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I'm going to make myself sound very learned here and discuss a German Jewish philosopher, Hannah Arendt. Bear with me. This is not a column about dense philosophical theory. It's a column about Arendt, and about evangelical Christians. It was prompted by a new book I've been reading called "Sharp," by Michelle Dean, about 10 brilliant women who contributed to America's cultural and intellectual history.
The news sounds dire for soybean growers. A trade war with China has eroded prices, while cold, wet weather is delaying harvest, and the closing of the Ashby elevator has shocked farmers who did business there. Yet the picture isn't entirely bleak. Not for farmers who locked in their soybean crop for $9 or more per bushel back in May and who will also get a $1.65 per bushel subsidy for half of their crop — and possibly the entire crop — as a subsidy from the federal government to cushion the blow from the trade war.
Minnesota's Red Bull National Guard unit draws soldiers from all over, even across state lines. So two Red Bulls from Alexandria were surprised to find they not only live just a mile apart, but one is the other's assistant. Along with their unit, Major Jeremy Pedersen and Cpl. Anthony Olivero are heading to Texas for training before deploying to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where they will serve through next July. They have worked together for about nine months, beginning when Pedersen got promoted and switched units.
From all accounts, the business of skid loader attachments is flourishing in the Alexandria area. While not as prominent as the area's packaging industry, the three local companies involved in the attachment industry are expanding their product lines and adding to their workforce at a fairly brisk clip. "We're pretty excited with the growth we see coming," said Todd Olson, owner of Quick Attach, the most established of the three firms.
The tortoiseshell cat prodded something in Christin Klimek's memory when it showed up at the Lakes Area Humane Society. It was a unique-looking animal, its tail kinked in three places from an old injury, with a face that was half tan and half black. Klimek rummaged through humane society records until she found a family looking for their cat, matching that exact description. When she called them, they were shocked. Their cat had been gone for 10 months. They had given up hope of ever seeing it again.
It's getting harder to brag about being a hardy Minnesotan. That was the underlying message from a pair of climatologists who spoke at Alexandria Technical and Community College's kickoff to Senior College last week. "We don't get as cold as we used to," said Kenny Blumenthal, senior climatologist for the DNR. "We are not breaking record lows."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced details about payments it will make to farmers whose crop profits will likely suffer in the trade war between the U.S. and China. Farmers should apply for payments through the Farm Service Agency after their crops are completely harvested. They will be paid based on half their 2018 harvest. If another payment is issued, it will be based on the other half, the agency said. The rates: • Soybeans will be paid $1.65 per bushel. • Hogs will be paid $8 per head. • Wheat will be paid 14 cents per bushel.
On the walls of Bruce Nelson's corner office are photographs of wilderness and water: canoeing, loons, an underwater view of a turtle and aquatic plants. "I thought they'd be a nice fit in here," said Nelson, 70, the outgoing executive director of the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District, which serves 10,000 sewer customers in and around Douglas County. "It's part of what we're doing."
Terry Dalluge, her mother Grace Christensen and sister Kim Stich were making their way to Herberger's in the Viking Plaza Mall Tuesday when they learned it had closed earlier than they expected. "We were coming down to get the last-minute deals," said Dalluge, who lives near Battle Lake. "That's sad." The closing of the store on Sunday, Aug. 26, which traces its roots to Osakis, marked the end of an era. Herberger's had sold clothes and household goods since 1977 in the Viking Plaza Mall. Before that, it had operated on Broadway in downtown Alexandria.
Laura Urban, president of Alexandria Technical and Community College, will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Urban informed the school system chancellor's office and the college's staff members last week before announcing her decision publicly on Thursday, Aug. 24, at the Rotary Club meeting in Alexandria. "I love being here at the school," she said. "This is a great place to work. We have a wonderful faculty and staff." Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Tara Bitzan called Urban "a great asset" to the college and the community.