Sportsmen's Act blocked
THUMBS DOWN: It was disappointing to see the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 get shot down by the U.S. Senate on Monday. Republicans were mostly in support of opening lands for hunters, but GOP senators blocked the legislation after a Republican senator said it spent too much on conservation programs included in the Democrat-sponsored bill, which aimed to increase land access and exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead and protect animal habitat. Compared to other issues Congress is facing, the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 might be considered small potatoes to most, but to Minnesotans who cherish their outdoors, it should be a big deal and considered a major loss.
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to Dawson-Boyd's Nathaniel Huot and Joey Lee for landing on this year's Minnesota Associated Press All-State high school football team, which is voted on by sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the state.
Sports Center No. 1 priority
THUMBS UP: November has been a big month for proponents of the regional amateur sports complex in Marshall. First, the local sales tax option passed on Election Day, and more recently, the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission designated the complex as its No. 1 priority heading into the 2013 legislative session. This, of course, doesn't guarantee bonding money, but it does put Marshall at the head of the class when it comes to gaining state funding. After three previous attempts at being approved for state bonding dollars have failed, it looks like Marshall's project is finally zeroing in on some sought-after dollars.
THUMBS UP: This week's record Powerball drawing got plenty of national attention, but one aspect that might go unnoticed is how the state of Minnesota will be positively affected by so many players taking a chance on becoming a millionaire. Minnesotans set a new record for the drawing, generating nearly $11 million in sales. While retailers earned more than $1.5 million in commissions, the jackpot generated millions for Minnesota - $10.1 million to be precise. Where will that money go? The state's General Fund, which supports state services like public education, local government assistance, transportation and public safety, will get the biggest share at $5.6 million, the Minnesota State Lottery said. More than $2.5 million will go to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (money of which goes to things like state parks, fish and wildlife resources, enhanced hunting and fishing habitat and environmental research), and the remaining 1,845,318 will be split evenly between the Game and Fish Fund and the Natural Resources Fund. Sure, no Minnesotan won the big jackpot, but it's clear the entire state will come out a winner.