Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Plato, MN

Home Care Plato, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Cannery Row Monument gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Plato, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Plato, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”


What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Plato, MN?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Plato, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Plato, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Plato, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Plato, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Plato Community Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Plato, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Joan's in the Park or visit Plato's Academy Ancient Gymnasium Ruins, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Plato, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Plato, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Plato, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Plato, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Plato, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Plato, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Plato, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Plato, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • The Phoenix Residence, Inc.
  • Prairie View Senior Living
  • Vista West
  • Polmex In Home Care
  • A Place For Mom - Senior Living Advisor Thera Shotwell
Home Care Plato, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Plato, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Plato, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Plato, MN

Latest News in Plato, MN

Video reveals extent of tornado damage in Forada, MN; NWS reports tornado damage in Eagle Bend, Plato

FORADA, Minn. — The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that a tornado hit the small lakeside town of Forada, Minnesota during a bout of severe storms on Monday, May 30.NWS crews confirmed EF-2 damage in Forada after winds of up to 120 mph hit the area. The survey team also found evidence of multiple vortexes and a path width of at least a half mile. Officials also confirmed EF-1 tornado damage in Eagle Bend and Plato.Monday night,...

FORADA, Minn. — The National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that a tornado hit the small lakeside town of Forada, Minnesota during a bout of severe storms on Monday, May 30.

NWS crews confirmed EF-2 damage in Forada after winds of up to 120 mph hit the area. The survey team also found evidence of multiple vortexes and a path width of at least a half mile. Officials also confirmed EF-1 tornado damage in Eagle Bend and Plato.

Monday night, Forada Fire Chief Stephen VanLuik escorted a KARE 11 crew to see the storm's aftermath. About 100 homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed.

The next morning, speaking with KARE 11 reporter Cece Gains, VanLuik said his team did a house to house search to make sure everyone in the community was OK.

"I know it's devastating to look at, but we're glad that no deaths that we know of [were reported], or any major injuries," VanLuik said.

WATCH BELOW: Aerial video reveals extent of the damage along Maple Lake in Forada

Tuesday morning, the widespread damage was more visible as community members started the process of cleaning up their homes. Photos and videos revealed downed trees and power lines. The roofs of several homes were completely ripped off. Other structures were nearly leveled by the storm.

"It's going to be a long, drawn out" process to recover from the damage, VanLuik said. "It's going to be a day by day thing."

This tornado is second twister to impact the area in about 17 days. The first was a confirmed tornado that touched down in Alexandria on May 13.

Slightly farther northeast in Cass County, officials are estimating at least $120,000 worth of damage, saying the most extensive damage occurred in Poplar and Byron Townships. The NWS is still inspecting the area to determine whether the damage was caused by a tornado.

Click here to see video of more storm damage in Forada.

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Driest spring in 5 decades leaves Minnesota farmers with withered crops

Farmers are waiting for "priceless" raindrops as the state slips deeper into drought. Star TribuneJune 23, 2023 — 6:23amNoticed it's been kind of dry lately?You're not imagining it: Looking at the period starting in May through now, the Twin Cities has seen less rain this year than any year for the past five decades.The chart below shows cumulative precipitation — basically, total rainfall — from May 1 to June 22. That blue line at the very bottom is 2023.But wait, you mig...

Farmers are waiting for "priceless" raindrops as the state slips deeper into drought.

Star Tribune

June 23, 2023 — 6:23am

Noticed it's been kind of dry lately?

You're not imagining it: Looking at the period starting in May through now, the Twin Cities has seen less rain this year than any year for the past five decades.

The chart below shows cumulative precipitation — basically, total rainfall — from May 1 to June 22. That blue line at the very bottom is 2023.

But wait, you might remember, didn't we just come off one of the snowiest winters on record? Weren't we just worried about rivers flooding?

That also happened! The chart below looks at the first part of the year, January to May. The blue line near the top is 2023. By the way, if those totals in inches seem less impressive than you remember, it's because this chart shows precipitation, which in the case of snow, the National Weather Service calculates by first melting it down to water.

And while a lot of that snow stayed on the ground throughout the winter, as spring weather came, it melted, driving the flooding seen in late April.

The net effect of the very wet winter and a very dry spring means looking at overall precipitation for the year, the cumulative total is right in the middle.

Still, the moisture a farmer needs for seeds to germinate and crops to thrive is not present at the moment.

Dean Engelmann, who farms outside Plato, Minn., grows produce for the Tangletown Gardens CSA. He said after a hot and dry early growing season had him watching a beautiful crop of spinach wither in 10 days, a short burst of rain last weekend found him beside himself with emotion.

"Do you go out in a puddle and cry or dance?" he said. "Those little rains are priceless."

He also has known the agony of the season. He's been up all night, moving irrigators across his fields. He described the tiny window of time for peas, arugula and radishes to thrive. Those crops love cool, spring weather, and they've suffered under this year's abrupt transition from winter to what Engelmann calls "the cooker."

It's also the third season in a row he's managed drought conditions on his farm an hour west of the Twin Cities.

"The worst thing is when it forecasts rain, and you watch it coming your way only to dissipate before reaching you," he said.

On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reported 92% of Minnesota is now in drought conditions. Two months ago, drought conditions were markedly lower.

The worst of the drought hovers just south of Lake Mille Lacs. In central Minnesota last weekend, many producers along Hwy. 10 had turned on irrigators to keep crops hydrated, often more of a telltale sign of midsummer than June.

In Chisago County, John Peterson stood in his field of calf-high corn, recounting the tenths-of-an-inch of rain his grounds had seen since Mother's Day. Peterson is a no-till farmer who prides himself on soil health. But he bent low to pick up a fried earthworm lying atop the dirt.

"He didn't make it," Peterson said. "The drought got him, too."

It's a worrying sign for farmers who've been on the land for decades. The only hope for now is to keep watching the sky, waiting for one of those million-dollar rains.

Tom Nehil is the Star Tribune’s newsroom developer, using code to help find and tell stories.

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Inside Tangletown Gardens’ Commitment to Regenerative Agriculture

The circle of life cycle that powers Tangletown Gardens and its neighboring Wise Acre bears striking resemblance to the recycling emblem, traveling from a 140-acre farm in Plato to the storefronts in South Minneapolis a...

The circle of life cycle that powers Tangletown Gardens and its neighboring Wise Acre bears striking resemblance to the recycling emblem, traveling from a 140-acre farm in Plato to the storefronts in South Minneapolis and back again. And it’s a path paved with rich black gold: topsoil.

Proprietors Scott Endres and Dean Engelmann consider themselves “humble farm boys,” with Endres hailing from Hampton Township and Engelmann from the land they farm to this very day. Together, the friends have helmed the company for 19 years, through economic downturns and a global pandemic that continues to stretch into the foreseeable future. And they’ve done it without ever taking a shortcut.

In fact, they’re committed to taking a step forward by taking a few steps back, returning to what’s considered “regenerative agriculture.” This way of farming helps rebuild topsoil and reverse the effects of climate change with a focus on biodiversity, crop rotation and other earth-friendly tactics.

Their idyllic farm “has its own ecosystem,” Endres notes. “There’s this ebb and flow of energy to and from the farm. That energy is really important for the lifeblood of our businesses that serve so many people in our community.”

Although the buzzy phrase “farm to table” has unfortunately long since been stripped of any real meaning, Endres and Engelmann have in fact created a carbon-positive farm-to-table-to-farm formula that has allowed their business to bloom. And just as they diversify their crops, over the years they have continuously diversified their offerings to meet the needs and demands of the community. Today, the rich Tangletown portfolio includes the ornamental plants available at the cult-favorite garden center, dreamy garden and landscape design services, true farm-to-fork fare served at Wise Acre, a CSA program, and farm-direct meats and produce.

All of this begins with the dirt under their feet. “Our soil is alive,” Engelmann says. “If you come to the farm and scoop up a handful of soil, you’re holding more microorganisms than humans on the planet. It’s not just a substance we stick a seed in; it’s a living, breathing collection of organisms. You know that beautiful, rich, loamy black soil — you can smell it and almost feel it. You can stand there and admire the diversity of cover crops, wildlife and insects galore.”

“We have lush rolling hills and very rich topsoil that has been formed over tens of thousands of years,” he continues, noting that biodiversity across the region sadly has suffered as many farms have consolidated and become increasingly monoculture. “We’re trying to create and nurture a system that mimics what Mother Nature would do. There’s a lot of cross-pollination: Our pastures become fields, and fields become pasture. Nothing is static. It’s an ever-changing, ever-evolving rhythmic beat, where plants and animals work together to support a sustainable system.”

The farm’s roster includes cows, pigs, ducks, turkeys, an orchard, more than 100 kinds of vegetables, and thousands of ornamental plants. The flora is put to creative use in the brand’s trademark design services as well as showcased at the trend-forward garden center — complete with some of that magical soil. All the prep and packaging for Tangletown’s vast offerings happen right here, too. And when food waste gets scraped from plates at Wise Acre, it’s sent back to Plato to enrich that carefully cultivated topsoil.

“The farm is driven by one equation: Healthy soil leads to healthy plants leads to healthy animals and people,” Engelmann asserts. “Every decision we make is rooted in one thing and one thing only: how we improve our soil. It underlies pretty much everything we do. Modern industrial agriculture will feed the world — until it collapses, because we’ve mined out from underneath our feet.”

Although Tangletown’s unique approach is a direct response to today’s challenging realities, its proprietors remain optimistic, both for business and for the environment. “Throughout the pandemic, food has been good medicine for people,” Endres says. “Gardening has also been good medicine, letting people reconnect with something, nurture something, and feed themselves both in a physical and mental sense.”

“What’s important is that we’re not just taking from the land but nurturing it, leaving it in better condition than when we came to it,” he concludes. “That’s also true for how we approach our businesses and the way we present ourselves to our community. We always strive to give back to the community we serve.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

Discover 5 ways to shop Tangletown Gardens this season and beyond.

MORE TO THE STORY: Sooty chimney sparks school house fire

It was springtime, 1914. Plato, Minnesota, was home to a two-story brick school. The school, though small, was quite a feat for a small town at the time. Built in 1903, the structure was partitioned into four classrooms and was considered one of the best schools in McLeod County — certainly a credit to the Plato School District.It’s safe to say that things were a bit different in 1914. Schools were smaller and graduating high school wasn’t always expected of students — especially those living in rural areas. In...

It was springtime, 1914. Plato, Minnesota, was home to a two-story brick school. The school, though small, was quite a feat for a small town at the time. Built in 1903, the structure was partitioned into four classrooms and was considered one of the best schools in McLeod County — certainly a credit to the Plato School District.

It’s safe to say that things were a bit different in 1914. Schools were smaller and graduating high school wasn’t always expected of students — especially those living in rural areas. In addition, athletics were not considered as vital as they are today, hence the Plato school, like many others, did not house a gymnasium. Aside from school activities, safety was not regarded as it is in 2022. With that in mind, it wasn’t deemed a big deal when the school’s chimney caught fire.

Though the weather was beginning to warm, there was still a need for heating the indoors. Since the schoolhouse was a two-story structure, a large furnace and chimney were needed to keep students warm through the coldest months of the year. It was common for the chimney to become caked in soot that would occasionally start on fire — in fact, this occurrence seemed to happen in two-week intervals, yet staff and students were aware of this and seldom became anxious that it could lead to disaster.

On Monday, March 12, at around 1:15 p.m. the chimney caught fire once again. This time, however, the school’s principal, George Monier, and several students noted that the chimney was burning hotter than normal. Monier decided to alert the school janitor of the fire, and to watch it closely as he feared the chimney fire could result in sparks falling to the roof and igniting it.

School work continued through the afternoon. At 2:50 p.m., just prior to students being dismissed, Monier heard a heavy thud from above. His first thought was that a student fell while descending the staircase, yet when he stepped into the hall, he found the situation was far more serious — a gleam of light was visible through the hole where the bell rope passed. The garret was of fire!

The situation was critical, yet Mr. Monier did not want to cause a panic. He went to each classroom and told the students to pick up their belongings, exit the school quietly, and wait outside. The principal’s approach worked, and all students and staff exited the building without incident.

The alarm was raised, and the fire department responded promptly. As was customary at the time during a community emergency, residents flocked to the fire to aid in any way they could. Unfortunately, there was a lack of water in the community, and this hampered attempts to fight the fire. People worked persistently to save what contents they could from the school. While the roof burned, any moveable objects such as desks, books, musical instruments and so on were removed from the school. A valiant effort was made to stop the flames, yet it was in vain as the school was a complete loss.

It was a dangerous situation that day, yet in the end, the residents of Plato could count their luck as no students were harmed in the fire. It’s probable that the school year resumed in homes and empty buildings in the vicinity of Plato. A new school was eventually built, yet those who were present in the spring of 1914 would never be able to forget the day the school burned down.

Charitable gaming organizations push back on proposed e-pull tab law change

Charitable gaming organizations across Minnesota say they could lose millions of dollars if the House and Senate adopt a new law prohibiting certain e-pull tab games.“Today is about taking care of our veterans, our firefighters, our Lions Clubs and literally every youth sports organization and association in the State of Minnesota,” said Rep. Shane Hudella, R-Hast...

Charitable gaming organizations across Minnesota say they could lose millions of dollars if the House and Senate adopt a new law prohibiting certain e-pull tab games.

“Today is about taking care of our veterans, our firefighters, our Lions Clubs and literally every youth sports organization and association in the State of Minnesota,” said Rep. Shane Hudella, R-Hastings. “The absolute only thing that the language does in this bill is hurt Minnesota charities.”

At issue are e-pull tabs that require just one touch to activate multiple rows of characters to determine if a player has won anything. Native American tribes say those electronic pull tabs started to look and operate too much like slot machines, which only the tribes are allowed to operate in Minnesota. The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed and now the Legislature is considering banning those specific devices.

“This clarification of game features is not an elimination of electronic pull tabs or bingo,” says Andy Plato, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. “Current e-games have evolved beyond both the plain reading and intent of the current statute.”

Plato adds they are not trying to hurt charitable causes and hopes the Legislature can do something to help the charities.

Meanwhile, the group Protect our Charities held a news conference Thursday with Rep. Hudella and other lawmakers urging the House and Senate not to ban the games.

“Changing the rules would be devastating to these organizations,” said Keith Franke, a bar and restaurant owner in St. Paul Park who leads the charity group.

Franke says the courts technically didn’t rule the games illegal, and his group urges lawmakers not to take that step. Forcing charities to go back to older technology would be like going back to flip phones and wouldn’t be as popular or profitable, he said.

The e-pull tabs not only help charities but are also a major funding source for U.S. Bank Stadium.

In the 2022 fiscal year, paper pull tabs brought in $2.1 billion in gross receipts, up from $1.7 billion the previous year. In fiscal 2022, electronic pull tabs brought in $1.9 billion, up from $1.3 billion the previous year.


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