Farmers in Le Sueur and Nicollet counties got an early jump on field preparation and spring planting. Dana Melius of the Le Center Leader says a couple weeks ago the state Department of Agriculture was worried about the mild drought conditions throughout much of the state. But moisture has arrived and last week saw near perfect early planting conditions. The weekly crop report from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and USDA said the topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were adequate in 60 percent of farm acreage as of mid-April. Low corn prices have many farmers leaning toward soybean acreage, but now soybean prices have also dipped. Farmers who had not locked in seed purchases may have some room to maneuver between crops.
So apparently it’s a big deal now to have Nerf Wars – shooting foam arrows out of neon plastic guns. High school and college kids form teams and tear around the city, having a whee of a time. It’s all fun and games until someone gets behind the wheel of a car, says Duluth Officer Ron Tinsley in a story written by John Lundy of the News Tribune. “Some kids are unbelted in vehicles because they’re focused on the game; they’re not focused on having a seatbelt on,” Tinsley tut-tutted. “I informed them: ‘Hey, guys, I want you to have fun. It sounds like a great game, but you guys have to be safe about it.’ “
A 35-year-old woman was hanging out in front of Rochester’s Center Street Hotel at about 7:30 p.m. Monday, waiting for a friend, when she saw someone she knew sitting in a car nearby. Kay Fate of the Rochester Post-Bulletin writes that the two women got into a heated discussion. Capt. John Sherwin of the RPD says the woman in the car got out and struck the first woman. At first she thought it was a regular punch, but then she realized the woman was brandishing a knife and she sustained a gash on her neck that was several inches long. Some folks nearby broke up the fight and took the stabbed woman to the Olmsted Medical Center, where police were called. No arrests have been made.
Down in Waseca County, Jacob Stark of the Waseca County News puts some local flavor in a report on health outcomes. Sadly, Waseca County fell among Minnesota counties by 10 spots. The study, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, looks at overall health outcomes and predicts a county’s future health needs so officials can frontload issues and solutions. Waseca County came in 13th out of the state’s 87 counties, which is pretty good — except it was ranked 3rd last year. Apparently, more people in the county are smoking and sitting on the couch, which will wreck your stats. So now the county has partnered with another county to improve their stats. Stark’s story says strategies for health improvement “included physical activity, healthy eating, cancer, tobacco use, alcohol use, oral health, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and injury.” So all we gotta do is fix those issues up and we’re right as rain!
Here’s another wildlife story from Duluth. David Evans has been banding bald eagles since 1970 when the birds were on the endangered species list. Now some folks have found the carcass of a bird he banded in 1981 near Minong, making it the longest living banded bald eagle in the U.S., clocking in at 33 years, 5 months. Sam Cook of the News Tribune says experts don’t know who long eagles live, but with stats like this, they’re learning.
Groundbreaking for the new Spam Museum in Austin is scheduled for Tuesday, writes Trey Mewes in the Austin Daily Herald. The new museum will be between Second and Fourth avenues on the east side of North Main Street. Plans call for a state-of-the-art 14,000-square-foot bungalow-style building for those Spam lovers who hate elevators. Mewes then has this sentence: “The museum will have blue-accented walls on the outside of the building, which city officials say will help bring a unique aspect to the downtown area.” I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. But Godspeed, Austin! I’ll be first in line, wearing my “Not all the hogs make it to Sturgis” shirt.
Much like the negotiations between the world powers and Iran over nuclear proliferation, negotiations between the City of Dundas and an artisanal cheesemaker have hit what seems to be an impassable snag, writes Kevin Krein of the Faribault Daily News. Carolyn Jackson, proprietress of Carolyn’s Chalet Cheese, wanted to make cheese in the Pumper Commercial Center. Negotiations between the cheesemaker and the city bogged down over the cost of sewer service for the business. “Dairy product of any kind can produce some interesting waste loads,” said Dundas City Administrator John McCarthy. He wanted to have all his ducks in a row before Jackson was allowed to begin dumping her artisanal effluent.