It's time again to give out credit where credit is due. Good and bad credit alike.
Some praise to those who've earned it. Some criticism to others who deserve it.
Here we go
Cheers to the Winnebago and Blue Earth Legion Posts youth baseball team. Sure, they deserve congratulations for placing in the State Legion Baseball Tournament recently. But, we think they earned extra credit when they also picked up the sportsmanship trophy.
In fact, we think the community should be especially proud of that second trophy. From what we have heard, the team represented the Winnebago and Blue Earth communities well. They were not only outstanding athletes, but gentleman and a real class act as well.
Cheers to the community of Easton and especially Melissa Rath. Rath took it upon her shoulders to go out and raise funds to build a beautiful new community playground. No easy task in a small farming community in rural Faribault County.
The community responded with plenty of support and suddenly Easton has a park and playground they can be very proud of, thanks to Rath's vision and hard work.
Jeers to the state school testing results for local schools. While we certainly are not trying to blame staff at the two local county schools, even they admit they are very disappointed with the recently released figures. Of course, some of this is due to the nature of the tests and the fact that they were made more difficult.
However, this is certainly a call to action and we know the Blue Earth Area and United South Central school districts are concerned and making plans to improve students' scores.
Both schools have great education systems and staff in place. And while state tests certainly don't mean everything, if there is room for improvement, go for it.
Cheers to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Earth for taking the lead in developing a program called Buc Bags for students at BEA schools in Blue Earth. No child should go hungry over the weekend and this program will fill a gap for those who need it. Kids who are on free and reduced lunch and breakfast programs at the school will now get a pack of food items to take home over the weekend.
We hope the community will respond with support, as the cost of the program for the year is expected to be $20,000.
Jeers to the state of Minnesota which so far has not responded to requests for some aid for damage to infrastructure in Faribault County from storms earlier this summer. While Blue Earth did not see much storm damage, the eastern part of the county and the cities of Minnesota Lake and Wells did. The state and federal governments have stepped in after areas have been damaged, but have ignored this situation. Perhaps they feel it wasn't bad enough.
Cheers to the USC school board for being willing to invest some money into their education programs. While some may question purchasing an iPad for every single student at USC schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, it does show the board is looking forward and trying to give students and staff the tools they need to have an excellent educational system.
Cheers to the Blue Earth City Council for being willing to spend some serious coin on making improvements to the city that includes more than just road graders, streets and sewer lines. We are referring specifically to such items as the new picnic shelters at Putnam and Steinberg parks, the new playground equipment at Putnam Park and 14th Street ball fields, the new campground facilities going in at the fairgrounds and the expansion to the fitness center.
While road graders and sewer lines are certainly important, we are glad the city fathers also see the need for amenities to be upgraded as well. These new facilities will be available for use by visitors and residents of the community alike. They should attract more activity in town and are an important addition to any city.
Cheers to StateLine Cooperative and their new investment in Faribault County. While we fully understand they are not building this new agriculture center just to be nice, but are expecting to make a profit like any other business, it is still a good deal for farmers in the Blue Earth and Guckeen area.
And, any time millions of dollars are being invested into the county, it has to be a good thing for many reasons, from tax base to employment.