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Lanesboro students get lesson about Leader Dogs


Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Lanesboro School’s fifth and sixth grade students got a special treat on Tuesday, April 13. Guest speaker Bunny Tabatt of Little Falls, Minnesota, along with her dog Baker, taught the students what a Leader Dog does. The widowed mother of three and grandmother of seven started to lose her eyesight at the age of thirty; by forty she was totally blind. The cause of her blindness is still unknown. In order to adjust to her new lifestyle she needed to learn Braille as well as how to use a cane. “I didn’t like the cane because it labeled me,” she says. That’s when she decided to get a dog. She got her first leader dog in 1984. Baker is her fourth dog. Tabatt described for the students the different ways the dog is an asset to her. She gives him voice commands such as (directional) “Baker, forward” or (obstacle) “Baker, stairs” or “Baker, door”. Baker will move in the directions she commands or to an object like a door or stairway that is near by. He is also trained to find the curb and stop so that Tabatt knows when to step down off the curb. If she gives him a command, for example at an intersection, and he doesn’t move, that means that it is unsafe for them to walk at that moment. Perhaps traffic hasn’t stopped fully for them to cross at that time. This is called ‘intelligent disobedience’. “The dogs protect a lot more than I know,” she states.Tabatt emphasized to the students to never try to pet or feed a Leader Dog while they are working. They should just ignore the dog because any kind of unnecessary distraction will make it harder for the person the dog is leading. She also explained that it is illegal for a business to deny her entrance because of her dog. If they do, they are subject to a large fine.The fifth and sixth graders learned about all the time, money and effort it takes to have a Leader Dog. There are only a small number of schools in the country that train dogs and their new owners. (The different dog titles come from the different schools, i.e. Seeing Eye Dogs come from the Seeing Eye Dog School whereas Leader Dogs come from the Leader Dog School.) Tabatt acquired her dogs from the Leader Dog School located near Detroit, Michigan. The dogs generally used are Labs, Golden Retrievers, and Shepherds, but other breeds are also used. They usually begin training when they are puppies. They spend a year with a sight .....
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Judge dismisses complaint against Slabaughs

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Thursday, April 15, Judge Robert Benson dismissed a restraining order brought by Fillmore County against Eli and Mattie Slabaugh for being in violation of the Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance.   The county had sued the Sla ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Concern for the youth of Rushford topped citizen input at the Rushford City Council meeting Monday, April 12. Holly Brand addressed the council, relating the story of her son’s recent encounter with meth and alcohol. While her son is now okay, Brand ..... 
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Gutknecht discusses Iraq, Social Security and other issues

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Editor’s note: First District Congressman Gil Gutknecht was in Preston during the Congressional Easter Break. He sat down with Journal editor John Torgrimson on Friday, April 9, to discuss a range of issues effecting the nation and the people of Minn ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

“We want to be prudent and fair as we look at this,” noted Commissioner Chuck Amunrud, as discussion focused on the county’s contract with Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) at Tuesday’s Fillmore County Board meeting.

“W ..... 
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Harmony City Council Report

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

When Dwight Scrabeck and Jim Lutes sought city financial support for a new subdivision they were interested in developing on the south side of the city few weeks ago, Harmony council members could only sigh and shake their heads. It wasn’t that they ..... 
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Harmony City Council in brief

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Administrator’s notes

City Administrator Jerome Illg stated he’d filed four small claims in court for failure to pay up on accounts for fire and ambulance calls. He noted that the new, stricter policy for delinquent utilities ha ..... 
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Online News Update: Wieners puts Heartland air permit on hold

Fri, Apr 16th, 2004
Posted in Features

Editor’s Note: Because of deadline restraints, this article does not appear in the Monday, April 19, 2004 edition of the Fillmore County Journal.

On Friday, April 16, Olmsted County Judge Joseph Wieners ruled that the air permi ..... 
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Mystery Cave opens season with new visitors center

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

When visitors come to Mystery Cave this season many will be surprised to find a 5,000 square foot visitors center fully equipped with exhibit halls, gift shop, restrooms and adequate parking. Built of southeast Minnesota limestone, the building sits ..... 
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