THUMBS DOWN: Even when the price of a barrel of oil was on the decline, gas prices continued to rise. Now, with all the political and public unrest in Egypt and Libya, some predict those prices will rise even more - maybe up to $3.50 per gallon this summer. It's difficult to gauge exactly why gas prices rise and fall; the public is told many things, given many different reasons for such fluctuations. The real frustrating thing is the fact that gas prices within a chain of stores can differ so much from city to city. Take the Casey's General Store chain. On any given day, the price per gallon in Marshall can differ from Tracy by 3 or 4 cents. What gives? The Independent tried to contact Casey's corporate office in Akeny, Iowa, for an answer, but the calls were not returned. We don't mean to single out Casey's - their prices are consistent with others in Marshall - but we find the price differential between two stores in the same chain 25 minutes from each other rather perplexing. Don't bother harassing the employee behind the counter, either. They just work there, they don't set the price and probably don't look forward to hearing upset consumers barking about gas prices all day. Rising gas prices is something we all have to live with and accept, even though it might throw a wrench into your summer vacation plans.
Dancers at state
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to all the area dance teams that worked their way to the state tournament this year. Southwest Minnesota was well-represented at this year's tournament with Marshall, Tracy Area, Yellow Medicine East and Dawson-Boyd/Lac qui Parle Valley. These dancers might not grab as many headlines as basketball players and wrestlers do during the winter sports season, but they deserve to be recognized for all the hard work they put in during the season.
Moving on in Cottonwood
THUMBS UP: A?couple of recent editions of the Independent have contained stories about how people, both kids and adults, in the Lakeview School District are coping with the loss of four students in the February 2008 bus crash. The people closely affected by the tragedy have moved on admirably and continue to celebrate the lives of the four young lives lost in the crash - quite a testament to the human spirit.