"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
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SMIF grant deadline approaching


Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Tim Penny

Each year, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) awards approximately $1 million in grants to schools, communities, and nonprofits in order to strengthen early childhood programming and economic development efforts throughout southern Minnesota.

Twice a year, we accept applications for Incentive Grants. The current grant application deadline is September 2. This grant program is designed to support new asset-based collaborative approaches that demonstrate measureable results related to SMIF’s two key program areas: early childhood and economic development.

The projects we fund are impactful as they maximize the strengths, talents, and resources of the local community. Our grantees often work with other organizations in unique and effective ways that develop new partnerships and collaboration to address an identified need or opportunity. We also encourage our grant recipients to leverage additional funding and in-kind resources to maximize SMIF’s investment and impact on our region.

To provide some sense of how this grant program has benefited community projects, it might be helpful for me to provide a few examples. In the economic development arena, in recent years we have funded three different business incubators in Northfield, Red Wing, and St. James. While all unique projects, these projects have leveraged additional community resources. For example, St. James accessed an underutilized commercial kitchen in a local school where local food producers now have access to a USDA approved commercial kitchen. Incentive grants helped create incubators in Red Wing and Northfield. These communities are now providing valuable co-working space for small business owners who don’t want or can’t afford their own commercial space.

We’ve also awarded a large number of Incentive Grants that focus on collaborative efforts related to early childhood. These grants assist communities in support their overall efforts to improve services for the children, parents, and providers. We have funded efforts in both Brown and Watonwan County to help early childhood providers access the resources they need-like curriculum, trainings, and professional development tools. We know that effective tools for preschool teachers and child care providers go a long way in preparing children for the big step into kindergarten.

What can SMIF do for the children and entrepreneurs in .....
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The environment is the defining issue of our time!

By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Thank you Karen Reisner for your comprehensive article, “Pay it Forward.” The word that jumps out at me is “responsibility.” We have been entrusted with the care of this planet. Sometimes I’m tempted to believe in providence, that the ta ..... 
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Guest commentary on Rushford-Peterson School facilities

By Brett Kues

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

So here we are having a beautiful summer in southern Minnesota and facing another referendum in the fall. It’s only late-July and the community is already polarizing and lines are being drawn. People are coming out and making cases for and again ..... 
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Correction 7.28.14

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In the article “Inflow and infiltration issues in Harmony” that appeared in the July 14 edition of the Fillmore County Journal, it was stated that the Harmony Public Library started charging fines for overdue books and movies. This is incorrect. ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Check your balance

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I’m not referring to checking your ability to stay upright. I’m referring to your bank account. I recently learned that our company business bank account had been compromised. Apparently, while I was using our company debit card to make purc ..... 
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Why incumbents keep getting re-elected

By Lee Hamilton

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for ..... 
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The “c” word

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

As a historian, I could talk your ear off about taboo. No, not that board game, although I’m pretty good at it. No, not the fifties-vintage cosmetics brand. I’m talking about those little quirks that each society has about what’s good, what’ ..... 
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There is no justice in Houston County

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Dr. Bryan Van Gorp Planning and Zoning Director - Bob Scanlan, Environmental Services Director – Rick Frank, Planning Commission Chair – Dan Griffin, and Houston County Commissioners – Judy Storlie, Teresa Walter, and Steve Schuldt have de ..... 
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Correction 7.21.14

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

In the July 14, edition of the Fillmore County Journal there was an error in the Wykoff citizen questions city council ethics article. It was NOT Roxanne Mensink who spoke to council about the controlled burn, it was Roxanne Sabatke.
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