Thank you, heroes of the voting process

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We hear a lot of praise in these dangerous days (and rightfully so) about all the heroes who keep our troubled world turning. There are the doctors, nurses, technicians and staffs of clinics and hospitals who work right up front, courageously, in the danger zone of Covid-19 infections. Many of them, when virus infections spike, suffer a terrible emotional toll.

Let’s shatter the stigma

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Think about what you did in the last 11 minutes. In that short amount of time, someone in America died by suicide.  Data released this year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the suicide rate has climbed 35 percent since 1999. If that statistic isn’t alarming enough, experts say social limitations and economic pressures brought on by

The emergency is not over

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How many deaths can we tolerate? Minnesota’s Covid-19 death toll will soon pass 2,000. Nationwide, we’ve tolerated 200,000 deaths and about 1,000 Americans continue to die each day. Imagine if a tornado wiped out one of the Minnesota cities with about 2,000 residents such as Nisswa, Hinckley or Aitkin. How would we react? Since the pandemic set in, an average

Does racial injustice happen here?

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Could it happen here? That’s the question civic and law enforcement leaders have heard from citizens since George Floyd’s killing and the protests that followed. The question brought new attention to how Central Minnesota’s police and sheriff’s departments operate so incidents of racial injustice don’t happen here. The Central Minnesota NAACP chapter organized a Zoom discussion on Aug. 1 with

Prepare now for Nov. 3 election

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In last week’s primary election, Minnesota voters and election officials experienced what voting looks like amid a pandemic. The primary was a good trial run to prepare for the Nov. 3 general election. Voters can act now to ensure everyone votes and every vote counts in November. Just like stores and restaurants, polling places instituted health and safety measures. Voting

Public health, economy are both part of virus solutions

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We can’t escape numbers. Usually, this time of year, we keep an eye on baseball batting averages, win/loss records and how many days the temperature reaches 90 degrees. But since spring, watching a new set of numbers took over our attention – the Department of Health’s daily posting of how many Minnesotans tested positive for Covid-19, how many have died

Schools face tough fall

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Despite best efforts, sometimes there’s no good answer to a problem. That certainly seems the to be the case with how to start the school year during a public health crisis. Everyone agrees students need to go back to school, but the health and safety of students and teachers has to come first. State health and education leaders told school

Monumental decisions

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Removing statues of slave traders or traitorous generals who took up arms against the United States is an easy call. These men can be remembered in museums, not honored in town squares. Likewise, forts Bragg, Hood, Benning and other military installations named for Confederate generals should be renamed. Government facilities should not honor those who betrayed it. Taking down statues,