Lawn mowing donation

Thumbs Up: The inspiring story of three siblings who are trying to mow as many lawns as possible this summer for veterans, elderly people, single parents and disabled people in the Evansville area keeps getting better. Lucas Fuller,15, Micah Fuller,13, and Gracianna Fuller,12, are participating in Raising Men Lawn Care Service’s 50-yard mowing challenge. For every 10 lawns they mow, the Fullers advance to a new color T-shirt. Their mission drew so much attention, they’ve had to turn some people away because they couldn’t get all the yards done. After Alex Power Equipment found that out, they donated the use of a Kubota Z421 with a 60-inch deck. “We may not be able to help them mow, but we certainly can help them mow faster!” said Debra Fredrickson, director of marketing for Alex Power Equipment. “Love, love their attitude and what they are giving back to the community.”

Putting children at risk

Thumbs Down: Here’s troubling news: Vaccinations in Minnesota and across the country have drastically decreased due to COVID-19 and fears associated with seeking health care at a physician’s office or other medical clinics, according to the Minnesota Medical Association, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. It’s estimated that from 70 to 80 percent of Minnesota’s children have delayed physician visits, important vaccinations, chronic health care and routine treatment of everyday illnesses because parents are understandably concerned about bringing their children to the clinic for fear of exposure to the virus. The medical groups believe all children should be vaccinated, except for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Don’t let the fear of one disease put children at risk for other diseases. Lori DeFrance, president of the MNAAP, put it this way: “It is crucial to continue scheduled vaccinations to protect children and prevent diseases like measles and pertussis, which can be extremely dangerous in children and easily spread in communities. Pediatricians and medical clinics are open and prepared to take care of patients and children, provide vaccinations and maintain the recommended schedule of preventive and routine care.”

Flying rocks

Thumbs Down: Trucks that are hauling materials should be tarped. Here’s what happened to an Alexandria resident: A rock from a dump truck cracked his windshield near Lake Ida. He replaced the windshield only to have two more rocks chip it in a matter of days. “When I lived in Florida, every truck, no matter what it was, was tarped,” he said. “And they cleaned out the tailgate between loads. But no one seems to do that here.”

Helping grocery workers

Thumbs Up: The Alexandria Evening Lions Club deserves a “thumbs up” for helping essential workers at Elden’s Fresh Foods and Cub Foods in Alexandria. The club gave 25 employees at each store $15 gift certificates to be used at Travelers Inn and Fat Daddy’s. So the donations not only helped the workers who play a crucial role in providing safe food for everyone to eat, it also helped a couple local restaurants. The club is planning to give away more gift certificates in the future.

Water balloon pollution

Thumbs Down: If you’re out celebrating in your boat this Fourth of July, think twice before throwing a water balloon at other boaters. Last summer, just after the July 4 Chain of Lakes Parade, a resident took a photo along the shore of Lake Carlos that was smothered by broken water balloons for hundreds of yards. “Water balloons not only damage fish habitat, but the litter they create will not dissolve,” the resident noted. “It’s a permanent pollutant unless someone cleans it up.”

Water balloons from last year's Chain of Lakes Boat Parade in Alexandria litter the shoreline of Lake Carlos. (Contributed photo)
Water balloons from last year's Chain of Lakes Boat Parade in Alexandria litter the shoreline of Lake Carlos. (Contributed photo)

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.