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Short Takes

Wind energy grants promotes jobs

THUMBS UP:

Rural Minnesota received a boost from bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, to renew and expand the Department of Energy’s Office of Wind Energy and award competitive grants to improve energy efficiency, reliability and capacity of wind energy generations. In her release about the Wind Energy Research and Development Act, Smith claimed the wind energy sector supports more than 114,000 American jobs and provides more than $1 billion in revenue each year in the nation. A portion of those jobs can be found right here in southwest Minnesota with many of those workers shopping in local stores and eating at restaurants in the communities they are working in. More importantly, investing in clean, renewable wind energy makes America more flexible with its resources.

Halloween in safe environments

THUMBS UP:

Spooky events are being offered in the Marshall area to enjoy Halloween week. The Independent informed readers on Thursday about the “Haunted Tower” at the Minnesota Emergency Response Training Center this weekend. Organizers plan to create spooky themes on each floor of the training tower. Each floor will get “progressively scarier” providing entertainment for young and older children. There are other well-organized Halloween events this week. Volunteers who work at these events are appreciated. We applaud these type of Halloween events because they do offer an alternative to the traditional walking up to homes of strangers seeking candy. While we know a lot of our neighbors, there are safety concerns. At the same time, these organized events offer parents more choices.

Cameras big step for Marshall police

THUMBS SIDEWAYS:

The Marshall City Council voted Tuesday to approve the $50,000 purchase worth of equipment to support body-worn cameras for police officers. Using body-worn cameras is a big step for the Marshall Police Department. Body-worn camera programs are not without controversies. Officer Jeff Wenker told the Council the cameras should be a positive development. It will help officers substantiate cases, but also shed light on officer wrong-doing. However, the body-camera program will only work if all the officers participate in the policy of wearing them when on duty. Turning them off when they should be on defeats the purpose.

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