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Floating in a cloudless sky


Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

“Your first time up in a glider?” Steve Fischer asks me. Steve is a mechanical engineer from the metro area whose passion in life is flying gliders. “Yah,” I shout out above the noise of the wind.“Great. Well, whatever you do, don’t pull that red knob on your right.”I look by my right elbow and see what Steve is referring to.“Okay,” I say. “That’s the emergency parachute,” Steve instructs.“Oh,” I respond. It takes a few seconds for me to realize what that really means. All the while Steve and I are talking, the craft we are sitting in is being tugged further and further away from the ground by a tow plane piloted by Roger Payne, a 23 year member of the Minnesota Soaring Club. While I snap photographs, Steve pilots the glider to keep it aligned with the flight path of Roger’s plane.Connected by a cable, we encounter ground wind turbulence that shakes the glider. On occasion our flight path resembles a knuckle ball being propelled toward an imaginary batter in the sky. At 1500 feet, everything goes quiet as we start flying above the ground wind. “Did you notice that?” Steve asks me, referring to how calm and peaceful things have suddenly become.“You bet I did,” I said, acknowledging that I was starting to feel a bit queasy. I have been in small planes before, both in the South Pacific and in Cuba, and expected some turbulence, but initially this was like being strapped into a kite.When we reach 70 knots, (approximately 80 miles an hour, a knot is 1.15 mph), and an altitude of 5000 feet above sea level, Steve pulls the release to disconnect the glider from the tow plane. Roger banks his plane up and to the left while Steve turns the nose of our glider down and to the right as we pull free. By going in prescribed directions, the two pilots insure that the tow plane and glider stay away from each other’s flight path.While Roger returns to the Fillmore County Airport, Steve and I solo above the contoured fields of Fillmore County. Like the hawks and eagles that float above the Root River valley running into Forestville State Park, our glider soars in the cloudless sky. I begin to relax and settle in for an amazing flight. ~ ~ ~Ben Jeffrey, a large man in a fisherman’s hat, has a spray bottle in one hand and cleaning wipes in another. He star .....
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2003 drought reduces profit potential

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

There is a saying among farmers, no matter where they live, that it “always rains around here ten minutes before it is too late”. After abundant rainfall up until mid-July, the 2003 growing season appears to be one when the rains may be even later th ..... 
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County approves 2004 budget

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

“Department heads have really sharpened their pencils and come through", praised Policy Coordinator Karen Brown as the county board reviewed new figures submitted from county departments on Tuesday. Brown had informed offices, after last week’s meeti ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: Rushford generators selected; site approval next step

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Richard Fogal, chairman of the Electric Commission, presented the Commission’s recommendation to accept the Ziegler bid to the Rushford City Council at their meeting September 8. Ziegler’s (Caterpillar) bid was $43,000 less than their previous bid an ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report: City Council approves budget, sets levy

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Harmony City Administrator Jerome Illg presented a preliminary budget proposal, showing an increase in the city’s budget of $89,487. The city council on Tuesday, set the budget at $310,674, up from $221,187 in 2003. The 2004 levy was set at $458,805. ..... 
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Fillmore County District Court

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Felony Charges

•David Ray Merkel, 42, Spring Valley, was charged in Fillmore County District Court on Monday, September 8 with Manufacture of Methamphet-amine, a felony.

It is alleged in the criminal compl ..... 
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Take pride in American literary heritage and see “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

There’s a line in Streetcar Named Desire where high school English teacher Blanch Dubois laments the fact that her students don’t care much about their American literary heritage. And that got me to thinking about how, with the recent surge in patrio ..... 
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Governor Pawlenty requests federal disaster aid for drought stricken counties

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Governor Tim Pawlenty has announced that he will request that approximately 49 Minnesota counties be designated as federal agricultural disaster areas by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture because of severe drought. The Governor’s announcement came du ..... 
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Dayton says he will sponsor disaster relief bill for drought

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Speaking in a teleconference on Wednesday with several media, including the Fillmore County Journal, Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton said that he would sponsor federal disaster aid legislation to provide relief for Minnesota farmers suffering crop loss ..... 
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