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Madelia: when the smoke settles


Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary



When a devastating fire took out a large portion of Madelia’s historic main street earlier this month, the town and surrounding community were understandably shaken. Madelia’s population is just over 2,200, but given the number of Minnesotans in our region and across the state who come from a small town, many people can relate to the severity of Madelia’s loss. Images of the leveled lots served as a reminder of how many of our communities hinge on a small but thriving central corridor. We know from experience that the loss of just one business can be a blow; to have eight burn down is an enormous loss for a community their size.

However, I find it true that during life’s hardest moments, true character shines through. Fire stations from several neighboring communities got through the snow to put the fire out as quickly as possible and no injuries were suffered. Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) quickly put together a Disaster Recovery Fund, just as we did when floods hit the Rushford community in 2007, tornadoes wiped out dozens of farms in the summer of 2010, and when more floods came in the fall of 2010. SMIF aimed to raise $50,000 for Madelia. In less than a week, over $200,000 had come in. This is in addition to the thousands raised by local GoFundMe campaigns and other contributions. In early conversations with the business owners, tears of gratitude over the generosity of so many were shed.

SMIF’s disaster recovery fund drew support from a wide range of interests: local banks, health care facilities, regional nonprofits and foundations, area businesses, and dozens of individuals. Several thousand dollars were pledged by our sister Minnesota Initiative Foundations. By 9 a.m. the morning after the fire, $30,000 had already been pledged. SMIF is working with the business owners to get this money out the door as quickly as possible. This kind of overwhelming and immediate support is one of the biggest strengths of our communities. Time and again, I have seen this same generosity extended when a local resident is suffering from cancer, when a beloved community asset needs to be updated, or when a terrible storm ravages a town and surrounding farms.

In a town hall meeting the Friday after the fire, the American Legion in Madelia was packed with community residents, local government officials, the business owners affected by the fire, and regional partners coming on board t .....
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Racism in America: It’s time to face the facts

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

If you’ve been watching the news and reading the papers, you know the subject of racism has been prominent in America. An endless series of events have spawned violent protests, destructive and unlawful behavior, accusations of wrong doing by law ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Gracing the Commentary pages

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

In case you haven’t noticed a change in our editorial policy pertaining to the Commentary pages, I wanted to take a moment to explain those changes and the logic behind those changes. Letters to the Editor All letters to the editor are limite ..... 
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City of Preston Ordinance 152.04

Mon, Feb 29th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

By Kerry Soiney On March 7, the City Council of Preston will again discuss the 1971 ordinance that requires a screening green belt surrounding the perimeter of mobile home parks that border residential properties in the City of Preston. It was full ..... 
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Houston County must play by the rules

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

By John Jordan I come from a long line of environmentally concerned men. My great-grandfather witnessed the advent of internal combustion automobiles. “We know the consequences of what comes out of the rear end of a horse,” he said, “but wh ..... 
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Remembering Scalia

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

Antonin Scalia will long be remembered as an important and significant Supreme Court Justice. Whether you agreed with him or not his nearly 30 years of service on the court should be respected. His decisions and writings are his legacy and they will ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Bluff Country’s blemish

Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

By now, I’m guessing you’ve heard about another episode of fraud involving Southeast Minnesota Historic Bluff Country Inc. The first time was under the leadership of director Kristina Nolte. On June 17, 2013, Kristina Nolte, of Mabel, Minn. ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Honoring our Veterans

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

On Friday, February 5, 2016, our staff at the Fillmore County Journal worked tirelessly to prepare for what I presume will be our biggest event of the year -- the debut of Boots & Badges: Honoring Fillmore County Veterans. And, the sole purpose ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Honoring our Veterans

Mon, Feb 15th, 2016
Posted in All Commentary

On Friday, February 5, 2016, our staff at the Fillmore County Journal worked tirelessly to prepare for what I presume will be our biggest event of the year -- the debut of Boots & Badges: Honoring Fillmore County Veterans. And, the sole purpose ..... 
[Read the Rest]
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