THUMBS UP: Even though there wasn't a winner from Minnesota in last week's Mega Millions record lottery, the state came out OK. The recent lottery generated $5.2 million for the state's lottery beneficiaries - the General Fund, the Environment and Natural Resources Fund, the Game and Fish Fund, and the Natural Resources Fund. The largest chunk of money will go toward the General Fund, which supports state services like education, local government assistance, transportation, and public safety. One area in dire need of some money is the state's Game and Fish Fund, which is running so low on funding it expects to go in the red next July unless the Legislature approves an increase in hunting and fishing license fees, something that most outdoor groups in the state have publicly supported. Now it's up to the Legislature, which is sure to pass the fee increase bill this session. Both the Game and Fish fund and the Natural Resources Fund will have more than $300,000 headed its way thanks to the lottery. The remaining $1.7 million will go to the Environment and Natural Resources Fund, designed to preserve, restore, and enhance the states natural resources, including improvements to state parks and the construction of trails.
What's to become of former library building
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: Someone will eventually pack their collective bags and move into the former Marshall-Lyon County Library, we just don't who yet. Will it be sold to the Lyon County Historical Society and become the eventual home of the county museum? Or will it go to the Marshall School District, which would put its alternative school there? Two entities, one building. This will be a tough call for the city council as it works with the county to find the best solution. In the end there will be a winner and a loser in the quest for a new building, but ultimately, the city and county need to determine who needs it more - a museum salivating over the thought of having more space, or a school that now calls a mall its home? Both presented solid proposals before the city council Tuesday and both have important visions they would like to see become a reality. But only one gets the building.
Spring sports season is here really
THUMBS UP: It's good to finally have a spring sports season that started on time. Golfers are able to practice outdoors and the crack (or ping, as it were) of the bat can be heard in various cities around the area, meaning high school softball and baseball players were able to take the field in early April for the first time in years. Plus, athletic directors haven't had to deal with scheduling conflicts that are inevitable with postponements.
Voter ID political polarity
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: It's hard to figure out why Republicans were so gung-ho for a constitutional amendment on the voter ID requirement and Democrats were so vehemently against it. Between the House and Senate, only one Republican joined Democrats in voting against putting it on the ballot. Nary a Senate Democrat voted was in favor of it. Talk about polarity. Agree or disagree, at least the issue is finally resolved and we can move on.