THUMBS UP: We tip our hats to all the firefighters from all the area departments who responded to Monday's grass fire near Camden State Park, and to the Department of Natural Resources for the foresight to station a helicopter in Marshall - a move that was deemed precautionary but that turned out necessary. The chopper landed in Marshall mere hours before the fire was reported. And this wasn't your average grass fire, as the area within the blaze included ravines that not only made putting out the fire from the ground more difficult, but also posed a significant safety threat to our firefighters. All the ingredients for fires to break out are in play until we get some rain, which means all firefighters are pretty much on high alert, and we applaud their quick response time - not just to Monday's fire, but to all of them that have broken out in the past weeks. There's an open house at the fire hall in Marshall tonight, might not be a bad idea to stop by and thank them for all they do.
THUMBS DOWN: While we always welcome new businesses to town, we share some Marshall city council members' concerns about the city picking up the tab for a new sanitary sewer line for the former Runnings store - future home of Brau Brothers brewing company. The city council on Tuesday voted 4-2 in favor of proceeding with the sewer line. But does this mean the city will pay for future related issues for other businesses? New business is good business for the city of Marshall, and the city is right in doing what it can to help businesses new to town, but this appears to be a risky precedent-setting move.
THUMBS UP: There was some good discussion about our education system taking place earlier this week between legislators, candidates and school officials, and more is to come today as Gov. Mark Dayton visits with local officials to talk about the Flexible Learning Year issue. Most school officials will tell you FLY is a success, while some Minnesotans have vehemently disagreed with starting school before Labor Day and have not gotten on board. That's OK. It's good to have two sides to every story. The problems come when we stop discussing things like FLY and who should have more control over our schools - local school boards or state politicians. Schools needs to have to be able to control their own destinies and make their own decisions they believe are best for their students, as the schools in the FLY consortium did a few years ago.