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Rockies give Daniel Bard a one-year, $4.4 million contract

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Rockies give Daniel Bard a one-year, $4.4 million contract

With a lockout by Major League Baseball owners looming Wednesday night, the Rockies took care of some business Tuesday, signing right-handed relievers Daniel Bard and Tyler Kinley to one-year deals to avoid arbitration.

Bard’s deal is worth $4.4 million, while Kinley will get $1.025 million, a source confirmed.

Bard, 36, whose comeback to the major leagues has been well documented, got the first big payday of his career in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. His 67 appearances were the second-most on the Rockies and his most since pitching in 70 games with Boston in 2011. His 20 saves and seven wins were both career highs.

However, his eight blown saves this past season tied for the most in the majors and he was scored upon 11 times in 30 appearances in the second half, going 3-3 with six saves in nine opportunities while posting a 6.75 ERA.

Interestingly, Bard was very good at Coors Field (3.48 ERA in 41 1/3 innings) but struggled on the road (8.14 ERA in 24 1/3 innings).

Kinley, 30, has been hot and cold for Colorado, posting a 4.88 ERA in 94 innings over the past two seasons, including a 4.73 mark in 2021.

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Minnesotans make a difference as volunteer water monitors

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Lowell Deede uses a Secchi tube to measure the clarity of the Straight River.

While walking Becker County roads, Lowell Deede got to wondering why the Buffalo River, west of Detroit Lakes, transformed from a beautiful, crystalline river “into a muddy, brown soup” a mere three weeks later.

“How did this change so drastically?” It got me to thinking maybe I can do something to help with that,” he recalled.

That was in 2015.

Deede, a retired wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office, began volunteering for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), collecting water samples and measuring water clarity. He shares the data with the MPCA.

Each spring, the MPCA kicks off its popular Volunteer Water Monitoring Program, which relies on Minnesota residents to help monitor lakes and streams.

CLEAN WATER, ONE VOLUNTEER AT A TIME

For over 40 years, Minnesotans like Deede have gathered critically important data on the state’s 12,000-plus lakes and 92,000-plus streams.

The information helps the MPCA better understand the health of Minnesota’s waters and protect them for future generations.

Lauren Lewandowski, MPCA communications specialist, said they are currently recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Park Rapids area — and then report back to the agency.

“This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect our state’s natural resources,” she said.

HOW IT WORKS

Through this program, volunteers do a simple water clarity test twice a month during the summer.

Lake monitors venture to a designated spot in the lake, while stream monitors record data from the streambank or a bridge over it.

The MPCA provides all the equipment and training. No prior experience is needed.

Lewandowski said, “Program volunteers come from all walks of life – from retirees and families to teachers with their classrooms and entire community groups. Anyone can be a volunteer.”

The MPCA analyzes the data to determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities, like fishing and swimming.

Lewandowski said, in some cases, the information gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream.

Lake monitors are asked to sample the water from May through September, while stream monitors typically begin in April.

AN EASY YET VITAL READING

Lowell Deede uses a Secchi tube to measure the clarity of the Straight River. (Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise)

While working at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Deede had performed transparency sampling, so he was familiar with the process. He retired in 2015.

It’s a simple test, as he demonstrates.

On this day, Deede draws water from the Straight River with a five-gallon bucket while standing on a bridge above it.

He pours the water into a Secchi tube. He lowers a weighted disk attached to a string down the tube until it disappears. That distance, measured in centimeters, is the water clarity reading.

Lake monitors use a Secchi disk – an 8-inch, circular, all-white metal plate attached to a calibrated rope – and lower that into the water to take a reading.

WHY MONITOR WATER CLARITY?

According to the MPCA, water clarity is an important indicator of lake and stream health.

“It signifies the amount of algae or sediment in the water, which can affect plant, insect and fish communities and impact recreational opportunities. Long-term monitoring by volunteers can detect declines or improvement in quality of a lake or stream,” says the website (

For streams, a low clarity reading reflects excess sediment.

For lakes, a low clarity reading reflects excess algae.

Consistently low clarity readings indicate poor water quality and can affect plant, insect and fish communities, plus reduce recreational opportunities.

Long-term water clarity data collected by volunteer water monitors help detect signs of degradation to a lake or stream. It is generally easier and less expensive to restore a lake or stream if problems are detected early.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Like most of northern Minnesota, Becker and Hubbard counties have an abundance of surface water.

According to the Becker County Soil & Water Conservation District, its six major watersheds encompass nearly 500 lakes and countless wetlands.

Deede points out that Becker County is unique in that 15 named rivers flow out of the county, yet only one river flows in.

Hubbard County has three major watersheds: the Crow Wing River, Leech Lake and Mississippi headwaters.

Over the years, Deede observed varying water transparency, particularly after heavy rains.“There’s different levels of clarity. Some look really great, some look really muddy and not-so-great. I decided to do a pretty extensive sampling effort,” Deede said.

Lowell Deede, a volunteer water monitor for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), uses a Secchi tube to measure the clarity of the Straight River, at the border of Hubbard and Becker counties, near Park Rapids, Minn. in May 2022. Looking down into the tube, volunteers lower a weighted disk attached to a string until the disk disappears. The distance at which the disk disappears is the water clarity reading, which is recorded in centimeters. A high Secchi tube reading reflects better water clarity. For over 40 years, Minnesotans like Deede have gathered critically important data on the state's 12,000-plus lakes and 92,000-plus streams for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The information helps the MPCA better understand the health of Minnesota's waters and protect them for future generations. (Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise)
Lowell Deede uses a Secchi tube to measure the clarity of the Straight River. Looking down into the tube, volunteers lower a weighted disk attached to a string until the disk disappears. The distance at which the disk disappears is the water clarity reading. (Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise)

At first, Deede monitored 23 different sites. He sampled the Shell River, Straight River and Hay Creek, located on eastern edge of Becker County and adjacent to Hubbard County.

“It took me two-and-a-half days to do that, a couple hundred miles,” he said. “I don’t know anybody else that’s done that.”

Recently, he reduced his sampling to five or six sites.

As for Buffalo River’s muddy transition, Deede found the answer. His investigation revealed a six- to eight-foot gully along a county road, eroding directly into the river.

Without regular water clarity testing, the problem never would have been discovered, Deede said. It was brought to the attention of the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District, and engineers designed a solution.

To join the volunteer program, visit https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/join-volunteer-water-monitoring-program.

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Readers and writers: Memories of an Indian boarding school and a tender (yes, tender) crime novel

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Readers and writers: Memories of an Indian boarding school and a tender (yes, tender) crime novel

You’re probably getting ready to grill and putting the last touches on the potato salad right now, but when the celebration is over, take time to look here for the memories of a Native American woman who survived life at an Indian boarding school, and a tender crime novel (yes, tender) by a former “Seinfeld” writer. And we’ve got a couple of guides for your stay-close-to-home road trips.

“Golden-Brown Indian Girl: A Small Voice Gets LOUDER” by Donna F. Council (Independently-published, $19.99)

In my mind I pictured this golden-brown Indian girl in a little green dress with a trace of red around her collar and green trim in fringe around her waist, and long, black braided hair, as she stepped into our childhood nightmare. I was going to help this little Indian girl who stuffed so many losses for so long. I will accept her, appreciate her with her golden-brown, perfect round lips that seldom ever had a real smile. She never got a chance to grow up to live fully without the embarrassment and shame I feel. She also wanted to forgive herself, knowing it wasn’t her fault, not doing or saying anything to them. It was their fault.

— from “Golden-Brown Indian Girl”

On the the cover of Donna Council’s new book is a picture of a little Indian girl. With her big, sorrowful eyes, puzzled expression and a bottom lip that trembles with hidden tears, she is the scared, abused, confused child Council was when she was a child. Council and her four little sisters were taken from their parents and sent to Marty, the St. Paul’s Indian MIssion boarding school about 70 miles south of the family home in Mitchell, S.D.

Donna was 12 at the time and her terrible years at the school included bullying by other kids and nuns and dozens of rules that brought punishment if broken. The frightened children, who didn’t understand why they were taken from their homes, were told their parents didn’t love them and treated as though they were “just Indians.”

The U.S. government-run boarding schools for Indian children, begun in the 19th century to integrate the Indians into white society (which meant taking their land), lasted into the early 1990s in some places. Nobody knows how many children died, or were killed, in those bleak buildings that housed three generations of Indian children, some of whom committed suicide.

Yet, there was no one to protect them. The Catholic Church controlled the schools and the kids’ lives. If they survived, many grew up to feel worthless and afraid. Like Council, many later learned they had PTSD but they had stuffed their feelings The author’s mother and grandparents were in the boarding schools but never discussed their experiences. “They kept their pain deeply hidden inside,” Council writes of the generations before her.

Now, she is opening the door to let light shine into those dark corridors, dormitories and punishment rooms.

Council grew up, had two children and was a counselor for Indian youth. But that little Indian girl was always inside her. She acted like an adult, but the generational trauma from the boarding school never went away.

When she turned 55, Council faced her past and returned to Marty, now under control of the Yankton Sioux. With her daughter, she roamed the grounds and went into rooms she was forbidden to enter as a student.

In her mind, Council took the trembling little hand of the golden-brown Indian girl who was anxious, looking around.

“I told her, ‘No one will harm you or punish you. No nun will hit you or tell you that you are uncivilized, no good, or not loved.’ I reassured her she will not be staying; we are going home together.”

“Carolina Moonset” by Matt Goldman (Forge; $15.99 paperback, $29.99 hardcover)

Book jacket for "Carolina Moonset"
“Carolina Moonset”

It showed the dark marsh in heavy brushstrokes. A sprawling oak in the foreground framed an expanse of reeds. A tidal creek snaked through the reeds. The tide was out, and the creek’s muddy bottom reflected the moonlight. A clump of more oaks in the distance lay dark under the full moon shining above them. And behind those oaks, the dark shadow of an immense home, no light in the windows except for one on the second floor…A small brass plaque was affixed to the frame, not much bigger than a dog tag. It was engraved: CAROLINA MOONSET. The painting terrified me when I was a boy.

— From “Carolina Moonset”

Who is looking across the marsh at that lighted window? And who is in that room? That’s the mystery at the heart of Matt Goldman’s compelling and intricate new novel, a stand-alone after he wrote four crime stories featuring private investigator Nils Shapiro, beginning in 2017 with “Gone to Dust.”

It is impossible to categorize this book because it is seamlessly made up of so many parts — a family, old friends and enemies, secrets, characters so perfectly drawn you see them in your mind, impeccable dialogue, and a no-nonsense love story that turns two 40-something people into first-love teens. A starred review in Publishers Weekly described the novel as “…isn’t to be missed.”

Then there’s the Gothic nature of the lowlands, the weepy oaks, forbidding marshes, sun dancing on the water, feasting on freshly beheaded shrimp.

Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, N.C., to look after his father, a doctor who dedicated his career to working in a low-income clinic. Now Marshall Green has Lewy Body Dementia, a form of the disease in which the person loses short-term memory but can remember the past clearly.

When Joey’s mother leaves for a short respite trip, she warns her son that his dad must be locked in the house all the time because he wanders. Joey’s a dutiful son, a nice divorced guy with two kids. He’s responsible, too, but he’s also falling in love with Leela, whose parents live next door. She, too, is divorced with kids and, like Joey, is in her mid-40s.

The one night Joey forgets to lock the back door, a member of the wealthy, influential Hammond family is shot near the Greens’ house. Joey finds his dad standing among the bathrobe-clad crowd, watching the police do their work. Joey can’t find the old gun with the ivory handle his dad kept in his tackle box.

Then, the plot gets complicated. The dead man had a private will that even his wife, Gail,  didn’t know about. He gave a considerable amount of land to the Greens and to Ruby and Lawrence. Ruby used to work for the Greens and is considered family. Joey is interested to discover that the land given to the two families was in the path of an entrance to an expensive development being built on that island.

When Marshall Green begins to hallucinate, he talks to his old friend, Trip Patterson, as though he’s in the room, and seems to be arguing with someone else nobody can see. Is it the beautiful African-American woman whose body was found caught in a shrimper’s net long ago?

As Joey talks to the characters, trying to find out who killed the rich guy so his father won’t be taken to prison, each fills in another part of the old story that involves two rich brothers and how they influenced so many of Joey’s inner circle.

Goldman, who lives in Minneapolis, writes perfect dialogue. Conversations between Joey and his fading dad are heart-breaking, and the half-pretend half-real conversational games Joey and Leela play are touching. They know they have only a week or so together but they will make the best of that time before they have to separate to go back to their kids.

It’s no surprise Goldman writes dialogue so well. He has written almost 500 TV scripts, including the first two seasons of “Seinfeld”  and the episode of “Ellen” in which Ellen DeGeneres’ character comes out as gay.

Please put “Carolina Moonset” at the top of your spring TBR list. You will love it.

Goldman will introduce his book at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at Edina Pubic Library, 5280 Grandview Square, Edina, in partnership with Once Upon a Crime mystery bookstore; 1 p.m. June 18 at Barnes & Noble, 3230 Galleria, Edina, and  7 p.m. July 27 in the Literature Lovers’ Night Out series, Zephyr Theatre, 601 N. Main St., Stillwater.

If high gas prices are keeping your travel plans close to home, here are two guides that will help you plan.

“Minnesota State Parks” by Anne Arthur and Signy Sherman (Adventure Publications, $22.95)

Book jacket for "Minnesota State Parks"
“Minnesota State Parks”

Filled with detailed maps and pictures, the book is arranged geographically. The fifth edition of this handy guide to all 75 state parks and state recreation areas is subtitled “How to Get There, What to Do and Where to Do It.”

Some parks, such as St. Croix, 16 miles east of Hinckley, are well known. But have you heard of Savanna Portage State Park, seven miles northeast of McGregor? Named for a route indigenous people used to transport canoes overland, the park can be explored on foot, skis or snowmobiles. Or how about John A. Latsch Park, 12 miles north of Winona? It’s essentially a wayside stop, good for a picnic, with a half-mile trail that leads to a  view of the Mississippi River valley.

If you want to wander farther, “Destination Heartland” (5 Fields Books/University of Illinois Press, $19.95) will help you roam from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to the grounds of an ancient Native American city.

The author tells you how to get the most out of your visit and includes historic restaurants, small-town museums and other overlooked locations. It covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON

Winding Trail Books is vacating its space in Milton Square at 2230 Carter Ave., St. Paul, while married owners Sue Costello and Rick Gahm look for new digs after being at their current location since July of 2019. Costello says they are working on a new location but it is not finalized and they don’t yet have an opening date. The effects of COVID, including closing the store for a while, slow customer return and author cancellations, made it difficult for them to stay in their building in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood they love. During the transition the store will host off-site author and reading events, Costello said. They encourage readers to order books online at windingrailbooks.com. Everything at the current location will be for sale, including shelving and some fixtures. 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, and Thursday; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday. Satu5day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is closing day.

J.P. Der Boghossian
J.P. Der Boghossian

A new podcast, “This Queer Book Saved My Life,” debuts June 21. The podcast, created by J.P. (John Parker) Der Boghossian, will feature interviews with LGBTQ guests sharing the queer book that saved their lives, then meeting with the book’s author. Der Boghossian is founder and curator of the Queer Armenian Library and is past president of the Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota. He is equity and inclusion officer for Normandale Community College. Since 2015, J.P. has delivered keynotes and presentations at conferences throughout the Midwest on topics such as intercultural competency, LGBTQ health and racial equity, implicit biases and culturally responsive organizations. In 2020 Der Boghossian launched the Queer Armenian library, the world’s first devoted to books and media about Queer Armenians. He will release three podcasts June 21, then produce a weekly episode. The first programs will feature an array of authors including National  Book Award finalist Carmen Maria Machado and Minnesota award-winning children’s book author David LaRochelle. For information go to: thisqueerbook.com.

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What Happened To Sherri Papini

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What Happened To Sherri Papini

Heart in the mouth, limbs numb with shock, and worrying about death are how anybody would react to close kin being kidnapped. Ransoms, murder, rape, and assault are what kidnappings are done for.

The kidnapping of one leaves the entire community heaving bated breaths.

However, what if a kidnapping is staged, a hoax? It defrauds the kin and community and mocks their care, concern, and mental trauma caused due to near ones in danger. It shatters those worried about death and mocks the severity of true crime cases.

Arguably, the most notorious example of staged kidnapping was one of an American Woman from California named Sherri Papini.

An elaborate web of lies and deceit is what Sherri Papini gifted her husband and children, along with the authorities, as repayment for care and concern about her well-being.

The Premise

It was a normal morning in the Papini household comprising her husband and two children, a boy and a girl, in Redding, California, on November 2, 2016, when Sherri Papini, 34 at that time, left her house for a jog. Unsuspecting any upcoming life-changing events, his husband, Keith Papini, went on his job as normal.

His concerns multiplied manifold when he found out on the turning from the office that his wife had yet not returned from her jog; he then used the application ‘Find My iPhone’ to locate her phone and found her phone and earbuds at the intersection of Sunrise Drive and the the the Old Oregon Trail. Obvious chaos ensued when she could be tracked or found, and the family was beside themselves with worry.

The local authorities were under pressure to find her while the entire community supported the Papini family emotionally and financially.

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving on November 24, 2016, about three weeks later, that she reappeared on the side of County Road 17 near Interstate 5 in Yolo County, about 150 miles (240 km) south of where she disappeared, reportedly being freed by her captors at wee hours of the very morning.

She was found restrained and seemingly assaulted, including chopped hair, burnt, bruised, branded on her right shoulder, and seemingly emaciated.

The family and the community breathed a heavy sigh of relief, and overwhelming sympathy poured at what she reportedly suffered at the hands of the perpetrators.

1653754327 794 What Happened To Sherri Papini

The Investigation

Investigation of the case further revealed a lot of new information. Sherri claimed that she had been abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women, who spoke mostly in Spanish. She also reported being branded on her right shoulder by a supposed verse from The Book of Exodus.

According to her, the elder one was more meaningful than the two Hispanic women( both always keep their faces masked, according to Sherri). They also played loud music, and the windows were always boarded up. She also told the police about a dark coloured SUV that the two used.

Even with these clues, the local authorities could not track the accused, and how would they have, considering there were no such people in the first place.

The Quest For The Truth

With such an elaborate web of lies, how was the police able to reach the truth?

After searching for the said two women, months after Sherri had returned that the police found a piece of evidence that made them change their tactics. The DNA found on her clothes made them question Sherri’s entire story. The DNA found on her clothes was of a male person while she had claimed that her abductors were women, and it also did not match with her husband.

Shasta county’s sheriff’s office Captain Brian Jackson saw it as it was- ‘the key to crack the case.’

Finally, in 2019 with the help of his FBI colleagues, the mystery of the DNA was decoded. The DNA sample belonged to Sherri’s Ex-boyfriend, which finally explains a lot of inconsistencies in Sherri’s story.

The Truth – Explained

Shayari Papini had staged the entire abduction since the start, complete with all the planning to web lies to befool everyone.

When her x boyfriend was questioned, many of the mysteries unravel. She had told her Ex-boyfriend that her husband abused her and she wanted to get away. He agreed, and then they planned how she would go with him on November 2, 2016.

He was unaware that she had planned to represent it as abduction. She has purposefully starved herself, got herself deliberately and frequently hurt to create the bruises, and even asked him to do so. She had cut her hair herself and asked him to brand her, to which he was reluctant. It was weeks after when she started missing her children that she decided to appear back. The Ex also reported that he never hurt her but allied with her efforts in the hope of getting back with her together.

 A huge bundle of lies and deceit was all it was, and it got a huge media coverage making it notorious and a subject of many case studies and podcasts about staged crimes.

The post What Happened To Sherri Papini appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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