Author: Vicki Oakes

US Senator Tina Smith Visits Ortonville Area Health Services

US Senator Tina Smith visited Ortonville Area Health Services this afternoon to listen and to learn how she can support communities to keep and sustain their health care in the face of a lot of really big challenges.  Her main questions today were:  how do you make it work in your communities, what are your challenges, what are the opportunities and what can she do to help bolster the areas, especially around workforce.  Other health care representatives present joining the discussion were representatives from Appleton Area Health Systems, Johnson Memorial Health Services (Dawson) and Lakewood Health Systems (Staples).  Carrie Bendix from the SW MN Private Industry Council (who also works with the workforce development board for the 14-county area) was also present to talk workforce. There was great discussion shared amongst all in attendance which ended with Carson Ouellette, the Northwest Minnesota Outreach Representative for Sen. Smith, bringing the discussion to a close with “So I hate to cut it short but I do want to get a chance to see the award-winning OB department!”  …

Blog by Kelly Lang: Your Life, Your Choice – Let the Healing Begin

As we continue our “People of the MNbump” series which highlights some of the talented people who live here in the MNbump – meet Kelly Lang! Kelly started blogging last year when she began a series of posts sharing her journey (and struggles) through earlier health issues – with “When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…”  Her health has now come full circle which she documents in her first series of posts.  She now continues writing (blogging)… with her new writings starting out with: “Hello!  It’s been a while since we’ve last connected.  Since finishing sharing my personal health journey story it was time for a sabbatical from blogging.  It’s been a great break, but I’m ready to start dabbling again.  That being said, I/our family has a story to share.  It’s a story about adventure, love, rescue, and so much more.  Are you ready to join me/us in an adventure?  If so, let’s embark on this one together!” Kelly is the owner of Helping Hands Therapeutic Massage & …

About MNbump

How our name came to be… We tried (very hard!) to come up with a short phrase that would sum up Big Stone County; however, we have such a variety that it was hard for us to agree on a short phrase! One thing we did agree on was … our location!! Ask anyone around here where we live, and you’ll hear something like… “the western border of Minnesota on the bump”. This site became to be as a result of … The University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and the University of Minnesota Tourism Center were seeking five communities to participate in special tourism assessment project over the 18 months. The focus of this project was to help small communities (Under 1,500 pop) across Minnesota discover opportunities to develop community assets for sustainable tourism. Through community input during this process, marketing our tourism opportunities via web was identified as a top priority. With further discussion, it was determined that the web marketing could also provide an opportunity for residents to communicate. For the …

First Annual Ag Career Day in Big Stone County

A great first year-event, thanks to Suzanne Souza and Heidi Torgerson of Big Stone County 4-H and the Minnesota Farm Bureau (wish I would have taken a photo of Kari Casper and Kobie Morrill – great job!) along with all the support of this year’s Presenters (see logos below!) and assistance by the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ortonville Economic Development Authority! And, a huge thank to the CGB and Ortonville Schools for bringing 170 students to the event. It was the hope that the students would hear about an ag-related career today that would give the students the opportunity to return to this area after college graduations.  The presenters provided information and answered questions at their perspective booths and then also took a few minutes at the front podium at the close of the day share with the students the particular job opportunities that were available within their company.  Brian McNeill, Extension Educator at the University of Minnesota, was the main speaker and provided great information for the students to …

Town Hall Meeting in Clinton

Thank you to State Senator Torrey Westrom and State Representative Jeff Backer for the legislative updates and an opportunity for residents to visit about topics that are important to Big Stone County! It was certainly not an ideal travel day for them to make the trip. I’ve attached the two handouts that were distributed to everyone as they each gave a brief update on their work in St. Paul. Once they’d given their update, the residents kept them engaged past the 9:00 a.m. scheduled closing for the meeting. Topics that were discussed: concerns regarding the low reimbursements that threaten the viability of small-town hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies; status of the licensing bureau, daycares (Kendra Moberg made some very good points on changes that could help rural daycare programs – and maybe a trip to St. Paul is in her future!); the guidance document that was recently put out by the DNR on County ditches; rural grocery stores & the Good Food Access; diversifying crops; rain tax; LGA; Border City Tax Credits/Enterprise Funds – and others. …

Big Stone National Wildlife refuge – Who, What and Why?

An event at the Ortonville Community Center Hosted by Kelsie Thomas and Scott Simmons Wednesday, August 23, 2018 Ortonville’s Park Board member (and newly appointed President of the Board), Kelsie Thomas takes her part in the review and use of the parks very seriously – and wants to make sure the public is aware of what we have available in the area  – and helped organize what I hope to be a series of similar presentations. Simmons’ passion clearly stands out as he provides the “Who, What and Why” -and answers those frequently asked questions like “why did the trees get cut down?” and “why burn when burning takes nests with it?” — great answers!

Beardsley Fire & First Responder’s Pork Supper

This is always a fun summer event in Beardsley!  Kids playing in the Park, delicious pork supper, great conversation and… this year’s safety demonstration was provided by the Traverse Electric Co-op, Inc. out of Wheaton.  I’ve embedded the demonstration from the Facebook Live post below – and I would highly recommend watching it – very useful information!  I could write about the warm greetings you receive when you enter the park and the awesome feel you get from this community picnic – but I think the pictures tell the story best!   Facebook Live Video – video quality a little off in the very beginning but it gets better as the video progresses. You can check out last year’s safety demonstration & dinner post at this link: 2017 Beardsley Fire & First Responders’ Pork Supper

Traveling to Ortonville for Cornfest

As Mary Hillman, the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber Director, spends late nights at the office and her days running around coordinating Ortonville’s largest annual event — with the City Crew busy “dusting up” the town — and countless volunteers have organized groups to assist with the celebration, it is absolutely heartwarming to see this post (pictured below) on a private Group “You know you were raised in Ortonville MN if you remember…” After first letting it sink in how excited Ty Adams is to be returning to Ortonville with his family for a 30th School reunion and Cornfest – then seeing that he received 10 recommendations from 24 people with an exchange of conversations within 66 comments — and of course noticing that we have some really highly recommended dining options, I thought… this is really what life is all about! Living Rural and Loving it, here on the MNbump! Enjoy the weekend, everyone! What were the recommendations?  …here they are in no particular order. Downtown Diner, in Clinton Lakewood Supper Club Big Rock …

Clinton’s 135th Celebration

The 135th Celebration in Clinton has begun!  Event Flyer Link There was an “Over 80’s Gathering at 10:00 this morning at the Trinity Lutheran Church.  Check out the photos by Janine on the ClintonMN Facebook Page A very fun parade! The Opening Flag Ceremony has been broken into three videos: Flag Ceremony Video Welcome Video Stattelman – Water Fountain & Ending of the Ceremony The All School Reunion Brunch (AWESOME turnout!) A 2-Minute Recap of the weekend

Corina Kells’ Conceptual Photography Show

The Smallest Art Gallery in Ortonville held an Artist Reception for Corina Kells on Thursday, July 5th from 5:00 to 6:30.   Corina Kells specializes in expressive conceptual photography to capture complex emotions such as fear, sadness, confusion, and isolation.  Her goal is to bring awareness to mental health issues and cultivate conversation. Due to another event in Ortonville, I did not make it to this reception until a few minutes after 6 and missed Corina’s presentation (I was very disappointed!)  — not that I would have had much room to stand since the gallery was packed when I arrived.  I did, however, get a chance to talk one on one with the artist about her work and the life experiences that are detailed within her photography (she was kind enough to visit with me until 7:00!)  Her insights  into the opioid and mental health epidemic and the way she is reaching out through art is amazing.  It is not only a personal therapy for her it is also an impactful way to reach out to bring …