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Ring in 2020 safely

THUMBS UP: As we head towards the New Year, people are making plans for how they will celebrate the arrival of 2020. We hope everyone will make plans for getting to and from their destinations safely.

Pick out your designated driver. Plan to take a taxi home if needed. Above, all plan to consume alcohol in moderation — overdoing it will only make the first day of 2020 a painful experience.

We wish everyone a happy new year, and a prosperous year ahead.

Take care on ice

THUMBS UP: In winter, anglers put away their boats in favor of ice houses and ice fishing. Some of them rush the season a bit, driving out onto lake and running the risk of going through thin ice.

The Minnesota DNR and local sheriff’s offices are warning people that lake ice is never 100 percent safe, and that people should take extra care when venturing out onto the ice. At least three vehicles went through the ice on Lake Shetek in southwestern Minnesota. Above average temperatures this past week have made the ice even more suspect.

Take care when heading out on the ice, the DNR warns. Know where you are going and what the ice conditions are on the way.

Schell’s tradition

THUMBS UP: Thanks to the August Schell Brewery for continuing its holiday tradition of placing luminaria out at the Schell Mansion and Gardens on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. The glowing candles are beautiful sight, and a lovely gift for the community.

Always ready

THUMBS UP: Minneapolis firefighters battled a horrible Christmas Day fire when the Drake Hotel went up in flames. The hotel, a homeless shelter of last resort for impoverished people, housed 111 people. No one died in the disaster, a tribute to the fire crews who responded in the early morning hours.

We are thankful for the dedicated men and women of fire departments everywhere, who stand ready, even on holidays, to answer the call for help. In New Ulm, firefighters quickly responded on Christmas Day, when a backfiring snowmobile exploded in New Ulm Mobile Village. It was not as dramatic a call as the Drake Hotel fire, but local firefighters responded with the same urgency as their Minneapolis counterparts. We are blessed to have them.

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