Marshall Adult Education


September 29, 2006


These announcements are posted on the internet.  If you do not receive them or cannot open the links, go to the website and read the announcements on-line.



1.  Time Sheets - The next payroll will cover September 15th - 30th.  Time sheets are due by noon on Monday, October 2nd.  Be sure that you are submitting time sheets on the 1st and 15th schedule.  DO NOT hold on to your hours for an entire month.  Remember, you can submit time sheets via email and by fax.  Our fax number is 507-537-7047.. 


2.  For Marshall staff:  This information is regarding homework help that will be available for grades 1-8 at the Marshall Public School.   Barb will send information regarding when it will have its official start:  
Project Success is a program that is run for grades one through 8. It is set up to assist children that need additional help beyond their normal school day to achieve more success in school.  Read more here.



3.  To All Staff:   Would you please take a few minutes and fill out this survey and return it to myself or Barb?  We are seeking input from staff as to what type of training would staff in southwestern Minnesota be most interested in attending.   Thank you for both your time and interest in this topic.   (Click on the link below to go to the survey)  Pat


4.  Consortium staff meeting - We are still trying to get a meeting in this fall.  Does anyone have a suggestion for a time and date?  Let us know if you prefer

     - all day Saturday

     - 3 hours on a week night - Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday?

     - if you prefer the week night, what would be a good start time?


5.  October Attendance, CASAS & Intakes - due by noon on Tuesday, October 3rd.  As always, the sooner the better:)


6.  The Minnesota Literacy Council has announced their October inservice schedule. Read more about their offerings here and try your hand at some of these excellent classes.




7.  Read about the Naturalization Ceremony held in Marshall on Friday, September 29.  See the photos of the ceremony.


8.  Read the editorial in the Marshall Independent on the Citizenship Ceremony held in Marshall on Friday.  The ceremony will be re-broadcast on local access cable - see you local listing for the day and time.  (I have a 6;30 PM time but no date).


9.  The latest edition of WorkForce Wisdom, the quarterly newsletter for businesses, is online.  Read about the MN Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), MN Micropolitans, and find out what the unemployment rate is in your county.


10.  Here are 2 fellowships opportunities to be aware of.


11.  $$$ for Gates Scholars for 1,000 low income kids - due Jan 12,2007.
WHAT: The Gates Millennium Scholars program will select one thousand students this year as Gates Millennium Scholars. The scholarship supports the costs of attendance and can be renewed each year throughout the Scholars' undergraduate degree and onto graduate school for those continuing Scholars who choose one of the six graduate majors: engineering, education, library science, mathematics, public health and science.
NOMINATION PROCESS: Visit to start the online nomination process or find more information about GMS. If you would like nomination packets mailed to you, please contact Ryan Edgar at Materials may be submitted either on-line by January 12, 2007, 11:59pm EST or postmarked on or before January 12, 2007.
FOR MORE INFO: If you have any further questions, please contact Ryan Edgar at or via phone at (toll free) 1-866-274-4677 ext. 9.

12.  From Lois Schmidt, Nonprofit Resource Specialist, Bremer Bank, N.A.,

Several nonprofits attended the Women's Foundation of Minnesota grant information sessions this past June that we hosted at Bremer Banks in Willmar and in Marshall.  You may recall mention of the next generation of girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) upcoming grant acceptance process.  Our contacts at the WFM tell me that the process is now open to apply for planning grants of up to $5,000 per group to support programs that build girls' future economic success.  Multi-year funding is available.


Deadline to apply is October 13, 2006.  Read more about this grant opportunity here:


For more information, contact

Charlotte Flowers,Program Officer

Women's Foundation of Minnesota

155 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 900

Minneapolis, MN 55401

 612.337.5010 main; 612.236.1807 direct

888.337.5010 toll-free


13.  Coats for Kids in Marshall:  To participate in the Coats for Kids program a person must call Western Community Action at 537-1416..............ask to register for the Coats for Kids program and they will take down name, size, and contact information.   No paper registration as done in the past will be accepted.
14.  If you've missed an announcement from a previous week, you can always find it on the Announcements page.  All announcements are archived at:
15.  From the Trivia Department:   Ever take a picture of a group of people...say at a family reunion...or at an ABE Staff Development meeting.  AND 1 or 2 or 3 people are not smiling.  So you take another one.  This time 3 people have their eyes closed.  So you take another one.  This time 4 people .....OK - get my point.  Along comes Group Shot.  This is a Microsoft Research product that is FREE.  This is from the Group Shot webpage:  "Group Shot makes it easy for a user to take a part of an image from one photo and replace a similar but flawed part of an image in another photo, thereby creating a composite shot better than either original and more approximating what was seen in the photographer’s mind’s eye."
It's a small download and it's pretty easy to use.  Give Group Shot a shot!
Here it the Group Shot link:

16.  Thought for the week:  The dedicated life is the life worth living.  You must give with your whole heart ~Annie Dillard


17.  Tech Tip:  Steps to protecting your computer, Step 2:  Firewalls

We’re talking about steps to locking down your computer to prevent those who would want to gain access to it and possibly steal your sensitive information.  Firewalls can help protect you from outside intruders.  “A firewall is a software or hardware device that prevents outsiders from accessing a computer or network.”

If you are worrying about your computer at your workplace, you probably don't need to be because most workplace networks have excellent firewalls protecting you computer.  But you should be concerned with your home computer. 


If you are using Microsoft XP Operating System, Service Pack 2, you have a built in firewall.  You can check it out like this.  Click on the Start Menu and click on Control Panels.  Now click on Security Center.  You will see the Firewall and you will see if it is On or Off.


Now the Windows XP firewall is not a great firewall.  It’s better than no firewall but it’s not great.  The Windows gurus kinda know this.  That’s why they are working on their latest security software called Windows Live OneCare.  It’s not a freebie.  Read about it here.


How do I know that Windows XP firewall is not that great?  I’ll answer that in a minute.


First - there’s this neat little FREE program called LeakTest that you can download to your computer.

You can use this program to test and see if your firewall can be penetrated.  The neat thing about this program is that you download it to your computer but you don’t have to install it.  Just download and save the download to your desktop (or anywhere else you want to save it).  


When you are finished downloading it, you can double-click on it to start it up and test for leaks.  (Remember – you don’t have to install it!)  It takes about 30 seconds to test your computer.  If your firewall is working, you will see a message that says, “Unable to Connect.”  Congratulations – your firewall is doing its job.  If your firewall is not working, you will get a message that says, “Your firewall wall has been penetrated.” 


OK – back to the questions - How do I know that Windows XP firewall is not that great?  When I test my Windows XP Service Pack 2 firewall, it doesn’t seem to block the intrusion when I use LeakTest.  I fail the test every time.  I get the “Your firewall wall has been penetrated” message every time.  So it’s not offering me great protection.


Hmm…What to do???  Well, there is another neat FREE program called ZoneAlarm.  You guessed it – it’s a firewall – but a good one.  This firewall does a great job protecting your computer from intruders.  And, yes, it stops LeakTest from penetrating my computer. 


There is a commercial version of ZoneAlarm that does quite a bit more than the free basic ZoneAlarm firewall.  It will set you back about 40 bucks.  Unless you want to get into a very high level of protection, you can stick with the free basic version and get excellent protection.


If you decide to use ZoneAlarm, be sure to watch the Flash tutorials and learn the basics about how it works.  It’s pretty simple to understand and to use and it will offer you excellent protection.


Download the free version of ZoneAlarm here:


One last thing – There are 2 types of firewalls – a software firewall and a hardware firewall.  We have been talking about a software firewall. 


What’s a hardware firewall?  A hardware firewall is typically a broadband router that filters incoming and outgoing traffic.  There is quite a bit more customizing that is required when setting up a hardware firewall in order to get it to filter efficiently.  Whereas, a software firewall like ZoneAlarm is very easy to install and setup.  In fact, there is really no customizing necessary - just install it and you're ready to go.


You can certainly use a software firewall with a hardware firewall (router) for even better protection.  You will need a router if you want to use 2 computers (or more) connected to a cable or DSL modem.  Otherwise, it really isn’t necessary to get a router.  Stick with a software firewall like ZoneAlarm.


Here’s a good article on Hardware vs Software Firewalls.


Are there other firewalls available?  You bet there are.  Fred Langa had his readers rate the various firewalls available (some of which are free).  Read more about the various firewalls here.  Notice that ZoneAlarm far outweighs all the other firewalls.  It is the best!


The Sygate firewall is also an excellent software firewall but the freeware version is dissappearing.  Within a week, Symantic, who bought Sygate 3 months ago, will discontinue support for the free Sygate firewall.  If you are using it, be aware of this.  You can switch to ZoneAlarm which is still FREE.


Get your firewall going and get protection! 



Marshall ABE Links


Southwest ABE - home page for Granite Falls, Jackson, Marshall, and Worthington consortiums.


Marshall ABE Bookmarks - tons of cool bookmarks - educational and non-educational


Tech Tips - Read new and old Tech Tips here.


Reading Skills for Today's Adults - new stories posted regularly


Announcements - Weekly announcements are posted here each week on Friday.


Back to Announcements Page

Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education