Tricounty News

Another Progress Issue coming next month

Last year was the first year we created a “Progress Issue.” It used to be a “Business” special section, done each spring. Now it’s a “Progress Issue,” focusing on all the community changes during the past year.

We’ve been working on it for awhile now, and it’s a lot of work. It is always amazing to consider how much business activity there is in the small towns that make up our communities. All four cities (Eden Valley, Watkins,
Kimball, and South Haven) have been very busy in the past year or two as well. Very busy.

We need your help here, too. If your business or organization has had a major accomplishment or change in the past year, please let us know about it. 

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Invite us, please

Every once in awhile we realize that not everyone knows how to contact us, or how to get us to cover something.

We love to cover local events and achievements. We live for it. It’s our mission, it’s what we do better than anyone else, and it’s really what will assure that the Tri-County News will be here for many years to come. 

A side benefit of documenting these local achievements is that they become part of the historical record. Not only do we keep copies of each paper in the office, we also have them bound into yearly volumes. And they are recorded and archived with the Stearns Historical Museum and with the Minnesota Historical Society.

Nearly all newspapers in the state do this too. It’s an important mission of all newspapers to be the history-keepers of their communities.

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More fans please, and fewer critics

Like much of the world, we’re all riveted to the Winter Olympics going on right now.

Top athletes from around the world have gathered to compete for one of the very-top three positions in their respective sports.

One can only imagine the years of preparation required to get to this level of competition. Many of the athletes began their sports as children, some were just toddlers. It’s really a life-long commitment to achieve world-class status in just about anything you do.

(I won’t get into the depth or breadth of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics again, and how they portray the U.S.A. Olympics more than the world Olympics.)

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Unknown heart defect takes young woman's life

The end began less than two weeks ago. What is thought to be an undetected congenital heart defect claimed the life of W-Steffen-Kristina
Kristina Steffen; toxicology tests confirmed there were no drugs or alcohol.

The news hit Facebook right away, and there have been more than 50,000 visits to her Caring Bridge.com site. Students at Annandale High School have been wearing white in her honor. Students at last Friday’s Kimball girls’ basketball game wore white for her too.

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Postal rates have increased

Effective Jan. 26, new postal rates hit the United States. It works out to be about a six-percent increase, both for consumers and for periodicals (newspapers and magazines).

Here’s how it may affect you:

Letters: now 49 cents (3-cent increase) for up to 1 oz.

Letters: 21 cents (1-cent increase) for each additional oz.

International: 1-oz. letters anywhere, now $1.15

Postcards: now 34 cents (up 1 cent)

The rate increases are “a last resort that reflects extreme financial challenges,” writes Mickey Barnett, the Board of Governors Chairman. The challenge: a $20 billion budget gap.

Just a reminder that “Forever” stamps are worth whatever the current postal rate is, so you can still use them for first-class letters.