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Letters to the Editor

Why the high assessments?

Will the folks in Stevens County and Morris please tell the rest of the country how it managed to keep houses and property values going up,while in the rest of the country, the values have gone down?

I have talked to friends across the country, in large, small and in-between-sized cities, and they all say the value of their property has been assessed lower.

But, not in Stevens County, where my land in Swan Lake Township, my vacant lot in Morris, and my house in Morris were assessed higher than the year before.

What is Stevens county doing right? Or, is it just a way to get more taxes from us by assessing our property higher than what it is worth?

Please explain the reason why Stevens County differs from the rest of the country.

Ted Storck

Surprise, Arizona

and Morris

Sexual assault a constant concern

Although April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, sexual assault remains a safety concern for citizens all year long. Here in Minnesota, there is a sexual assault every 83 minutes. Statistics from the FBI show that over the past five years, while the national rate of sexual assault has remained fairly consistent, Minnesota's rate has exceeded the national average in all years.

Please share the following suggestions for reducing the risk of sexual assault with those you care about:

• Share your schedule with your friends and family. Let them know when you are leaving, and when you will be back.

• Be sure your friends know how to reach your family, and that they have your cell number.

• Stay in groups, especially at parties. Look out for one another, and always leave together, even if one of you wants to stay.

• Never be alone with someone you don't know or trust. If you are alone with someone that makes you uncomfortable, just say that you have to go look for a friend and leave.

• Don't ever leave your beverage unattended or accept an already-opened beverage from someone.

• Decide what your limits are before you get in a situation where they may be tested. If at any time you want to stop, say "stop" and say it forcefully

• Trust your instincts.

• Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to.

Someplace Safe provides confidential advocacy services free of charge to all survivors of sexual assault. If you or someone you know would like to speak with an advocate, please call (320)589-3208 or 1-800-974-3359.

Becki Jordan

Someplace Safe

Stevens County