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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Monday, February 8th, 2016
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One moment, please... Ghost towns?


Fri, Apr 29th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone: 507-251-5297

It appears the business landscape of Fillmore County has been changing in a disorganized yet synchronized fashion.

In the past six months, two hardware stores have closed; one in Preston and one in Chatfield. Losing those two hardware stores leaves us with four left in the county, including True Value Hardware in Spring Valley, Kingsley Mercantile in Harmony, Village Farm and Home in Mabel, and Rushford Hardware in Rushford.

In addition, two lumber yards have either closed or announced a significant change that would lead you to believe they will be closed.

Preston Lumber has been sold to C & G Properties, and plans for that property are still up in the air. Jim's Building Center in Rushford has been closed due to the retirement of Jim Norstad. Rushford Hardware will be assuming the sale of some of the goods previously sold by Jim's Building Center, but their space is limited enough that they won't be selling lumber.

Losing two lumber yards leaves us with Prosper Lumber in Prosper, Hahn Lumber in Harmony, Fountain Building Center in Fountain, and Valley Home Improvement in Spring Valley.

My, how our business climate can shift in an instant.

Honestly, my biggest fear is that consumers losing these business will find their replacement options outside of Fillmore County.

When a Fillmore County resident spends money with Menard's, that money goes to Eau Claire, Wis.. Money spent at Target goes straight to the Twin Cites. The same thing with Best Buy. Money spent with Wal-mart and Sam's Club goes to Little Rock, Ark.. Dollars spent with Kwik Trip fly across the boarder to La Crosse, never to be seen again. And, fans of Fleet Farm should be aware that every bit of profit spent at those stores is trucked up to Appleton, Wis..

So, what's left in Fillmore County when all of those dollars are leaving the area? Nothing. Businesses shut their doors and the town starts to look like a scene from Gun Smoke.

I've stood on my soapbox and ranted about this before, and I will probably do the same thing again as the moment arises.

When you spend money with local, family-owned businesses, a huge percentage of that money stays in your community. They spend that money at the local grocery store, restaurants, car repair shops, hardware stores and lumber yards (the ones we have left).

If we don't use these local busines .....
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What are they thinking?

Fri, Apr 22nd, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Pundits are busy taking the pulse of the nation's voters to find out what they are thinking. I have some ideas of my own about this.

They believe the recession started January 21, 2009, rather than in the fall of 2007. They believe Obama is ..... 
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One moment, please... A unified vision

Fri, Apr 22nd, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone: 507-251-5297

While I spend the majority of my time in Fillmore County, I do venture out a bit between 14 counties in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, spending quite a bit of time on the road ..... 
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High cost of gas

Tue, Apr 19th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

With spring comes the desire to wander about looking for migrating birds and the first wildflowers; to return to favorite places, favorite trails in woods and grasslands, along streams and the Mississippi River; and to explore new places. Whitewater ..... 
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With congress and the courts, what matters is balance

Tue, Apr 19th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

A year after the passage of the health-care reform law known as "the Affordable Care Act," its legal future is up in the air. Judges in five federal courts have weighed in on it, two of them declaring it unconstitutional and three supporting it. The ..... 
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Are you talking to me?

Mon, Apr 11th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

One wonders, who are the major politicians, in both parties, speaking to? Perhaps I am dense but I can usually follow a conversation that isn't on the topic of quantum physics or marine biology with at least an appropriate nod here and there. I don' ..... 
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The roots of congress' unpopularity

Mon, Apr 11th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

I suppose it's possible that Congress could enjoy even less popularity than it does at the moment, but it's difficult to imagine. Recent public opinion polls show it plumbing depths that have rarely been seen before.

Certainly that's true of ..... 
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Jottings from Japan

Mon, Apr 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Some of you may remember that I wrote a weekly column called "Jottings from Japan" for approximately 15 years. My first entries were hand written and sent in an aerogram. It seemed the best way to keep in touch with my Harmony friends and Grand Mead ..... 
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Congress needs to build a culture of fairness - 3/28/11

Fri, Apr 1st, 2011
Posted in Commentary

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Senate voted down a Republican attempt to repeal last year's health-care reform law. You may remember this, even though it rated only a mention on the evening news. What I'm virtually certain you don't remember is how the R ..... 
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