Trapping rules need to change
THUMBS DOWN: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has said it will consider tightening the rules to reduce risk of dogs getting caught in trap-like devices like Conibears. These neck-breaking, body-gripping traps are big enough for many dogs to get their heads into, and a number of hunting dogs have been killed in traps in Minnesota since last fall. Two DFL legislators will introduce legislation next week to restrict the use of "body grip traps" in Minnesota and we hope a bill is passed that helps protect dogs from these traps, which are currently legal on most public land. Trapping is relatively big business in Minnesota and the traps serve an important function for trappers, but they should not be allowed on any public land.
THUMBS UP: We're not big on relying on non-guaranteed funding sources to pay for things, but if electronic pulltabs can generate anything close to the projected $72 million annually the state's revenue commissioner says it will, we say why not go that route to help pay for the state's share of a new Vikings stadium. Funding is just one issue the Legislature is facing in getting a stadium bill done this year, but it's a big one, and if legislators can get together on electronic pull tabs as a funding source, we're behind it.
Schwan donates land
THUMBS UP: Good move by the Schwan Food Co. donating 16 acres of land it purchased in 2003 for the proposed amateur sports complex in Marshall. Schwan was called out four years ago by a legislator who wondered what kind of role it would play in any new sports complex here, considering the investments it had made at the National Sports Center in Blaine with the Schwan Super Rink, and many have wondered why Schwan has invested so much in a facility located in an urban community hundreds of miles away and not put more money into local projects. Well, this is one investment that can potentially make a huge difference in Marshall and the surrounding area. We don't yet know what, if any, naming rights Schwan will be looking for - heck, we don't even know if or when the regional sports complex will become a reality in Marshall - but it would seem likely the new center would carry the Schwan name/logo in some form. And it should. Without the support of the city's largest employer, without getting that land for nothing, it's hard to believe this project would have much of a future despite all the behind-the-scenes work being done by passionate members of the community.