Editorials

State needs to focus on creating skilled workers

The economic engine that is driving Minnesota’s government surplus may be running out of fuel — that is, workers needed to fill the job openings out there. Minnesota’s recent budget forecast, which predicts a $1.5 billion surplus over the next two years, also contains some data that ...

Putting the spotlight on journalists

All journalists enjoy getting recognition for their work. But by nature and tradition, they'd much rather tell the story than be the story. What motivates reporters, from Maryland to Myanmar, is not the desire for fame. It’s the hunger to break news, explain the world and hold the powerful ...

Elected but not in office yet? Use time to find the middle

Election Day is about a month behind us; new terms of office are about a month away. This small window — even crammed full of holidays — is a valuable asset, if those in public service choose to capitalize on it. It's a rare chance to pause, reflect and make some personal decisions about ...

‘A big deal’ closer to reality at Lyon County Museum

Last May, Lyon County Commissioners heard a report of “a big deal” from Lyon County Museum Executive Director Jennifer Andries. She described the plan to construct new exhibits on the second floor that will focus on the county’s history after World War II. She said the project would ...

Short Takes

Getting more efficient at city hall THUMBS UP: Change is never easy. The status quo is always so comfortable, but it also can be less productive. Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson is steering some sensible reorganization in the finance department. During Tuesday’s City Council ...

Trump should not hesitate in signing

The farm bill is finally on the fast track. After clearing the Senate hurdle on Tuesday, the House passed the legislation late Wednesday afternoon. It’s now heading toward President Donald Trump’s desk. This bill is not perfect, but it gets the job done. While many conservatives were ...

Ringing in the Christmas season with a message

What is the true meaning of Christmas? Well, Marshall siblings Whitney and Sam Kontz believe they know the answer. The Salvation Army bell ringers were featured in the Independent Tuesday. “Our parents don’t want Christmas gifts,” Whitney Kontz said. “They want us to volunteer, so ...

‘Voice of reason’ needed during legislative session

On Thursday, the State of Minnesota projected a $1.5 billion surplus for the next two-year budget period. It was good news because it gives Democratic Gov.-elect Tim Walz and the Legislature more room to negotiate spending initiatives, tax cuts or the combination of both during the upcoming ...

Congress should get more involved in making war authority decisions

For too long, Congress has abdicated its constitutional obligations with respect to war powers. On Nov. 28, the Senate took an important step toward reasserting this authority by voting 63 to 37 in favor of moving ahead on a resolution directing the removal of US armed forces from hostilities ...

Deer disease deserves federal policies — and funding

Let it not be said that bipartisanship is dead. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota whose name keeps coming up as a possible presidential candidate, has joined forces with Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, in the effort to stop the nationwide spread of chronic ...

Short Takes

New chapter for two Marshalls THUMBS UP: The page started to turn Tuesday on a new chapter in law enforcement in Lyon County. A swearing in ceremony was held for Jim Marshall who is now the new public safety director for Marshall. City Administrator Sharon Hanson pinned three stars to ...

Listening vs. muting

Mute buttons are handy when watching TV and another annoying commercial comes on, usually at twice the volume of the regular programming. They proved invaluable during the past political campaign season to silence the onslaught of negative ads. But as much as mute buttons have a place in the ...

Congress needs to pass farm bill now

A lobbyist for the Minnesota Farmers Union, Thom Peterson, says “the clock is ticking” for farmers. He was quoted in an Associated Press article that appears on today’s front page on the status of the farm bill. He also said that newspapers have been full of stories lately about farmers ...

Bush wanted to make America ‘kinder, gentler’

Former President George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday at the age of 94, was a man born into a life of affluence, but who chose to live a life of service to his country. He joined the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday over the objection of his wealthy father, flew 58 missions in World War II as a ...

Other Views

Legislature: Pass opioid safety legislation Minnesota legislators appear willing to take another swing at serving opioid abuse victims and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable. We hope they hit a home run. This new attempt is likely only possible because the DFL now has control of ...

Pro-smoking government

E-cigarettes let people get a hit of nicotine without burning tobacco. Avoiding burning tobacco is the single greatest preventative health measure human beings can take, given the diseases conventional cigarettes cause. Unfortunately, our government and media now act as if vaping ...

Working together to meet pressing workforce shortages

All across the nation, legislators and employers alike are concerned about a shortage of qualified workers. A number of factors are at play in this, including a low unemployment rate, a decreasing pool of high school graduates, a shift in population from rural areas to the Twin Cities metro, ...

‘Medicare-for-all’ is no health care cure all

This week, congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted out a letter from Spectrum Health to one Hedda Elizabeth Martin. The letter described the clinic’s rejection of a heart transplant for Martin based on lack of a “more secure financial plan for immunosuppressive ...

Listening tour step in right direction for governor-elect

It wasn't much notice, but Governor-elect Tim Walz and Lt. Governor-elect Peggy Flanagan announced Wednesday a statewide listening tour that will be launched today. Walz will start his tour in Mankato and hit Luverne and LaCrescent. Flanagan will also start out in Mankato and then head to ...