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Northwest Salmon



It’s not too late

by John Suhr

It is less than 70 days until the end of the year, but it is not too late to do something you have always thought about doing. It might be something that seems simple to others, but it has an importance to you. It could be painting a picture, learning something new or even scheduling a coffee time with a friend once a week or month that may be on your list.

Or it could be a big item such as building a garage or shed by yourself, rebuilding an engine, designing and sewing a new outfit. It is all a matter of prospective and what you want to do.

To some, rebuilding an engine may be easier than reading a book another person wants to finish. But no matter how big or small it is, just make the time to complete it.

Granted, doing something you have always thought about doing may not be able to be accomplished by the end of the year, especially if you have something like ‘climb the highest mountain in Africa’ as a goal. But you can start preparing now.

No matter what it is, now is the time to start planning. It just may be saving up for such an adventure.

It could also be health related, such as eating better, getting more exercise or to stop smoking... That list, when it comes to a person’s health, can be pretty long and some of the goals hard to accomplish.

However, like I was alluding to earlier, one task may be much easier to complete than another. You need to decide what you want to accomplish and keep working toward it.

This past weekend we met some friends, one who has given up smoking for eight months and his wife for three. After that period of time, you would think it would be easy to continue not smoking, but for anyone who has ever given it up or tried before, they know it is not.

Now is the time to start looking at what you want to do. It was easier for me to do things when I was younger. Now I have to push myself harder. Don’t wait, get a plan and go do it.


Luther spread Reformation message with

help from the printing press

by Amanda Fanger

It’s amazing what the power of the printed word can do.

While Martin Luther’s act of nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church is the image that sticks out in everyone’s mind when thinking of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the spreading of this movement was really made possible by what was then a relatively new piece of technology: the printing press.

Johannes Guttenberg invented the printing press in 1436 and I can’t help but wonder if he really knew the full impact of his new machine. Just 80 years later, Luther and other radicals of the day were using the machine to spread their ideas across Europe. These ideas caused a religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval which ultimately set in place structures and beliefs that continue into the modern era.

This Oct. 31 will mark 500 years since Luther began arguing that belief in the Bible and not tradition should be the sole source of spiritual authority.

While these ideas in and of themselves were not new, Luther’s and the other reformers’ use of the printing press gave their ideas a wider audience.

Since Luther’s original writing of the Theses were in Latin, they had to be translated to German. But within two weeks of that, it had spread across Germany thanks to the speed of reproduction attributed to the printing press. The Theses spread across Europe inside another six weeks and reached France within a year.

Personally, I’m fascinated by this story. While doing a little bit of research for this column, I stumbled upon a quote from which says, “No reformer was more adept than Martin Luther at using the power of the press to spread his ideas. Between 1518 and 1525, Luther published more works than the next 17 most prolific reformers combined.”

Besides his Theses, another major contribution of note from Luther was the German Bible in the 1520s. Known as the “Luther Bible,” Luther is credited as having standardized the German language through its publication.

Without Guttenberg’s invention, historians say Luther’s successes would have been limited compared to what they actually were.

That’s just amazing.




Disrobing the cloak

by Emre K. Erku

The word veneer comes to mind.

As a noun, “An attractive appearance that covers or disguises someone or something’s true nature or feelings,” according to credible diction.

In my experience, many American communities hold a certain veneer.

The bright illumination of economic progress, educational advances and municipal beautification glaze over the sores.

Take Minneapolis. The blue reflective twinkle of the IDS Tower casts an attractive but deceiving shadow over the immortality of social stagnation and vice.

Here in Day County, though mostly an orange compared to the “Mini-Apple,” it sometimes doesn’t fall too far from the skyscraper tree.

Developments in infrastructure, education and job markets complement the picturesque sloughs and lakes of the Coteau des Prairies, which provide some of the world’s best freshwater fishing.

People here work tirelessly to make life better. Admirably, they acquire federal grants, provide scholarship opportunities, volunteer to beautify dilapidated houses, lure in industry, etc.

Believe it or not, they’re unsung heroes.

Yet, despite the goodness of their ways, you can pick up an issue of the Reporter & Farmer and see a feel-good article sitting beside a murder trial.

Yes, I’m calling the kettle black, but how does this happen in a cute, quaint, unassuming community like this American county?

The ugly stories I’ve been exposed to as a ragtag professional journalist here certainly don’t match the gorgeous scenery.

In more than three and a half years of living here, I’ve encountered only some of the following.

Under the influence, a Day County man once stabbed his “friend” then somehow sliced his own hand on a bowie hunting knife. In shock, he ran all the way to the sheriff’s department while bleeding all over himself.

Another local, while incarcerated, said he started to hallucinate that imaginary people were following him after ingesting methamphetamine for 36 consecutive days.

Near the northern part of the county, law enforcers had to save two fleeing suspects from drowning to death in a freezing slough.

Next, the liquor store was robbed. There was an embezzlement case. Properties have been ransacked. God knows how many drunk driving citations, domestic violence disputes and disorderly conducts litter the court records page.

Think I’m full of it? Ask the police, ask the sheriff, ask DCI. Read the papers and analyze the archives. The list goes on. I really wish I was full of it.

I know I’m practically defaming this community, which I love dearly; it took me in when I had nothing else. But these issues need to be addressed and mitigated, or else I’m not doing my job.

With an easy finger I point to the drugs. People fried on battery acid and paint thinner. This is why America holds a certain veneer, and it’s up to us to bash it with an iron fist.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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