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Short takes for June 16

June 17, 2011
Marshall Independent

Some relief at the pump at last

THUMBS UP: A thumbs up to gas prices? Are we kidding? Nope. The price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline has continued to a downward trend - a much-welcomed sign for commuters and vacationers. Of course, it's still higher than it was at this time last year (the national average at this time last year was $2.69) but after watching gas prices climb to near $4 locally last month, our brains have been conditioned to accept $3.59 as a bargain. The price of gas in Marshall has been a hot topic lately as a number of people have reported lower prices in other areas of the region. And while it's true cities west of Marshall tend to be selling gas for a few cents less than in Marshall, it's quite the opposite if you head the other way. Cities like Walnut Grove, Lamberton and New Ulm are all considerably higher than they are in Marshall. Our advice: Fill a glass half full and focus on the water. In other words, be grateful that gas prices have fallen as much as they have - remember, it was $3.97 in Marshall on May 12 - and hope this downward trend continues as we head into summer.

Seniors in academic trouble

THUMBS DOWN: A sad sign for education in Minnesota was unveiled Thursday when the Department of Education reported that almost 4,900 high school seniors might not graduate because they haven't passed state-mandated reading or writing tests - that's about 8 percent of all seniors tested. State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said she's frustrated and disappointed over the number and is critical of the slow pace of state student test score improvement. This year's number of students who haven't passed either or both tests is close to the 2010 number. It's a troubling sign that the state might be falling behind or, at the least, staying stagnant when it comes to test scores.

Making the area proud at state

THUMBS UP: The Marshall boys golf team finished painfully close to earning a state championship, but should be applauded for the season they had. They entered the tournament with the lowest 18-hole cumulative score in the state. Marshall's Max Deutz came out on top with medalist honors. Also, the Lincoln HI girls finished a very respectable fifth in Class A. All our area golfers deserve special recognition for making it to the state tournament. Another hats off to the TMB baseball team, which won its state quarterfinal game and made it look easy with an 8-0 win over New York Mills. A?job well done to these athletes, along with all the track and field competitors who fought their way to the state tournament.



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