THUMBS DOWN: Winter weather has a way of sneaking up on us, especially with the extended Indian summer that we enjoyed before last week when we were reminded once again that winter driving is not normal driving. In other words: Slow down when it's snowing or on icy or slushy roads, for your own good as well as the good of others. Last week's wintry weather caused more than 400 traffic crashes in Minnesota. Four hundred. It doesn't take long for road conditions to deteriorate, so everyone needs to adapt with the weather, no matter how good of a driver you think you are. Driving habits need to change during the winter months, so why don't they? Some accidents or encounters with a ditch are unavoidable, say if a deer jumps out in front of you on a slippery road. But by and large crashes and rollovers can be avoided if everyone just slows down. If that means leaving for your destination a bit earlier, so be it.
Way to go Mustangs
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the Southwest Minnesota State University volleyball team, which captured the No. 1 seed for the Central Region Tournament that began Thursday at SMSU. This is the second time in as many years that SMSU has played host to an NCAA Division II regional tournament - the men's basketball team grabbed the No. 1 ranking last year, hosted the tournament, and won it to advance to the Elite Eight. The Mustang volleyball team, which played Colorado School of Mines Thursday night in the first round, knew entering the tournament that just because they were the hosts didn't make the road to the Elite Eight any easier, but nevertheless, it's nice for them to have the tournament in their own backyard in front of their fans. The Mustangs' dominance in the P/E Gym this year - they were 11-0 there - has affixed their spot on the map at the university where they're enjoying a tremendous amount of student-body support this year.
THUMBS UP: City leaders gushed about the newly-completed Minnesota Highway 23 underpass at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday. From Marshall Schools Superintendent Klint Willert, to SMSU President Dr. David Danahar, to Marshall Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Strautz, to Marshall Regional Amateur Sports Commission Chairman Roger Madison, they all were in agreement that the tunnel will benefit the city and its residents, both now and into the future. If it keeps pedestrians safe and serves as a true stepping stone for more things to come in that area of the city, it will, indeed, prove to be a benefit. There's a lot more work to be done in the area along 23 and we hope the tunnel turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping the city expand its regional amateur sports status and boost economic development in the area.