Hit the penalty box, or hit the showers?
THUMBS UP: The penalty for checking from behind in high school hockey is now an automatic five-minute penalty and 10-minute game misconduct thanks to stricter rules put into play by the Minnesota State High School League last weekend - a result of spinal injuries suffered by a pair of high school hockey players within one week of each other. A five-minute major means the team with the power play can score an unlimited number of goals since the offending player has to sit for the full five minutes, regardless of whether or not the opponent scores a goal. Under the old rule, checking from behind resulted in a two-minute minor and 10-minute game misconduct. A game disqualification would be assessed if the check was deemed flagrant (highly subjective) or caused the player to crash headfirst into the boards or goal frame. We'll call these rule changes a step in the right direction, as referee discretion has been addressed, but we still think more needs to be done in the future. If the MSHSL wants to send a message to the players and coaches that checking from behind will not be tolerated, then it should at least consider an even harsher consequence - an automatic dq which would mean a one-game suspension sounds about right.
Church artifacts to Marshall
THUMBS UP: It's nice to see some religious artifacts from the former Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Taunton being put to good use at the Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall. The center is now the new home of a book stand and crucifix, which a Morningside employee did a little restoration work to before putting it on display. The church's stained-glass windows were moved to a church in Arlington.
How about a little something for SW Minnesota?
THUMBS DOWN: Gov. Mark Dayton said his bonding proposal is a job-creator, and we don't doubt that, but what about spreading the wealth a little and creating some jobs and economic development in southwest Minnesota? Dayton did not include bonding for the proposed sports complex or MERIT training center expansion in Marshall. Let's hope the Legislature realizes the potential of these projects and what they would mean for our region when it releases its list.
THUMBS UP: Nice stand by Wikipedia, which "went dark" Wednesday for its anti-piracy protest. If you tried to get on the encyclopedia-type site that day you would've seen the phrase, "Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge," written in white letters on a black and gray background. The mini-protest was in response to the Stop Online Piracy Act bill, a piece of proposed legislation working its way through Congress. A Senate committee approved a similar bill in May called the Protect IP Act, which is now pending before the full Senate. Wednesday's move was a stand against government, which we applaud. But sorry, Wikipedia, most people probably didn't miss you all that much - there are plenty of other places to get information say, a real encyclopedia, with real pages? Heaven forbid. Google now that's a different story. If the techies out there want to make some real noise, try blacking that out. Even our powers that be in Congress probably couldn't go a day without googling someone or something.