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Hands-free bill

THUMBS UP: The Minnesota Legislature passed it, and Friday Gov. Tim Walz signed the hands-free cell phone bill, requiring drivers to use only hands-free devices for making phone calls while driving. This is a good, common-sense piece of legislation that will encourage safer driving habits.

This kind of bill is needed. Just this past week, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper pulled over a young woman on U.S. 169 south of Nicollet. She was driving 96 miles per hour while participating on a FaceTime video chat in her car. She claims she wasn’t distracted, though she did say she wasn’t aware of how fast she was going, or that she was about to blow the doors off a state patrol cruiser.

There is a lot of education about distracted driving that still needs to be done. We hope this bill will help.

Knowledge Bowl title

THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the Minnesota Valley Lutheran Black Knowledge Bowl team, which won the state Class A Knowledge Bowl competition this week. And congratulations to the New Ulm Public Purple Team, which won the Heritage Award while placing seventh in the Class AA tournament.

Your academic accomplishments are deserving of praise.

Declines offer

THUMBS DOWN: On Wednesday, the Brown County Board of Commissioners offered the position of County Administrator to Winthrop City Administrator Jenny Hazelton. On Friday, Hazelton announced that after much consideration, she was going to decline the offer. We’re sure it was a tough choice, and we respect her decision.

The Brown County Board will meet again next Tuesday and decide whether it will extend the offer to St. James City Manager Sam Hansen, or start the process over.

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