Weather Forecast


Jeers to ad-sale scammers

Jeers to out-of-state scammers who sell ads by misleading local businesses.

The latest example is a company out of Illinois that is calling local businesses and using high-pressure tactics trying to sell ads in a product they call the “Becker County Guide.”

They apparently have a copy of this newspaper’s Guide to Becker County and are targeting businesses that advertised last year, trying to mislead them into thinking they are again advertising in the local product.

These businesses are typically strong on promises and very short on delivery — often just providing a few copies that they run on a color printer and encourage businesses to give out to their clients.

Don’t be fooled — know who you are dealing with and ask a lot of questions — these type of companies usually don’t stand up well to scrutiny and their sales people often hang up when questioned in depth.


Cheers to firefighters with the DNR and local fire departments, who are on high alert these days because of dry conditions.

All of northwestern Minnesota, including Becker and surrounding counties, is at a high risk of fire danger, which means wildfires start easily and spread quickly.

Campfires are a big part of summer festivities, but they can start wildfires.

Keep them safe by clearing the campfire site down to bare soil, keeping the fire small (three feet high by three feet in diameter), keeping a bucket of water and a shovel near the campfire, and when putting a campfire out, drown it with water, stir and drown again.

Also be careful with gas lanterns, barbecue grills, gas stoves and anything that can be a source of ignition for a wildfire.

For those doing yard clean up, remember to get a burning permit before burning debris.

Burning permits are required statewide and available from local fire wardens, state or federal forestry offices or online.


Jeers to Congress for allowing deep budget cuts to come through the mindless “sequestration” process rather than an intelligent budget plan.

The latest example is Head Start, an early learning program that gets needy kids ready for Kindergarten.

Nearly 1,000 Minnesota children from low-income families apparently won’t be served this school year by Head Start.

That’s a good chunk of the 17,514 Minnesota kids who went to Head Start last year.

The program helps kids with the cognitive, social and emotional development they need to succeed in school.

Unless action is taken, there will be about 40 empty Head Start classrooms this school year that should be full of happy young Minnesotans.

Those kids may never catch up to their peers without the boost provided by Head Start.

That’s a sad waste of human potential, not just in Minnesota, but across the nation, where 60,000 kids will get bumped from Head Start this year.

The Minnesota Legislature recognizes the importance of early education and has made it a priority. Too bad Congress is too bitterly divided to follow suit.