Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, May 6

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: flowers at Veterans Memorial Park, students lack financial knowledge, road crews, scammers targeting elderly

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Flowers, shrubs add to veterans park

Thumbs Up: Alexandria’s Veterans Memorial Park is a beautiful spot to reflect on the sacrifices and service local veterans have made, thanks in part by donations of flowers and shrubs by the Brickweg Family Colorful Seasons Garden Center. The VMP Committee recently sent the garden center a note of gratitude: “Through the years your company and family have been terrific supporters of all that is good about Alexandria and you can be proud of your legacy for future generations,” the committee said, adding, “The city of Alexandria integrated the VMP into its city park system in 2020. Our VMP Committee whom you favored with your generous gift, will continue to manage all affairs related to the design, appearance and engraving of future veteran names. Your park – and your donation are in good hands and we thank you kindly in supporting our mission to protect and preserve one of the finest veterans memorial parks in the nation.”

Students lag on financial knowledge

Thumbs Down: Today’s young people are having a hard time grasping basic financial information, which, like it or not, can have a big impact on how successful they’ll be after they land their first jobs, start saving for the future, and encounter pitfalls that can ruin their credit. According to a recent survey conducted by the leading homework help platform, Brainly , 39.9% of high school students feel they are unprepared to make smart financial decisions post-graduation, and 48% of respondents would like their schools to offer a financial literacy class. With the current state of the economy, learning financial literacy is more important than ever, Brainly pointed out, yet 25.6% of respondents still noted they have not touched on any topics of finances in their math or business classes. The top requested topics high school students are looking to learn include: taxes (50% of students requested lessons on taxes), saving and budgeting, mortgages and home buying, credit cards and investing and stocks.

Recognizing road crews

Thumbs Up: The road crews who are hard at work on construction projects don’t receive much recognition for all they do while putting their lives at risk. The Minnesota Department of Transportation honored the men and women who have been killed or injured while working on state roadways during Worker Memorial Day on Thursday, April 28. Since 1960, 35 MnDOT workers and 16 contractors have lost their lives while working on state highways.“Every day, road workers across the state put themselves on the line to keep Minnesota’s roads safe for everyone,” said Nancy Daubenberger, MnDOT interim commissioner. “Those workers – and everyone traveling through work zones – deserve to get home safely. Please, slow down and avoid distractions in work zones to help keep our workers – and yourself – safe.” Visit MnDOT’s Transportation Worker Memorial website to see the list of fallen workers in Minnesota, which includes a fatal incident near our area: Kenneth Sellon and Eugene Schlotfeldt died when a truck struck them on I-94 near West Union on Nov. 14, 1968.

Scammers targeting elderly

Thumbs Down: A resident of Knute Nelson told us that she’s been the target of scams recently. She said that someone claiming to be from Blue Cross Blue Shield left a suspicious message on her machine and when she checked with Blue Cross, the company said it does not leave those kinds of messages. She also received a call from Medicare Plus, asking her to press 1 on her phone if she wanted to hear a message in English. She checked with Medicare and they told her they don’t make those kinds of calls. She’s also been contacted by a very familiar scam – one that wants her to add a warranty to her vehicle, even though her car is 11 years old. She didn’t fall for any of the scams but wanted to alert others to be aware of it. “It’s important that elderly people hear about this,” she said.

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.

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