Noethlich at camp
THUMBS UP: As if there aren't enough reasons to be excited for Vikings training camp this year, area residents and Southwest Minnesota State University can look forward to keeping an eye on former SMSU player Bill Noethlich, who is one of 81 players on the training camp roster. Noethlich a 6-7, 308-pound offensive lineman, is one of 14 offensive linemen on the roster. Noethlich played four seasons at SMSU from 2006-09 and was signed as a free agent following the draft in April.
The Vikings begin training camp today in Mankato. Noethlich will get a true taste of life in the NFL starting today, as he may find himself looking across the line of scrimmage at the likes of Kevin and Pat Williams and Jared Allen during camp.
Dump site closure in Tracy
THUMBS DOWN: The Tracy City Council has voted to temporarily close the city's yard/garden waste disposal site Monday in response to a negative report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division that said further violations at the site would result in its closure and possible loss of the city's brush-burning permit. Tracy's mayor calls losing the site, even temporarily "a shame." We've all seen this before - one or two people misuse something and the rest suffer because of it. It's not like the city hasn't tried to keep a handle on things at the site. It's used surveillance cameras, signs, and inspections, but nothing has worked well enough to appease the DNR. The city has also tossed around a number of ideas to keep the site open in the future like vehicle inspections, hiring someone to monitor it, requiring an annual permit and adding a 50 cent fee to city water bills to pay for enforcement. Ultimately, however, it's up to the city's residents who use the site to abide by the rules, not violate them - a moral decision they have to make for themselves when no one's looking. Charging a fee won't stop some people from breaking city laws.
THUMBS UP: Two major events - one that took place last weekend and one that is scheduled for this weekend - annually see our motorcycling population hitting the roads for good causes. Last weekend it was the LTD Memorial Ride, an event held in the memory of three Minnesota National Guard soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq five years ago, including local soldier Jason Timmerman. The ride drew almost 800 motorcyclists, and organizers added to the patriotism by adorning the area around the Marshall National Guard Armory with American flags. The other event occurs Saturday when, once again cyclists from the area will be out on the highway for the 18th Annual Toys for Tots Fun Run from Amiret to Marshall. The run benefits Heart to Heart of Lyon County, as well as many other area charities. Kudos to everyone who volunteered their time throughout the year to put these two events together.