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Editorials

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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. ...

Afghanistan pullout shouldn’t be green light for Taliban

Four thousand more U.S. troops will be pulled out of Afghanistan, reducing the force there to about 8,600, it was reported last week. That number is inadequate to do more than protect key U.S. positions and personnel. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw more forces from ...

Don’t let kids fall for internet scams

A great deal of the consumer protection advice we receive during the holidays amounts to common sense. How could a reasonably intelligent adult fall for some of the schemes, after all? But some consumer protection watchdogs are offering an important reminder: Adults may have nothing to do ...

Are we ready? Are we ever!

A common question around this time of year is, “Are you ready for Christmas?” It can be interpreted in a couple of ways. Sometimes, the query is whether we have all the gifts purchased, decorations both inside and out finished, donations to worthy causes made, and Christmas dinner food ...

Space Force may linger on

All too often, bad ideas never really go away in Washington. Congress merely reduces taxpayer funding for them, without insisting they be abandoned. That may be the fate of President Donald Trump’s “Space Force.” Trump envisions the force as an entirely separate, new branch of the ...

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Erna Zahn THUMBS UP: Erna Zahn, who went horseback riding when she was 99, and lived on her own until she was 109, is now the oldest living person in Minnesota. This past month Evelyn Kleine, 112, of Minneapolis died. She was the oldest known Minnesotan. Her passing makes Erna, 111, the ...

Health plan fairness

Millions of Americans have lost all choice in health insurance companies because of the misnamed Affordable Care Act. Millions who were assured Obamacare would get insurance premiums under control have found they cannot afford the level of coverage they did in the past. At the same time, some ...

Grounding 737 Max a matter of life and death

Commercial aircraft production is a high-stakes business in more ways than one. Federal regulators should stick to their position of emphasizing one of those stakes — lives. Boeing Co.’s 737 Max jetliners have been grounded throughout the world since March, when two of the craft crashed ...

USMCA a boon for state ag industry

The announcement that Democrats in the House of Representatives have reached an agreement with the White House on the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is good news for Minnesota farmers, who have had very little news to cheer them recently. The agreement is intended to replace NAFTA, the ...

A monument worth building

We Americans have torn down a lot of statues during the past few years. You know the type: Memorials to military and civil leaders of the Confederate States of America. Perhaps it’s time to switch gears and erect a few new statues. Give credit to the people and public officials of ...

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Allina in Springfield Thumbs Up: It makes a lot of sense for Allina Health, which owns and operates the New Ulm Medical Center, to step in at the Springfield hospital and clinic, which the Mayo Health System is leaving in March. Allina has a strong presence at the New Ulm Medical Center, ...

To arm or not to arm…

A significant number of schools throughout the United States have authorized staff members to carry firearms while at work. The idea is that armed educators and school service personnel can protect students in the event of an incursion by someone bent on violence. But an Associated Press ...

Are we able to spot terrorist threats?

Until they have answers, the top priority for U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies needs to be determining whether Mohammed Alshamrani was a lone-wolf terrorist or part of a larger plot. Alshamrani, an officer in the Royal Saudi Air Force, was being trained at a U.S. naval base at ...

Time for House to do some real work

After many weeks in which the U.S. House of Representatives has seemed preoccupied with impeachment hearings, action on a new trade agreement may finally be on the horizon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Tuesday announced her caucus has reached agreement with the White House on the ...

Community colleges are blessing to many

We don’t get it. Really. Apparently, according to The Associated Press, there is some sort of stigma attached to those who attend two-year colleges. As the AP reported, a Perrysburg, Ohio, college president decided to do something about the stigma. Steve Robinson, of Owens Community ...

Help Mexico fight drug cartel violence

Just a month after Mexican drug cartel murderers massacred at least nine Americans living in that country, more evidence of mayhem south of the border has been written in blood. In early November, two separate groups of women and children were ambushed near their homes in northern Mexico. ...

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Season of giving Thumbs Up: With the late date for Thanksgiving this year, the holiday shopping season is a little shorter than usual. We hope people will find time to help those who may be suffering this season. There are people hurting because they have lost someone this year and their ...

Surplus will fuel legislative debate

With a projected surplus of $1.3 billion glimmering at the end of the current state budget, legislators are sure to be talking this session about what to do with it. Do we want tax relief? More money for roads and bridges? More money for unmet health care needs? Raises for health care ...

Rural hospitals take another hit

The struggle of rural hospitals to stay open in today’s economy is well documented. Rural areas have high rates of people without health care coverage, and hospitals face high rates of uncompensated care when they have to come in for treatment. Population is falling in rural areas, meaning ...

Who’s fiddling while the planet burns?

“Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while the planet burned?” asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this week. He was addressing representatives from nearly 200 nations, gathered in Spain for a meeting on climate ...