Short Takes

Send pipeline gunman a bill


The no. 1 rule of gun safety: Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. Here’s another important rule: Be certain of your target, your line of fire, and what lies beyond your target. All of the facts in the the pipeline break near Cottonwood last week are not in yet. But we do know that more than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a ditch that eventually intersects with Yellow Medicine River. Luckily, crews were able to contain the spill before it did some major damage to a main waterway. Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes said Friday that the pipeline damage was caused by a man shooting at the pipeline. What was this man thinking? If negligence can be proven in this case, charge the individual for the cost in all the man hours needed to clean up the mess. Above all, this individual’s gun rights should be taken away until he completes a gun safety course.

Highway 59 leads to our downtown


It took a couple from the East Coast to remind us of the tourist potential in downtown Marshall. Hiram Levy and Irena Danilova walked into the Independent office last week. They explained they were exploring Highway 59 between Texas and Canada and were seeking information about Marshall. Independent contributor Jim Muchlinski followed them to several downtown shops so they could get a feel of what Marshall has to offer to tourists and others new to the area. They wondered how an import store (Columbia Imports) came to be located in a rural area. The Main-Stay coffee shop, which looked like a promising mid-day lunch and coffee place, was only their second chance to enjoy espresso since it’s not found in many U.S. Highway 59 locations. Their visit is reminder of just a few of the many destination points that makes downtown Marshall unique.

Time to move on from MNLARS


Sometimes one has to admit to a bad investment, eat your losses and move on. That was the decision made by Gov. Tim Walz when he announced it was not worth putting more resources into a failing vehicle registration system. It means taxpayers are out $186 million, including $100 million that the state has already spent on developing MNLARS over more than a decade. Throwing more money at a bad investment just doesn’t make sense. Lawmakers on both sides of the fence agree with Walz.

Sheriff makes a good hire


The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department should be commended for expanding diversity. Sheriff Eric Wallen recently hired the department’s first Hmong deputy. “With the larger Hmong population we have in our area I do think it will be very beneficial as far as community relations and having a familiar person to that culture,” Wallen was quoted as saying. We agree.