"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
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One Moment, Please... What Tonya started


Mon, Jun 15th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

Members of the Preston Lions Club, Preston Area Chamber of Commerce, and community leaders conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, June 9, 2015 at the new “Equal Play” playground by the Preston public swimming pool. Photo by Jason Sethre

Back in October of 2010, Tonya Keim started an initiative that brought the community together to support a project dedicated to replacing a dilapidated playground by the community swimming pool in Preston, Minn.

At that time, many of our readers may recall the Pepsi Refresh Project was taking the nation by storm. Communities were submitting requests for funding important projects that would help make their community become a better place to live, work, and play. And, the support of these projects was largely determined based on votes. With Preston boasting a population of 1,426 at the time, competing with communities like Los Angeles, Calif., at 3.792 million population (the second largest city in the United States), the little Midwestern town was facing an uphill battle.

I remember Tonya Keim bringing her energy and ideas to this project and bringing the community together to submit a video as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project application. I know only because I was the man behind the video camera.

And, I recall that day in which Tonya round up a huge crowd of local residents. We were even lucky enough to have Randy Haakenson bring his boom truck down to the playground parking lot to shoot an aerial video of the crowd of supporters loudly chanting a request to support “Equal play for everyone!”

In one take, Tonya walked around to each piece of playground equipment to demonstrate how dangerous and inaccessible it was for families in the area. We not only needed new playground equipment, but we also needed a new type of surface that made the playground handicapped accessible. A lot has changed with the way playgrounds are constructed today versus 50 years ago when Preston’s was first installed. And, the options of today make playgrounds safe and accessible. But, of course, that comes with a price tag.

I’m no professional videographer by any means, but our amateur production garnered tremendous support. Tonya continued to push forward, promoting the project all over Facebook. She had people in the community voting every day, as many times as possible. She even got her husband signed up on Facebook, so he could vote.

But, at the end of the day, our small town of 1,426 -- even with all the heart and votes we mustered -- couldn’t compete with the larger communities. Some might say there was inequity in the process, with smaller populations simply outnumbered by the bi .....
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In response to “ Insure domestic tranquility”

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

There is an organization in America that has done more to insure “Domestic Tranquility” than all other civil rights organizations combined. Established in the 1870’s, it’s members provided training and support for soldiers and police during ..... 
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The City of Peterson doesn’t seem to understand the role of government

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

By Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RDN Peterson only has a few buildable lots available. When I purchased the lots behind my house in 2009, one with a barn and two empty lots, I was told that they could be built upon. Now that County Hwy 25 is being redone a ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Poor babysitters

Mon, Jun 8th, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

It’s become apparent to me that we have an epidemic in our society. IPads, or the like, have become babysitters of the norm. Back when Baby Boomers were born, this type of technology didn’t exist. And, while the Baby Boomers were blossoming, ..... 
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The facts on the R-P school project Response to Stan Gudmundson letter regarding R-P Schools

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Peterson Commentary

By John Linder More than six months ago, the voters of the R-P School District passed a building referendum helped by the generous support of the state. It is unfortunate that a small butvocal group that opposed the referendum are still making clai ..... 
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The facts on the R-P school project Response to Stan Gudmundson letter regarding R-P Schools

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Commentary

By John Linder More than six months ago, the voters of the R-P School District passed a building referendum helped by the generous support of the state. It is unfortunate that a small butvocal group that opposed the referendum are still making clai ..... 
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The facts on the R-P school project Response to Stan Gudmundson letter regarding R-P Schools

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By John Linder More than six months ago, the voters of the R-P School District passed a building referendum helped by the generous support of the state. It is unfortunate that a small butvocal group that opposed the referendum are still making clai ..... 
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The way forward for Congress

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress’s long slide into irrelevance may be slowing. Agreements on Medicare reimbursements in both houses, and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in va ..... 
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Choosing rural

Mon, Jun 1st, 2015
Posted in All Commentary

It’s undeniable that our rural towns are different than they were even one generation ago. There are a few less businesses, a few more shuttered houses. To passersby, it might appear that these places are dying, some already dead. Certainly, books ..... 
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