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A call to service


Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Women and Leadership in Fillmore CountyBy Martha Greenwald Monday, October 2, 2000

When Brenda Johnsonís five year old daughter grows up, sheíll assume that leadership is something that comes naturally to women. Johnson first started bringing her daughter along to Chatfield economic development commission meetings when she was little. "I put her in the high chair, and fed her strained bananas during the meetings. She thinks this is what all mamas do."

Johnson belongs to a small but growing group in Fillmore County: she is a woman serving on the Chatfield City Council. Sixty council members and mayors serve in the various small towns in Fillmore County, and 20% are women.

School districts and counties also offer elected leadership opportunities for women. As the local political season kicks into high gear, voters are on the hunt for good candidates to fill vacancies on city councils, and other elected offices. Johnson, who is running for election to a second term, says, "we need the best people to run. Some of those must be women."

Johnson thinks there are lots of reasons why more women arenít serving. "Lots of women donít know that itís okay for women to do some of these things. If they see mostly men on the council, they donít think of it as something women do." Johnson is in a unique position to observe elected officials. It addition to her council duties, she serves as President of the Regional League of Cities for an area that includes six counties and thirty cities. She observes that what gets people involved in government is service on various boards and commissions. "But even most of those groups are male dominated," she says.

Why arenít there more women holding elected office? Helen Bicknese, a current Fillmore County commissioner, is the first woman to serve on the county board. She doesn't know why more women arenít serving. She grew up in Goodhue County and says that she was always the kind of person to volunteer for things, to step forward and serve. This history of service and activism seems to be an important background qualification for many women leaders.


Doris Grindland of Lanesboro has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as mayor of a town in Fillmore County. Grindland was elected mayor of Fountain in 1980. "Iíve been handing out campaign brochures since I was a little kid," Grindland says. Grindlandís mother and other relatives were lifelong Republi .....
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Chairs, asbestos and other things

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Monday, October 2, 2000

There must be a maxim out there that says something like "hard chairs make for short meetings."

That's not to say that Tuesday's Fillmore County Board meeting was exceptionally long, because it wasn't. It was h ..... 
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Beware of the Jackelope

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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A Cautionary TaleBy Neil Haugerud Monday, October 2, 2000

In 1851 a roving band of Arapaho Indians encountered a small herd of dwarf antelope, the same size as their camp dogs, foraging near the Badlands of South Dakota. ..... 
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Facilities Committee votes 8-1 for new courthouse

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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A citizenís advisory committee voted 8-1, Thursday, in favor of building a new Fillmore County courthouse instead of proceeding with extensive remodeling of the existing building.

The consensus of the committee was that the preferred location ..... 
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Dad

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Monday, September 11, 2000

Last week while tending my booth at the Minnesota State Fair I got the call Iíve always dreaded. "Sit down," my brother Derald said softly. "Dad died just a little while ago."

Waves of emotion. Deep sighs. Ti ..... 
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End of the Season

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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By Virginia CooperMonday, October 2, 2000

Itís been a great gardening year, a little wet for a while, but still quite beautiful when we count our successes and not our failures. This is my last column for the season. I hope everyone has lear ..... 
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This work is not for the birds

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Monday, September 4, 2000

I stand on the roof of our workshop holding the end of a rope. My husband has tied the opposite end around his waist so he doesn't slip as he hammers nails into our new metal roofing. Although I am alert to the danger ..... 
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In the Lands of the Pte Oyate

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Monday, September 25, 2000

Sunlight shimmering, my wife Connie and I wrestle with the wind as we set up our campsite. Howling out of Nebraska, the stiffly blowing southern gale threatens to rip the ground cloth from our hands while we fumble w ..... 
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Assignment: Manhattan

Sun, Oct 1st, 2000
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Monday, October 2, 2000

Itís not every day that Iím given an opportunity to go to a star-studded gala at Radio City Music Hall filled with famous celebrities and rock ní roll stars. But a couple weeks ago, such an invitation came my way, and t ..... 
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