Tom West

I first met Leo Ripplinger 30 years ago. I owned the newspaper in Janesville, near Mankato, and Leo, a native of Upsala, had a hardware store in St. Clair, a town of 800 even closer to Mankato. I called on Leo for advertising, but for other reasons as well. He was something of a mover [...]

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The 7th Judicial District has two contested races for judge this year. Most readers of the Record will want to educate themselves on these races, which are usually uncontested. The 7th District covers 10 counties that run from St. Cloud and Princeton northwest to Moorhead. Several weeks ago, I wrote about the seat held by [...]

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While President Obama said in a speech this week that global temperatures have been the warmest in history this year, those of us who live in Central Minnesota must feel like we live on another planet. Last winter was the coldest temperature-wise since at least 1900. Now we have the Central Minnesota figures for the [...]

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Although the fact that the Minnesota Vikings star running back, Adrian Peterson, was indicted by a Texas grand jury for beating a 4-year-old bloody has stirred up a great controversy, the easy way out is to miss the point. The easy way is to say the NFL and the Vikings are amoral and care only [...]

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News that the Minneapolis Schools will allow students to graduate with one less gym class brought mixed emotions. It seems odd that in the face of rising childhood obesity rates that physical fitness would take the hit. On the other hand, my memories of my own gym classes are so painful, I wouldn’t wish them [...]

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So the Minnesota Republican Party issues a press release announcing how offended it is that Sen. Al Franken recently held two road cones to his chest as if they were female breasts. Really. Is that the biggest issue they can come up with? Does anybody realize that the race between Franken and Republican challenger Mike [...]

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Seventh District Judge Steven Cahill survived a primary election challenge by three attorneys. No surprise there. The three challengers split a majority of the votes. Kenneth Kohler got the nod to run against Cahill in November. It wasn’t surprising because in Minnesota election of judges is designed to all but guarantee the re-election of incumbents. [...]

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As gardeners go, the Secretary of Agriculture at our house and I are nothing close to Master Gardeners. She has a small plot, about 10 feet by 30 feet, of which half of the acreage is taken up by raspberries. She does about 99 percent of the work, since my outdoor job is to keep [...]

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In nine days, voters will cut the number of Morrison County sheriff candidates in half. Other contests are on the primary ballot ranging from the county auditor-treasurer to the Republican governor and senator and the DFL auditor races. However, as former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local,” and [...]

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