Short Takes

Stepping up to help the community


On a weekly basis, the Independent has reported on some examples of individuals stepping up to help their community. One example this week can be found at Freedom Park every Friday during the summer. Five years ago, Chad and Trisha Bergjord started Fun Fridays at the Marshall park. They were new in the community and looking for a way to meet other families. Every Friday, between 10 a.m. and noon during the summer, Fun Fridays is open to anybody who wants to join in. Arts, crafts, games and sports are offered. Apparently there was a need for such a program. Trisha Bergjord told the Independent between 40 to 80 people participate every Friday. A second example was found at Camden State Park Wednesday. A minority advocate program at Marshall Public Schools offers activities to introduce and educate immigrant children about typical American hobbies such as fishing and swimming. On Wednesday, about 20 students and some adult supervisors biked to Camden State Park from Marshall. When they arrived at the park, the group grilled American favorites such as hamburgers, chicken and brats.

Good year for transportation funding


The Minnesota Department of Transportation staff reported to officials from Southwest Minnesota that transportation had a good year as far as 2017 legislative funding goes. District 8 Engineer Jon Huseby said funding will be available for transportation projects over the next four years, in the form of trunk highway bonds, and both bonds and trunk highway funds for the Corridors of Commerce program. Corridors of Commerce funding for road improvements that help support regional commerce and economic development. Huseby said the new trunk highway bonds were “pretty substantial,” with more than $600 million in funding available over four years. There are several projects lined up for the Marshall area for 2018 and 2019. This is all good news, but this is just start. Deteriorating highways and roads are a major issue for Southwest Minnesota.