Lending a hand (and some combines)
THUMBS UP: Many people believe that newspapers are filled with too much bad or negative news. While it's true a lot of the news that's put into the paper is of the negative variety, and it sometimes comes in bunches, there are times when good, heartwarming news pulls the same trick. Such was the case in the last week when the Independent reported about two groups of people who gave of their time and expense to help out a fellow farmer. Both of these feel-good stories were on Page 1 - one on Saturday, the other Tuesday - so if you need a quick shot of positivity amidst stories about office shootings and candidate fingerpointing, give those stories another read and take heart that you live in a state filled with some real good people.
Don't even think about burning
THUMBS DOWN: If you think you can get away with burning that little pile of leaves, don't. If you smoke, better look where you're tossing that cigarette butt. Smoke filled the air in northern Minnesota on Wednesday as crews worked to contain wildfires in that area, and nearly the entire state is under burning warnings or restrictions. That includes us. It's dry, folks, extremely dry, and as usual, it's windy, too. These are two key ingredients for fires to break out. Even the spark of a combine can start a large field fire. Three fires broke out in the area within hours of each other Wednesday afternoon, which is all you need to know when you're thinking of starting a burn.