DL News Staff
May Day, May Day! Or should we say, May 15! May 15! What's all the fuss about? The deadline for seniors to enroll in the new prescription drug benefit is coming up in the middle of next month. Don't be put off by all the publicity about too many choices. Help is available to figure out which plan is best for you, and once you are enrolled, the program is running smoothly, and a lot of seniors are saving money. So it's definitely worth taking the time to join up. If you miss Medicare's deadline, you will pay higher premiums.
With talk of downsizing the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of 2006, the increased funding of permanent bases continues.
Many of us look back on our childhood as a time when we didn't have a worry in the world. Unfortunately, a large number of Minnesota's children don't have it so easy. These children are victims of maltreatment and neglect. In 2004 in Minnesota, almost 7,800 children were abused and neglected; 39 children suffered life-threatening injuries and 11 children died from maltreatment. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time to reflect on what we are doing as a community to support children and families.
The final days leading up to May 15 will almost certainly be chaotic at Medicare offices. That's the deadline for seniors to enroll in the new prescription drug benefit without paying a penalty of higher premiums. Phone lines will be jammed and websites will be clogged. The organizations now helping seniors sign up will be overwhelmed by the last-minute rush to enroll. That's why seniors shouldn't wait until May to pick a plan. The final month of the penalty-free sign-up period is almost here.
I have learned that at a recent local meeting of the Sons of Norway, everybody brought a small container of chili and it was all dumped into one big common pot. Appropriately, this practice is called a "chili dump." None of the chili that was dumped into that pot was quite as delicious as the mix that came out of it. It is never advisable to put all your eggs in one basket, but it certainly makes sense to dump all your beans in one pot. The Norwegians in this area are practical folks who have learned how to work together for the common good and have fun doing it.
It's halftime in the 2006 legislative session, and Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson returned home here to Willmar for the Easter and Passover recess with words of praise for a fast-paced game in the chamber he leads. The Willmar DFL'er called it "the most aggressive and productive five weeks of a legislative session'' that he has seen in his 28 years as a state legislator. He met with local news media on Thursday. Johnson cited bipartisan votes in the Senate for the approval of bills dealing with some of the major issues of the session.
Legislators came to St. Paul last month with two orders from their constituents: Get things done and get along. They say they are accomplishing the former because they are doing the latter. "I think it is a different tone," said Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, R-Andover, one of the leaders of a get-along movement. Few would argue that a different tone was needed after a 2004 session that ended with little accomplished and a 2005 session that stretched an extra two months beyond the constitutional adjournment deadline, producing a partial state government shutdown.
A felony complaint was filed against a White Earth man in Becker County District Court Thursday. Anthony Villebrun, 27, is accused of escape from custody from the Becker County Minimum Security Facility in Detroit Lakes Monday. Villebrun was in jail on three charges, two felony counts of first-degree driving while impaired and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation. Villebrun was being held on $14,000 when he escaped.
Larry Lovold guarantees his passion for the outdoors will not stop now that he has retired as President of Lund Boat Co. in New York Mills. After 28 years of dedicated service to the Lund Boat organization, Lovold retired as president and Andrew Klopak will take over his duties. Klopak spent the last four years as President of Lund Canada. He has been with Lund Canada for 17 years in various sales and marketing roles, including VP of Sales & Marketing for four years. He now has the responsibility for all Lund activities in both the U.S.
A Detroit Lakes woman was sentenced in Becker County District Court on two charges Wednesday. District Judge Thomas Schroeder stayed imposition of a prison sentence against Shawnee Basswood, 19, of 1158 Minnesota Ave., for felony motor vehicle theft. She was credited for time served, fined $597 and placed on supervised probation for up to five years. Basswood was also fined $702 for gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while impaired. Both charges stem from a Dec. 30, 2005, incident in Detroit Lakes. Basswood was arrested after a vehicle she had stolen became stuck in snow.