Short Takes

Scholarships ‘a game changer’


Facing some backlash last month from the announced 3 percent tuition increase approved by Minnesota State system trustees Chancellor Devinder Malhotra personally delivered some good news for potential students in the Marshall area and throughout the state during a visit Wednesday. During a press conference held at the Independent office, Malhotra announced a scholarship program that he called “a game changer.” He reported that around 400 Workforce Development Scholarships were awarded to students entering Minnesota State colleges during the 2018-19 academic year. The scholarships are worth $2,500 each. This year the Legislature expanded the scholarship program, making $2 million available for the 2019-20 academic year. Of that total, 28 workforce scholarships will be available to Minnesota West students.

More students still need help


And about that tuition hike — Malhotra told reporters that Minnesota State still remains by far the most affordable option for higher educations. Maybe, but that’s a small consolation prize for students still facing big college tuition debt when they graduate.

Hobby Lobby a boost for economy


The projected August opening of the Hobby Lobby store in Marshall is definitely a shot in the arm for the region after the closing of the Shopko store. The Hobby Lobby store will be located in the former Kmart store location. The company describes itself as providing a wide variety of merchandise in the craft and home décor market. Marshall Economic Development Agency Director Tara Onken said the feedback she’s getting from the community has been “overwhelmingly positive.” More importantly, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Gruhot said Hobby Lobby is the type of store that should bring shoppers to Marshall, “which will only help other businesses in Marshall.”

Dealing with too much water


While the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Thursday that climate change and the extra precipitation it’s dumping on the upper Midwest is actually boosting corn and soybean yields. Maybe, but all that extra water is still a nuisance here in southwest Minnesota. A good example is the concern coming from Lyon County over rising water at lakes such as Lake of the Hills near Garvin. Water is encroaching a feedlot which could cause all kinds of problems.