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Successful scholars

New Ulm area students earned top honors in several academic competitions this week. The New Ulm Eagles won Knowledge Bowl meets on Monday and Friday while Minnesota Valley Lutheran placed second in Friday’s meet, which included 59 highly competitive teams from south central Minnesota. The New Ulm Middle School team won the 3M MathCounts team competition Thursday, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Elementary School placed second, among seven participating schools. The schools should be proud of their academic clout; a testimony to the value that students, teachers and families place on academics.

Premium relief

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill providing relief on rising insurance premiums. The bill provides 25 percent rebates to patients who do not qualify for federal credits. Not only did the bill provide needed relief to Minnesotans suffering from high premiums, but it showed that the state government could push through partisan politics to get important measures passed. Republicans and Democrats had to give in on provisions they wanted to see included or left out of the bill to get it passed. It was a rare example of democratic compromise in action during a time of division and partisan entrenchment.

Hooray for winter!

Temperatures have dropped enough over the last few day to allow the Hanska Firemen’s Relief Association to hold its annual Ice Contest on Lake Hanska. The warm snap last week put many winter activities on hold and forced many ice fishing huts off local lakes, but with several days of freezing temperatures, it’s once again safe to head back out on the ice. Hooray for winter, for a change!