SW Minnesota's calling card
THUMBS UP: Not everyone likes to hunt. Some actually are against it. Some reading this could care less about the pheasant population in this corner of the state. And some probably still have no idea why the pheasant opener - or the waterfowl, deer or fishing openers for that matter - get so much press. But you don't have to be a hunter to realize that this past weekend's Governor's Pheasant Opener was a pretty big deal for Marshall and southwest Minnesota. The 100 or so pheasants that were taken was simply blaze orange icing on the cake for organizers of the event. The cool thing is that not only did it bring the governor of our state to Marshall - the first time he's been here since being elected in 2010 - it brought media from the Twin Cities, too. Check out last Sunday's Star and Tribune that had a feature from the opener and one from Yellow Medicine County. We doubt that's a coincidence. There was another "Marshall" dateline in the Strib's outdoors page Wednesday. That's priceless exposure for a prairie town. Whether or not you hunt, it's important to realize the outdoors has become southwest Minnesota's calling card, and it does bring people from the metro area to this part of the state - and not just because it's on the way to South Dakota. Yes, metro area, we do have more than corn and soybeans out here.
SMSU No. 1
THUMBS UP: It's not every day an SMSU athletic team is ranked No. 1 in the nation. In fact, it's never happened before - until this week, when the Mustangs volleyball team earned that distinction. The Mustangs are ranked No. 1 in the latest the American Volleyball Coaches' Association Top 25 Coaches' Poll. The No. 1 ranking marks the first time in history an SMSU team has been ranked No. 1 in a Division II or NAIA national poll. Coach Terry Culhane's team has been sniffing at the No. 1 ranking for some time, and its two wins last weekend pushed them to the top. SMSU has been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 every week since Sept. 5, 2006, further proof that volleyball - at both the high school and college levels - has a true foothold in southwest Minnesota.
Crime in Marshall
THUMBS DOWN: The Marshall community dealt with a rash of burglaries in June, and after a crime-spree lull, it's obvious it's in the middle of another spike. Numerous homes and garages have been broken into during the last few weeks, and it's become more clear that some of the thieves really know what they're doing. While it might not seem like it to some right now, Marshall continues to be a safe community in general; still this is a disturbing trend that is piggybacking this summer's spike in burglaries, and we encourage residents to look out, not just for themselves, but for their neighbors, too.