Short Takes

Lyon County does it part to fight chemical dependency

THUMBS UP:

Chemical dependency is wrecking lives across the nation and right here in southwest Minnesota. Western Mental Health Center in Marshall is stepping up to the plate to help those in the fight for their lives. The center applied for licensure to be a chemical dependency treatment provider. On Tuesday, the Lyon County board of commissioners voted in favor of a letter of support for Western Mental Health Center.

Congress shows rare bipartisanship with opioid legislation

THUMBS UP:

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package, which sent it to the White House. The vote: 99-1 with Mike Lee, R-Utah, the only senator to oppose it. How’s that for some long-overdue bipartisanship by Congress.

People with medical issues face anxiety over rising out-of-pocket spending

THUMBS DOWN:

On another health subject, an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that insurance deductibles pushed higher again this year. It’s part of a 10-year trend where out-of-pocket spending in employer health plans is causing financial anxiety for those with medical issues.

More southwest Minnesota schools need help with security funding

THUMBS SIDEWAYS:

School districts in Marshall, Tracy and Dawson received good news from the Minnesota Department of Education. Schools in these districts will receive funding for safety upgrades. The grant money can be used for security and violence prevention. Unfortunately, other schools is southwest Minnesota could face security threats as well now or in the future. Smaller schools in rural areas are especially vulnerable because they are located in areas where law enforcement and other first responders would have to travel more miles to react to emergencies. These schools need help too.

Construction jobs just a few weeks away, union proclaims

THUMBS UP:

Looking for a career? The Laborers’ International Union of North America claims there 3,000 construction jobs could be filled locally with the right training. Its representatives provided information at a recent career expo at Southwest Minnesota State University on how these jobs offer “good money” with just a few weeks of training.

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