing to our patients with cancer. It means the world to be able to offer patients top-notch care right in the community where they live,” said Dr. Laura Joque, oncologist at the Cancer Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph Medical Center.