I love my job...I've been doing it since 1982. You never know what's going to happen when you walk in the door and start the coffee at 5:30 a.m. Thursday was a day that reminded me of the life-and-death nature of the events around us and my job as a reporter. Just after 8 that morning the scanner, which had already been busy after a motorist drove into a lake earlier in the day, again started to beep and whine as emergency crews were called to a car rollover in Chippewa County, south of Degraff. My heart skipped a beat when I heard the dispatcher say "the car is on fire and there's a woman trapped inside" and the fire crews said they were still several minutes away. I lost track of the radio traffic as I had a phone interview to do, then my business news report. I could hear in the background as other emergency units were paged to help. Then, ominously, all was quiet after 9 a.m. About an hour later I got an email from a co-worker who said the grandmother of his step-children had died in a crash and fire as she was driving to visit one of the kids in Alexandria. Further investigation revealed haunting details...the woman called 911, then called her son who arrived, along with the woman's husband, before the fire crews arrived. They could not free her, and had to stand by and watch as the fire took their loved one's life. It hurts the mind just to think of such horrors. Later that day came news two men from Paynesville, accused of killing a special education teacher from Paynesville over a misunderstanding and a minor squabble, were indicted on 1st Degree Murder charges. After a day like that, you go home, fix a stiff drink, and try to forget it. The nice thing about being a newsman is I can try and balance the tragedy with fun stories like the Holidaze events and parade.
Sparboe Eggs of Litchfield is the latest animal agriculture industry targetting by an animal rights group working undercover, shooting a video of chickens supposedly being mishandled. They went public with the video, and McDonalds bent to pressure and said they would no longer accept eggs from Sparboe. That's blow to a major local company. Sparboe officials told ABC the employees who abused the chickens were fired, and that the company has never had any salmonella in any of their eggs or chicken. The animal rights group is insisting that McDonalds pledge to only get eggs from free range chickens who are not caged. If McDonalds agrees, the animal rights group will likely begin to demand that the chickens be allowed to go to school, get jobs, qualify for government assistance programs, and be eaten only after they die of natural causes, surrounded by the family members after exhausting every last health care measure to try and keep it alive. Once McDonalds agrees to that, then the animal rights group will no doubt demand an end to all meat, fur, leather and use of any product that involves animals. After that, all zoos and farms must be destroyed and the animals be allowed to roam the streets, land and forrests and pursue happiness, just like humans.