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Short takes for Aug. 17

August 17, 2012
Marshall Independent

Spared worst of drought

THUMBS UP: Some parts of Minnesota appeared to have dodged the drought bullet. Although there are some fields in the state that will experience a significant loss this season, the state's overall yield is expected to be just one bushel less per acre than in 2011. If that holds true, those farmers should really be counting their blessings this fall. The drought has been one of the major storylines of the summer of 2012 and has crippled thousands of farmers in the Midwest, but for now it looks as though many Minnesota farmers won't feel the heat as much as they had feared just a couple of weeks ago.

Sounds of Summer

THUMBS UP: Sounds of Summer has been touted as the area's last summer party, and while it definitely is not the last hurrah for citywide festivals in southwest Minnesota, it is a pretty big deal in Marshall. The next three days offer Marshall residents and everyone from outside of Marshall plenty to do, see and taste. There's a Prairie Home Hospice Garden Party and Ice Cream Social at 4:30 p.m. today, and SMSU has its Smokefest beginning at 5:30 p.m. today and continuing Saturday. "Shakespeare in the Park" is also being presented at 7 p.m. today and Saturday and at 5 p.m. Sunday as well at Liberty Park. The Shades of the Past Cruise In Spectacular and "Poker Run" is also taking place Saturday. The Grand Festival Parade begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and includes about 80 units. Other highlights include numerous inflatables and train rides for the kids, a free outdoor concert and some great food following the parade. The event stretches into Sunday with a community praise service and free splash party. This is definitely one weekend you should forgo the trip to the cabin and stay in town instead.

City should reconsider

contribution to pheasant opener

THUMBS DOWN: In tight budgetary times, we understand the city council's reluctance to contribute $5,000 of city money to the upcoming Governor's Pheasant Opener, but would like to see the city put up some kind of monetary contribution. Remember, the opener isn't bringing in your average, every day people - guests will include political dignitaries and major media outlets that carry a pretty big voice and can help put Marshall on a stage, if only for a day or two. Gov. Dayton hasn't been to Marshall since before the last election, and this is a chance to show him how progressive Marshall is, that it's not a small, dying town on the prairie. It's the perfect opportunity for Marshall to sell itself to a vast audience, and organizers of the event want those attending to walk away with a true appreciation of a small, rural town that is succeeding in making a name for itself as a regional destination point. You don't have to be a hunter to realize these kind of opportunities don't come around too often. Let's face it, hosting an event like this does come with a price tag; the question the city must ask itself is, "Is it worth it?" We think it is, and we think it's worthy of revisiting.

Stuff the Bus

THUMBS UP: The community stepped up in a big way for the United Way's Stuff the Bus project this year. Grants and donations were provided by a number of groups and many organizations donated school supplies and money. And volunteers stepped up, too, to help sort and distribute the supplies. In the end, more than 700 area students will benefit from the project.



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