Bits and pieces adding up fast

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 23, 2003

There's unfinished business this week.

John Knight called to ask for help in finding out some information. effective Feb. 2, 2002, the co-pay for American veterans' prescriptions drugs went up -- of course -- from $2 to $7.

"I tried calling Senator Wellstone, when he was still alive, and Senator Dayton and I even called Senator Grassley from Iowa, where I'm from, to find out why it was they increased the prescription drugs co-pay and nobody ever called me back," said Mr. Knight, a retired Iowa State Patrol trooper and also a retired Austin businessman.

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My advice to Mr. Knight was to call Sen. Norm Coleman. "He wasn't in office at the time, so he can't be blamed for the increase," I told him.

Of course, paying seven bucks for a prescription is not all that bad.

If anybody can tell Mr. Knight why the prescription drug increase, call him today.

A lady called me earlier in the month about a bill she read about in the Mower County legals.

According to the reader, she regularly reads the county legals and this one caught her eye. It was for $2,884 and the money went to Cragun's Resort.

She said she called everyone of the county board members and -- her exact words -- "They all laughed at me, when I complained."

The story gets better -- or worse depending upon your point of view.

The woman also said, "I told them why didn't they just stay at a Motel Six instead of an expensive resort and they said there was a convention or conference at the resort so they saved money by staying there."

Being a wise guy, I told the lady, "They're probably just spending some of the county's millions of reserves by staying at the resort."

I told her to keep reading the legals and call me again if she saw anything that looked a little hinky.

But that ain't all of the story.

It turns out, it's my favorite newspaper's fault. The bill for three county officials to go to Cragun's Resort was only $989.02. The $2,884 went to a consultant on the comprehensive plan.

Behold the power of 4-H.

Sure, cheese is powerful, too, but, I'm telling you, there's nothing like 4-H and here are two examples.

The other night, Jerry Flink took me to the Windom 4-H club's annual holiday potluck dinner, party and meeting.

Windom is the club that has the indomitable Amber Graff, the personification of the "best and brightest" accolade for today's youth. Her brother, Nathan, ain't bad either. In fact, you could make a case for every last one of the Windom 4-Hers.

I had a great time and found myself gabbing about another 4-H family.

Mark Wolterman, Carleen's husband, stopped the Lyle Area Cancer Auction in its tracks last Saturday night.

Mr. Wolterman was there to deliver a $1,000 check from the Southeast Minnesota Tractor Pullers Association.

He stayed for the drawing of a new classic Harley Davidson motorcycle donated for a second year by Midwest Doors Inc. of Austin. Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi did the drawing and when the name of the raffle winner was read, it was none other than Mark Wolterman.

As soon as the applause and yelling ceased, Mr. Wolterman took out his check book and wrote a personal check for $1,000 to the charity.

It breaks a little piece of my heart to have to remind some people that the Wolterman family lost a member, Kayla, in a fatal traffic accident.

I remember Kayla … cute kid, shy smile, showed rabbits and was very respectful.

That's the power of 4-H … good kids, good families, great memories.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at