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What do alternative crops being researched at the Soils Lab in Morris have to do with the almond crop in California? Honeybees. According to Christi Heinz, Executive Director of Project Apis m., a nonprofit honeybee research organization, the bees that will be pollinating the California almond crop in February are in Minnesota right now. And they need a diverse floral landscape to start building up their pollen stores for winter.
For members of the Cyrus School Board, it is a chicken or egg dilemma - which comes first, the teachers or the students? The Cyrus district is facing a significant decrease in enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year. They are currently expecting 33 students, down from 76 on the opening day last year. And the school board is struggling with the question of staffing for that number. A special board meeting was held on Wednesday to discuss enrollment and staffing. In July, the board had voted to have two full time teachers and one half time teacher for three multi-age classrooms.
I hate when the weather is its own punch line. Honestly, the jokes just wrote themselves this week. On Monday, I applied three layers of sunscreen, wore an ill-fitting hat and had two gallons of water with me for the Babe Ruth game. On Thursday, I was wearing three layers of clothes, wishing for a blanket and checking for ice in the water bottle at the softball field. The weather just has been overwhelming this year. A long snowy winter followed by a longer, wetter spring and so far, only three days of summer.
My alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. Friday and for once, I didn't hit snooze. First off, it was the buzzer, not the radio, since the local AM station doesn't sign on for another half-hour. Second, I was getting up a full 45 minutes early to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Don't judge me just yet. As luck would have it, I turned on the TV at the exact moment that the bride stepped out of the car and the whole world saw her and the dress. For the next hour and half, I was glued to the TV.
Perhaps its a sign of age, perhaps its an occupational hazard, but I had a bad case of "why bother" when it came to the Harlem Globetrotters appearing in Morris this week. I was sure that the Globetrotters of today could not possibly live up to the Globetrotters that I remember.
It is something of a ritual every holiday season for local newspapers and Chambers of Commerce to remind folks to Shop Local. You know the mantra -- when you shop local, more of your money is reinvested in your community, which helps other local businesses, which creates greater diversity and helps the community maintain its unique appeal. Additionally, there's less travel thus less pollution. Better customer service, more support for the hometown charities, schools and extra-curriculars. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Don't get me wrong, these are valid and pertinent points.
If you have an e-mail account, you have received some sort of bizarre request, be it for your bank number so that a wealthy Nigerian businessman, who has a terminal illness, can distribute his wealth to charity. It could be that you must forward this important yet little-known emergency medical tip to 10 people to save at least one life. Or it could be warning that free samples in the mail such as lotions, perfumes, diapers and the like are poisonous and the government is afraid that this might be another terrorist act.
One of the advantages of working at a community newspaper is that you have access to the town's history. It is a tantalizing distraction to page through the back issues of the paper, recognizing names and faces and reliving all of the moments that are captured on paper. It is also calming to be able to compare notes on how we're faring in comparison to the "good old days." There is one particular front page that I have copied off and keep handy. It is from the March 20, 1969 Morris Tribune.
And so, here we are, on the verge of the Stevens County Fair. Surely, I can't be the only who was surprised to wake up last week and discover it was August. I'm not sure why it seems as though time has skipped by this summer. There were all the usual milestones: the last day of school, the Kiwanis weekly talent shows in the park, the start and end of the baseball and softball seasons, Prairie Pioneer Days, Summer Station Day, Crazy Days, Hort Night, the LTD Ride and more reunions than you can keep track of.
A woman stopped by the office earlier this week to renew her subscription.