City should wait on bridge project
THUMBS DOWN: While we stand by well-meaning efforts to promote future development - whether it's downtown, at Industrial Park or at the airport, we agree with councilman Charlie Sanow that now is not the time for the city to be putting money into the collection hat for the proposed Madrid Street bridge project. Sanow wants to put off the project until the city's budget outlook improves; he asked at Tuesday's council meeting if grant money currently available through MnDOT (which would cover 70 percent of the cost of the bridge project) would be available again in five years. The city of Marshall, like every other cash-strapped city in the state, is nervously looking at the very real possibility of a reduction in Local Government Aid and cannot afford to be contributing to the bridge project this year or next. The council voted 3-2 Tuesday to accept the MnDOT grant and contracting bid of about $664,000. A?better alternative would be to put the project on hold and reapply for the grant in the future when the city budget outlook improves.
Pro sports blues
THUMBS DOWN: No. 1: Quick hits on the world of professional sports: It's quite sad the sports-loving nation is facing the possibility of losing entire NFL?and NBA seasons. The NFL is currently in lock-out mode with no resolution in sight and many fear an extended lockout could take place in the NBA this offseason. No. 2: We might never know if now-retired Barry Bonds took steroids (popular opinion says he did) and that's a shame, but at least he was found guilty on one charge - obstruction of justice - earlier this week. No. 3: Seeing all that Bonds has went through, slugger Manny Ramirez, facing a drug-testing issue of his own and a possible 100-game suspension, announced his immediate retirement last Friday. What a shame; we're sure all baseball purists will miss watching one of the most aloof baseball players ever refuse to run out grounders. And No. 4: The Lakers' Kobe Bryant, arguably the most popular player in the NBA for the last decade, used a homophobic slur in a recent game and was fined $100,000. Maybe the NBA could use a lockout. Would anyone miss it?
THUMBS UP: Well done, Marshall High School speechers. The team had another successful season and is sending four members to the state tournament - Leah Wyffels, Luke Schroeder, Billie Miller and Eric Deutz. With only six seniors on this year's team, the future looks bright for Marshall, which has gradually positioned itself as one of the top speech teams in Class 2AA.