Local News | Sports - High School
 
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 10:37 AM
 

A Confederate flag flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during a weekend parade in Albert Lea has sparked significant backlash against the display. The large Confederate flag and an equal sized American flag each dominated one side of the back of the truck during the Independence Day weekend parade held Friday.

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    A Confederate flag flown on the back of the Hartland Fire Department truck during a weekend parade in Albert Lea has sparked significant backlash against the display. The large Confederate flag and an equal sized American flag each dominated one side of the back of the truck during the Independence Day weekend parade held Friday.

     
  • I recently talked with the Twins’ organ player, Sue Nelson, and she gave me some positive feedback on her colleague, the Twins’ DJ, Tim Miller. Then she told me how he frequently “nudges” her over her headphones when she is visiting with fans, and she misses her cue to play her music. Sue Nelson plays her warm, traditional, baseball organ music from the Two Gingers Pub, located on the third level, right behind home plate. That is the perfect place for Sue to play, where her many friends and fans can visit her during the game. And every game she makes new friends and gets some new fans. She sits perched on her bench, overlooking Target Field; filled with enthusiasm — and oh so bubbly — she can talk about anything, and she wears the happiest smile at the ballpark.

     
  • Interstate 90 is the main east-west thoroughfare through southern Minnesota. The four-lane highway has a speed limit of 70 miles per hour to get people to where they want to go in the quickest time. The only real bends in the road are two large curves to edge up closer to Rochester near the airport. The aim of interstates is to get near larger cities to make it more efficient for the greatest number of people, although they also tend to avoid the heart of cities to avoid wasting valuable travel time for people passing by the cities.

     
  • Even though the Twins started out slowly, and they have had a recent slump, they are doing well overall and having fun – something that didn’t happen much in the past few years. I love Ron Gardenhire, but I know that Gardy and his staff were burned out. The new coaches are great, and brought a fresh new look to a clubhouse that had grown stale. I like Paul Molitor. He is a friend and a great manager, but I don’t consider him the life of the party.

     
  • If you have already read the story elsewhere in this newspaper about the sale of this company, you realize I now have an exit strategy. It appears much more predictable than my entry into the newspaper business, although one thing I have learned over the years is that nothing is entirely predictable.

     
  • Before my father was in the newspaper business, he worked for advertising agencies, either independent firms or departments of bigger companies. Maybe that role colored his outlook on branding, but I still remember a funny story about a driving trip we took from our home located east of here to Colorado.

     
  • The narrative on the future of small towns seems to be undergoing a subtle change away from the gloom that dominated the storyline in recent years to a more complex view that includes several reasons for optimism.

     
  • During a conversation with a local woman who is interested in getting young people to vote and become more involved in the political process, a comment she made stunned me for a moment. She said that the parents of young people today have never seen effective government in action.

     
  • As I was wandering through the finish area of the Almanzo 100 in Spring Valley Saturday around 5 p.m. with my camera, I was stopped a couple times by bicyclists, handed cell phones and asked if I could take “selfies” of them. They didn’t ask for anything in the background, just a photo of them after finishing the 100-mile race on gravel roads throughout Fillmore County that took about eight hours.

     
  • From 2008 to 2011, Duane Benson spent much of his time being an advocate for the state’s youngest residents, pushing for quality early childhood learning. The former state senator and Lanesboro area farmer was the executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF) at the time.

     
  • Monday morning as I was flying from Pittsburgh to Minnesota, I was writing this column, editing news stories, formatting photos and, if I had time, designing pages for this week’s edition. In other words, I was at my desk, which just happened to be a laptop more than 10,000 feet above earth.

     
  • Minnesota State FFA Secretary Valerie Earley was the main speaker at the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA banquet last week. She felt at home since it really has been home for the Wykoff resident, who noted she is a “proud” member of the chapter even though she graduated from Kingsland High School in 2014.

     
  • 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.

     
Right to Marry

The Supreme Court made a historic ruling as they declared same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. Do you support their ruling?



 

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