Local News | Sports - High School
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:36 AM

The controversy surrounding the “religious freedom” laws some states have tried to enact and the fatal incidents involving white police shooting black suspects have led to national dialogue on institutional discrimination or prejudice. Activists are inspecting laws and internal policies to make sure people are treated equally.

  • The controversy surrounding the “religious freedom” laws some states have tried to enact and the fatal incidents involving white police shooting black suspects have led to national dialogue on institutional discrimination or prejudice. Activists are inspecting laws and internal policies to make sure people are treated equally.

     
  • Indiana was in the national spotlight last week after the Legislature passed a “religious freedom” law that was signed by Gov. Mike Pence. Although the original intent may have held true to its name, many thought it was a smokescreen to allow businesses to discriminate against people by citing religious beliefs if they get sued.

     
  • A Republican proposal to give the nearly $1.9 billion state surplus back to residents — about $350 per person — appears to be dead as legislators, including many Republicans, have other ideas this session. They include investing some of the excess money in education, budget reserves to prevent some of the problems the state has experienced in recent years, and public infrastructure, which has been neglected in recent years.

     
  • I often pick on the meteorologists for their inaccurate weather forecasts. For example, Sunday’s original forecast for light snow was recalculated to a prediction of up to three to five inches Saturday and then recalculated yet again early Sunday afternoon to a winter storm warning after it was evident this was not a minor event.

     
  • This week is Sunshine Week. The name has nothing to do with the actual sun, which has been warming our area well above normal this past week. The week is a national initiative to promote dialogue about open government that should operate in the light of day, rather than secretly in the dark.

     
  • With a sparse crowd attending the meet-the-candidates sessions for District 1 Fillmore County commissioner, the question came up last Thursday if candidates are responsible for engaging constituents in the process and, if so, how would that be done. The sessions were set up for three weeks — one night for each candidate — in Spring Valley for people voting in the special election on March 31.

     
  • When Kevin Slimp stepped outside the door of the community room at F & M Community Bank in Preston Friday after a seven-hour session with staff members of Bluff Country Newspaper Group, he said, “It really doesn’t feel that cold here.” This statement is from a resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, who first ventured out that morning in a temperature of 16 below zero.

     
  • Vina Lund, an Ostrander resident who just celebrated her 105th birthday, was asked by a reporter during her birthday party to confirm a story her son told about her dancing with the notorious outlaw, Babyface Nelson, at the Sheep Shed in Wykoff.

     
  • The butterfly effect — the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil setting off a tornado in Texas — is a term used in chaos theory to describe how tiny variations can have a significant impact on giant, complex systems, such as weather patterns.

     
  • I spent another day at school last week as a volunteer to help in the classroom of my third grade granddaughter. It’s through a program called WatchDOGS — the DOGS stands for Dads, or in my case grandDads, Of Great Students.

     
  • When I told my grandson I was going to be gone for a couple days last week to attend the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention in the Twin Cities, he asked what I was going to do. I told him mostly go to workshops and sessions to learn.

     
  • The emphasis at the Capitol this legislative session is Greater Minnesota. Legislators from both parties and Gov. Mark Dayton have all been voicing their commitment to rural Minnesota this session.

     
  • Proponents and opponents have already lined up on the proposals by DFL state senators in Minnesota and President Barack Obama to make tuition free for community college education as long as students meet certain criteria, such as reaching a certain grade point average and staying in school for two years.

     
  • A woman next to me at a community meeting commented to the group of local residents assembled there that “no one reads newspapers anymore.” I think she was being funny, while trying to needle me a bit since we knew each other, but it could very well be she also believed it since there are a lot of experts asserting the death of newspapers.

     
  • Likely few people who have made purchases in Fillmore County since Jan. 1 noticed they paid a new tax that was added to their total bill. The reason this new tax escaped notice is because a $10 purchase added just a nickel in state sales tax to their bill.

     
Minnesota Gas Tax

Should Minnesota look to a gas tax to help fund the state’s road and bridge construction?


 

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